Where to go for Governance information in Australia

The concept of governance focusses on the structures and process which ensure an organisation is accountable and transparent. There are elements of stability, equity and inclusivity, participation, responsiveness and following the rule of law.

Good governance is at the heart of any successful organisation. It can broadly be described as the system by which an organisation is controlled and operates as well as the mechanisms by which those organisations and the individuals involved in decision-making are held to account.

Why does governance matter?

Not for profit groups and charities have rules by which they must adhere to maintain that organisational status. Members of the public have expectations around how those organisations will be run and how decisions will be made.


Where to go if you need resources and information about governance for not for profits in Australia?


Office of Fair Trading

The Queensland Government Office of Fair Trading has a bunch of useful resources for those wanting to start not for profits as well as those who are new to committees (and of course those who’ve been doing it for years). On this website, you can access information on how to run an incorporated associationas well as useful fact sheets on topics such aswhat a committee doesand who can be on a committee. You can also find out what makes up the model rules, financial responsibilities and how to close down an association.


Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission

The Australian Charities and Not for profits Commissions regulates the voluntary sector in Australia, including charities and other not for profits. There are approximately 56,000 organisations registered with the ACNC. On their website, there’s a whole section on guidance and toolsfor not for profits which includes podcasts, webinars and factsheets.

The ACNC has a useful fact sheet on charity money mythswhich set straight some of the misconceptions around operating as a not for profit in Australia and they also have a useful document that sets out the Commission’s governance standards.


Other useful resources:


McKinlay Shire volunteer training workshop - Wombat Creative

Celebrating volunteers in the McKinlay Shire

Volunteers are the glue that holds communities together, and none moreso than communities that are remote.

A few months ago, a team of volunteers from Julia Creek, got together to plan for a celebration of the shire’s volunteers and the community groups that keep the town entertained, fit, healthy and economically sustained.

They’re bringing those groups and volunteers together for a weekend of celebration, food, up skilling and entertainment. And it’s completely free.

Taking place Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November, the weekend kicks off with an interactive volunteer workshop capturing the successes and challenges of recent years. Hands-on training will also occur – focussed on committee roles and governance, recruiting and retaining volunteers and members and grant writing and fundraising. We’re thrilled to be delivering the training as well as facilitating the rest of the weekend.

But there’s much more than just the serious business of community groups going on.

There’s an epic BBQ dinner on the Saturday night, as well as a big brunch on Sunday. During the dinner event, the much sought after Crack Up Sisters will entertain families with their knockabout acrobatics, whip-cracking, aerial stunts and comedy. And on Sunday, Julie Cross will deliver an empowering, energising and entertaining keynote, looking to re-energise community groups and the volunteers who run them.

Attendance is completely free for this Julia Creek event, which kicks off 8.30am on Saturday 24 November and wraps up 3.00pm on the Sunday. It’s open to all residents of McKinlay Shire, with a focus on those who volunteer for the district’s many not for profit community organisations.

To RSVP or for a workshop flier, email

Facilitation, Wombat Creative


With more than 20 years experience as a facilitator, Samantha Morris has experienced just about every group situation imaginable. From the far flung corners of remote and regional Queensland, to the small rural blocks of Tasmania, from groups of musicians to creative workers, farmers to conservations, Sam has facilitated groups of all sizes and with all manner of outcomes.

Facilitation is critical when bringing a group together to achieve an outcome.

If you need a facilitator for your project, get in touch to chat about what you need.

Got a cool project that needs funding? Check out these grants listings


One of the most difficult things about grant writing isn’t actually writing the funding submission, it’s knowing where to go for information about grant opportunities. As a professional grant writer, I spend hours every week checking out any new funding opportunities, reading guidelines and criteria and being a bit of an investigative researcher, literally stalking potential funders online for anything that will help win funds.

Next week I’m running three grant writing courses out in western Queensland. There’ll be about 60 people joining me in Mt Isa, Julia Creek and Hughenden to hone their grant writing skills. In preparing for next week I updated my personal list of grants-related websites. I thought I’d save you all a heap of time and share it with you.

