Victorian Government supports Indigenous sportspeople with Aboriginal Sport Participation Grant Program

Aboriginal Sport Participation Grant Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Victorian State Government’s Aboriginal Sport Participation Grant Program.

The program aims to get greater Indigenous participation in sport. It recognises that funding is a huge barrier to participation and thus it seeks to engage with key community stake holders such as local sporting clubs and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to get more Indigenous participation in sport.

This program recognises that sport is vital in bringing communities, families, and individual together. The government hopes that through Indigenous people accessing the grant and subsequently participating in sport there will be positive results for all community stakeholders as sport facilities social-cohesion, connectedness, and well-being.

Grants are being issued under three categories:

Category 1: Aboriginal sporting carnivals

Grants issued under Category 1 may be up to $2,500 per junior team and $1,500 per senior team. The grant may be used my grantees to fund travel and accommodation when their team participates in state-wide or national carnivals.

To be eligible all individuals in the team must identify as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. For this current round of grants the team must also be participating in the tournament or carnival between September 2023 and February 2024. The teams must also reside in the state of Victoria.

Category 2: Uniforms or Equipment

Grants issued under Category 2 may be up to $1,000 per team, club, or association and for individuals up to $250 for the purchasing or uniforms and/or equipment.

To be eligible all individuals in the team must identify as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. For this round of grants uniforms must be purchased between September 2023 and February 2024. Once again, all teams must reside in Victoria.

Category 3: Athlete Participation Support

This category of grants may be up to $750 and can be issued to both athletes and coaches to assist with travel and accommodation costs needed to compete or train in regional, state, and national competitions or representative teams.


To be eligible all athletes or coaches must identify as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. The participants must reside in Victoria and have been invited or are planning to compete in a regional, state, or national sporting competition or be a member of a representative team. A participant must not have previously received an individual grant under this category in the previous funding round.

To apply for categories 1 & 2 applications must be submitted by October 20, 2023. For category 3 applications they will remain open until the funding allocation is exhausted. Applications for a second round of funding next year will be due by 2 April 2024.

To submit an application prospective applicants have been asked to first check their eligibility which may be done online or by contacting the Aboriginal Programs team at Applications for those eligible may be submitted via the Victorian Government Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions (DJSIR) Grant Portal.

The outcome for round 1 applications will be issued in December 2023 and for those applying for category 3 grants they will be notified within 4 weeks of submission.

This grant program is a great opportunity and is not to be missed for those eligible. It is great to see the Victorian government committing to supporting Indigenous sport and hopefully though these grants we will more Indigenous sportspeople both on the Victorian and national stage.

Landmark $304 million funding for Sunshine Coast sporting venues

The Queensland Government has confirmed that there will be $300 million funding commitment for Sunshine Coast’s Olympic venues, including a $148 million stadium upgrade to host football matches.

The Sunshine Coast Stadium will receive a $148 million upgrade to ensure it attracts world-class sport, recreational and entertainment events.

On top of the stadium upgrade, there will be a $142 million commitment towards improving the new Sunshine Coast Indoor Sports Centre, connected to the Kawana Sports Precinct. $14 million has also been committed for the Sunshine Coast Mountain Bike Centre.

The stadium upgrade will include with two new grandstands boosting its permanent seating capacity to more than 10,500, with the existing grass mounds at either end giving the venue a total capacity of approximately 14,500.

During the 2032 Olympics, additional temporary grandstands will be installed boosting its capacity to 20,000 where it’ll host football matches.

The stadium is proposed to host the football preliminaries and quarter-final matches during the Games, but the upgrade will benefit the community, including its Rugby League tenants with a potential in the future to locate a larger scale football club in that ground once the National Second Tier exists.

The dual projects, which will see the Kawana precinct become a hub of community and elite sport, can be a barrier broken down for a potential Gold Coast A-League or NST club to build using one of the city’s best rectangular stadiums.

