The Investing in Women Funding Program funds NSW organisations to develop and implement projects that advance the role, status and contribution of women and girls in our communities.
The 2021 successful applicants have now been announced.
- Status: Closed
- Grant amount: From $5,000 to $100,000
- Application opened: 31 March 2021
- Application closed: 30 April 2021
The aim of the Investing in Women Funding Program is to advance the role, status and contribution of women and girls in our communities.
Projects should address at least one of the three priority areas for women and girls, aligned with the NSW Women’s Strategy (2018-2022):
- Financial wellbeing and security
- grow the talent pool available for the workforce.
- encourage more diversity and flexibility for women and men in the workplace.
- result in increased innovation, productivity and prosperity.
This program is administered by Women NSW.
Who can apply
- Not-for-profit organisations, including:
- charities, trusts and cooperatives that are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
- organisations with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) or Public Benevolent Institution status
- not-for-profit companies limited by guarantee and registered in NSW (these must have ACNC registration and or DGR status)
- associations (registered under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 and with NSW Fair Trading)
- Local Aboriginal Land Councils
- religious organisations
- organisations established under an Act of Parliament.
- Local councils and shires, including regional organisations of councils and consortia of councils.
- Industry bodies and the private sector in partnership with the community or government, working on initiatives directly supporting women and girls.
Who can’t apply
- Individuals or groups of individuals
- Unincorporated organisations
- For-profit organisations
- Sub-contractors – either for program management or for project delivery on behalf of non-eligible organisations.
- NSW Government or Australian Government agencies or their entities.
Type of project funded under this grant
2021 Investing in Women Funding Program seeks to fund innovative projects that will:
- Improve women’s financial wellbeing and security and support diverse and flexible employment opportunities for women and girls.
- Promote and support a holistic approach to women’s health across the lifespan.
- Support women’s engagement through social networks, access to information and building confidence using a diverse representation of women and girls.
Only one application for funding will be accepted per organisation per project.
- Financial literacy workshops
- Employability skills seminars
- Small business and startup training
- Work experience and certification
- Mentoring programs
- Health and wellbeing workshops
Albury Womens Shed
Empowering Regional Women With Practical Skills
Albury Women’s Shed (AWS) is part of a growing Women’s Shed movement aiming to empower women with practical skills in a safe and inclusive space. Our ‘shed’ is equipped with a range of machinery, tools, and workspaces where members undertake personal and group projects, participate in workshops, share knowledge, and learn together about renovation, repair and safely using power tools.
To date AWS have relied on assistance from Men’s Shed volunteers to supervise shed activities. This has limited opportunity for members to gain confidence and make full use of the extensive range of equipment available.
This project will provide AWS members (existing and new) with focused tuition from a professional instructor. Through a series of workshops women will learn how to use a range of equipment safely and effectively in shed. This will improve the ability and confidence of women to make the most of facilities at the shed independently.
Endometriosis Australia Ltd
Endometriosis Friendly Workplace Program
In NSW over 260, 000 women and those that identify as gender diverse are affected by endometriosis, this places a significant burden on the Australian economy with direct and indirect costs contributing to the approximate $9.7 Billion cost annually [Armour et al 2019].
Endometriosis significantly impacts the workplace, including one third of patients being passed over for promotion and 1 in 6 patients losing their jobs due to this disease. 7 out of 10 have to take unpaid time off of work.
Endometriosis Australia will design an endometriosis friendly employer program to facilitate employers to be able to provide flexible opportunities for those with endometriosis.
New research is being prepared for publishing. Developing a workplace program is the next step to implement the findings of our research. This will empower workplaces so that endometriosis patients can reach their full career potential in a flexible employment environment, whilst benefiting employers.
House To Grow Ltd
Women’s Startup Lab. Accelerator program for entrepreneur minds (WSL)
The (WSL) project provides a space for women in the initial phase of their project with a holistic accompaniment to ignite their business ideas and kickstart their projects into domestic and global market opportunity. It will help women with entrepreneurs’ minds to overcome the disadvantages faced in getting access to business education, support and increasing confidence. The project aims to empower women from 18+ years old living in NSW from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities. through a business skills development program. It includes a series of Masterclasses to grow business for success from idea to launch, mentoring program, coaching and wellbeing program, under the guideline of business professionals.
The (WST) project will support the empowerment of women to overcome barriers to economic participation, entrepreneurial opportunities and to achieve financial self-agency. It will engage a network of community partners.
Lean In Inc
Settlement Pathways for Migrant Women
The project has 4 main areas if priority
1. Economic Empowerment
2. Developing leadership, self-confidence, and networking
3. Valuing Diversity
4. Improving the physical and emotional wellbeing of women.
The project aims to deliver workshops targeted to provide guidance in gaining employability skills such as interview skills, resume writing and job search. The workshops will also provide information on how to start a business and networking and building connections. Participants will be given tips on how to settle in Australia and to understand diversity and our culture
The workshops will also provide information on health initiatives and screening for Australian women as well as provide information of mental wellbeing and domestic violence
Lions Club Of Coffs Harbour Inc
The Coffs Harbour Women’s Shed (CHWS) Project
The Coffs Harbour Women’s Shed project is not just about building stuff, it’s about creating a safe, supportive, social space for women of all ages and backgrounds to share knowledge, expand networks, support each other to learn new skills, and increase employment opportunities.
This project aims to run a series of workshops for women, run by women. The following workshops have been designed to empower women and meet the needs identified through our survey; basic carpentry (286 requests), home maintenance (300 requests), car maintenance (243 requests), arts & crafts (283 requests), health & well-being (267 requests). Two online workshops will be included in the project, aimed at reducing anxiety and stress, and building confidence for job interviews.
Running these workshops at the popular Harbourside Markets will increase exposure of our new organisation and provide accessible options for women in our community to participate and develop connections.
