Australia: Community Grants

Community Grants

Applications for Mary MacKillop Today’s Community Grants Program 2021
are now CLOSED.

Project Overview

We partner with organisations who support Australia’s most vulnerable and marginalised people improve their lives through education in all its forms. The Community Grants Program has invested grants in over 600 life-changing projects across the country since 1995.

Eligible organisations may apply for grants of up to $10,000 AUD to deliver small, life-changing projects that promote life-long learning for Australians affected by vulnerability.

By participating in these projects, individuals build skills and gain knowledge to improve their engagement with the community and take advantage of life opportunities. The Mary MacKillop Today Community Grants Program seeks to empower those in need to take control of their lives and to build a better future for themselves and their communities

The Program began as a response to on-the-ground work that the Sisters of St Joseph were doing with the vulnerable communities. In 2020, the Program awarded $150,000 in small grants to 15 recipients in urban, regional and remote communities.


  • The management and administration of this program is implemented by our Partnerships and Performance Team. Projects are selected, monitored and evaluated on the extent to which they achieve the following:
    • Help people aspire to learn, and increase people’s confidence to undertake learning opportunities  (e.g. mentoring, bridging or transitional education)
    • Improve access to education or learning opportunities for people who are vulnerable (e.g. by supporting learning opportunities in remote communities, enabling access to technology, breaking  down learning barriers for people with disability)
    • Improve the quality of education or learning opportunities available to people who are vulnerable (e.g. training for parents or caregivers, development of high-quality teaching and learning resources, ensuring learning environments are culturally and linguistically inclusive)
    • Provide learning opportunities which empower people to strengthen skills for self-sufficiency including through improved financial inclusion, improved participation in communities and improved wellbeing (e.g. transition to work projects, health literacy and health promotion, financial literacy or leadership activities).


  • Individuals build skills, gain knowledge and empower themselves to increase their life opportunities, improve their engagement with the community and achieve a better quality of life. This in turn has positive outcomes for people’s families and communities.
  • Remote communities (serviced by small organisations providing important services) are more empowered to actively participate in broader society.
  • The most vulnerable groups including women who are homeless, people living with disability, refugees and asylum seekers become more empowered to engage in more socio-economic activity.

How to Apply:

  1. Review the Community Grants Guidelines below to see if your organisation, and the project you are seeking funds for, meet the eligibility criteria and Grant Priorities. If you are unsure, contact Chrys Fernando at [email protected] or call 0482 782 099.
  2. Download the Drafting Template.docx to give you a ‘sneak peek’ of the Application Questions. You can use this document to collect the information you need and seek the necessary approvals from within your organisation prior to accessing the online form. When drafting your application, pay close attention to the Selection Criteria and Assessment Questions (p.4 of the Guidelines) and try to address these in your response.
  3. When you are ready to submit your application, access the online application form Unfortunately, once you start the application, you will not be able to save and exit the form, and return to it later – so please make sure you are ready to submit when you start your form.
  4. Enter your application details and hit submit!

If you are unable to access the online form or would like to discuss an alternative way of submitting your application, please contact Chrys Fernando at [email protected] or call 0482 782 099.

Selection Process

Once applications close on the 14th September, Mary MacKillop Today will commence our internal review process. The applications are reviewed in the first instance by Mary MacKillop Today staff to ensure applicants meet the eligibility criteria and to undertake initial shortlisting against the selection criteria. Applications are then reviewed by State-level representatives as well as a central Community Grants Committee with internal and external representatives who endorse a short-list of applicants for funding to the Mary MacKillop Today Board of Directors.

All applicants will be informed of the outcome by 10th November 2020.



Guidelines for Mary MacKillop Today’s Community Grants Programs

Mary MacKillop Today Community Grants Guidelines 2021


How to help

Donate: We appreciate any and all donations.

Pray: Pray for the vulnerable and marginalised communities in Australia that they may have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Act: Contact us to find out more about the Community Grants Program; contribute and invest in efforts to improve the quality of lives of people living in poverty.