Aboriginal Business Development and Capacity Building Program


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The department acknowledges the Traditional Custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and communities.

We acknowledge the diversity, uniqueness and strengths of Western Australian Aboriginal cultures and identities; and pay our respects to all Aboriginal people, communities and cultures; and to Elders both past and present.

The Aboriginal Business Development and Capacity Building program guidelines uses the terms Aboriginal people, cultures, arts and artists; and Western Australian First Nations people.


The program intends to:

  • support Aboriginal arts and cultural organisations based in regional and remote Western Australia to develop strategic, business, succession, sustainability, and/or governance plans
  • increase support for the development of the Aboriginal arts and cultural industry in regional and remote Western Australia
  • support cultural tourism, audience development and economic diversification by strengthening Aboriginal arts and cultural organisations in regional and remote Western Australia
  • support long-term skills development goals for Aboriginal arts workers, artists and communities in regional and remote Western Australia
  • improve economic and employment growth in regional and remote Aboriginal communities.

Your application should align with one or more of these objectives.

Who can apply?

Applications are open to Aboriginal arts and cultural organisations based in regional or remote Western Australia.

Organisations outside regional WA may be eligible to apply if they are able to demonstrate direct benefit or partnership with Western Australian based Aboriginal arts and cultural organisations.

What can I apply for?

Eligible applicants can apply for funding to support the costs associated with the development and delivery of the activity. This may include:

  • skills training or professional development for artists and art workers
  • professional consultant fees
  • consultation activities such as workshops
  • publishing and promotion
  • collaborations between organisations
  • research and development.

If your project does not correspond to any of the above, contact a grants officer for advice before starting an application.

How much can I apply for?

Eligible applicants can apply for up to $30,000 to support business development and/or capacity building activity.

The project must be completed within 12 months of receiving the funds.

When can I apply?

Applications to this funding category are assessed by a peer assessment panel.

The key dates calendar has application opening and closing dates, activity start dates, draft review deadlines and notification dates. All times are in AWST (for Perth, Western Australia).

You are encouraged to submit your application before your submission date to ensure you have plenty of time to allow for resubmission if there are technical or eligibility issues.

Processing of grant payments to successful applicants will not start until after the grant contract is signed and returned. Depending on the activity start date, we cannot guarantee notification and/or availability of grant funds before the activity start date.

What can't I apply for?

  • purchase of capital equipment including instruments, equipment, software, computers, tablets (iPads) and/or uniforms
  • capital works such as construction or purchasing of studios, workspaces or gallery spaces
  • activities already funded by Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ culture and the arts grant programs
  • activities relating to radio broadcasting
  • display, restoration or conservation of cultural and/or historical material
  • costs of manufacturing and/or producing prototypes
  • fundraising, competitions, prizes and trophies
  • the work of State or Federal government departments
  • activity that will be academically assessed or any school curriculum-based activity
  • facsimilies, genealogical works and histories of local governments, clubs, districts, and organisations
  • activities related to an individual’s membership in a national organisation
  • ongoing staffing costs
  • film and television activities such as:
    • the development or production of narrative shorts or features, pilots for television series, mainstream animation e.g. conventional character-based narrative cartoons
    • documentaries, including documentaries on the arts
    • screenwriting activities or script development for film and television
    • stand-alone documentation activities
    • education activities, or activities where members of the public take part, where the main or only artform being used is film or digital, unless it’s in support of an artist’s work.

What will make my application ineligible?

Your application will be ineligible if you:

  • do not adhere to support material limits and format requirements
  • do not adhere to budget requirements
  • start the activity before the eligible start date
  • submit an application late
  • exceed application limits
  • have any key personnel with an overdue acquittal
  • are a staff member of DLGSC (staff of portfolio organisations may apply subject to meeting the Code of Conduct and Secondary Employment Policy)
  • request funding that exceeds the funding cap of the program
  • apply for activity that is delivered as part of an educational institution’s curriculum or will be academically assessed
  • are a Portfolio organisation of the department
  • are not a Western Australian group, organisation or individual.

How many times can I apply?

Only one application can be submitted per applicant for this round of funding.

Applications to this program do not count towards the general DLGSC culture and the arts grants three-application limit.

How do I apply?

Please apply using the Online Grants web portal.

More information on how to apply can be found in the application manual.