Rosie's Place Inc
Who is Looking After Us? - Supporting grandmothers caring for grandchildren
The project will provide a safe space for grandmothers who have overnight become full time carers for their grandchildren. The support network will be created to inform participants of relevant information and to come together to talk about their experiences, exchange information and support each other.
It will be a group that recognises the overwhelming responsibility that grandmothers are now placed with and that they are not alone. It will facilitate any supports that are needed with a focus on technology and upskilling especially in regards to NDIS support, Centrelink online support, and understanding social media/internet use by young people and how that can have an impact on their wellbeing.
Mobile Salon Project
Community Hair Project has been providing free haircuts for 4 years. We currently attend Community Centres, Refuges, and parks. These are open spaces with little privacy. Our homeless female clients and women fleeing DV (or in DV relationships) never feel relaxed sitting in a hall getting a free haircut while strangers are walking through. We want to give these ladies a safe private place where they can get their haircut and feel relaxed enough to open up and share their problems with us. We can share our resources with them and link them in with agencies that can assist them. We have found with our salon experiences (we close a salon down for the day and invite DV survivors in) that ladies from different walks of life come together of shared experiences and lift each other up. This is what we want to give every woman through our Mobile Salon
Sydney School Of Entrepreneurship Limited
Empowering young regional women to participate in the workforce through entrepreneurial skills development and financial literacy.
The project will design and deliver two short courses on financial literacy and embed peer-mentoring circles to young women in New England and North-West NSW. These short courses combine the financial literacy resources of the Women NSW Financial Wellbeing Toolkit (viewed 2,200 times in 2021 so far) and the innovation expertise of the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship, building applied educational experiences that are engaging and valuable for young women. The program targets two separate cohorts: the first is school-aged females and recent school leavers between 15-19 years of age. This program is delivered online over eight weeks, with two in-person mentoring sessions to complement the participant’s learning. The second course focuses on women aged 20-25 who are looking to expand their career prospects beyond traditional, local roles. It will be delivered over four weeks with a weekly video conference and a final in-person session designed to cement their learnings.
The Pink Elephants Support Network Limited
Pink Elephants NSW Reachout Program
Every day in Australia 282 women experience the trauma of miscarriage, an event associated with post-traumatic stress and depression that extends far beyond the loss.
The Pink Elephants provides information, resources and peer support to improve the emotional health and wellbeing of those suffering the loss of a baby. Even though we are young (5 years) our digital footprint is sizeable, our online community supports over 4700 women each month – a 3-fold increase from 2020.
This project will increase the digital reach of the Pink Elephants to ensure every woman, especially those in remote and regional NSW communities, can access this critical and urgent support. It will build our capacity to better communicate and share content with health professionals to ensure they have a clear referral pathway. It will empower us to further diversify our content to better represent all women in NSW.
The University of New England
Levelling UP: Women in Tech Business
The UNE SMART Region Incubator exists to drive innovation in regional Australia and, in doing so, turns ideas into jobs.
Levelling UP, a capacity building program designed for regional women, upskills participants to start businesses that harness opportunities arising from challenges in regional NSW, and beyond, mobilising their skills in entrepreneurship and innovation. Using the proven format of a fast-paced hackathon event, the program will coach diverse women of all ages and backgrounds from across the region to take an idea through to a solution. The event will be followed by a pre-accelerator program for women to build their solutions into a commercial business. Included is a series of events open to a broader female audience looking to enhance their business skills and employability, plus networking opportunities designed to inspire more women to pursue technology, entrepreneurship and innovation to grow business.
The University of Newcastle
Money Matters for Women Leaving Violence
Money Matters for Women Leaving Violence will build financial capability for women who are leaving or have recently left violent relationships in Newcastle, NSW.
Confusion and fear about financial issues is a known barrier to women leaving violent relationships, a situation exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
A pilot study conducted in 2019 identified women leaving violence as a cohort urgently in need of financial capacity building in our region.
In response, this project will provide one-on-one financial counselling sessions to individual women, as well as two 6-week long group workshops, in order to enhance women’s financial knowledge, confidence, independence and security.
This new collaboration between financial counsellors, gender researchers, and frontline service providers in Newcastle's DFV sector will build financial capability in ways that are respectful, trauma informed, and above all safe, for women leaving violence.
University Of New South Wales
From economic abuse to economic empowerment: Identifying and supporting financially vulnerable Indigenous women in small business
Now that Job Keeper 2.0 has ended, many small businesses will be pushed even deeper into serious hardship. They will have debts – including tax debts – that they simply cannot pay.
This project provides free, one-on-one tax and business advice to financially vulnerable Indigenous women in small business. In doing so, it identifies and connects these women who are also experiencing economic abuse with support services they otherwise would not access. Clients are further invited to build financial capability through free, one-on-one financial and tax coaching with our advisors.
An international first, this project secures the economic empowerment of Indigenous women in small business. Over 800 women are in this cohort and in financial distress each year - 300 of whom are in NSW. We will identify and support these women. This proof-of-concept if rolled-out will change the level of disadvantage being experienced by our First Nations communities nation-wide.
Wagga Womens Health Centre Inc
Dietitian Program at the Centre
The Wagga Women's Health Centre has been providing specialist trauma-support services for women for over 40 years.
The Dietitian Program aims to provide a dedicated specialist clinic for service users who, due to trauma, financial insecurity, physical or mental health issues, or dearth of knowledge around nutrition, are experiencing eating disorders or disordered eating and associated health issues.
This Program will provide a more holistic approach to supporting women who have experienced trauma by also having dedicated services to support women with the manifestations of their trauma. Research has identified a link between disordered eating and experiences of trauma. By supporting women more holistically, the Centre anticipates better outcomes for women who present with co-morbidities which include eating disorders.
