Make it Happen Grants


Make it Happen grants now closed!

Do you have ideas and initiatives which can help support people in our community? Is your group or organisation looking at innovative ways to meet a local need? 

The Hobsons Bay Make it Happen grants program provides funding to support our community to ‘make things happen’.

The program can provide support to enable activities, projects, programs, events and resources across all sectors including environment, sustainability, sport and recreation, arts and culture, health and wellbeing, multicultural, community and neighbourhood development, technology, projects by and for young people, children and families, and more.

Make it Happen grants are open for applications from 1 February 2024 with monthly assessment times in place until 2 May 2024 1pm or earlier if funds are exhausted.

We will be distributing all available funds and encourage eligible organisations with eligible projects to apply as soon as possible.


 Grant Categories

 Application key dates

  • Toyota equipment and resources (up to $1,500)

Applications are assessed monthly, and funds released

Round 1 - closed
1 February - 29 February 2024, 1pm

Round 2 - closed
29 February - 28 March 2024, 1pm

Round 3 - closed
28 March - 2 May 2024, 1pm

  • Community Projects (up to $15,000)
  • Events and festivals (up to $25,000)


It is planned that applicants will be notified within six to eight weeks of the closing date.

Applications supported by Make it Happen grants can take place until December 2025.

$495,000 is available, including a contribution from Toyota Australia of $30,000 for the equipment and resources grant.

Applicants should read the guidelines and relevant information sheets in frequently asked questions (FAQ) 3, prior to applying (refer below). The guidelines provide valuable information that will assist organisations in understanding our grants program. (PDF, 288KB)Click here to download guidelines.(PDF, 250KB)

Applications are made online through SmartyGrants, click here from 1 February 2024.

Grant information sessions and grant writing workshops are available (refer to FAQ 4).

If you wish to receive emails regarding our future grant programs, please click here to subscribe.

Ideas - here is a list of funded Make it Happen applications and stories

Click here for a list of funded 2024 Make it Happen applications(PDF, 154KB)

Click here for a list of funded 2023 Make it Happen applications(PDF, 213KB)

Click here for a list of funded 2022 Make it Happen applications(PDF, 154KB)

Click here to view a list of YouTube videos compiled from some of the 2022 Make it Happen grants  

Altona Community Garden

A collaboration project with the community to design, paint and transform the Altona Community Garden path into a contemplative mural based on the theme of a lily pond.

Click here to find out more about the Altona Community Garden



Hobsons Bay Arts Society

Hobsons Bay Arts Society, in partnership with local community groups delivered the 'Free Little Art Galleries (FLAGs)' program. 16 mini-galleries were constructed by the Hobsons Bay Men's Shed and delivered to various community groups for free exchange of locally created art and connection of emerging artists. Workshops were held amongst FLAG bearers to support the project. 



Laverton Community Children’s Centre

The Laverton Children’s Centre opened up their doors to local families for a Loose Parts Play Day. Families came along with their children on a Saturday to participate in activities using reusable products. The day allowed the community the opportunity to see what can be used as learning tools with little to no money.

Click here to find out more about the Laverton Community Children’s Centre

Home - LCCC (



Organised digital literacy classes for Greek-speaking people aged 65 and over residing in the Hobsons Bay area based at the Altona North Library. Participants had the opportunity to learn the use of computers, how to navigate the Internet, where to find support services online for example My Gov, as well as how to remain safe and protected from online threats.

Click here to find out more about Pronia and its services.

PRONIA – For a stronger community


Laverton Festival

The Laverton Festival is a wonderful community day that invites all families to attend a very low cost day and enjoy the entertainment, activities, information and learn more of what is available to them within the community including sporting groups and community groups. The event brings the community together and enjoy family time.

Click here to find out more about the Laverton Festival

Laverton Festival - Hobsons Bay


South Kingsville Community Centre

A Soil Improvement Program which included sessions on exploring the soil environment, garden planning, mulching and soil testing.

