Program information

Applications for Round 1 closed at 6:00pm (AEST) on 28 August 2018.

Round 2 will open in 2019.


Applicants were encouraged to carefully read the Round One Friendship Grants Guidelines before starting an application.

Application guidelines [PDF 1.37 MB] | [Word 1.28 MB]

Applicants were also encouraged to read the DFAT documents listed in the Friendship Grants Guidelines, including the Australian Government's development policy Australian aid: promoting prosperity, increasing stability, reducing poverty.

Preview application form [PDF 208 KB] | [Word 95 KB]

Selection process

Friendship Grant recipients were selected through a merit-based selection process in-line with Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017. The Friendship Grants program aims to reflect the geographic, cultural and organisational diversity of Australia.


Location of activities

Eligible Australian community organisations were encouraged to apply for Round 1 Friendship Grant funding for activities undertaken in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries in the Indo-Pacific region as outlined below.

DFAT will not fund any activities in locations listed as "do not travel" or "reconsider your need to travel" on Smartraveller.

Australian community organisations eligible to apply for a grant included:

Australian community organisations that are not currently accredited with DFAT and have:

  • A proven record in implementing international development activities in ODA-eligible countries in the Indo-Pacific region (as outlined above); and
  • A letter of support from an in-country authority as well as existing relationships with in-country partner communities that assist in the planning implementation of activities on the ground.

These included:

Organisations not eligible to apply for a grant included:

Activities eligible for funding included:

  • Development activities which build on existing projects to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people in a way that is sustainable; and
  • Development activities that assist and strengthen an overseas community's capacity or socio-economic situation such as:
    • Income generation – including microfinance, microenterprise or small business development;
    • Basic education and training – including literacy, primary, and vocational training;
    • Gender equality – including women's economic empowerment and leadership, and ending violence against women and girls;
    • Disability inclusion;
    • Healthcare – including primary healthcare;
    • Water supply and sanitation – including providing access to safe water and maintaining or improving water quality;
    • Protection and promotion of human rights – including improving economic, social and cultural rights, the rights of people with a disability, and addressing indigenous disadvantage;
    • Rural development – including the development of agriculture and basic services;
    • Sustainable environmental and natural resource management;
    • Preparedness for, and long-term recovery from, natural disasters; and
    • Climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Australian Aid: Friendship Grants activities should align with the Australian aid program's overarching goals and priorities (such as gender equality and disability inclusion).

Activities not eligible for funding included:

  • Research, conferences, seminars, training events and/or exchanges to Australia or partner country;
  • Costs associated with participants attending events;
  • Substantial freight of goods and supplied to the overseas country;
  • Major capital expenditure (purchase of buildings or land);
  • Activities in high-risk locations (including all locations listed as "do not travel" or "reconsider your need to travel" on Smartraveller);
  • Activities that involve unskilled volunteers supporting orphanages or residential care institutions;
  • Evangelism or missionary outreach, or similar activities by political organisations; or
  • Activities that are determined to be contrary to the interests of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Grant size, number of applications and duration

Applicants could apply for a grant of $30,000 to $60,000 and were allowed to submit one application per round. Grants will be expended within 12 months.

Matched funding

Australian community organisations were required to match funding at a minimum ratio of $1 Australian community organisation funds to $5 Australian Aid: Friendship Grants funds. The match from Australian community organisations could be either financial or in-kind, including volunteer hours.

Risk mitigation and due diligence

Australian community organisations must meet DFAT's safeguards and due diligence requirements to participate in program.

Last Updated: 29 August 2018