Last updated:

July 28, 2016

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 19 2020-2021 open on Monday 11 January 2021 and close at midnight Tuesday 9 March 2021. PROV cannot accept any applications after the closing date. 

For questions regarding your grant application you can email the PROV grants team at We will also be running an online information session in January 2021. Please note that we can only provide general advice regarding the application process. 

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.

Organisations will need to be:

  • 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 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 this 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.

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.

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

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.

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

Please use the budget table provided in the application form to demonstrate the difference between expenditure allocated for the use of LHGP funds and expenditure allocated for the use of funds from other sources. It is important that the panel can clearly see the allocation of funds for the entire project. In addition, 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’. 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 How will the grant money be spent section of the application form.

Always obtain a quotation from a supplier and attach it to your application (eg. a graphic design invoice from a designer for an e-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.

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 (GRE) 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:

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.


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, 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’s assessment.

Newspaper digitisation projects 
State Library Victoria supports the digitising of newspapers funded through the Local History Grants Program. If your project involves the digitising of newspapers from the State Library collection, either from hard copy or microfilm, please contact the Library prior to applying for a grant. Applications to digitise State Library Victoria collection material requires a letter of support and agreement from the State Library. 

Non-government organisations funded to deliver services to children by Victorian government departments, including Public Record Office Victoria, will be 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:

In the past we have offered grants for the research, writing, design and printing of hard copy history books and publications. With the increasing appetite for online resources and potential for wider audience reach we have made the decision that we will no longer fund hard copy books, instead we will give preference to books created for online consumption. This means that those awarded funding can spend their precious dollars on research, writing, editing and design for a wider audience rather than on printing and distribution for a smaller audience.   


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, outline in your application what type of publication you want to produce, such as:
•    Approximately how many pages will it have?
•    Have you incorporated editing, proof-reading and indexing costs?
•    Do you have an established online platform to publish the e-publication?
•    Will the publication be sold or freely available for download?

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. 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 (

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.

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.

Any project relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, collections or history must include as a part of the application documented evidence that advice and guidance has been sought from the community affected by the project. This can take the form of a letter of support.

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 cataloguing software
  • 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 salaries for ongoing positions, rent or utilities
  • Applicants who do not meet the Eligibility Criteria outlined in these guidelines
  • Applications not submitted in the format specified in these guidelines
  • 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.