Australian Government business grants listing
A database of Australian Government funding programs with a focus on businesses. Always check with the funding program regarding closing dates and availability as these sometimes change after they’ve been added to the database. Get the list here.

Parliamentary Library
This is a quick reference guide to community grants, published in January 2016. It contains a bunch of links to other useful grant listings across government agencies at state and federal level. Visit the Parliament of Australia website to access the list.

Queensland Government Grants
This list focuses on programs related to Queensland Government agencies and can be found here. Some of the specific programs included in the list are:

Federal and State members of parliament
Your local member often manages mailing lists within their own electorates so that they can keep people up to date with funding opportunities. You can see a list of state and federal members here (for Queensland). or the Australian Parliament House website for a list of federal members and senators.

Our Community
This is probably the longest running grants sniffer dog service in Australia. Our Community produces a monthly e-newsletter which outlines funding opportunities. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly targeted at community benefit projects, but to a much broader range of projects including Councils and businesses. If you have the time to read through 100 odd pages a month, it’s definitely worth the $80-odd annual subscription fee. Subscribe here.

Australian Directory of Philanthropic Funders
Produced byPhilanthropy Australia, this database lists more than 300 funding bodies, including philanthropic trusts and foundations, that offer grants for community projects. You probably need to have DGR status to be able to access these grants. The subscription costs around $100 per year to subscribe. Get more information here.

Non-government Grants
This list has been modified from one found at the Parliament of Australia website.

  • ANZ Staff Foundation offers grants to support projects run by charitable organisations for the benefit of local communities.
  • Charities Aid Foundation allows charitable organisations to be placed on a registry to be matched with corporate donors and sponsors.
  • Commonwealth Bank Staff Community Fund aims specifically to assist community groups with projects that improve the health and well-being of children and young people nationally.
  • Community Enterprise Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group.
  • Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) aims to take a leadership role in assisting regional, rural and remote communities to respond to social, cultural and economic change. The FRRR administers a number of funding programs and grants.
  • Ian Potter Foundation makes grants nationally to support charitable organisations working to benefit the community across a wide range of sectors and endeavours.
  • Macquarie Group Foundation supports groups and activities in Australia and overseas.
  • Mercy Foundation provides support for organisations involved in reducing inequality and poverty in Australia.
  • Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund provide grants in four key areas, the arts, education, poverty and disadvantage and sustainability and the environment.
  • National Australia Bank provides regular community grants to organisations nominated by employees.
  • National Foundation for Australian Women runs a program through which other women’s groups can receive tax deductible donations and grants through their preferred donor fund.
  • NRMA Insurance Community Grants Program provides grants for crime prevention, road safety, emergency readiness and response and the environment.
  • Optus Community Grants program provides grants to organisations to help reduce social isolation and to reconnect disengaged youth.
  • Perpetual philanthropic services assist individuals, families, organisations and non-profit groups.
  • Peter Brock Foundation provides funding and support for community groups and organisations with a focus on welfare services, social issues and community programs.
  • Reichstein Foundation funds projects aimed at assisting disadvantaged communities.
  • Rockefeller Foundation supports work that expands opportunity and strengthens resilience to social, economic, health and environmental challenges.
  • Telstra Foundation provides community development grants for projects particularly aimed at children and young people.

Now you have no excuses. You know where to find grants. Go forth and write.

Writing services

We love words. Especially writing them.

If you’re looking for a copy writer for your campaign, or you just need a fresh set of eyes to help weave some wordy magic, we’d love to help.

We’ve worked with a heap of organisations across the NRM, conservation and creative community fields, writing for web, media and print. We can help with report writing, creative writing, journalistic writing, social media, interviews, case studies or media releases.

Contact Samantha Morris  to chat about your requirements.

Rainforest and Reef Conservation Stories

Ninney Rise, Mission Beach | 3 – 5 July 2014

Overlooking the Great Barrier Reef, Ninney Rise is the heritage listed base from which John Busst organised Save The Reef and rainforest campaigns in the 1960s and 70s. It was a meeting place for campaigners, artists and scientists working to protect the Great Barrier Reef from oil drilling and other threats and for nominating large areas of rainforest to be protected as National Parks.