The key components of your application are the core application questions, project outputs, financial information and support material, although you will be required to provide other relevant information with your application.

For your reference, the core application questions are required.

The key dates calendar has opening and closing dates, activity start dates and draft review deadlines.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications to this funding program are assessed by a peer assessment panel.

Applications must also demonstrate the potential to deliver on the program’s stated objectives.

All applications are assessed against the four criteria:

  • quality
  • reach
  • good planning
  • financial responsibility.

Each has a weighting and a subset of dimensions with definitions. More information about the dimensions and definitions, which have been developed by artists and creatives representing their sector, can be found in the application manual.

You are not expected to address all dimensions and definitions, only those most relevant to your application.

Your activity must meet at least one of the objectives of the program. Assessors will consider applications against the relevant dimensions and allocate a weighted score against each of the four criteria.

See the application manual for more information about how your application will be assessed.

Final approval of successful applications depends on available budget and approval by the Minister or delegated authority.


Dimensions of quality

Imagination, authenticity, originality, inquisitiveness, excellence, captivation, relevance, innovation, challenge, risk and rigour.

Weighting 25%

Quality refers to the level of artistic and cultural significance of the activity. Quality may be demonstrated by, but not limited to, examples of previous work, sector support, timeliness of the activity and a strong history in the organisation’s area of practice. It may also be demonstrated through the skills and experience of the people involved in the activity, and the alignment of those skills and experience to deliver the project.


Dimensions of reach

Diversity, platform, collaboration, leverage, number and growth.

Weighting 25%

Reach refers to the level of impact the activity is likely to have. Reach may be demonstrated by including information for networking opportunities, relevant marketing and promotional strategies, number of participants and the potential increase in audience or markets.

Good planning

Dimensions of good planning

Realistic, achievable, considered, demonstrated research and/or consultation, evaluation.

Weighting 25%

Good planning refers to the level of consideration which has been given to practically undertaking the activity. Good planning can be demonstrated by, but not limited to,  carefully considered preparation, confirmation of key personnel, a realistic timeline and achievable outcomes, documented research and/or consultation, and a process of evaluation.

Financial responsibility

Dimensions of financial responsibility

Value, comprehensive budget, financial self-sufficiency.

Weighting 25%

Financial responsibility refers to the sound management of the budget. Financial responsibility can be demonstrated by, but is not limited to, efficient use of resources, reasonable expenses, an accurate and comprehensive budget, consideration and inclusion of other sources of income where appropriate and the activity going some way towards self-sufficiency.

Four components of your application

There are four components of this grant application: core application questions, project outputs, financial information and support material. Each plays a significant and distinct role in creating a whole picture about your activity.

Core application questions

Your answers to the core application questions should give assessors a concise overview of your activity. Each question has a 1500-character limit. You can extract a copy of your draft application in Online Grants at any stage to share with others for their feedback.

Respond to the following questions with reference to the assessment criteria and program objectives:

1. What is the activity you are seeking funding for?

Provide a summary of the business development and capacity building activity you plan to undertake. Outline what is involved, where it will take place, who you will be working with and how they will contribute to the activity.

Note: remember to attach brief CVs, biographies or profiles demonstrating the experience of the key personnel in your support material. Include quotes for major items of expenditure related to this activity in your support materials.

2. Why do you need to undertake this activity and why do you need to do it now?

Outline why you have chosen to undertake this activity and its relevance to your organisation. Explain the strategic significance of undertaking this business development and/or capacity building activity at this time, demonstrating the importance, timeliness and impact of the activity.

Note: use any key data or information available to support the reason for undertaking the project.

3. What outcomes will be achieved through this activity?

Outline the expected outcomes that will be achieved through the development and delivery of the activity. Refer to how the outcomes may impact the organisation, region and the communities involved. These may include developing skills for staff, board or community members, accessing promotional or network opportunities, reaching new audiences or markets, or engaging with specific communities.

4. What regional employment and/or professional development opportunities will be created through the activity?

Describe any paid work that will be undertaken by regional artists, arts workers, Elders and communities as part of the activity. This can include work undertaken by artists, assistance staff, and any other regional people whose employment directly relates to the project.

Also describe any opportunities that will be provided to regional Aboriginal artists, arts workers and communities for professional skills development.

5. How will you plan, manage and deliver the activity?

Provide a summary of the key milestones in planning, developing and implementing your activity. Include any specific details that are essential to the success of your activity. If your activity engages with an Aboriginal community, evidence of consultation with the community must be provided in your support material. As per the COVID-19 Safety Plans and Guidelines, you are encouraged as part of your planning to complete a COVID Safety Plan. You do not need to provide us with a copy of the plan.

Note: you can provide more detail relating to timelines, by attaching an activity plan which is part of the mandatory support material.

Project outputs

You are required to provide intended outputs for your planned project. At the assessment stage, the estimated project outputs will provide the assessor with an indication of the outputs that will be delivered over the life of the project.

You only need to provide information for the categories and items relevant to your activity.

If your application is successful, you will report your actual outputs against your planned outputs in the contract acquittal report. This will help you evaluate your project outcomes and allow the department to demonstrate the value of its funding programs.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Financial information

The financial information in your budget helps to demonstrate that all elements of your activity have been considered, thoroughly researched and costed. A good budget also provides the department with confidence that your activity will be a sound investment for the State of Western Australia.

You should indicate which expenditure items you want the department to support. List those items in the ‘Additional Notes’ section of the application form’s budget page.

If you are registered for GST you should not include GST in the budget figures.

All amounts should be in Australian dollars.

Your funding request is the difference between your expenditure minus your income. To ensure this amount is calculated accurately, seek quotes for all expenditure items (whether or not you intend to include these as support material) and include all costs associated with the activity, even if they are supplied in-kind.

For each expenditure or income item you add to the budget, use the notes area alongside the item to explain how it relates to the delivery of your activity and how the cost was calculated. If relevant, include a breakdown or itemisation of costs.


Expenditure items can vary significantly from one activity to another. Any legitimate expense that is eligible can be included in the budget.

Do not duplicate costs in the budget form. For example, if you receive a quote for advertising which includes design, do not add an additional item for design. Simply use ‘advertising’ as the expenditure item and add a note explaining that the cost includes design.

Examples of eligible expenditure items are here below. Make sure you check what I can't apply for for ineligible items.

Eligible expenditure items


Expenses related to the management and administration of the activity e.g. telephone/internet, insurance, postage and stationery. Eligible expenditure items in this category may also include audit costs and accessibility costs (expenditure associated with making your activity accessible to participants or audiences with a disability).

Marketing, promotion and distribution

Costs associated with marketing to your target audience e.g. information, promotion and audience engagement activities, advertising, graphic design, merchandise photography, videography, public relations and production of marketing collateral.

Preparation, development, production and exhibition/presentation

Costs related to the remount, production and delivery of the activity or its deliverables, including the costs of presentation and exhibition. Eligible items may include venue hire, lighting hire, set construction, manufacturing costs, recording fees, rehearsal space hire, props and audio-visual costs.

Salaries, fees and living allowances

Expenditure in this category should include salaries, fees and allowances for all key personnel, with separate components itemised in the budget notes. We support appropriate rates of pay for all people involved in your activity. Refer to the following websites for information on industry standard payment rates:

If these standards do not apply to your activity, then you must outline how reasonable rates have been calculated. For long-term activities, it may be appropriate to pay artists a rate based on a yearly salary for a similar kind of work. If this is the case, you need to clearly explain the rationale for the pay rate in your budget notes.

All rates should be relative to level of experience.

Please note that organisations, such as the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, predominantly provide information on minimum base rates for employees engaged on a full-time, part-time or casual basis. Rates for artists and arts workers engaged as contractors will include a loading to cover the costs of being self-employed. Full-time, part-time and casual rates do not factor in these costs and should not be used when engaging contractors.

Travel and freight

Costs associated with transporting people, equipment or goods. Eligible items may include fares (taxi, airplane, bus etc.), tolls, land or air freight, and vehicle hire.


This program can fund 100% of your activity costs.

Eligible income Items

Earned income

May include ticket sales, product sales, performance fees and merchandise sales. For performances, this amount should factor in the number of performances, average ticket price and projected venue capacity.

Corporate sponsorship

List any income received through sponsorship from corporate bodies or businesses. Income received through government sponsorship should be included in the relevant government income category.

Philanthropic donations

May include contributions from fundraising, crowdfunding, donations, gifts and bequests.

Australia Council, other Federal Government, other State Government, local government

All grants and sponsorship being sought from Local, State and Federal government, the Australia Council, and other government sources must be included, whether or not this support has been confirmed. If your application is to be assessed by a peer assessment panel, we will attempt to confirm the status of any pending funding applications directly with the funding body prior to the panel assessment. Do not include department  grant funds being requested as part of this application.

Other income

If you are making a cash contribution, or someone is providing cash to the activity, list this item as a ‘cash contribution’ or similar. Include any other income source that does not fit within any of the above categories and provide enough detail to identify the income source.

In-kind expenditure and income

Some expenses may be offered to you for free or at a discount. This might be borrowed equipment, the use of a rehearsal space, donated or discounted goods or services, volunteers (including yourself), negotiated discounted fees and allowances. Anything given to your project at no expense to you is considered in-kind.

All in-kind expenditure must be included as a budget item under the in-kind expenditure category. The corresponding recognition of in-kind income is created automatically in your online application and you do not need to enter any in-kind income budget items. The total in-kind expenditure must always equal the total in-kind income.

If, for example, you are hiring a venue which would normally charge $2000 and you have successfully negotiated an $800 (40%) discount, you would include venue hire fee as a budget item under the Expenditure category of $1200 and $800 under the In-Kind Expenditure category.

Additional notes

This section of the budget provides an opportunity for you to detail any additional information you feel may help to clarify items within your budget. For example, for fees and salaries you can indicate in this section how you calculated your amount.

You should use this section to indicate which expenditure items you want the department to support.


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) considers any grant payment to be taxable income for the purposes of your annual income tax return. If you receive a grant, you are encouraged to discuss your tax implications with your tax agent or the ATO.

Registered for Goods and Services Tax

If you are registered for GST you must show your expenditure items exclusive of the GST component. For example, if you have been quoted $550 including GST for lighting hire, in your expenditure budget you would only show lighting hire of $500.

If you are registered for GST and your activity is funded, the department payment will include a 10% GST component to cover those items on which GST is payable.

Not registered for Goods and Services Tax

If you are not registered for GST you must show your expenditure items inclusive of the GST component. For example, if you have been quoted $550 including GST for lighting hire, in your expenditure budget you would show lighting hire of $550.

If you are not registered for GST and your activity is funded, the department payment will include the GST component for those items on which GST is payable.

Support material

Support materials are crucial to a successful application and are essential for assessors to fully gauge the value of your activity.

It is highly recommended you pay close attention to the support material you choose to make sure it offers the best support for your application. Your choice of support material should help to demonstrate the four assessment criteria: Quality, Reach, Good Planning and Financial Responsibility as well as the objectives of the program.

There are three mandatory units of support material for the Aboriginal Business Development and Capacity Building. You must submit all three units.

Within each unit there are acceptable formats and limits. You must strictly adhere to these formats and limits or your application will be ineligible.

Formats that are not eligible are: .pages, .zip, .excel, MP3s and .eml (screenshots of emails are accepted).

If you are submitting audio and/or video files you must upload them to file streaming sites like Vimeo, YouTube, Bandcamp or SoundCloud that do not require a log-in to access.

Do not use Dropbox for any support material.

You can find instructions on how to use these sites at the following links:

More information about how to submit your materials can be found in the application manual.

Online submission of support materials is preferred however we do accept posted materials. If you need to submit by post, please contact us to discuss your options.

The Supplier Creation Form (if required) does not count towards your support material limits, however, if required, it must be submitted with your support materials.

Units of support material

Unit 1 — Organisation profile (mandatory)

Examples and details of material in this unit:

  • mission and vision statements
  • history of organisation
  • organisational structure
  • documentation of normal business and/or projects completed by organisation
  • reviews, media coverage or articles on previous work
  • evidence of significant Aboriginal involvement, participation and decision making (where relevant).

Acceptable formats and limits:

  • Maximum 10 A4 pages (one PDF only, 5 MB max per file).

Unit 2 — Documents of support or participation (mandatory)

Examples of materials that may be included in this unit:

  • letters of peer or industry support
  • letters of confirmation from participants in activity (partners, key community groups, cultural organisations and institutions) 
  • biographies or CVs for key personnel demonstrating relevant experience and expertise (key staff, consultants, participants)
  • confirmation of consultation and/or support from the target community/participants.

Acceptable formats and limits:

  • maximum 10 A4 pages (one PDF only, 5 MB max per file).

Unit 3 — Activity Plan (mandatory)

A project plan outlining the proposed development and delivery of the project. Examples include:

  • timeline of major milestones
  • overview of different stages of activity.

Acceptable formats and limits:

  • maximum 10 A4 pages (one PDF only, 5 MB max per file).

Unit 4 — Quotes for major expenditure (optional, if relevant)

A plan document highlighting the most relevant major expenditure items/confirmation of fees listed in your budget.

Acceptable formats and limits:

  • maximum 5 A4 pages of text in a Word or PDF document only (maximum file size 5 MB).

Can include emails as screenshots, converted to PDF. For quotes, you can take a screen shot or snip of the essential information and paste on to an A4 page. Links to text and/or images online are not accepted.

All text must be legible at 100%. If text is not legible the assessors will be unable to review this document.

COVID-19 contingency planning

  • Identify any risks to your activity in the event of public health restrictions, travel restrictions, a partial/full-lockdown, or key personnel illness/required to isolate. In general, you could consider how you will maintain good hygiene and cleaning practices, social distancing, options for working remotely, replacement of key personnel, or postponement of activity.
  • If you provide a COVID-19 contingency or safety plan, it will not count towards your support material limits.

Draft review

All applicants to the Aboriginal Business Development and Capacity Building program can request a draft review when the application is complete. Check the key dates calendar for the draft review deadline.

You can request a draft review any time before the draft review request deadline. Only one request for review can be submitted per application.

You can continue to edit your application while waiting for your draft review feedback. However, please be aware that depending on the volume of draft review requests, staff may not be able to provide feedback. In the unlikely event this happens, it is up to you to ensure that you submit your application before the submission deadline.

You are strongly encouraged to make your draft review request well before the deadline to give staff sufficient time to provide quality feedback and for you to then update your application. You will be unable to request a review after the deadline has been passed.

Contact onlinegrantsupportca@dlgsc.wa.gov.au if you require assistance requesting a draft review in Online Grants.

Acquittal report

If you’re successful, you will be required to fill in an acquittal report when your activity has finished. An acquittal report details your activity and how you spent the grant. The acquittal report will be available for you to access in Online Grants once a copy of your signed funding agreement has been received.

Your acquittal report must be submitted within 90 days of the activity completion date as specified in the funding agreement. 

You will need to attach relevant documents, images and videos that substantiate the delivery of the activity and that may demonstrate the impact and outcomes achieved.

The report will also include your activity budget and you will be required to enter all the actual figures against each budget item and add any additional items not in the original budget. Variations between budget and actual figures are acceptable. However, you must provide an explanation for large variations in the notes for that item. As you enter actual figures, the activity profit/loss will be automatically updated and displayed at the top of the financial information page.

The funding acquittal report also includes the option to provide feedback to help us to continually review and improve the service we provide.

Assistance for applicants

If you need more information, please read the program guide and application manual.

Grants Officers are available via telephone and email to answer queries about applications and suitability of activities to specific programs.

If you need extra assistance due to disability, language barriers or any other factor that may disadvantage you in completing your application, please contact us.

The advice provided by Grants Officers does not guarantee the success of your application.

Due to the high number of applications received, each funding round is highly competitive.

All applications are considered on their own merits and against the assessment criteria and program objectives.

Contact us

Online Grants portal technical support

For assistance using Online Grants or to report any related technical issues, contact the Online Grants Support Team: onlinegrantsupportca@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Grants Officers

For enquiries relating to the Regional and Remote Festivals Fund program, including advice or assistance with your application, contact a Grants Officer:

Telephone 61 8 6552 7400
Toll Free (Country WA callers only) 1800 199 090
Email grantsprogramsca@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Assistance for people with disability

The department is committed to supporting applicants with disability. Information can be provided in alternative formats (large print, electronic or Braille) upon request.

If you require special assistance in preparing your application, please call 61 8 6552 7400 or toll free for regional WA callers on 1800 199 090.

Family, friends, mentors and/or carers can attend meetings with you.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through one of the following:

Interpreting assistance

For interpreting assistance in languages other than English, telephone the Translation and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 and ask for a connection to 61 8 6552 7400 or 1800 199 090.

Regional applicants

Toll Free (Country WA callers only): 1800 199 090
Email the Grants Officers: grantsprogramsca@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Page reviewed 10 November 2022