The service will be provided for free and service users will be able to attend as many sessions as they require with no limitations on number of services accessed.
Western Sydney Women Pty Ltd
Career Pathways and Financial Security for Western Sydney Women
This project seeks to run two free programs as follows:
- Money Smart & Job Readiness: targeted to long term unemployed and or low skilled women. A 6 monthly online program to boost confidence, upskill and connect women to diverse employment opportunities addressing workforce participation and financial security. The program will link women with upskilling and employment opportunities and ongoing resources/tools.
- Western Sydney Girls in Trades Mentoring Program: for Year 10-12 High School Girls. A 3-month program with exposure to trades careers addressing workforce participation and empowerment. The program includes hands on experience days, connection with dedicated mentors and role models, careers advice and exposure to further study options.
Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre Inc
Women Returning to Employment Network
Older women who are not in employment, lack education or training are at risk of becoming socially excluded, with low income and lacking the skills to improve their economic situation.
The WREN project will engage older women and key stakeholders within several businesses to develop and implement strategies for advancing older women into employment opportunities. Women will be consulted to identify their needs and the barriers preventing them from accessing employment. An advisory group of professionals representing key stakeholders will ensure the sustainability of activities by committing to implement strategies supporting improved access to employment opportunities for older women
Women's Housing Company Ltd
WHC Employment Engagement Program
The Women’s Housing Company (WHC) Employment Engagement Program (EEP) will act as a conduit for connecting tenants and clients to established employment programs. EEP will use various channels to promote education and employment pathways, harnessing the strength of the WHC community to support and empower women towards their goals and independence.
Yoorana Gunya Family Healing Centre Aboriginal Corporation
We Ave Action - A holistic approach to women’s health across the lifespan
Murrin Bridge is an Aboriginal community 320 km south west of Dubbo in central west New South Wales. It is in the Cobar Shire, 12 kilometres north of Lake Cargelligo, on the other side of the Lachlan River (Lachlan Shire). Murrin Bridge residents mostly access services from Lake Cargelligo. Traditional Owners: Ngiyampaa and Barkindji tribes. The total population at the 2016 ABS Census is 86. The mean age is 33years and 43% of the population are female.
This project aims to improve SEWB for Aboriginal women. We will achieve this by co-designing a workshop that incorporates traditional weaving practices supported by senior Aboriginal women, and a Trauma Informed practices Trainer. To comply with COVID restrictions we will have two groups of 10 women, two weavers and two facilitators.
Lean In Inc.
Project: Empowering Migrant Women
The Empowering Migrant Women project has three main areas of priority:
1. Economic empowerment
2. Developing leadership, networking and building self-confidence; and
3. Valuing Diversity
The project delivers a series of workshops targeted to provide guidance in gaining employability skills such as job search, interview skills and resume writing. The workshops provide information on how to start a business, as well as building connections, social networking and domestic violence. Participants also get tips on Australian culture, how to settle in Australia, how to understand diversity, and are inspired by migrants’ success stories.
Link Housing Ltd
Project: Older Women Investing In Our Lives
Link Housing in partnership with Women's Community Shelters has established 'meanwhile use housing' for women aged 55 years plus to be housed affordably for up to two years.
The project also involves 21 workshops covering financial literacy, wellbeing and resilience building to prepare women for moving into private rental housing and living independently. The program will build women's financial skills, self-confidence, problem-solving skills and self-care in addition to providing them with a set of tools and contacts so they are better equipped for their futures and no longer face the risk of homelessness or housing insecurity.
NSW Women in Dairy Inc.
Project: Farming Women: Linking, Learning, Leading
NSW Women in Dairy Inc. are collaborating with Global Learning PL, Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), Local Land Services, Dairy NSW and the NSW Department of Primary Industries to deliver online presentations and face to face programs in areas that support rural, regional and remote farming women. The project's mission is to invest, inform and link.
The project offers resources that include connections and networking, leadership learning, public speaking, building relationships in the community, team dynamics, mental health, disaster resilience, dealing with conflict, and building economic sustainability in the farming community. There are discussion panels of guest speakers including farming women, women in business and service providers.
Pointer Remote Roles
Project: Remote Work Capacity Building
Pointer is a remote work solutions company, passionate about bridging the gap between rural and metro communities and being a catalyst for recovery from COVID-19. The Remote Work Capacity Building Project is being rolled out virtually to those living in regional, rural or remote communities. It remotely supports individuals looking to re-engage in the workforce or change careers due to their physical location or job loss due to COVID-19. By re-engaging individuals in the workforce, the project will stimulate rural economies, assist in the reduction of population decline, and support regional NSW in a post-COVID-19 world.
Richmond Valley Council
Project: Try a Trade 2020
Richmond Valley Council’s Try a Trade gives work experience and certification to regional women with an aptitude for trades, but who may not have the knowledge or confidence to start a trades-based career. It supports and promotes young women and rural women taking up positions in male-dominated workplaces and trades. The Richmond Valley Council is running three 'Try a Trade’ programs including Skillset training with White Card and safety equipment for groups of approximately 10 participants. Participants choose from typically male-dominated areas to work in including civil engineering, mechanics, road crews, surveying, asset management and maintenance, environment and related roles.
Settlement Services International Inc.
Project: LEAP: Leadership, Empowerment, Aspiration, Participation Program
LEAP is a mentoring program aimed at assisting job-ready Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women into meaningful and sustainable employment. LEAP delivers two 6-month mentoring programs with a focus on individual career pathways, training and networking to empower CALD women to strengthen their economic independence and participation. LEAP includes an intensive 4-week work – confidence, networking and assertiveness component, followed by five months of mentoring engagement with their matched volunteer mentor. The program will build confidence, support female labour force participation, improve women’s financial wellbeing and support diverse and flexible employment opportunities for women and girls from CALD backgrounds.
