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These questions cover commonly asked questions about the local history grants program managed by Public Record Office Victoria. 

Local History Grants FAQ

Applications for Round 22 2023-2024 opened on Monday 16 October 2023 and closed on Monday 11 December 2023. 

You can access a copy of the current guidelines for Round 22 2023-2024 here.

Organisations will need to be:

  • Registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria as either an Incorporated body, Association or Co-operative, OR be Funds Managed or auspiced by a group with this status and;            
  • 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 these criteria, you will need a Fund's Manager or Auspice organisation to manage the funds on your behalf.

If your grant is successful, the auspice organisation will be responsible for the management of grant money. This includes entering into a funding agreement and receiving the funds applied for. 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, Royal Historical Society of Victoria, museums, Incorporated Historical Societies etc.

PROV will aim to announce successful applications by the end of June 2024. On occasion our announcements can be delayed due to events that are out of our control. If this is the case PROV will make contact with all applicants and provide an update. All applicants will receive the outcome via email (successful and unsuccessful).

For questions regarding your grant application you can email the PROV grants team at Please note that we can only provide general advice regarding the application process. An online information session was held on 26 October 2023. You can watch a recording of this session on the PROV YouTube channel.

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.

The Local History Grants Program (LHGP) 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 and contribute to 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 the organisation that will administer and be responsible for the funds.

To be eligible to receive Local History Grant funding any previous projects by your organisation funded through the LHGP must have been formally acquitted by Public Record Office Victoria (PROV).

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

We recommend you be as specific as you can. Judges assess projects considering realistic costs and budget detail.

The questions in relation to income and expenditure have now been split into two questions. The first asks about LHGP funds only and the second asks about any external funding that may be applicable to your application. 

Please use the budget table provided in the application form to demonstrate how the LHGP funds (not external funds) will be expended. It is important that the panel can clearly see the allocation of LHGP funds for the project. The application form suggests several commonly used ‘categories’ to make the budgeting process easier. If you have a budget item that does not fall under one of the available categories, use ‘Other’ and describe the category in the text box. You only need to fill in the areas that relate to your own project budget.

If you have multiple items that come under the one category on the form, you can detail your spending in the Budget Explanation section of the application form.

Always obtain a quotation from any suppliers and attach it to your application. Applications that do not have quotes attached will not be considered for funding. 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 Application Guidelines.

If you are registered for GST you must not include GST in your income and expenditure figures. You will be paid GST on top of the amount requested.
If you are not registered for GST you must include the total income and expenditure costs to your organisation. This is the total amount that you will be paid.   

*If you are a Government Related Entity you may not be subject to GST. If you meet the criteria you must include the total income and expenditure costs to your organisation. This is the total amount that you will be paid.   
Further information regarding GST between Government Related Entities can be found at: GST and payments between government related entities | Australian Taxation Office (

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 should be discussed in the Budget Explanation: Funding from other sources-in addition to LHGP section of the application form. For more information see the Application Guidelines.


Video resource on how to digitise properly
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 microfilm
When digitising from microfilm/microfiche, 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, quotes must be included with your application. This will help the judging panel’s assessment. Applications without quotes will not be considered.

Newspaper digitisation projects 
If your project requires material support from State Library Victoria (the Library), a letter acknowledging this agreement must be supplied as part of the application.

The Library supports the digitising of newspapers funded through the Local History Grants Program. If your project involves the digitising of newspapers from the Library collection, either from hard copy or microfilm, please contact the Library prior to applying for a grant.

  • For hardcopy projects contact the Library at least 4 weeks before the closure of the PROV grants
  • For microfilm projects contact the Library at least 2 weeks before the closure of the grants

When digitising from the hardcopy, each volume must be assessed by Preservation staff, a page estimation completed and ingest costs calculate.  For microfilms, the maters availability needs to be established before a page estimation and costing is done.