Click here to find out about the South Kingsville Community Centre

South Kingsville Community Centre Venue Hire, Childcare, Programs (


Laverton Youth Foundation

Laverton Youth Foundation partnered with MiCare and Western Bulldogs to deliver a Leadership programme which encouraged skill development in many different areas, with a particular focus on leadership qualities and being a responsible, resilient and conscientious member of their local community.

The programme included a sporting element to increase the physical activity, health and wellbeing of the participants and encouraged them to try new sports from a variety of different local sporting clubs.

Click here to find out more about the Laverton Youth Foundation

Youth Foundation - LCIS


Seabreeze Quilters

Program of quilting workshops for members and the community with a final exhibition.

Seabreeze Quilters are a community-based social quilting group that meet on a regular basis in Altona North.

Click here to find out more about the Seabreeze Quilters

Seabreeze Quilters Inc | Facebook


U3A Hobsons Bay/Williamstown

A volunteer training program for U3A convenors/tutors running classes and activities for residents aged 55+ years (volunteers).

Click here to find out more about the U3A Williamstown

U3A Hobsons Bay/Williamstown (


Altona Hockey Club

Conducted a Walking Hockey Program using modified version of the game on a smaller field with a smaller ball. The program was targeted at 50+ years, the program was the first of its kind at the Altona Hockey club and one of the first in Victoria.

Click here to find about more about the Altona Hockey club

Altona Hockey Club | The official website of the AHC, a hockey club in the West of Melbourne. (



Read our FAQs for more info:

1. I need help with my application, what should I do?

All applicants are encouraged to discuss their applications with a Council staff member.

It is a requirement for applications above $5,000 to be in contact with a Council staff member relevant to their application prior to their submission.

For further information or to discuss an idea or opportunity, your first point of contact can be with Council’s grants team who can connect you with a staff member in the relevant content area, refer to FAQ 3 for sector staff contacts.

Call Council’s Community Grants Officer on 1300 179 944 for assistance or email

If you require an Interpreter Services, you can use Language Line: 9932 1212

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can use the National Relay Service: 133 677

Hobsons Bay City Council is aware some people with a disability may require additional support in applying for a grant. Please contact the Community Grants Officer if you require assistance.


2. What are the aims and priorities of the program?

Applicants will need to consider the aims of the program when developing a proposal.


Make it Happen grants aim to:

  • promote physical and mental health, wellbeing and connection
  • build group/club resilience, capacity and skill development
  • facilitate social inclusion and participation from diverse populations
  • contribute to the development and strengthening of local communities
  • support and enhance positive environmental and sustainability outcomes
  • support event and festival opportunities for celebration, expression, active participation and/or visitor, tourism and economic benefits that help build the profile of our city

Council prioritises proposals that support social inclusion and focus on diverse and priority populations.  These include children (0-11 years), young people (12-25 years), older people (60 years and over), people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, women and girls, people with a disability and carers, LGBTIQA+ and gender diverse communities, and people in low income households.

Information sheets listing priorities and proposal examples are available on the theme or content of your proposal. Refer to FAQ 3.

Further documents for reference include the Hobsons Bay 2030 Community Vision and Council’s Annual Plan.

Successful applications will focus on meeting needs that can’t be met by other levels of government, other grant programs or a group’s normal operational capacity. 

4. Grant information sessions and Grant writing workshops

As part of the program, Council offers assistance and advice on how to prepare applications. Applicants are encouraged to take up this offer.

The following sessions and workshops will be held:

Grant information sessions: Short snapshot of the Grants Program, eligibility, application, assessment (Cathy Miles, Community Grants Officer)

Grant writing workshops: Learn how to get the most out of your grant application and have a greater chance of success. This fun and hands-on workshop will focus on transforming your ‘ideas’ into fundable concepts and will walk you step by step through the grant writing process.  (Debby Maziarz, Grant Writer)

Project planning and design workshops: Are you still forming an idea or developing a project and need some extra support? Come along to this interactive workshop full of simple tools and principles to help you define a project, including its scope and desired outcomes in preparation for approaching funding bodies and partners.  (Debby Maziarz, Grant Writer and facilitator)




If you require support in attending these sessions, please contact the Community Grants Officer.