The Exchange Dubbo Pty Ltd
Project: The CHANGE Program: Digitisation
The CHANGE is an upskilling-based program designed for regional women starting and scaling businesses. 200 attendees will work collaboratively to address the issues holding them back from commercial success, upskilling and sharing knowledge while building a support network of like-minded colleagues.
After two successful pilots, The Exchange Dubbo’s research shows that a hybrid model of both in-person and online sessions yield the best outcomes. Four 1 x hour sessions in five towns (in the Dubbo catchment area of 120,000 people) coupled with five matching online webinars, will address the barriers to starting/scaling businesses.
The Flagstaff Group
Project: Powering Up Women
The Powering Up Women program provides a holistic and practical approach for women with disabilities to develop life and employment skills. The program builds self-esteem, inner health, employment skills and life training, through practical skills and mentoring in a 12-week online and face to face program.
The self-development program helps women with disabilities through workshops and tools to build confidence and control in their life, health and wellbeing and relationships that, in turn, support employment and life skills. This aims to increase participation and inclusion in the workforce and community connectivity for women with disability.
The University of Newcastle
Project: MAMA-EMPOWER App
In consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, the University of Newcastle has co-designed a mobile app called MAMA-EMPOWER to specifically address the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal women during preconception or pregnancy. The app provides tailored support to women to tackle four risk factors impacting their health (i.e. smoking, alcohol, physical activity and low fruit/vegetable intake).
Two Good Foundation
Project: Cook & Connect - Culinary Therapy for Women
Two Good Foundation's Cook and Connect program harnesses the power of food and intergenerational connections. In a trauma-informed setting, young and mature women who are experiencing homelessness learn cooking fundamentals, become familiar with the garden-kitchen-waste cycle and hear from industry experts about what it is like to turn a passion for cooking into a career.
The program is a holistic, community-based experience that draws on the proven health outcomes of mindfulness, cooking, gardening and benevolence. Over seven weeks participants learn kitchen and garden basics, become certified in food hygiene practices, and produce a community dinner for vulnerable people.
Wentworth Community Housing
GROW directly links vulnerable women with a sustainable opportunity for employment by creating a solution to a shortage in cleaning staff within the care and health sectors. The program trains and provides paid work experience in domestic cleaning for up to thirty women. GROW includes units of competency that can be incorporated into accredited qualifications and is designed to meet Home Care service specifications.
Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre
Project: Turri-li (Rise) Women’s Empowerment
Turri-li (Rise) Women's Empowerment is building employment opportunities from a foundation of empowerment. Aboriginal women participate in a strength-focused intensive program that uses culturally informed practices to build practical employment skills, but more importantly, identifies and strengthens existing skills, and highlights the unique attributes Aboriginal women bring to the workplace.
Participating women build a network of support to focus on the opportunities, skills and abilities each woman holds. Female staff from Winanga-Li Child and Family Centre lead conversations around perceived barriers to employment, how to advocate for cultural safety in the workplace, and lead skill development exercises.
Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre
Project: ACCESS Mentor Program
ACCESS is a six-month mentoring and targeted support program developed by the Women's and Girls' Emergency Centre. ACCESS provides pathways to employment opportunities, training and education for women in Sydney impacted by homelessness and social disadvantage.
Accessible Arts NSW
Project: Game-changer: accelerate your career in the arts, creative and cultural sectors
This is a professional development program for women with disability, working in the arts, creative and cultural sectors across NSW. The aim of the program is to increase the representation of women with disability in leadership roles - ie. board, artistic direction and programming, and management - through an accelerated program of one-to-one specialised leadership coaching, peer support and introductions to senior decision-makers and influencers in the arts, creative and cultural sectors.
The program is unique in that the end result will be the making of strategic connections to potential mentors and sponsors, to accelerate the participants' professional careers and representation in leadership. It will also be an evidence-based study of a mentorship model, to change the current under-representation of women with disability in leadership.
Project: Healthy Minds
Healthy Minds will build capacity for women from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds to have increased awareness and access to resources about mental health and how to access support. It will include developing specific resources for at-risk populations and facilitating workshops to equip women with skills to use in their own communities. This project will include three phases, that will begin with working with sex workers from CALD communities one-on-one and in groups through broad outreach and from an existing client base. This engagement will inform the design of these resources and will use a strengths-based approach in its implementation.
Project: Three Wise Women Coffee Cart
Barnardos Australia’s ‘Three Wise Women’ project is a collaborative community social enterprise providing training and employment opportunities for vulnerable Aboriginal mothers and young women with children, recently released from prison. The mobile café aims to break the cycle of disadvantage and recidivism by offering skills development, a positive career path and community connection through hospitality. The project offers:
- Essential food handling/training courses
- Paid work experience in the Three Wise Women coffee cart;
- Work readiness workshops
- Financial literacy and budgeting; and
- Short term (3-month) housing leases with support to move to long term stable housing.
Project: Femeconomy Connection Program
The Femeconomy Connection program is a 10 month remotely delivered and individually tailored accelerator program for female business leaders in the Northern Rivers region.
Eighty percent of positions will be reserved for female business leaders based in Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Ballina and Grafton, with twenty percent being allocated to the Tweed and Byron regions. The program intake will ensure diversity across the following areas:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
- Women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
- Young women
- Women with disability
- Older women
- Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LBTIQ) women
Fitted for Work
Project: Transgender and Gender Diverse Work-Readiness Program
This project aims to test and grow their existing Victorian Transgender Pilot Program in NSW. It will offer a coordinated and streamlined suite of employment-related services, specifically for Transwomen and Gender Diverse job seekers, that increases work readiness and results in sustainable employment outcomes.