Friends of Ninney Rise are opening up this historic property for a special conference which celebrates the conservation stories of the region’s reefs and rainforests.

With speakers spanning decades of action and a unique mix of scientists, artists and campaigners, Rainforest and Reef Conservation Stories will run Thursday 3 through Saturday 5 July and numbers must be capped at 90.

A draft registration package is attached, along with a preliminary program. We’d love to welcome you to Ninney Rise in July and more information is available by contacting me at

Follow Friends of Ninney Rise on Facebook and Twitter.

Download the registration package and preliminary program here: Reef Rainforest Conservation Stories PROGRAM v1.0



More free grant writing workshops | Mareeba, Georgetown, Normanton

Wombat Creative is bringing its grant writing workshops to Mareeba, Georgetown and Normanton thanks to the support of local organisations and grant funding. The workshops are highly interactive and delivered in plain English with one goal: to give you the confidence to write more grants and win more funds.

Mareeba, Monday 25 November, 8.30am – 1.30pm

Georgetown, Tuesday 26 November, 8.30am – 1.30pm

Normanton, Wednesday 27 November, 8.30am – 1.30pm

RSVP is essential. Light refreshments provided. Supported by Gambling Community Benefit Fund, Landcare Queensland and Northern Gulf Resource Management Group.

Participants should come armed with project ideas, specific grant funding application forms and guidelines or past applications written. This workshop is interactive – please come prepared to throw yourself into grant writing with gusto.

RSVP and more information:



FREE grant writing workshops | Weipa and Cooktown

Wombat Creative is bringing its grant writing workshops to Weipa and Cooktown thanks to the support of local organisations and grant funding. The workshops are highly interactive and delivered in plain English with one goal: to give you the confidence to write more grants and win more funds.

Weipa, Tuesday 19 November, 8.30am – 1.30pm

Cooktown, Thursday 21 November, 8.30am – 1.30pm

RSVP is essential. Light refreshments provided. Supported by Gambling Community Benefit Fund, Landcare Queensland, Cook Shire Council, Cape York NRM and the Regional Landcare Facilitator.

Participants should come armed with project ideas, specific grant funding application forms and guidelines or past applications written. This workshop is interactive – please come prepared to throw yourself into grant writing with gusto.

RSVP and more information:

2013 NQ – Weipa and Cooktown promo


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Our top 10 tips for running planet friendly events


So, you work in the environment or community development sector and you run events to help spread the message. But at the end of the day you’re standing in a room or a field and you’re looking at the waste – leftover food, piles of papers and plastic.

How do you reduce your footprint when running events? We’ve put together our top 10 tips.


  1. Choose a transport-friendly venue – that is, choose a venue that is centrally located to the largest number of delegates. Sometimes there’s a need to hold an event in rural and regional locations – in that case, explore ways to encourage carpooling and offer alternatives to flying.
  2. Consider alternative technology instead of flying speakers in from interstate or overseas. With webinars, skype and holographic performances becoming so popular, you don’t really need an expert in the flesh.
  3. Choose a venue that makes the most of natural lighting and passive heating / cooling. Ceiling fans are much more energy efficient than air conditioners and sometimes just being able to open windows and doors allows enough airflow to cool a room.
  4. Avoid printing promotional material and encourage your sponsors and partners to do the same.
  5. Do not offer disposable items – that means no plastic cups, no plastic cutlery or plates. Make sure you let the venue or caterers know too. If you have caterers who insist on disposables, put your foot down and make it a requirement that all disposable items be compostable
  6. Avoid plastic for packaging and food service – that includes plastic wrap. Plastic often crops up where you least expect it. We ordered 500 pens for an environment conference and they came in individual plastic sleeves. We were very embarrassed.
  7. Do not offer bottled water. Ask for jugs of water and glasses. If you’re running an outdoor event consider large water coolers and either asking people to bring their own cup (most people bring a water bottle to outdoor events anyway) or provide your delegates with a souvenir cup.
  8. Consider ticketing your social events so that you know exactly how many people are coming. When you charge a separate fee and people need to register for those events, you know exactly how many people to cater for, meaning less waste.
  9. While on the topic of catering, try to incorporate as much local produce as possible – often this will come down to your caterers, so be sure to let them know when you ask for quotes that this is your preference. Some people will stipulate a certain proportion of local or organic food across the meals catered.
  10. Compost and manually sort recycling wherever possible. There are permaculture groups and city farms who will take organic matter off your hands if you give them enough notice.