Early site works including the demolition of the existing western grandstand are expected to commence later this year, with construction earmarked to start in 2025 and be completed in 2027.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Rosanna Natoli mentioned how this funding would be a game-changer for the region and it’s professional sporting future.

“Today’s funding announcement follows years of research and planning and will deliver lasting economic and social benefits before, during and after hosting the Games,” she said in a press conference.

“The validation process the projects went through, including independent panel reviews, was extensive and demonstrated the importance of these venues for our region.

“These venues will provide high-quality competition and training facilities for our local athletes, increase participation in sports and recreation across the region, and will have capacity to host major sporting events.

“That, in turn, attracts more tourism dollars which benefits our local businesses and their staff.

“I want to be very clear – these venues are being built for our community.

“They will provide a place to train, to play, to watch our favourite teams and to cheer on our kids from the sidelines.

“Importantly, these venues will be leading-edge in accessibility to accommodate the many para-sports, athletes and spectators in our region.”

This is an important step forward in the Sunshine Coast across all sports as they prepare for a massive 2032 Olympic Games, and clearly the stadium upgrade has the potential to play a big role with football in Queensland if used correctly outside of the games.

The NSW Government’s Level the Playing Field Program gives women’s football a necessary boost

Harnessing the popularity of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the NSW Government’s Level the Playing Field Program is investing $30 million into supporting 26 new women’s sports projects.

Since the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the amount of women participating in club football has increased by 17%.

This huge influx is a massive opportunity for Football NSW to support the growth in the women’s game with ambitious schemes.

The NSW Government website says the program investment will revive sports facilities by providing new or upgrading existing sports facilities, amenities, and sporting fields.

Funding will also support the provision of new and upgraded lighting that will enable more women and girls to train and compete in sport in a safe and inclusive environment.

The investments are said to be at least $200,000 and at most two million meaning these grants are only presented to large infrastructure or facility development.

All construction is planned to be started by September 2024 and completed by September 2026.

If they can’t match it, however, they can apply for financial hardship and outline why this is necessary for their case.

If they are non-government organisations, a financial contribution isn’t required – it is looked upon favourably if a partial contribution is presented.

Football received one of the largest portions of the grant with (34%) or nine million dollars’ worth being distributed to the footballing community.

Football NSW Clubs and Associations received a total of $5.3 million, representing 19% of the total program.

Below is a table showcasing some of the prospected developments.

Club Venue Project Amount
All Saints Hunters Hills FC Gladesville Reserve New Amenity Building $1,905,678
Illawarra Stingrays FC Lakelands Oval Field, Amenity and Lighting Upgrade $2,000,000
Southern Tablelands FA Cookbundoon Sporting Complex Lighting Upgrade $872,744

Football NSW’s HQ Valentine Park has also been successful in receiving $600,000 in funding for upgrades to two fields and the futsal stadium.

Football Australia had a crucial role in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and helped cultivate this increase in popularity for women’s sports and primarily football.

This program will build upon this upward trajectory, increasing the structure and capabilities of the women’s game at association levels.

These investments will not only attract women to the sport but are functional enough that can maintain the players and involvement.

From this base, there is a growing avenue for more investment and engagement in the women’s game from grassroots all the way up the pyramid.

This large investment is integral to the upholding of the 50/50 participation equality mission by the FA for 2026-2027.

Minister for Sport Steve Kamper summed up well how the program aims to support women’s sport.

“By transforming and expanding sports facilities across NSW we are enabling more women and girls to participate in sport,” he said via media release.

“But most importantly, we are providing safer, more comfortable and more inclusive facilities, breaking down the barriers that have traditionally prevented many women from participating in sport.”

It’s encouraging signs of the commitment to women’s football, not to mention the wider elevation of women’s sport as a whole.

These grants prove that the women’s game is not stopping anytime soon and is a constantly growing part of football and sport in Australia.

It is a massive step in the right direction and not an opportunity for a fan or shareholder to be missed.

For further information on the Level the Playing Field Program, visit:

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