The program will also focus on developing and maintaining relationships with Transgender and Gender Diverse and Non-Binary (TGDNB) community-based networks, agencies and service providers to inform them about Fitted for Work’s (FFW) services.
The program will use key learnings from their current Victorian pilot and utilise existing Trans Community Liaison Officer's expertise to coordinate the program.
Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections
Project: Girls in Business
Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections has been working with women and young women for over 30 years. They have successfully run Business Incubator Programs for women and will now be running a young “Entrepreneurship project” which will allow their 12 to 18 year old young women the opportunity to express their ideas and strengthen the skills they already have. The project sets out a business structure for young girls aged 12-18 to begin in 2019. They will be taken through four stages of creating and developing a business. Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections believes young girls need an environment conducive to learning, which will channel their energy in a constructive direction.
National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
Project: Sisters and Aunties
The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence will expand their 'Sisters and Aunties' program, which will provide specialised fitness and aquatics classes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers to attend with their young children. This program recognises that this community is more motivated to engage in physical activity in a community or group setting. The program will provide a holistic approach to health and wellbeing by providing a culturally safe space to increase their physical activity and improve their water-safety literacy while making valuable social connections with other women in the community. The program will deliver individual health benefits for participants.
Northern Rivers Women and Children's Services Incorporated (NORWACS)
Project: WISE Women in Social Enterprise Pathways Project
Women in Social Enterprise (WISE) is an innovative, locally run, sustainable social enterprise for women in Lismore and the Northern Rivers.
The WISE Pathways Project will support the empowerment of disadvantaged and marginalised women to overcome barriers to economic participation, employment, entrepreneurial opportunities and to achieve financial self-agency.
This will be achieved through the creation of pathways and programs to increase confidence, and improve financial literacy and business skills in a safe and inclusive environment with ongoing support and mentoring.
The Project will also promote flexible employment, work experience and skill-sharing opportunities for women through Social Impact Lismore!, a network of employers, organisations and individuals committed to social change.
Penrith Women's Health Centre
Project: Learn to Swim Program for adult women from migrant and refugee backgrounds
This program consists of swimming lessons for adult women from migrant and refugee backgrounds and for vulnerable women who have not had an opportunity to learn to swim before. Women will attend a one-hour swimming lesson once a week for 8 weeks during the school term. The program will be offered for four school terms from July 2019 to June 2020, 32 weeks in total. The program will be coordinated by a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Community Development Worker in Penrith Women's Health Centre in partnership with multicultural services SydWest and Nepean Multicultural access.
Singleton Family Support Scheme Inc.
Project: Reclaiming My Place
Reclaiming My Place is a free eight-week arts program, facilitated by the University of Newcastle’s Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE). It is based within the community and engages women who have experienced homelessness and/or interpersonal violence, as well as their caseworkers. Through the creative process, the women learn new skills, build confidence, and connect with local education and employment providers. The aim of this project is to build on an already established program, and develop a partnership between CEEHE and Singleton Family Support to extend the program to women living in the Upper Hunter Region.
Stijgen Pty Ltd (t/a Susan Burke Interactive Lessons Design)
Project: Mental Health First Aid Training in Rural and Remote NSW
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in rural and remote NSW aims to equip women with the skills and strategies to assist people in their community who are experiencing a mental health problem. The benefits of MHFA Training include knowledge of mental illnesses, treatments and first aid actions, confidence in providing first aid, de-stigmatising attitudes and increasing support provided to others. Having access to mental health education places emphasis on community-based care and focuses on early intervention. This project aspires to address the key issue of women's psychological health by giving access to high quality, evidence-based education to women in rural and remote areas.
The Exchange Dubbo Pty Ltd
Project: The CHANGE
The CHANGE is a program designed for regional women starting and scaling businesses, east and west of the Newell Highway (in the Dubbo catchment area of 120,000 people).
Two x five-hour sessions, in five towns, will address the barriers to starting or scaling businesses, including:
- Building Business Confidence
- Design thinking
- Funding models/finance tools
- Marketing / Digital Media
- Business administration
One hundred attendees will work collaboratively to address the issues holding them back from commercial success, upskilling and sharing knowledge while building a support network of like-minded colleagues wanting change.
Streaming will extend the program reach and the five towns will become Startup Community Hubs.
Project: The Drive Program
The Drive Program assists women who have experienced domestic violence and/or financially or socially disadvantaged women in obtaining a driver's licence. Outcomes include independence to prevent them from returning to the cycle of violence, and reducing isolation for women and/or families with young children who are financially or socially disadvantaged.
The program uses a holistic approach to empower women and increase their self-esteem and opportunities for choices across their lives and those of their children in areas such as safety, housing options, employment, education, etc.
Drive supports women through gaining their Learner's permit, providing a package of driving lessons and the opportunity for a supported driving experience. The program also connects women with support services and provides social opportunities for them and their families.
University of Newcastle
Project: Newcastle Women's Financial Literacy
This "Explore and Scope" project is designed to enhance women's financial knowledge, independence and security and the knowledge and responsiveness of care providers to financial issues. Collaborative consultation with community stakeholders will support the development of tailored financial literacy workshops for workers and client groups including women from Indigenous; Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD); LGBTIQ+; disability, aged and youth cohorts as well as women leaving domestic violence and engaged with the child protection system. The project aims to deliver immediate economic benefits to women and girls as well as flow-on effects through improved social, health, and quality of life outcomes and more responsive support services.
Wheelchair Sports NSW
Project: HER Sports Festivals
The HER Sports Festivals from Wheelchair Sports NSW are four innovative and inspiring para-sports events designed specifically to increase the participation of girls and women living with disabilities.
Built on the success of a pilot in Wheelchair Basketball, the HER Sports Festivals will expand to include a Multi-Sport, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Table Tennis event.