Grants closing September – December


Ansvar community education program grants, 6 September

Ansvar supports sustainable programs for Australians under the age of 25, promoting ongoing education and skills making a significant difference to the lives of participants in the categories of empowerment and education or outreach and support. Grants of up to $50,000 are available. Applications close Friday 6 September and more information is available here.


Australia Council Community Partnerships, 6 September

Funding is available for individuals, groups and organisations to develop community arts and cultural development projects with partners. Priority areas include regional Australia, disability, young people, cultural diversity, emerging communities, Indigenous and remote Indigenous communities and social and cultural issues requiring focused attention. Up to $20,000 is available. Applications close 6 September and more information is available from


ArtStart funding, 23 September

This program gives financial assistance to recent arts graduates (Certificate IV or higher), helping with the challenge of transitioning from study to a professional career. Up to $10,000 is available to fund services, resources, skills development and / or equipment to help build an income-generating career in an arts practice. Applications close 23 September and more information is available from


Small Grants for Small Communities, 27 September

$400,000 in grants of up to $5000 is available or projects that offer clear public benefit for communities with populations of under 10,000 people. Applications close Friday 27 September and more information is available from


BAYERboost Environmental Scholarship, 30 September
The scholarship aims to give year 11, 12 and undergraduate students experience in environmental research or restoration in their summer break. Three scholarships are offered as part of the program – tertiary students ($6000 for a 12 week project), year 12 students ($5000 for a 10 week project) and year 11 students ($3000 for a 6 week project).  Applications close 30 September and more information is available at


Westpac Foundation Community Grants, 30 September

Westpac Foundation Community Grants encourage local not-for-profit organisations that have a big idea to change lives for the better to apply for funding of between $5000 and $10,000. Applications close Monday 30 September and more information is available


Maxwell Ralph Jacobs Fund, 30 September

Coordinated by the Institute of Foresters Australia, this fund supports work of study carried out in or related to Australasia in any field of forestry science. One grant of $5000 is available and applications close 30 September. More information is at


Australian Geographic Society sponsorship, 30 September

Australian scientists, community groups and individuals are  invited to apply for Society sponsorship.  Seed grants of up to $3000 and project sponsorships of between $5000 and $15,000 are available. Applications close 30 September and more information is available at


Rural Women’s Award, 31 October
Know a fabulous rural woman? Why not nominate her for the 2014 Rural Women’s Award. Closing on the 31st of October this is Australia’s pre-eminent Award for rural women. It provides a $10,000 bursary to state winners to further their vision for rural and regional Australia.’s-award.


Norman Wettenhall Foundation, 11 October

This fund supports Australian biodiversity projects covering monitoring, collecting and record data, community education, research and science or community capacity building. Applications close 11 October and 20 December and more information is available from


Layne Beachley and Aim for the Stars, 15 November

This Foundation, is inviting all Australian females aged 12 – 26 years who need funding to achieve goals in their sporting, academic, community, business, environmental or cultural pursuits to apply for support. Applications close 15 November and more information is available at:


Northface Adventure Grant, 31 December
The North Face and the Australian Geographic Society have teamed up to help turn your next adventure or expedition dreams into a reality! With a $5000 grant from The North Face, along with $2000 worth of The North Face gear, plus a $3000 AG Society Grant and an exclusive story on your trip in AG Outdoor, you’ll not only be equipped with the world’s most technically innovative apparel and equipment, you will be able to get your dream expedition off the ground. Applications close 31 December and more information is available from


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