For further information or to discuss an idea or opportunity, your first point of contact can be with Council’s Community Grants Officer, who can connect you with people in the relevant content area. Email or call 1300 179 944.

Information sheets listing Council contacts, priorities and proposal examples are available on the theme or content of your proposal. Refer to FAQ 3.

Other resources to assist when writing an application:

The Funding Centre  sample answers for grant applications:

The Funding Centre – grant writing tips:

Budget example - click here to view a budget example for the application form


5. Where and when can I apply?

There will be three rounds of funding.  Applications are assessed monthly and close on 2 May 2024 or earlier if funds are exhausted.

Grant round

Application dates


February (closed)

1 February - 29 February 2024, 1pm

late April 2024

March (closed)

29 February - 28 March 2024, 1pm

late May 2024


28 March - 2 May 2024, 1pm

late June 2024


Applications are made online through SmartyGrants from 1 February 2024.

Projects and events/festivals are due to be completed by December 2025.

6. What is the minimum/maximum funding amount I can apply for?

Applicants can apply for:



Toyota equipment and/or resources

Up to $1,500

Community Projects

Up to $15,000

Events and festivals

Up to $25,000


All applicants are encouraged to discuss their applications with a Council staff member.

It is a requirement for applications above $5,000 to be in contact with a Council staff member prior to their submission.

Your first point of contact can be with Council’s Community Grants Officer, who can connect you with people in the relevant content area. Call Council’s Community Grants Officer on 1300 179 944 or email Alternatively, contact the teams directly through the details at FAQ 3.

Toyota has provided $30,000 sponsorship for an equipment and resources grant (up to $1,500 per application). Capital requests are not eligible.

Email or call 1300 179 944.

7. Who/what is eligible and not eligible?

Eligible to apply are: 

  • non-profit or not for profit incorporated clubs, groups and organisations
  • community centres, neighbourhood houses and schools
  • professional producers are eligible to apply for events and festivals, if the activity proposed provides demonstrated benefits to the City of Hobsons Bay, with significant community and cultural value and/or visitation and economic benefits
  • Artists can apply under an auspice, noting the application must be for a community project that takes place in Hobsons Bay and must demonstrate a local need, community consultation/engagement and impact
  • applicants can be based in Hobsons Bay or outside Hobsons Bay, however the application must be for resources and activities that take place in Hobsons Bay and must demonstrate local need, community consultation/engagement and impact
  • community activities require the majority of participants to come from Hobsons Bay. Event and festival applications may encourage local as well as tourist and visitor experiences
  • equipment requests where the equipment is located at a venue in Hobsons Bay and remains the asset of the incorporated not for profit group

Depending on the priorities and applications received, applicants based in Hobsons Bay may be prioritised.

Not eligible to be funded:

  • organisations that have previously received a grant from Council and have not provided a satisfactory Acquittal Report by the project due date
  • organisations that owe money to Council
  • Williamstown Town Hall venue hire already subsidised through community rates, please discuss with the events team
  • organisations that promote or derive income from gambling or the proposal promotes gambling
  • organisations or activities that receive sponsorship from gambling venues, online gambling or other gambling providers or undertake the activity in a gaming venue
  • organisations currently funded by Council to undertake the same activity
  • proposals which are deemed as core curriculum activities of educational institutions (schools and kindergartens) and are totally education focused
  • proposals for ongoing salaries, capital works, maintenance, vehicles, trophies, fundraising, school/early years fetes or celebrations, fairs, markets, donations, sponsorship, scholarships, operational and administration costs
  • proposals for sponsorship where the funds are directly redistributed to a third party or person
  • proposals that would require ongoing financial support from Council
  • proposals that have been or could be funded from other sources (e.g. fees, sponsorship, service agreements, etc.) or other levels of government
  • equipment requests over $1,500
  • equipment that is for an individual
  • equipment that is not stored, located and/or used within Hobsons Bay
  • fees for grant writers
  • other ineligible items listed in the information sheets at FAQ 3