Applications to digitise Library collection material require a letter of support and agreement from the Library.
Please note that digitisation projects that are made accessible via Victorian Collections and/or Trove and/or contain rare/previously unavailable newspapers will be looked upon favourably by the judging panel.

For more information see the Application Guidelines.

E-publications can be sold via the internet and through electronic bookstores, and consumers can read the published content on a dedicated e-book reader, mobile device or computer.

When proposing an e-publishing project, some things you will need to consider are:
•    Approximately how many pages will it have?
•    Incorporated editing, proof-reading and indexing costs
•    An online platform to publish the e-publication
•    Will the publication be sold or freely available for download?

Obtain quotes for all 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. If you are undertaking the project yourselves, don’t forget to calculate ‘in-kind’ contribution labour costs.

Applicants should also consider the intended distribution means of the final product before choosing a format. One option is to create a print-ready PDF version. This is closest to standard print publishing. If you think that your intended audience is likely to want a book that they can download and print to read in hardcopy, this is the kind of e-book that you should produce. A print-ready PDF version is suitable for publications where the author/organisation is not planning to sell for profit and relies on people visiting their website or some other website to access and download the publication. (Note in this format, you could also print your own hard-copies for distribution down the track, though this won’t be covered by our grant funding).

Another option is to create an e-book that is readable via e-readers such as Kindle, Apple IPad, Kobo etc. The text must be converted into an appropriate format to suit the device that is being used to read the file. It is therefore a dynamic, rather than a static document. These publications are designed primarily for being read on portable e-book devices (such as those mentioned above). If your intended audience is likely to be happy to read a whole book on a screen, and to purchase it from third-party online content distributors such as iTunes, Amazon and the like, this is the kind of publication option that you could consider.
Self-publishing options are also now available online as well as many suppliers who are able to produce e-books for you. The Small Press Network based at the Wheeler Centre is a useful resource for getting advice (

Non-government organisations funded to deliver services to children by Victorian government departments, including Public Record Office Victoria, are required to be:
•incorporated separate legal entities that can be sued in child abuse proceedings;
•appropriately insured against child abuse
Further information about the requirements can be found at:

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.

If you are planning to submit an application for a project to develop and install interpretive signage, panels or plaques we recommend you seek advice and planning permission. This may include discussing your project with Heritage Victoria, if you plan to install on a heritage site, or seeking advice and planning permission from your local council, if you intend to install panels in public places. You may also need to obtain written consent from Traditional Owners. Evidence of agreements will need to be included in your application, if applicable.

Any project relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, their collections or history must include as a part of the application written approval from an authorised representative of the community affected by the project. For example, signage or interpretation projects would require written approval from Traditional Owners as part of the application.

The Local History Grants Program does not fund:

  • Projects related to history outside the State of Victoria.
  • Hard copy printed publications.
  • Digitising of temporary or permanent public records.
  • Launch events, catering, marketing, advertising, promotion and media.
  • Travel costs.
  • Development of, and training in, cataloguing software. Please refer to the appendix of the Application Guidelines for a comprehensive list of freely available information and training in cataloguing of collections.
  • Capital works, building and infrastructure projects for example:

           - construction and repair of buildings to store objects, or
           - conservation of building fabric.

  • Provision of cash prizes, commercial gifts or grants to third parties.
  • Retrospective costs - costs that the organisation has already paid for out of its own funds or costs incurred prior to successful grants being awarded.
  • Ongoing operational costs, such as rent, utilities or salaries for ongoing positions.
  • Payment to organisation Board Members, staff, volunteers or anyone within the organisation acting as a consultant for the project.
  • Subscription costs, such as web hosting fees, after the three year funding period has ended.
  • Applicants who do not meet the Eligibility Criteria outlined in the guidelines.
  • Applications not submitted in the format specified.
  • Applications submitted after the funding round has officially closed.
  • Projects that will be completed prior to receipt of funds and/or outside of the three year completion of the funding round.
  • Applications that do not include supporting documentation, such as quotes and written approval from project partners and participants.

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples