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 2023 with monthly assessment times in place until 2 May 2023 or earlier if funds are exhausted.

 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 – 28 February 2023

 Round 2 - closed
 28 February - 28 March 2023

 Round 3 - closed
 28 March - 2 May 2023

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


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

Applications supported by Make it Happen grants can take place until December 2024.

More than $500,000 is available for application, including a contribution from Toyota Australia of $30,000.

Applicants should read the guidelines and relevant information sheets at Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 3 prior to applying, refer below. The guidelines provide valuable information that will assist organisations in understanding Council’s grants program. Click here to download guidelines.(PDF, 288KB)

Applications are made online through SmartyGrants, click here from 1 February 2023.

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

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

Ideas - here are some existing grants Making it Happen

Click here for a list of funded 2023 Make it Happen applications(PDF, 195KB)

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

Click here for a list of funded 2020/21 Make it Happen applications(PDF, 182KB)

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

Sea Flowers and Sea Stories is an art installation:

The project was initiated by Donna Jackson of Hubcap Productions. This version of Sea Flowers has been built from the original mold by Tony Mead of Industrial Art Signs and installed and anchored by Greg Blunt of Blunt Boat Builders. The installation is accompanied by an original sound track by composer James Henry featuring the voices and stories of local residents collected and recorded by Jennifer Lund.

View fourteen Sea Flowers floating in the water with the Melbourne city skyline in the background, from the water’s edge on The Strand, Williamstown, between Stevedore Street and the Ferguson Street Pier from 12 to 20 February, 2022.

Sea flowers and sea stories.png



Flock Oz at Newport Gardens Primary School

A colourful flock of migratory birds landed in the schoolyard at Newport Gardens Primary School! This collaborative artwork about local migratory birds is part of a larger ‘Increasing Biodiversity’ project at the school which aims to educate students and the wider school community about the importance of biodiversity (the diversity of life on planet Earth), build native habitat in the school grounds and raise awareness of local species and ecosystems unique to Hobsons Bay.

The school’s flock of almost 600 wooden migratory birds were constructed by volunteers from Hobsons Bay Men’s Shed, painted by students and installed by school community. The installation has attracted many visitors and started important discussions about what students and their families can do to help conserve the coastal habitat that these migratory birds call home.

Amongst the volunteers assisting with the installation were artist and founder of ‘The Overwintering Project’, Kate Gorringe-Smith; artist, author and storyteller, Jackie Kerin; and Dr Marilyn Olliff, chair of the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre.

Click here to find more information on Flock Oz.

Flock Oz image 2      Flock Oz image 1

Photos credit : Olivia Atanasovska


Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre

The Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre project will include the following 4 activities:

  • four participatory workshops in the wetlands area for the general public, engaging people with nature through such topics as migratory birds, native vegetation, scientific research and the benefits of contact with nature for mental health and wellbeing. These will encourage the protection and preservation of the wetlands.
  • consultations with at least 8 local groups to engage them in discussions on the future use of the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre.
  • strengthening the partnership with the Truganina Explosives Reserve Preservation Society (TERPS)
  • recruitment of new Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre volunteers.

Click here to find more information about the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre and upcoming workshops and events.   

Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre



Friends of Greenwich Bay - Understanding Rakali - Australia's "otter" - with Geoff Williams 

The Friends of Greenwich Bay conducted an online event to find out more about our Hobsons Bay's amazing Rakali.

The platypus is widely recognised as a uniquely Australian animal. By comparison, relatively few people know that the Australian water-rat (also known as Rakali) is a genuine native rodent that was a natural part of our environment long before its pest cousins - the black rat and brown rat - arrived with the early colonists. The water-rat is an extremely attractive mammal. Its thick coat of soft fur, splendid whiskers, blunt muzzle, partly webbed hind feet, and furry tail, all help create a resemblance to a miniature otter. 

Guest Speaker was the Director of the Australian Platypus Conservancy, Geoff Williams, who has been studying platypus and rakali since 1994. Before helping to establish the Conservancy, Geoff was Director of Healesville Sanctuary and Assistant Director of Taronga Zoo.

To find out more about the Friends of Greenwich Bay, visit Friends of Greenwich Bay – Hobson's Bay, Victoria, Australia  

Friends of Greenwich Bay.jpg

Image provided by Carolyn Hall for not for profit use



Drummond Street Services and Hullabaloo received a grant to host a series of face to face Moveit4Kids workshops at playgroups throughout Hobsons Bay. COVID-19 restrictions resulted in the program going online with sessions delivered through zoom. Each session is filmed in a professional studio and beamed to living rooms across Hobsons Bay where children and adults dance, sing, laugh and play along to scores of original music. Participation is free and open to all families with children in the workshop age range. Numbers are capped to provide a more personal experience.

For upcoming workshop dates, keep an eye on the Hobsons Bay Libraries Facebook page under events 

Hullaballoo Music Auslan Turtle THIS ONE (005).JPG 

Image provided by Hullabaloo


Dance for Parkinson’s Victoria – Dance for health

New, fun dance class in the west!

This friendly and inclusive class welcomes all older adults, their families and carers to join us in a seated to standing weekly dance class based on the respected Dance for Parkinson’s Disease method.

An enjoyable way to exercise, build strength, keep the mind agile and make new friends this class is suitable for all abilities with no dance experience or partner necessary!

