Brisbane History Grants guidelines

The Brisbane History Grants Program incorporates the Community History Grants and the Lord Mayor’s Helen Taylor Research Award for Local History. The purpose of both initiatives is to increase the community’s access and appreciation of Brisbane's history and heritage.

Applications for this grant are closed. 

Learn about the Brisbane History Grants Program:


Brisbane City Council’s Living in Brisbane 2031 Vision recognises the role history plays in facilitating learning and creating informed communities. It encourages initiatives that 'contribute creatively to celebrating, understanding and challenging our way of life - past, present and future’.


The program objectives are to:

  • support innovative and creative ways of sharing history with the public through the provision of a public outcome
  • increase the public's awareness of the historical information and objects held in local collections
  • encourage organisations to collaborate with other history and/or heritage organisations to share knowledge and resources
  • invest in students and independent researchers to undertake history or heritage projects that, through excellence in research, focus on informing or educating the public about local history or heritage.

The program

The Brisbane History Grants Program comprises two funding categories:

A. For organisations - Community History Grants

Community History Grants encourage projects that will increase the community’s access to, and appreciation of, Brisbane’s history and heritage; and support projects that raise the profile and accessibility of Brisbane’s history and heritage.

Applicants may apply for a minimum of $5000 to a maximum of up to $20,000 per application.

B. For individuals - The Lord Mayor's Helen Taylor Research Award for Local History

The Lord Mayor’s Helen Taylor Research Award for Local History supports history students and independent researchers undertaking history or heritage projects which have a focus on informing or educating the public about local history or heritage.

The award honours the work of local historian Helen Taylor, who combined her skills in researching and writing history with a passion for making history accessible to the community.

There will be one grant of $20,000.

Eligibility and grant requirements

Only one (1) application per individual or organisation can be submitted.

Eligible applications

Eligible applications are activities that:

  • demonstrate that the grant will be used for community benefit with a public outcome
  • occur within the Brisbane Local Government Area (LGA) or are able to demonstrate benefits to Brisbane LGA.

There is an additional eligibility condition for Community History Grants:

  • activities are managed by a not-for-profit incorporated organisation, or which are auspiced by a not-for-profit organisation that is incorporated and able to accept legal and financial responsibility for the project or activity.

There is an additional eligibility condition for Lord Mayor's Helen Taylor Research Award for Local History:

  • individuals must demonstrate professional research and scholarship.

Additionally, applications for the:

  • Community History Grants are to be approved and signed by the Chairperson, President or Chief Executive Officer of the organisation
  • Lord Mayor's Helen Taylor Research Award for Local History must include a referee from the history and heritage sector.

Ineligible applications and applicants

  • Incomplete or late submissions
  • political organisations or activities that have a political purpose
  • Government, educational institutions and employees or volunteers of these institutions
  • for profit organisations
  • non incorporated organisations
  • previously funded projects
  • activities and/or projects currently financially supported by Council
  • projects that will not be implemented and acquitted within 12 months from the time of the notification of successful applications
  • applicants with outstanding acquittals of previous Council grants, current debt to Council, or who are financially unviable
  • retrospective funding - projects that have already commenced or where the organisation has committed to expenditure prior to the notification date
  • projects that seek 100% of funding for equipment (up to 50% of the value of the grant can be requested for equipment)
  • projects that have a focus beyond the Brisbane Local Government Area (LGA)
  • Higher Education Contributions (HECS) and/or Australian academic coursework leading to formal qualifications within Australia
  • entertainment, food or alcohol costs associated with the project
  • primarily commercial or fundraising ventures, including charitable events
  • event or conference sponsorship, prizes, award ceremonies or competitions
  • general operating expenses - funding will not cover expenses such as electricity, lease/rent payments, telephone and uniforms that are part of the organisation’s ongoing expenses
  • general public liability costs for the organisation (public liability costs specific to the project are eligible)
  • debt repayment.