The HER Sports Festivals use principles from the NSW Office of Sport 'Her Sport Her Way' Strategy to design sports festivals specifically for girls and women. Critically, these Festivals have full participation pathways to follow afterwards, ensuring the creation of lasting impact.
Wheelchair Sports NSW has an upcoming event in February 2020, more information here:
Willoughby City Council
Project: Microbusiness Skills Development Program for Willoughby CALD Women
This project aims to empower Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women living in the Willoughby Local Government Area (LGA) through a micro-business skills development program and support them to start their own micro-business. The Microbusiness Skills Development Program, which includes a Microbusiness course and a Mentoring Program, will be developed and delivered in partnership with local community organisations. By participating in the project, the women will have increased confidence, knowledge and skills required for starting a micro-business in Australia; gain business networking skills, and be connected with other like-minded women in their community.
2Connect Youth & Community Inc
Project: Leadership Team for Young Women’s Hub
Young women (students at risk of leaving school early or being unemployed) from culturally & linguistically diverse backgrounds (including new arrivals & refugee youth), & Aboriginal women (aged 17-20) will be mentored by culturally diverse female business people to become leaders, improve their access to self-employment, other employment opportunities and in turn lead change for their peers.
Project: Empowering Young LGBTIQ Women
ACON will hold “Empowering Young LGBTIQ Women” workshops for young (18-25 yrs old) women who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex or queer (LGBTIQ). The workshops partnering with key community stakeholders aim to equip young women with leadership, communication and health promotion skills. Participation will build towards a final event designed and delivered by the young women.
Project: MYI Project
The Manage Your Income (MYI) project will provide help to Aboriginal women in Forbes, Parkes, Condobolin and Peak Hill to gain strong financial literacy skills. Improving Aboriginal women’s capacity to take control of their families’ financial situation and spending habits will lead to a higher sense of empowerment and increased confidence to make independent financial decisions.
Core Community Services
Project: Empowering young refugee and migrant women for leadership
The project aims at empowering young women from refugee and migrant backgrounds to realise their leadership potential through training in a range of leadership topics, mentoring, guidance and partnerships with local schools, TAFE NSW, community organisations and local business.
Girls Rock! Sydney
Project: Girls Rock! Sydney
Girls Rock! Sydney (GR!S) seeks to inspire, educate, empower and build the capacity for female, transgender and gender-nonconforming young people (aged 10 to 17) to participate in the Australian music industry by amplifying their voices through music, education and performance. Girls will learn how to play an instrument, take part in workshops, join a band and perform to a live audience.
Project: Evidence-based program to empower women entrepreneurs
Global Sisters offers women who have barriers to employment a genuine pathway to self-employment. This project will provide a holistic entrepreneurship program in conjunction with community partners to benefit women who are refugees and recent migrants, the majority of whom are CALD. In the last two years, this program has seen nearly 30% of women start businesses.
Michael Crouch Innovation Centre
Project: Driving growth in small business through technology-enabled production
Women in small businesses will be supported to develop their designs using Digital Fabrication tools and techniques. Over 2 sessions participants will be introduced to 3D modelling, clay modelling and scanning, laser cutting, 3D printing, CNC Milling. Qualified designers and technicians will guide participants through the fabrication process to create a physical product.
A series of videos will be produced to demonstrate the range of products that can be designed with digital fabrication tools and the progress of the participants in these workshops in digital production.
Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra Inc
Accelerate-HER’ will focus on leadership development and empowerment of young women from multicultural backgrounds in the Illawarra, challenging the cultural stereotypes many face. It will build greater self-awareness of individual inherent strengths and equip young women to navigate employment and community pathways. The program will provide mentoring support using existing women’s networks and role models for ongoing learning and personal growth.
Regional Development Australia – Hunter
Project: Women in STEM Boot Camp for Hunter Region Girls
“Women in STEM” Boot Camps will provide participants from regional schools opportunities to hear from successful women in STEM professions. They will see women in leadership roles in businesses and research and see various ways in which STEM careers contribute to society. Small group projects in mechatronics and coding will be used as vehicles for problem-based and team-based learning.
Tablelands Farming Systems
Project: Females Who Farm – Leadership Program
This program will ensure female farmers have the skills and confidence required to take on leadership roles within farming enterprises, being actively involved as key decision-makers in the paddock and when working with stakeholders. Business courses to improve negotiating skills and compliance training on workplace health and safety will be run for women, in their local area - removing geographic and gender barriers that can prevent women from accessing training.
The Opportunity Collective Inc.
Project: Career Women’s Mentoring Program - Newcastle
This career women’s mentoring program will build leadership capacity, career planning and confidence in regional women. The program partners women with local people in senior leadership, to support them to overcome challenges and set and achieve career goals.
This program has the potential to increase workforce diversity, build economic stability and improve equality in the Newcastle Region.
University of Technology Sydney
Project: STEM x Play – Multi-touchpoint primary school STEM outreach
Girls’ perceptions about gender stereotypes start forming before they turn 5 but existing STEM primary school programs do not consider the key influencers of parents and teachers.
STEM x Play is a multi-touchpoint pilot program for girls, parents and teachers that will co-design interactive school and take-home play activities to build girls’ confidence and interest in exploring with STEM. Take-home activities mean parents can encourage STEM skills and pathways for their daughters through non-gendered play.
Wentworth Shire Council
Project: Work Readiness for Wentworth Women
This program focuses on supporting regionally-based women within the Wentworth Shire Council Area to identify their skills and talents, build their confidence to be work-ready, find work or develop skills further through training.
This program aims to increase economic opportunity and advancement of women in Wentworth an area where the council has identified a deteriorating economic base, overall horticultural industry decline, a lack of job diversity and job opportunities.
Women in Film and Television NSW
Project: “Making it possible” Pilot Program
The Making it Possible (MIP) pilot program addresses the professional development needs of women in the screen industry returning to work after a career break or managing work alongside caring responsibilities. MIP is a one-day course with follow up mentorship, providing targeted career advice, education and access to child care. MIP aims to improve the economic participation of these women by addressing the barriers connected to caring responsibilities and gender inequality.
Marist Youth Care Limited
Project: Enterprising Young Women
Marist180 will deliver two, five-day entrepreneurship workshops titled Enterprising Young Women for young women of cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The 20 participants will be offered workspace and access to business facilities to incubate their new business, and will receive post-workshop mentoring for up to 3 months. The workshops will build ideation, skill development, and capacity building; teaching young women from CALD communities important business skills such as value propositions, pricing and planning.
Young Change Agents
Project: Inspiring the next generation ‘so-tech’ entrepreneurs
The Inspiring the next generation ‘so-tech’ entrepreneurs project delivers an inspirational and educational Start Up Challenge (bootcamp) for young women. The bootcamp brings together 80-100 young women from various NSW public schools to give them a real-life experience of starting their own so-tech (social + technology) start-up in an intense format where they will experience the entrepreneurship journey. The project focuses on young women between the ages of 14-18, from NSW-based high schools, and seeks to increase awareness of STEM and entrepreneurship in their future subject and career choices.
Richmond Valley Council
Project: Try a Trade Week and Women’s Leadership Training
The Try a Trade Week and Women’s Leadership Training project is a two-part program to support and promote local young women taking up positions in male-dominated trades, and strengthening and developing women's leadership qualities. The Council will run a 'Try a Trade Week' program including payment of a White Card and safety equipment for up to 10 young women to then try a trade of their choice at the Council, in civil construction, water operations, engineering, or horticulture. The Council will also offer female staff members the opportunity to participate in Local Government Professionals Women's Leadership Training courses locally. Both these activities promote women's skills and leadership in Council.
Civil Contractors Federation (NSW)
Project: Women in Civil
The Women in Civil project is a NSW-wide program to encourage and support women joining and remaining in the civil construction industry, with a particular focus on regional NSW. The project seeds the first year of an ongoing program the CCF will commit to. The program includes three elements: establishing a formal mentor/mentee program for 20 mentoring sets across NSW; establishing four Virtual Communities of women across regional NSW; and profiling women in CCF NSW Publications. The project will be supported by a Women in Civil Committee, consisting of industry collaborating parties including CCF NSW, Government agencies, training bodies including TAFE, and employers.
Inverell Shire Council
Project: The W Project
The W Project delivers leadership skills and economic empowerment to women in small businesses, women in leadership roles and young women. The project engages a minimum of 200 women, including Aboriginal women and 100 per cent of participants will be rural/regional women. The project delivers five skills development workshops, connecting rural women with an array of industry-leading trainers and leaders. The project is co-designed with Inverell Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and women in business, and will respond to barriers that impede the development of women's leadership in regional NSW.
Wollondilly Women in Business
Project: Wollondilly Working Women
The Wollondilly Working Women project provides opportunities for women in the Wollondilly Shire to unite, mentor, share experiences and knowledge with a view to helping others returning or starting back into the workforce. The project provides mentoring from local businesswomen to offer 'on the job' training in customer service, stock control, payroll, marketing, retail, office administration skills and even farm skills. Local training programs will incorporate resume building, job search and application strategies, interview skills and social media job search techniques.
City of Ryde
Project: Women’s Empowerment Boot Camps
The Women's Empowerment Boot Camps Project provides four Boot Camps over a 12 month period for a diverse range of women in the Ryde LGA and surrounding areas. The project facilitates interactive learning, skill development and networking for women, with a range of project partners selected for their expertise, skills, networks and ability to develop pathways to empowerment for women participating in the project. Each Boot Camp specifically addresses one of four Investing in Women program objectives: Women's financial security and independence, Women in small business, Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, and Women in leadership roles.
The Opportunity Collective Incorporated
Project: Career Women's Mentoring Program - Central Coast
The Career Women's Mentoring Program - Central Coast aims to build leadership capacity, career planning and confidence in regional women. Through this, the project aims to increase workforce diversity, build economic stability and improve equality in the Central Coast Region. The five-month program partners women in pre to middle management, with local women and men in senior leadership. Mentees will learn from Mentors and set career goals to be achieved over the duration of the program. The project delivers four workshops targeted specifically at the challenges that women face, and the areas that hold them back from achieving their career goals.
Master Builders Association of New South Wales
Project: The Economic Empowerment & Leadership of NSW Women In Male-Dominated Trades
The Economic Empowerment & Leadership of NSW Women In Male-Dominated Trades project supports women seeking career opportunities in the building and construction industry. The project delivers tailored leadership and empowerment workshops that will enable new entrants tradeswomen and current tradeswomen to obtain the essential skills and key competencies that will empower them to establish and/or grow their trade business. The project provides access to mentoring, networking and potential career opportunities for women interested in jump-starting their careers and being part of the building and construction industry.
Burwood Community Welfare Service Inc
Project: The Step Stone Project
The Step Stone project is an essential skill development program designed to empower women. The program provides accessible high-quality training in Computer Literacy and Communication Skills to women who face barriers (lack of funds, family commitments, or just being unaware of available opportunities) to gain employability skills. The project aims to improve employment opportunities by supporting individuals to identify avenues of improvement and to gain practical work skills and work experience. The project builds community spirit and fosters inclusion.