Groups with an active grant(s) or in receipt of Council support can apply for a new project

Groups or organisations who are in receipt of funding or other support from Council and groups with active grants are able to make an application for a new project however, if Council has received other applications that have similar benefits, new applicants may have a higher chance of success.


Groups that are not incorporated must have an auspice agent that meets the above eligibility. Contact the Community Grants Officer at or call 1300 179 944 to discuss auspicing options or talk through other ways to activate your project.  

8. How will my application be assessed?

Council staff will be able to review your application against the eligibility criteria and if it is eligible will then be assessed.

Applications will be assessed against the criteria below:

Delivery and capacity – 30 per cent

Is the proposal achievable?

How well the proposal has been planned and designed and stages are clearly outlined.

How well the applicant demonstrates an ability to deliver the project (including whether they have or demonstrate how they will engage and pay for professional skills). 

Is the budget clear and realistic and have quotes been provided (where applicable)?

Value and benefit – 40 per cent

How well a need is identified through evidence and/or connections/partnerships with the local community.

How well the proposal provides benefit and value to the community.

How well the proposal identifies achievable outcomes consistent with grants program aims and sector information sheets priorities.

How well the proposal consults and engages the community.

Proposed participation numbers and marketing/engagement methods.

How well the proposal fosters and supports partnership opportunities. 

Purpose/priorities – 30 per cent

How well the proposal responds to the grants program aims.

How well the proposal responds to the sector information sheet priorities.

How well the proposal supports diverse and priority populations.

Council will endeavour to ensure the distribution of grant funds is fair and equitable. When making decisions, Council’s review panel will consider dispersion and diversity of proposals across Hobsons Bay.

Projects that meet grant requirements and have not previously been funded through the grants program will be considered more favourably than projects that have been funded in previous years.

Equipment and/or resources grant applicants will be given priority if they meet the grant requirements and have not received funds in this grant category in the past two years. All equipment and/or resources must be located at a venue within Hobsons Bay and remain the property of the group or club and must be used by/for Hobsons Bay residents.

All events, projects and initiatives need to operate within Hobsons Bay.

Applicants are encouraged to seek other sources of funding.

To seek other funding opportunities, register with the Hobsons Bay Grant Finder

Organisations located outside of Hobsons Bay will need to demonstrate a clear connection with the local community and/or clubs and groups.

9. Can I reapply if I am not successful?

Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to contact the Community Grants Officer to seek feedback.

Applicants can reapply in the next rounds.

Email or call 1300 179 944.

10. Resources and alternate funding sources

Resources to assist when writing an application:

The Funding Centre  sample answers for grant applications: Funding Centre | Answers Bank - sample answers for grant applications

The Funding Centre – grant writing tips:

Budget example: click here to view a budget example for the application form

Funding Centre Grant Help sheets  grants support help sheets:

Hobsons Bay Libraries – several publications are available that may assist with grant seeking and writing, e.g. Winning Grants Funding in Australia:

Our Community - Australia's Centre for Excellence for the nation's 600,000 not-for-profits & schools, providing advice, tools and resources:

Other Funding opportunities

Hobsons Bay Grant Finder - grant finding service for businesses, community groups and not for profits:

The Funding Centre – grants and fundraising hub (membership fee applies):

Bendigo Bank:

Hobsons Bay Community Fund:

Philanthropy How to guide - Effective Grant-Seeking:

Other Funding sources: click here for a list of other grant websites

Australian Sports Foundation: Fundraising Toolkit