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Empowering Communities Project - Grant Round 1

Important information

  • Name: Empowering Communities Project - Grant Round 1
  • Status: Closed
  • Opens: Tuesday 2 August 2022 -12 pm midday
  • Closes:  Sunday 11 September 2022 - 11 pm
  • Frequency: One round per year (round 2 will be offered in 2023)
  • Amount: $5,000 - $30,000


The City of Casey has received the Empowering Communities grant from the Victorian Government as part of the Building Safer Communities Program - Empowering Communities Grants - Stream 3 (Round 2) Guidelines. This is primarily due to crime rates being above the State average for vehicle and retail theft, aggravated robbery, residential burglary, drug possession, family violence and common assault.  The Grant has enabled the establishment of a community action group, the Casey Action Group, comprised of twelve community leaders.  The Action group will allocate resources to local grassroots initiatives aimed at addressing identified crime prevention and community safety issues across a two year period. 

The Casey Empowering Communities Project

The Casey Empowering Communities Project will provide eligible groups and organisations with funding for the delivery of pilot projects that take an evidence-informed but innovative approach to address local issues impacting on crime and perceptions of safety. This opportunity is for incorporated (or auspiced) not-for-profit community groups, either emerging or established.

Round 1 grants are for a six month project delivery period and will require community engagement and co-design components in the planning.  Grants are available to groups currently providing services to Casey residents as well as those wishing to commence providing services to Casey residents (through a primary location or outreach/satellite site in Casey, or from a surrounding municipality).

This initial funding provides organisations with an opportunity to explore, with their clients or communities, strategies which will meet the unique needs of Casey’s diverse community.  Providers can trial a service which is grounded in evidence but incorporates innovation and tests new approaches which meet the community's specific and unique needs. 

The program is competitive.  Funding will be distributed in October 2022 and acquittal will be in April 2023. Following the completion of Round 1, there will be a second round of funding in 2023.

Project objectives

  • Connection: Increase community connections for priority groups* enhancing social inclusion, equity and access to services. (*identified vulnerable groups - women, identity based groups, young people and seniors).
  • Community identity: Foster an inclusive, shared Casey identity through targeted interventions which celebrate diversity and multiculturalism. 
  • Safety: Support place based initiatives ‘in or outside the home’ which address crime, or increase people’s perception of safety, by design of physical assets or through media approaches.

By strengthening community connection, identity and safety, the Casey Empowering Communities Project aims to contribute to a long term vision of reduction in crime and family violence.

Examples of supported initiatives

Initiatives supported through Empowering Communities Project could include, for example:

  • programs which enhance connections for vulnerable women, young people, identity based groups, or seniors;  empowering women or strengthening families;
  • initiatives which celebrate diversity and include people of diverse groups (such as different ages, genders, abilities and cultural backgrounds);
  • social inclusion programs for vulnerable cohorts - young people, identity based groups, women and seniors leading to additional support for mental or physical wellbeing, substance abuse or employment pathways.


Who can apply

To be eligible for Empowering Communities Project funding, you are a ‘Not for Profit’ groups or organisations and must:

  • have an auspice agency with an MOU in place in place if not incorporated
  • be a legally constituted entity (e.g. a co-operative, incorporated Association, Company or Trust) or be auspiced as such
  • have (or be auspiced by) a Committee or Board of Management that accepts responsibility for the administration of the funding and acquittal
  • hold current public liability and professional indemnity insurance to cover the staff, volunteers, members and the general public, as appropriate (minimum $10,000,000)
  • practice equal opportunity and non-discrimination
  • be financially viable 
  • be committed to co-designing and/or co-delivering services with residents in the City of Casey
  • adhere to current Child Safe Standards including WWCC for groups working with young people

Funding priorities

Applications should align with the following funding priorities and demonstrate outcomes in one or more of the funding priority areas.  These funding priorities are informed by The Empowering Communities Grant guidelines alongside the priorities identified by the Casey Action Group and the Safer Communities Forum 2021. 

Initiatives that support gender equity and provide safe spaces with targeted activities for diverse or vulnerable women enabling social connection and early engagement with support services

More opportunities that empower women, CALD women and First Nations women; more easily accessible safe spaces where diverse or vulnerable women can go and meaningfully connect; more young mums receive support in vocational pathways; improved access to culturally appropriate support services for CALD and First Nations women; enhanced opportunities for shared cross-cultural spaces and mentoring for women; positively impact local issues such as family violence and crime.

Initiatives which support intersectional equity or celebrate diversity

More opportunities for individuals facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including women, CALD and First Nations women, economically disadvantaged residents, people with disabilities, the LGBTIQ+ community, seniors and early school leavers; enhanced sense of a shared Casey community identity; enhanced cultural identity for multi cultural residents; positively impact local issues such as racism and discrimination.

Safe spaces and targeted activities for diverse vulnerable young people up to age 18, enabling social connection and early engagement with support services 

More easily accessible safe spaces where diverse vulnerable young people can meaningfully connect; more ‘at risk’ youth participate in physical, emotional or mental wellbeing activities, including multi-cultural approaches; improved access to qualified multi-cultural Youth Workers or mentors; improved access to services, including multi-cultural services, for neuro diverse young people to receive specialised services; early school leavers receive support to reengage in vocational pathways; more multi-cultural youth spaces, Youth Workers and service referrals; enhanced opportunities for shared cross cultural spaces for young people; positively impact local crime and recidivism.