Offered online via Zoom, now is the time to get your groove on and have some fun! If you’ve never used Zoom before we can help you get set up on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Time: Wednesdays 10am to 11am (during Victorian school terms)

Location: currently online via Zoom

For more information, call Shannon Parsons 0417 071 364

Register here

Dance for Parkinsons

Image provided by Joe Mastroianni of the Star Weekly Newspaper 


Seeing Our Home

Hobsons Bay Arts Society, with the support of Hobsons Bay Council, local historical and environmental groups, is excited to present a series of informative talks, local tours and sketching sessions geared to engage and inspire participants with the diverse history and ecology of a range of sites in the Hobsons Bay environment.

Nine sessions are planned to take place on the third Saturday of the month between September 2021 and May 2022 and participation is free.

To find out more, visit Seeing Our Home - Hobsons Bay Arts Society (

HBAS Seeing Our Home

Artwork by Kirsten Craggs


Together Apart: Life in Lockdown exhibition

Funding was provided to create an exhibition of photographs and stories from Together Apart: Life in Lockdown, a book featuring Hobsons Bay residents' lives during COVID-19.

Obtain a rare insight into our resilient community through the Together Apart: Life in Lockdown exhibitions. The exhibitions showcase portraits and stories from Together Apart: Life in Lockdown, a book of stories and portraits of Hobsons Bay locals’ lives during the 2020 pandemic. 

What started as a conversation over the back fence to break the solitude of lockdown has grown into a friendship and a partnership between portrait photographer Jude van Daalen and her next-door neighbour, journalist Belinda Jackson. 

Discover more about this beautiful project and exhibition dates at

Together Apart: Life in Lockdown exhibition

Pictured: photographer Jude van Daalen and journalist Belinda Jackson (and their back fence) 


A Blanck Canvas - Puppet Mayhem event

An official launch event was held on 15 May 2021, presenting a dazzling array of puppet performances, experiences and workshops at Seaworks, Williamstown, including a Youth Puppet Lab. For more information visit Project - A Blanck Canvas

A Blanck Canvas Puppet Mayhem

Image supplied by A Blanck Canvas and photography by Little Moments Melbourne


Vietnamese Association in Hobsons Bay - MentalWell Project

Funding was received to run a series of community wellbeing collective workshops to build positive psychology strategies and increase people's social connectedness and economic inclusion.

One of the sessions involved a drumming workshop, click here to view a 2 minute facebook video of the group in action.

For more information about the Vietnamese Association in Hobsons Bay visit Vietnamese Association in Hobsons Bay Inc - Home | Facebook


Hobsons Bay Community Walking Groups

The Hobsons Walking Community group is a local community of men and women who walk together, socialise together (post walk coffee and chat) and enjoy together the natural beauty and birdlife that is to be found throughout Hobsons Bay. The Group walks for 60 minutes on Wednesdays from Altona Meadows and on Fridays from Newport Lakes enjoying the physical and psychological benefits of walking together in clean, fresh air, rain, hail or shine, at the members own pace and according to their individual abilities. A new group has recently commenced in Altona.

Funds were received to support an annual Christmas gathering of the walking group to support and reconnect the group after COVID. Over 80 people gathered at the Laverton Bowls club to enjoy barefoot bowls and share a lunch.

For more information on the walking groups visit Altona Meadows and Newport Heart Foundation Walking Groups - Hobsons Bay

community walking groups  community walking groups celebration



The Pier Festival - Pier Festival for Queer Women

The Pier Festival was held in April 2021 in support of Midsumma festival at Seaworks, Williamstown. It created a unique experience allowing Queer Woman artists and entertainers to showcase their talents and offering for the diverse crowd. For more information, visit The Pier Festival.

The Pier Festival



Altona City Rotary Club – Wynspeak

The inaugural Hobsons Bay Wynspeak Heat was held at the Altona Theatre in May 2021, expanding this Youth Speaking Competition to all Hobsons Bay Secondary Schools.

Quote from local School Principal who attended, “It was a great night…what amazing young people we have! They were so inspiring, confident, and a joy to watch.” For more information about Wynspeak visit Home Page | Wynspeak

Hobsons Bay Wynspeak Heat- 2021 Competitors Group




Read our Frequently Asked Questions 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 reconnection
  • build group/club recovery/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 welcomes proposals that support social inclusion and focus on diverse and priority populations.  These include children and young people (0-25 years) older people (55 years and over), people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, people living with a disability, women and girls, LGBTIQA+ and gender diverse communities and vulnerable populations.

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 2023 or earlier if funds are exhausted.

Grant round

Application dates



1 February to 28 February 2023 - closed

late April 2023


28 February to 28 March 2023 - closed

late May 2023


28 March to 2 May 2023 - closed

late June 2023


Applications are made online through SmartyGrants from 1 February 2023.

Projects and events/festivals are due to be completed by December 2024.

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 $25,000

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, organisations, community centres, neighbourhood houses, schools and other facilities
  • 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
  • Williamstown Town Hall venue hire already subsidised through community rates, please discuss with the events team
  • organisations that derive income from gambling or promote gambling
  • 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, donations, sponsorship, 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

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.

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 helpsheets

Australian Sports Foundation – Fundraising Toolkit

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

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: