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Growing Healthy Communities Grants

VicHealth is investing in local programs that support Victoria’s children, young people and their families facing structural barriers to good health. 

Apply now
Applications Close 31 July 2024
Illustration of people living a healthy life in a colourful neighbourhood\

About the grants


Everyone should have access to the resources they need to be healthy. 

But many young Victorians and their families face structural barriers to good health. These barriers can be more significant for children, young people and their families who: 

  • are women and girls
  • come from lower socio-economic backgrounds
  • have disabilities
  • experience mental health or psychological distress
  • live outside metropolitan areas
  • identify as LGBTIQA+
  • are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • are from culturally and racially diverse communities

These barriers exist in mainstream systems, policies, laws, practices and beliefs, leading to unfair, unequal and avoidable health outcomes for these communities.

The VicHealth 10 year strategy 2023–2033 is committed to addressing these health inequities. That’s why this grant will focus on investing in health promoting programs and innovations for these population groups. 





What's on offer?

Grants of up to $150,000 are available from a total funding pool of $4 million to deliver programs over two years.

Available for organisations that support young Victorians (0-25 years) and their families to achieve good health and wellbeing. 

Beyond the grant funding, we will also facilitate capability building for recipients by connecting them with like-minded leaders, sharing valuable tips, and ensuring everyone has the tools, training, and support they need. 

What's the funding for?

Taking a health equity approach, we will fund innovative ideas that will address the question:

How do we break down the barriers for children, young people and their families to be as healthy as possible?

Applications must respond to one or more of the following challenges:   


  • Active, inclusive and connected neighbourhoods

    Creating more active, inclusive and connected neighbourhoods through sport, recreation, arts and community programs using local places and spaces.    

    Projects we may fund, include, but are not limited to:

    • Initiatives across sport, recreation, and the arts that will get young people to move more and/or feel connected to their local communities.
    • Innovative ideas that push the boundaries of local spaces - libraries, schools, parks, and other community places.
    • New or existing projects that address young people's needs and integrate physical activity and social connection in inclusive spaces. 
  • Local food systems

    Strengthening local food systems by creating new or improved places for communities to access, grow and share healthy, local and culturally appropriate food.    

    Projects we may fund, include, but are not limited to:

    • Initiatives ranging from community gardens, local food hubs, and urban farms to regenerative agriculture projects and composting programs.
  • Cultural safety

    Improving cultural safety in local places and spaces that create better and fairer health outcomes for young people.    

    Projects we may fund, include, but are not limited to:

    • Internal capability building initiatives like cultural awareness training for staff and boards.
    • Community facing projects that focus on outreach, relationship building and/or engagement with diverse communities to reshape use and access of local spaces.    


How much funding is available?

Tier 1: $10,000 - $35,000 

To enhance the quality or reach of an existing initiative (e.g. training equipment, community outreach or subsidise costs for participants of a program)  

Tier 2: $35,001 - $50,000 

For the piloting of new projects, or to expand or enhance the impact of an existing project

Tier 3: $50,001 - $150,000 

To support growth and scale in proven and promising projects, and/or to help foster sustainable impact (beyond funding period)


Who can apply 

  • Sporting, community, cultural, recreational, creative, local governments and other not-for-profit organisations who are planning to/ currently running activities for young people and their families in Victoria.  
  • Applicants must show that their programs will support children, young people and their families who:  
    • are women and girls *
    • come from lower socio-economic backgrounds
    • have disabilities
    • experience mental health or psychological distress
    • live outside metropolitan areas
    • identify as LGBTIQA+
    • are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
    • are from culturally and racially diverse communities

For further details on eligibility criteria - please see the funding guidelines document


  • *The funding guidelines were updated on 05/07/2024 to include eligibility for programs for women and girls.


How to apply

Understand the guidelines

Translated guidelines

Watch the information session

We held an information session on the 9th of July discussing the grant, application process and timeline. We also answered questions surrounding eligibility and how to apply.

Prepare your application 

We have two useful videos to help you write your application:

Apply via the Stakeholder Portal

You can apply online through our Stakeholder Portal. 

Apply now


Key dates

Applications open: 9am Wednesday 3 July

Grant information session: 12pm-12:45pm Tuesday 9 July – Register

Applications close: 5pm Wednesday 31 July

December 2024: Funding notifications

January 2025 to January 2027: Delivery of projects







  • When does my project need to take place?

    All approved projects must be delivered between January 2025 and January 2027. In your application you can select the preferred duration of your project, ranging from 6 months to 2 years. 

  • How do I account for GST in my application?

    The amount of funding you request in your application is exclusive of GST. 
    When VicHealth processes your application, your ABN will be checked to determine if your organisation is registered for GST. 

    GST will only be paid to organisations that are registered to receive it.

    When completing your budget template, if you are not registered for GST, you should consider this as you are costing your proposed items. We recommend that your account for the entire cost of proposed budget items, to ensure you are not under budget if you are funded.

    When completing your budget template, if you are registered for GST, keep in mind that VicHealth will pay GST with your grant funds. 

  • Can I add support letters from my council or MP to help strengthen my application?

    All applications are assessed based on the assessment criteria mentioned on page 9 and 10 of the guidelines. Support letters from organisations partnering together(if any) to deliver the project may be submitted as evidence that the partnerships are secured. Any other support letters including from councils or Members of the Parliament will not be considered in the assessment process to ensure fairness to all applicants.

    You are also welcome to add any infographics or other materials to help convey your idea or strengthen your application. 

  • Can I submit my application early?

    Yes, in fact we highly recommend submitting your application early! Our application form will automatically close at 5:00 pm on the 31st of July 2024, and you must hit ‘submit’ before this time to ensure your application is sent to VicHealth for consideration. Late applications will not be accepted. 

  • Can I speak to someone at VicHealth about my idea?

    Due to the high volume of enquiries, and in fairness to all, we cannot provide individual feedback on ideas or advice.

    We can however, certainly help with any questions relating to application forms, video applications, issues with the portal or the process, Harmful Industry Declarations, Child Safety Declarations or any Insurance related questions.  

    Submit your question via our Stakeholder Portal or email us [email protected] 

  • Can I submit more than one idea, or more than one application?

    Yes, we can accept more than one idea/application if each application presents a unique, distinct idea.  

    Note: Multiple applications won’t necessarily increase your chance of success. We’d emphasise quality over quantity and encourage efforts into one application rather than multiple. 

  • What is your Harmful Industries Declaration and why do I need to complete one?

    We are committed to ensuring our activities align with our objectives and statutory obligations under the Tobacco Act 1987 to improve the health and wellbeing of Victorian families and communities.

    During all of our application processes, we ask all applicants to declare their relationships with ‘unhealthy’ or ‘harmful’ industries. These are brands, companies or organisations who profit from products that are harmful to health and wellbeing including tobacco, gambling, alcohol, unhealthy food and sugary drinks. You will be required to complete a harmful industry relationship declaration via the VicHealth Stakeholder Portal. If you want to learn more you can visit our webpage here. 

  • Can I apply if I have received funding /sponsorship from VicHealth recently?

    If your organisation (either both Auspice and or the project delivery organisation) have an overdue milestone that is not completed, then the application will not be eligible and will not be considered for funding. However, if you are up to date with the reporting and the deliverables, you can apply for this grant round that does not duplicate the same idea that you are currently funded for.  


More questions?


Have a read through our general funding FAQ?

Funding FAQ

You can submit a question via the VicHealth Stakeholder Portal after you’ve registered or get in touch at [email protected]. Our business hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).   
Due to volume of enquiries and in fairness to all applicants we cannot provide feedback or advice on individual ideas.    

If your organisation is eligible to apply, and you think your project responds to the challenge – go for it!

Apply now
Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
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Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.