Assessment process

Applicants that meet the basic eligibility requirements will be assessed on their merits and according to the following criteria:

Assessment criteria for the Brisbane History Grants Program by criteria number, criteria and percentage weighting.
Criteria number Criteria Percentage weighting 
1.   Merit:
  • excellence of history or heritage project and/or research
  • contribution to informing and/or educating the public about local history or heritage
  • level of innovation and creativity of project and/or research outcome.
2.   Reach:
  • the historical, heritage, social and cultural importance (demand or need) for the project and/or research
  • demonstrated ability to communicate and promote outcome to a wide audience
  • dissemination of the outcomes beyond the project to remain publicly available to the community.
3.  Benefit and value:
  • identified and measurable public outcomes
  • the historical or heritage significance and outcomes
  • evidence of consultation and networking to develop potential partnerships and/or collaborations with history or heritage and other entities including financial, in-kind support and revenue generation or other investments.
4.   Capacity:
  • good planning and achievable objectives
  • history or heritage sector personnel with the expertise and experience to deliver objectives
  • the project and/or research is realistic and manageable
  • effective use of resources and a viable budget.

The Brisbane History Grants Program involves a competitive application process. Once an application is submitted online through SmartyGrants:

  • the applicant will receive an email confirming receipt of the application
  • the submitted application will be kept confidential and its contents will not be disclosed to any person outside the application and assessment process
  • external advisors will assess the application; they will not redress errors in applications. If an application is deemed ineligible, it will not be assessed
  • external advisors include representatives from:
    • Brisbane History Group
    • Brisbane Living Heritage Network
    • University History Faculty
    • Helen Taylor Family
  • the recommendations are submitted to Council's Civic Cabinet for consideration
  • Council's Civic Cabinet makes the final decision regarding grant allocations
  • the list of successful applicants will be published on this website
  • as resources are limited, not every application that meets the assessment criteria will receive a grant. In some instances successful applicants may not receive the full amount of the funding sought, but rather a percentage of the total sought. In that situation, successful applicants will be required to affirm what project outcomes are still achievable and submit a revised budget as a special condition of their funding agreement
  • applications that include contributions from the applicant are encouraged and will have higher priority than those that seek 100% of project costs. The applicant's contribution may be cash, other funding assistance, or 'in-kind' (e.g. voluntary labour or materials). Council may consider projects where other funding agencies are contributing to the overall cost (e.g. funding from the Queensland Government).

Application process

Making your application

Submit your application online.

Contact SmartyGrants

Refer to the SmartyGrants help guide for technical assistance when submitting an application. The SmartyGrants support desk is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and can be contacted on 03 9320 6888 or by email.

Preparing an application

A budget is required to support your application. Before you apply, it is highly recommended you review a budget table example to assist you with developing your budget.

The online application system will allow you to save, develop and print out your application before you submit it. Support material can also be attached to your online application. Applications will only be accepted if submitted on the online application form and associated templates.

Once an applicant has submitted an application:

  • the applicant will receive an email confirming receipt of the application
  • submitted applications will be kept confidential and the contents will not be disclosed to any person outside the application and assessment process
  • the list of successful applicants will be published on this website. 

Support material

Applicants may wish to include additional material to their application. Consider the direct relevance to your application and ability of the material included to strengthen your proposed activity in relation to the assessment criteria.

Applicant background:

  • must include applicant and main contributing historian Curriculum Vitae (CV), a summary of key historian biographies or other relevant material to demonstrate merit and capacity
  • maximum 2 pages for CV for applicant managing the project and professional historian contributions
  • maximum 2 pages of additional material please ensure file format is either .doc or .pdf.

Letters of support or confirmation:

  • may include letters confirming significant contributing individuals, partners and/or other income
  • maximum 3 letters of support and 1-2 pages in length. Please ensure file format is either .doc or .pdf.

Previous work examples/evidence:

  • may include images, music/audio files, links to videos (due to size restrictions of file upload, please do not attach video files where possible), online portfolio and website
  • maximum 5 images, 3 minutes of music/audio content, 5 links including websites, videos, online material. Preferred file formats include .jpg, .pdf, .mp3 and .mov or .mp4 (for video if necessary).

Evidence of ability to deliver proposed activity:

  • may include promotion or marketing strategy, proof of consultation, distribution strategy,  risk assessment, public liability or other insurance certificate/s, any copyright, licensing or workplace health and safety documents.

Links to videos or online material:

  • must link directly to relevant material rather than to the homepage of a particular organisation or project
  • must include any required passwords to access content e.g. Vimeo password for non-public video work.

Attachments are limited to a maximum of 20MB each. Name your attachment files with your Grant ID number and document title e.g. BHG14-1500X-Letter of Support Major Partner.doc.


