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Information Sharing Grant - The Voice to Parliament Referendum

In 2021 Merri-bek City Council endorsed a Statement of Commitment to Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. This included a commitment that Council support the call contained in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and it’s aspirations for justice, truth and a voice.

Later this year, Australians will participate in a national referendum on the Constitutional Recognition of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.  ​A Voice to Parliament will give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities a route to help inform policy and legal decisions that impact their lives. Council acknowledges that there is a diversity of positions about The Voice across the community, particularly amongst Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander communities.

Council wants to ensure that the Merri-bek community are equipped to make their own informed choice when it comes to time to vote The Voice to Parliament Referendum. To support this process, grant funding is now available to Merri-bek based community groups and organisations to facilitate respectful community-led conversations and information sharing around the Voice to Parliament Referendum.

A total pool of $10,000 is available, with the option of applying for $1,000 or $2,000.

To apply online complete and submit the application form on Smarty Grants.


  • Applications are open now and are available until the $10,000 is exhausted. Funds must be spent before the referendum date.

    Once grants are fully expended, recipients will be asked to submit an acquittal report.

  • Grants of $1,000 and $2,000 are available.

    Council reserves the right to apply its discretion in awarding funds.


  • • Be a Not-for-Profit community group, or organisation
    • Be incorporated or auspiced by another incorporated organisation,
    • Have no outstanding grant acquittals or outstanding debts owing to Council,
    • Be able to meet the conditions associated with receiving the grant,
    • Be able to provide supporting data and documentation that the information session is adequately costed and able to be completed before the Voice to Parliament Referendum,
    • Be committed to facilitating respectful conversations within the information session,
    • Provide evidence of what the information session will entail and who will be speaking,
    • Be based in or operate within the Merri-bek municipality,
    • Provide evidence of the activities undertaken and funds spent

    The Grant will prioritise funding for sessions that:
    • Are led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, or meaningfully include First Nations voices
    • Engage diverse or hard to reach communities
    • Complement and strengthen existing or ongoing initiatives already happening

  • An information session must be facilitated, and funds can be used for one or more of the following:

    Speaker hiring – payment of hiring speakers. Speakers could be Indigenous leaders, lawyers, constitutional experts, advisory and reference groups, local leaders.
    Venue hire – cost of an appropriate venue to accommodate guests.
    Catering – catering for attendees.
    Promotion – Resources to promote the event i.e flyers, posters etc.
    Collaboration – collaboration with existing campaigns and groups
    Activations – public space activations
    Operational costs – associated with carrying out any of the above.

  • • Applications that fail to meet the eligibility criteria.
    • Dissemination of discriminatory or divisive messaging/materials
    • Operating costs such as rates or utilities.
    • Expenses that are part of the organisation’s annual or regular program/activities or a duplication of an existing service or an ongoing activity (e.g. subscriptions to industry groups; ongoing advertising and social media promotions, etc.).
    • Expenses that are not related to the facilitation of information surrounding The Voice to Parliament Referendum.
    • Activities that are not in-line with Council endorsed principals or committed to truth-telling.
    • Activities that do not facilitate respectful dialogue with diverse views.
    • Activities that have not been approved by Council.

  • Only applications submitted online though Smarty Grants will be accepted.

    To apply online go to our Smarty Grants website.