Holsworth Local Heritage Grants


The purpose of the Holsworth Local Heritage Trust, a charitable fund within the Victorian Community Foundation, is to invite applications for grants from not-for-profit organisations such as historical societies, clubs, schools and museums in regional and rural Victoria.

The Trust is interested in supporting enthusiastic community groups and organisations with a true interest in heritage preservation and appreciation, and the enhancement of community life.

About the grant

Read about past grant recipients

Small grants of up to $3,000 are available for two purposes:

  1. Publication. The publication of any specific or general local history or natural history in rural and regional Victoria. The grant is intended for small organisations with an interest in publishing works of historical value, even where the organisation has little or no experience of self-publishing work. Joint projects encompassing several groups or annual/special edited journals incorporating submitted historical articles from a wide community are encouraged; or
  2. Digitisation. Funds can be used towards the purchase of scanning equipment or for the costs of outsourcing digitisation to specialist scanning companies.

Digitisation projects of not-for-profit history and heritage organisations across rural and regional Victoria could include the costs of digitising 35mm slides, photographs, microfilm, microfiche, index cards, maps, plans, posters/artwork, registers and other two dimensional materials

The items being digitised must be publicly-accessible and for public display, use and interest.

Publication grant applications

Applicants are required to submit a proposal including details of the intended date of publication. It is expected that considerable research has already been undertaken before applying and that publication is anticipated within 12 months of the grant being made.

Publication subsidy up to $3,000 for layout, indexing or production (printing) of self-published work. Conditions include that it must be original research with primary sources and the publication must be referenced, with bibliography and index. ISBN must also be included.

Within three months of publication, a completed publication is to be provided to the Royal Historical Society of Victoria as proof of publication. This copy will be presented to the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. Applicants are reminded that Legal Deposit Legislation requires that a copy of all publications published in Victoria must be lodged with the State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia.

Grants are given for the costs to publish new material, with preference given to publications of historical (rather than commercial) value or where the publication is to be donated to schools or other educational institutions at secondary school level or above.

Grants can be given to print indexes for existing historical publications.

It is preferred that publications are printed on paper media, although consideration will be given to other proposed forms of publication.

A progress report must be provided if the publication does not occur within the first 12 months after receipt of the grant.

The successful applicants acknowledge the Holsworth Local Heritage Trust Grant in a professional and clearly marked section of the publication, namely: “This publication was funded by a grant from the VCF Holsworth Local Heritage Trust, which is managed by Equity Trustees”.

The funds must be spent in accordance with the outlined proposal.

Digitisation grant applications

Applications are encouraged from groups of geographically-close organisations which can band together to purchase higher end equipment they would not be able to acquire on their own and to use it on a “rotating schedule.”

The proposal must clearly explain the purpose for digitisation.

The long-term viability of digital files is by far the most important aspect of the digitization process, and it’s in this realm that historical society workers must consider best practice.

The Judging Panel will not consider applications where they believe that the digitisation project will not provide digital images that are fit-for-purpose. Of primary concern is that images must be OCR (Optical Character Recognition is a technology that enables conversion of different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files or images captured by a digital camera into editable and searchable data.)

The funds must be spent in accordance with the outlined proposal.

Application deadlines

Applications open on 1 March and close on 31 July each year.

All applications, including any attachments, must be submitted by the due date to office@historyvictoria.org.au  Late applications cannot be accepted.

These are considered by the Holsworth Local Heritage Trust Sub-committee. The Sub-committee makes recommendations to Equity Trustees by the end of August, being the Trustee of the Victorian Community Foundation – Holsworth Local Heritage Trust. Applicants will usually be advised by mid-September. Grants are paid via the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

Completing your application

Read these guidelines carefully before making a submission, and complete one of either the print/publication application form (PDF version, MS Word version) or the digital application form (PDF version, Word version) in full.

Written criteria can never cover every eventuality. Once you have read the program information carefully, if you still have queries, you are encouraged to contact the RHSV office by email or telephone to discuss your application. You should do this well before the deadline for applications.

All queries regarding applications should be directed to the RHSV office. Staff aim to be available to discuss applications by telephone or email, but are unable to meet with applicants prior to the submission of an application, due to limitations on staff capacity.


Please make any grant queries to executive.officer@historyvictoria.org.au |  +61 3 9326 9288

Recommended Reading

Writing and Publishing Local History by Rosalie Triolo, Helen Doyle and Katya Johanson which is a free ebook downloadable from the RHSV website (click on image below).

Writing and Publishing Local History by Rosalie Triolo, Helen Doyle and Katya Johanson


This program aims to encourage involvement in and completion of historical projects of significance to the community. The outcome of the project should be of benefit to the public. The project must relate to the history and heritage of Victoria.

Applicants could include:

  • RHSV Affiliated Societies in rural and regional Victoria
  • Regional local community groups in Victoria
  • Organisations incorporated on a non-profit basis, with a commitment to one or more aspects of history (in rural and regional Victoria)
  • Local government bodies or tertiary institutions partnering with community groups to produce community-based projects (in rural and regional Victoria)

General exclusions                                                                                                                          

The Trust will not fund:

    • already completed projects
    • production and printing of newsletters, reports, handbills or similar printing, publicity material, brochures, postcards.
    • production of genealogical publications unless they are of clear community historical significance
    • reprints of previously published works.

The Trust will not fund organisations which are:

    • statutory bodies
    • for-profit organisations
    • political
    • commercial in nature or otherwise intended for private benefit
    • State or Federal Government agency

Definition of Rural and Regional

For this grant we follow the State Government of Victoria’s definition of rural and regional Victoria as the 48 local government areas including six alpine resort areas set out in Schedule 2 of the Regional Development Victoria Act 2002.

The 10 regional city local government areas are Ballarat, Greater Bendigo, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton, Horsham, Latrobe, Mildura, Wangaratta, Warrnambool and Wodonga.  The remaining 38 local government areas including six alpine resort areas are referred to as the rural local government areas.

The 48 Local Government Authorities in Regional Victoria are:

    • Alpine Shire Council
    • Ararat Rural City
    • Ballarat City
    • Bass Coast Shire
    • Baw Baw Shire
    • Benalla Rural City
    • Buloke Shire
    • Campaspe Shire
    • Central Goldfields Shire
    • Colac-Otway Shire
    • Corangamite Shire
    • East Gippsland Shire
    • Gannawarra Shire
    • Glenelg Shire
    • Golden Plains Shire
    • Greater Bendigo City
    • City of Greater Geelong
    • Greater Shepparton City
    • Hepburn Shire
    • Hindmarsh Shire
    • Horsham Rural City
    • Indigo Shire
    • Latrobe City
    • Loddon Shire
    • Macedon Ranges Shire
    • Mansfield Shire
    • Mildura Rural City
    • Mitchell Shire
    • Moira Shire
    • Moorabool Shire
    • Mount Alexander Shire
    • Moyne Shire
    • Murrindindi Shire
    • Northern Grampians Shire
    • Pyrenees Shire
    • Queenscliffe Borough
    • South Gippsland Shire
    • Southern Grampians Shire
    • Strathbogie Shire
    • Surf Coast Shire
    • Swan Hill Rural City
    • Towong Shire
    • Wangaratta Rural City
    • Warrnambool City
    • Wellington Shire
    • West Wimmera Shire
    • Wodonga City
    • Yarriambiack Shire