Further information is available by contacting Council, where you will be put in contact with a relevant Council officer.

People with a hearing impairment or speech impairment can contact Council through the National Relay Service:

  • TTY users phone 13 36 77 then ask for 07 3403 8888
  • Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 07 3403 8888
  • Internet relay users connect to the NRS ( and then ask for 07 3403 8888.

This information is available in other languages by contacting the Translating and Interpreter Services (TIS) on 13 14 50 and asking to be connected to Council on 07 3403 8888. All enquiry services are free.

Refer to the SmartyGrants help guide for technical assistance when submitting an application.

Terms and conditions

Successful applicants must abide by Council's terms and conditions as part of the Funding Agreement.

Only Council has the authority to approve grants. Approval of a grant does not imply that Council has given any other consent. Applicants should note that events or cultural activities may require other approvals and consents.


The Glossary contains a number of terms and phrases applicants may need to be familiar with when planning an application.

The Acquittal Report is due within 12 months from the notification date and explains the outcomes of the project and how the funds were spent. It demonstrates that the funding has been used for the purpose for which it was provided, including a certified report of financial transactions and whether the project achieved its intended objectives.

Assessment is the process where applications are measured against the grant program criteria and a determination is made for recommendation of funding approval.

Audited Financial Report refers to a copy of the organisation's most recent audited financial report.

An auspicing body is an incorporated organisation that manages a grant on behalf of an individual or an unincorporated entity. An auspicing body is responsible for providing a financial report on the completion of a project. It is not responsible for the artistic direction or quality of the project.

A community may be geographically specific, or a community of interest, e.g. a community of a capella singers, or a community defined by age, gender, ability, diversity or language group.

Community benefit describes how opportunities will be provided to members of the public accessing or participating in the funded project activity and can include cultural, social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Eligibility is the term used to refer to compliance with the terms of the application. Eligible means that the applicant or project satisfies the conditions for funding.

Equipment (non-consumables) refers to items purchased to be used during the project but can continue to be used after the completion of the project. Up to 50% of the value of the grant can be requested for equipment e.g. for a $10,000 grant only $5000 can be used for equipment that is not for routine purchase or replacement of equipment.

GST stands for Goods and Services Tax. If the group or sponsoring body is GST registered, 10% GST will be added to the grant as an itemised GST gross-up. If the group or sponsoring body is not GST registered the 10% GST will be added to the grant, but not itemised as GST. For advice on GST, contact a tax advisor or the Australian Taxation Office on 13 24 78 or via its website on

In-kind contribution or in-kind support is the dollar value of non-cash contributions to a project, e.g. office space, staff time or voluntary labour that would otherwise have needed to be paid for. It includes volunteer labour, administrative support, rent-free accommodation or donations of materials or equipment. These contributions should be given a dollar value and must be included in the proposed budget.

Innovation refers to creating value from new ideas involving applying new ideas to create new or significantly improved processes and products.

Letters of support are letters of endorsement or commitment to the project from partners, other community organisations, or elected members (up to 5).

Materials (consumables) refers to items purchased to be used during the project but are used up by the completion of the project.

Not-for-profit organisation is an organisation whose constitution states that any profits or surpluses must be used to further the objectives of the organisation rather than benefit an individual or group of individuals.

Non-government organisation is an organisation that is not subject to the control of the Commonwealth, a State or Territory and/or a local government.

Performance Indicators are measurable outcomes intended to evaluate a project or funded activity.

Support Material includes images, evidence of work undertaken, reviews, quotes, support letters of endorsement or commitment to the project from partners, other community organisations or elected members. Support material must be in a format compatible with the following software applications:

  • Microsoft Office 2010
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 10)
  • Adobe Flash Player (version 11)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 8)
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player (version 12)
  • WinZip.

A partnership is an agreement between two (2) organisations either public non-government or private sector organisations. The agreement must provide the recipient with access to resources and opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Withholding is required without an Australian Business Number (ABN), or if unable to provide a declaration indicating a valid reason for not quoting an ABN (i.e. provision of the Australian Taxation Office's 'Statement by a Supplier' form).  In such instances Council will be required to withhold 48.5% of the grant approval and remit this directly to the Australian Taxation Office.

Last updated: 1 July 2021