Australian Aid: Friendship Grants

Three men standing in a field
Every year across Australia, thousands of people donate their time and money to help people in developing countries. Australian Aid: Friendship Grants will bring local Australian community organisations into the Australian aid program by providing funding for them to expand or enhance their international development activities in our region. Photo: Darren James.

Many Australian organisations, including charities, local government groups, professional organisations, diaspora groups and volunteer groups are already working hard to help communities in our region. These organisations have unique, on-the-ground experience working in international development and have forged strong relationships with local communities overseas.

Strong relationships between Australian communities and communities in our region are an effective way to promote inclusive development, human security and prosperity.

Announced in the 2018-19 Budget and launched by the then Foreign Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, the three-year Australian Aid: Friendship Grants program will bring some of the best of these organisations into the Australian aid program by providing grants of $30,000 to $60,000, allowing them to expand or enhance their existing international development activities.

In Round 1, more than 1,000 people registered their interest in the program, and more than 200 applications were received.

Friendship Grants were provided to 46 community organisations from across Australia, enabling them to expand or enhance their international development work with our neighbours in 15 countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

Friendship Grant recipients include:

  • Caring for Kiriwina from New South Wales, which will train village birth attendants to safely deliver babies in remote areas of Papua New Guinea;
  • the Rotary Club of Deloraine in Tasmania, which will set up a vocational training centre for people from disadvantaged communities in Nepal;
  • Wheelchairs for Kids from Western Australia, which will build specialised wheelchairs for children with a disability in Timor-Leste;
  • the Surfrider Foundation from NSW, which will install equipment to supply clean water and provide reusable drink bottles at a school in Indonesia; and
  • Many Hands International from Victoria, which will improve literacy across generations through a home reading program in Timor-Leste.

Round 2 of Friendship Grants is anticipated to open for applications in mid-2019.

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Last Updated: 1 April 2019