Opportunities for seniors to connect socially

Better access to information, including multi-cultural approaches, via Buddy type programs for seniors; enhanced opportunities for shared cross cultural spaces for seniors; improve safety for seniors through social connections.

Opportunities for young dads up to age 25 to socially connect and engage early with support services

Improved access to support services for young dads to connect; more young dads participate in physical, emotional or mental wellbeing activities, including multi-cultural approaches; improved access to qualified Youth Workers or mentors, including multi-cultural approaches; improved services, including multi-cultural services, for neuro diverse young dads to receive specialised services; early school leavers receive support to re-engage in vocational pathways; improved access to parenting and family strengthening programs; enhanced opportunities for shared cross cultural spaces for young dads; positively impact local issues such as family violence and crime.

Local neighbourhood initiatives which provide barriers to crime or increase perceptions of safety

Improved access to physical ‘in home or public space’ strategies which reduce crime against person or property; exposure to education or media (traditional or online) which helps reduce crime against person or property (including family violence prevention/gender equity); positively impact crime and perceptions of safety.

Available funding

  • The minimum amount organisations can apply for is $5,000 
  • The maximum amount organisations can apply for is $30,000
  • Applicants may be offered a smaller amount of funding than requested
  • Eligible organisations may submit more than one application provided that each application is for a different service or program, which together do not exceed $30,000.
  • Funding is for a 6 month period plus one month for acquittal
  • Grant Round 2 will open in  2023 and organisations who were successful in Round 1 can put in an Expression of Interest for further funding in Round 2.
  • Joint applications -  up to a maximum of $30,000 will be accepted if there is a nominated lead agency that submits the application and evidence of a partnership already in place (e.g. a Memorandum of Understanding).

Assessment criteria

Funding applications are checked for eligibility by Council officers.  Eligible applications are then assessed by the Casey Action Group assessment panel that makes recommendations to Dept of Justice & Community Safety for endorsement.

The full amount requested may not be approved; the assessment panel may recommend partial funding.  Consideration will also be given to the total funding available and the distribution of funding across the municipality and priority areas.

The following criteria will be used by the panel to assess applications:

Clear purpose and objectives that align with the Empowering Communities Project funding priorities

•    Evidence of organisational purpose, core services and programs that empower communities through innovation and co-design. 
•    The aims and objectives of the proposed project are clearly identified. 
•    The project and intended target group aligns with the funding priorities of the Empowering Communities Project

Evidence of need in the community and for the organisation

•    The applicant has evidence of a strong community need for the project which aligns with the funding priorities.
•    The project will improve the overall quality of service provided by the applicant and/or enable the applicant to broaden or deepen their role in the community. 
•    The project cannot be funded elsewhere.

Direct benefit to the Casey community

•    The project is accessible and delivers clear, measurable outcomes or benefits to the target group.
•    There is potential for the project to have lasting community impact. 
•    There is co-design, participation and support from Casey residents, other local community groups and partner organisations as part of the project.

Capacity of the organisation to manage the funding and deliver the service or program

•    The organisation has successfully delivered projects in the past.
•    The applicant has the organisational structure, management skills and financial capability to achieve the outcomes listed in their application.
•    The organisation has an effective plan to design, implement and evaluate the project and provide an outcome report.
•    The budget is detailed and realistic. 

What will not be funded

The following will not be funded:

  • Applications from organisations that have previously been funded by Council but have not satisfactorily acquitted for the grant
  • Funding requests considered the responsibility of another authority or tier of government such as requests from: primary and secondary schools; higher education institutions; and local, state or federal government agencies including Vic Police
  • Sectors that already attract Govt funding such as tertiary interventions for mental health, drug or alcohol support and family violence prevention.
  • Projects that are provided for the purpose of promoting a religious or political belief.
  • Capital works projects, including those that are covered by Council’s Minor Capital Works funding. An item is considered capital if it is permanently fixed to the ground or building and/or increases the value of the facility.
  • Programs that already receive funding from Council 
  • Restrospective funding for projects that have already commenced
  • Applications for fundraising purposes 
  • Conferences, research and academic studies.
  • Development of software or evaluation projects 

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

Applications must include additional information as specified. Supporting documents and attachments must be in electronic format and submitted as part of the online application process.

The application must be submitted by the due date. No paper applications will be accepted or applications outside of SmartyGrants will be considered. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.  


Tuesday 2 August 2022 Applications open on Smarty Grants
Tuesday 9 August  Online information session 
View the recording on YouTube.
Sunday 11 September

Applications close. There is no access to the online applications after 11.00 pm. An automated acknowledgement email is sent to the applicant as soon as the application is submitted.

September Applications are assessed and endorsed by the Casey Action Group and the Dept. of Justice & Community Safety.  Applicants are notified of the outcome. 
October Funding and Service Agreements signed and funding is distributed
Wednesday 31 May 2023 Grants acquitted 


This initiative is funded by the Victorian Government’s Empowering Communities initiative as part of the Building Safer Communities Program.




Grants Policy