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Local History Grants Program FAQs


We strongly recommend you read the LHGP Application Guidelines which will provide you with key information to support your application.  


Q: Can I speak to someone about my grant application?

A: For the cost of a local call (except from mobile phones) the Victorian Government Grants Information line is open Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm except public holidays.


Q: I have a project but I’m not part of an organisation! Can I apply?

A: The Local History Grants Program does not fund individuals. If you are an individual wishing to initiate a project, you must seek the support of an incorporated body willing to support, contribute and auspice the application. Suitable organisations include not-for-profit community groups like historical societies and community museums. You will need a letter of support from the sponsoring organisation outlining their role in the project to include in your application. If your application is successful, the grant will be made out to that organisation that will administer and be responsible for the funds.


Q: What if my organisation doesn’t have an ABN?

A: Organisations will need to be either:

  • Registered with the Office of Consumer Affairs Victoria as either an Incorporated body or Association, Co-operative, OR be Funds Managed or auspiced by a group with this status.            
  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) OR be Funds Managed or auspiced by a group with an ABN (eg Council, Library etc).     

If your organisation does not meet this criteria, you will need a Funds Manager or Auspice organisation to manage the funds on your behalf.

Once you enter into an agreement and if your grant is successful, the auspice organisation will receive the funds applied for and will be responsible for the management of grant money. It is recommended that you have a separate agreement in place with the auspice organisation in relation to the auspice arrangements, such as through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or letter of agreement. If you need to find an auspice organisation consider places such as libraries, local government, RHSV, museums, Incorporated Historical Societies etc.


Q: What is a not for profit organisation?

A: Generally, a not-for-profit organisation does not operate for the profit, personal gain or other benefit of particular people (for example, its members, the people who run it, or their friends or relatives). The definition of not-for-profit applies both while the organisation is operating and if it ‘winds up’ (ie closes down).

Any profit made by the organisation must go back into the operation. Example of not-for-profit statements in organisations governing documents may state:

‘The assets and income of an organisation shall be applied solely to further its objects and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organisation except as genuine compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation.’

‘In the event of the organisation being dissolved, the amount that remains after such dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be transferred to another organisation with similar purposes which is not carried on for the profit or gain of its individual members.’ (Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission)

For further information on not-for-profit status, visit the Australian Taxation Office website.


Q: What if I have an existing project underway funded by a previous round of the Local History Grant Program. Can I apply for another grant?

A: To be eligible to receive Local History Grant funding any previous projects funded through the Local History Grant Program must have been formally acquitted by Public Record Office Victoria.

Organisations with outstanding projects must complete a Project Completion Report available on the Grants website. New applications will be accepted providing all the documentation is received and confirmed by PROV before the closing date of the new round.


Q: How much detail must I provide in the budget section of my application?

A: We recommend you be as specific as you can. Judges assess projects taking into account realistic costs and budget detail. The Application form suggests a number of commonly used ‘categories’ to make the budgeting process easier. If there is not a common term, use ‘Other’ where applicable. You only need to fill in the areas that relate to your project budget.

If you have multiple items that come into the one category on the form, you can detail your spending in the How will the grant money be spent section of the application form.

Wherever possible, obtain a quotation from a supplier and attach it to your application (eg. a printer’s quote for a book). The more accurate and well-documented your application is the less doubt or questions are in the judges minds. Remember, you cannot ask for more funds later because you did not accurately cost your project initially. For more detailed information read Project Budget in the Guidelines


Q: Should I include GST in the project budget?

A: No. The amounts in the budget must be exclusive of GST.


Q: How do I calculate in-kind labour?

A: In-kind labour is calculated by determining the monetary value of work undertaken by your volunteers then multiplying it by the estimated hours you consider this work will take. As a general rule volunteer time can be calculated at a minimum of $25 per hour or as appropriate for the types of tasks being undertaken. Think about how much it would cost you to have the task/work completed if you needed to employ someone.

In-kind labour is considered both an income and an expense, so should be added as equal amounts to both sides of the budget. For more information see the Guidelines.


Q: Is there someone I can talk to about my application?

A: General advice is provided through the Grants Information Line 1300 366 356 for the cost of a local call (except from mobile phones). Open Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm except public holidays.


Project Advice and Helpful Tips

What type of project are you doing? Is it digitising, recording oral history, publishing a local history or a conservation project or recording oral history? Scroll down to look at some helpful tips to consider if proposing these types of projects to help you with your application.


Digitising resources

A digitising training guide and video have been developed to assist groups with their digitising projects, visit Just Digitise it on the PROV website.


Digitising Public Records

If your project involves digitising permanent Public Records projects within the PROV collections you will be need to discuss your project with Public Record Office Victoria. Where a project proposes the digitisation of whole volumes or series, rather than individual items, organisations will need to consent to supplying copies for eventual publishing via PROV’s website.

A letter acknowledging any discussion, arrangements or agreements with PROV must be supplied as part of the application. Please contact PROV by email for more information.


Digitising microfilm

When digitising from microfilm, where possible, seek the master copy for better results. If you are using funding for a service provider to undertake the digitisation on your behalf, we encourage you to obtain quotes and include these with your application. This will help the judging panel assessment.


Publishing histories

When proposing to undertake a publishing project, outline in your application information that will describe the type of publication you want to produce. Include information about the final publication such as:

  • Will it have a soft or hard cover?
  • Approximately how many pages will it have?
  • What size will it be and what quality of paper?
  • Will colour or black and white images be included?
  • How many copies are being published?
  • Have you incorporated editing, proof-reading and indexing costs?
  • What will happen with the money from the sale of the publications? Is it being put towards future projects?
  • Have you considered Print-on-Demand as an alternative to bulk printing?

Obtain quotes for any of your publication costs to provide evidence of your funding request and attach it to your application. If you are using specialist services in your project remember to identify the consultants and provide their quotation or if you are undertaking the project yourselves, don’t forget to calculate ‘in-kind’ contribution labour costs.


E-publications and online books

Have you considered producing an e-publication? Electronic publishing is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional printed books. It can be much cheaper alternative to publishing as you don’t need to order and store a certain amount of stock. E-publications can be sold over the internet and through electronic bookstores, and consumers can read the published content on a dedicated e-book reader, mobile device or computer.


Oral histories and digital storytelling

When undertaking an oral history project consider the outcome or end result of your recording or data gathering. Consider how you will make the content of your oral history accessible, will you:

  • produce some audio or podcast file for inclusion on a website?
  • publish the stories in a written format?
  • create online videocasts?

You may wish to consider tapping into resources available in the wider community. Look out for education and training workshops related to oral histories or speak to other organisations about their oral history projects.

The Digital Storytelling technique is a powerful way for people to communicate their personal story. It gives people greater control over how their story is told.

Examples of digital story telling can be found here: Battle to Farm.


Interpretation panels and plaques

If you are planning to submit an application for a project to develop and install interpretive signage, panels or plaques on heritage sites or locations we recommend you discuss your project with Heritage Victoria and seek advice. You may need to seek advice and planning permission from your local council if you intend to install panels in public places. Evidence of agreements will need to be included in your application if applicable.

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