What you can't apply for
- Projects located outside of NSW
- Business capital or start-up funding
- Wages and salaries
- Operating costs or recurrent expenses
- Insurance, leases, bills (mobile phone, electricity), consumables (office supplies, fuel, supplies of food, spare parts) and disposables
- Fundraising events designed specifically for the purpose of fundraising for charities or for the organisation
- Activities that require participants to pay more than a nominal amount to attend
- General equipment
- Capital works
- Non-essential costs
- Retrospective costs
- Overseas travel costs
- Events/projects that are run for solely commercial purposes or benefit
- Internal staff/ organisational development
- Activities and programs that are business as usual, for example:
- organisational costs for the delivery of ongoing services
- increased capacity or staffing
- capital investments
- training for ongoing service delivery.
What your application needs to include
Prepare your application with this checklist
Make sure you have the following items at hand before you start your application:
- proof of legal status as a not-for-profit organisation or a Section 355 committee under the Local Government Act 1993
- relevant insurance documentation, including a valid Certificate of Currency for Public Liability Insurance with a minimum cover of $5 million in the name of the applicant
- evidence of income from other sources, including cash and in-kind
- COVID-19 business continuity plan.
Meet the eligibility criteria
You need to show that:
- you meet the applicant's legal status requirements.
you are registered and approved by NSW Fair Trading, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) if you are a not-for-profit organisation.
you have a current and up to date record if you are listed on the ACNC Register.
you have submitted your application under the relevant local council name if you are applying on behalf of a Section 355 committee.
- you have appropriate and current insurance in relation to the proposed project
- your project benefits women and/or girls in NSW.
- you have no outstanding acquittals due to the Department of Communities and Justice
- you are not seeking funding for activities already completed, or due to be completed before the funding period commences.
- you do not already receive NSW Government funding for the project
- you are not seeking funding for any of the restricted items under What you can't apply for.
- ten per cent of the project's income is from other sources (cash or in-kind).
- you have a business continuity plan in place that will allow you to keep the project running to June 2022, should operations be affected by COVID-19 (e.g. health restrictions, requirements to work from home or staff absences).
Meet the assessment criteria
Your project must meet the eligibility criteria.
Relevant and evidence-based
Your project must
- clearly outline how the proposed project will deliver benefits in one of the three priority areas:
- Improve women’s financial wellbeing and security and support diverse and flexible employment opportunities for women and girls.
- Promote and support a holistic approach to women’s health across their lifespan.
- Support women’s engagement through social networks, access to information and building confidence using a diverse representation of women and girls.
- have a clear and well-defined problem statement, that identifies the specific need for women and/or girls that will be resolved through the project
- provide a relevant, feasible and evidence-based proposal for how the project will meet a defined community need.
- directly target and benefit a defined priority group.
Projects will be assessed to be in one of three categories depending on their stage of development, as follows:
- Explore and scope: Projects that are at an early stage where organisations are looking to explore and develop. Funding amount: Up to $25,000.
- Test and grow: Projects that have been scoped and investigated and are ready to be tested or projects that have been tested and are showing positive outcomes and seek testing/piloting on a larger scale. Funding amount: Up to $50,000.
- Replication and sustainability: Projects that have been tested and show strong outcomes, have demonstrated ongoing viability and are looking to be taken to the next level of impact and self-sustainability. Funding amount: Up to $100,000.
Projects that support high-quality activity, engagement and participation with the following groups have been prioritised for funding:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
- Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) women
- older women
- young women
- women with disabilities
- women living and/or working in regional NSW
- women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
Benefits to women and/or girls
Your project must
- outline the practical ways that women and/or girls will benefit from the project.
- outline how the project will create sustainable change and ongoing benefits for the project target group, and women and/or girls more broadly.
- outline identifiable outcomes and how they will be measured and evaluated.
- have an evaluation strategy with clear metrics for measuring success in achieving identified program outcomes.
- NSW Women's Strategy 2018-2022 (PDF 2.58MB)
- NSW Premier’s Priorities
- Towards 2025: Boosting Australian Women’s Workforce Participation
Project partnerships and collaboration
Your project must:
- propose meaningful partnerships to support the project, and clearly outline partner contributions.
- demonstrate effective collaboration and partnerships with local community organisations, groups, services, and businesses.
Clear project plan and outcomes
You must provide a clear project plan for delivering the project.
The project must demonstrate:
- specific timeframes/milestones for each activity/task
- clearly defined outcomes.
- demonstrate that your organisation has the appropriate skills and expertise to deliver the project, including prior experience delivering similar project activities and outcomes.
- demonstrate that your project has the capacity to provide ongoing value beyond the funding provided under the Investing in Women program e.g. the development of resources or modules for ongoing or repeat delivery.
Value for money
- Projects will be required to reach at least one beneficiary or participant per $500 of project funding to be eligible.
- Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000 out of the overall available fund of $400,000. This means that the minimum number of beneficiaries or participants would range from 10 to 200. For example, a minimum of 50 people can be reached by a $25,000 grant.
- Your project must represent value for money in terms of both overall costs and the value of the outcomes and benefits that will be delivered.
- Your project proposal must outline how many women and girls will benefit from the project. Your application will receive a higher score for this criterion if your project delivers a benefit to a greater number of women compared to a project with similar delivery costs that provides a similar level of benefit, but to only several women.
- It is unlikely that applications seeking funding for projects that benefit one recipient will be successful due to the value for money requirement.
Start the application
Start your application in our SmartyGrants portal.
After the application is submitted
You will receive an automated email via the SmartyGrants portal when Women NSW receives your application. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified of the assessment outcomes.
Assessment and project announcement dates
|Wednesday 31 March 2021||Grant applications open|
|Friday 30 April 2021||Grant applications close|
|To be confirmed (TBC)||Contracting with successful applicants|
|TBC||Notification of outcome to all applicants|
|TBC||Public announcement of grant recipients|
|TBC||Verbal feedback to all applicants|
|TBC||Project implementation period commences|
Support and contact
If you have any questions about these grants, please contact Women NSW: