Stronger Together Safe Places for Faith Communities Program 2023-24

The NSW Government has committed $15 million to support the safety and security of places of worship and other places where faith communities gather regularly.

The Safe Places for Faith Communities Program provides grant funding for places of worship and other eligible places where faith communities gather regularly.

The program aims to enable faith communities to:

  • Come together safely to profess, practice and maintain their faith and religious heritage
  • Reduce the risk of harm to people or damage to property
  • Build community resilience, wellbeing and cohesion.

The grant amount available for application is $5,000 to a maximum of $250,000, exclusive of GST.

Grant funding is provided as a one-off payment. The funding is non-recurrent. The project must be completed, and funds expended, by 30 June 2025.

The total grant program funding is $15 million. $5 million is available for application in this funding round of the program. The next round of grant program will open in the 2024-25 financial year.

This round of application is closed. Please subscribe to Multicultural Link newsletter for future grant announcements.

Safe Places for Faith Communities Program Grant range from $5,000 to a maximum of $250,000.

Funding is open for application for projects delivered before 30 June 2025.

Applications have closed.

Read our Grant Guidelines here.

Subscribe to Multicultural Link to be notified of future funding rounds.

  • Who can apply for funding?

    To be eligible for grant funding under the Safe Places for Faith Communities Program, applicants must:

    • Be a non-profit sharing organisation
      • The organisation must show that it manages and has the legal and institutional authority to implement funded security measures at the place of worship or eligible place for which the grant funding is to be used
    • Show the need for the grant
      • For grant funding requests of up to $50,000 (‘Pathway A’) where an evidence-based security risk assessment is NOT required
      • For grant funding requests of $50,000 or more (‘Pathway B’), an evidence-based security risk assessment IS required as supporting documentation to the grant application
    • Show how the project will achieve one or more of the intended grant program outcomes
    • Outline how the program outcomes will be measured and reported
    • Be located within New South Wales
    • Outline how the proposal is cost-effective and viable with an accurate and balanced budget
    • Confirm other funding sources that are contributing to the total event budget
    • Confirm past and current funding sources for the past three years
    • Show co-contributions towards the project
    • Have acquitted all prior grants that are due for acquittal
    • Have all appropriate insurances and licences
      • Including, but not limited to, Public Liability Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance and Volunteers Insurance
    • Submit an application using the Multicultural NSW SmartyGrants portal before the closing date
      • This information is in the grant guidelines and application form
    • Show they have the capacity to start the project within 12 weeks of executing the grant agreement
    • Deliver the project within the delivery timeframe for the grant. This information is in the grant guidelines and application form
    • Acknowledge Multicultural NSW and NSW Government funding in any notice, publication or report relating to the funding measures or activities.

    Eligible Places

    An eligible place is a place where faith communities gather regularly to profess, practice or maintain their faith or religious heritage. It can include, but is not limited to a:

    • Place of worship
    • Seminary, theological college, religious museum, or other specialist religious educational institution
    • Religious community centre
    • Religious retreat, sanctuary or camp facility
    • Place of religious significance, such as a shrine, faith-based cemetery or memorial
  • Four categories of Resilience measures are eligible for funding under this program:

    Resilience measures 1 and 2: Prevention (Protection) and Preparedness (Planning and Capability)
    • All-hazards capital safety and security infrastructure.
      • This includes items like security equipment and installation for items such as but not limited to closed circuit television systems (CCTV), secure fencing and/or railings or gates, manually operated pedestrian and vehicle gates, door hardening, locks, and mailbox/mail bag, reinforcing glazed windows (anti-shatter film, bars/grilles), intruder alarms including integrated smoke/heat detection, door entry access control (fob or keypad), video intercom systems, lighting (building mounted), bollards, intercoms and swipe access, anti-graffiti sealant, motion detectors.
    • Maintenance costs for one year from the installation date for new security equipment purchased with the grant.
    • Minor construction related to the project (contractor fees, labour, equipment rental, installation fees) and minor renovation related to the project (e.g. renovations to the main entrance or lobby area of a building to enhance the security).
    • Training in the proper use of new security equipment by staff and volunteers.
    • Expert security risk assessments.
    • Development of risk mitigation plans, processes, protocols and guidelines.
    Resilience measures 3 and 4: Response (Incident Management) and Recovery (Wellbeing and Resilience)
    • 24/7 safety and wellbeing support services for religious leaders, chaplains, staff and volunteers who support places of worship and other eligible places.
    • Incident management training and emergency drills or planning for religious leaders, staff, volunteers, chaplains, and community members who attend eligible places.
    • Cyber-safety measures and training addressing the risk of online hate and threats for managers of digital and social media channels and religious service livestreams.
    • Training in first aid, psychological first aid and trauma-informed pastoral care for religious leaders, chaplains, staff and volunteers who support places of worship and other eligible places

    Please refer to the Grant Guidelines for more details about the Resilience measures.

    What items cannot be funded?

    The following costs are excluded from receiving grant funding:

    • Capital infrastructure projects that have already commenced
    • Activities, equipment or supplies that are already being funded through other grants
    • Activities that are dependent on recurrent funding
    • Applications that seek support funding the core business of the organisation. This includes supplementing, increasing or continuing ongoing service delivery
      • This includes, but is not limited to, insurances, independent auditing costs, financing costs including interest and debt financing, costs for rent and utilities, routine operational expenses and ongoing operating and maintenance costs (beyond one year for new equipment funded under the grant), costs related to preparing the grant application and preparing any project variation requests, costs related to obtaining resources used on the project, including interest on loans, job advertising and recruiting, and contract negotiation, capital costs for the purchase of assets such as office furniture, computers, printers, photocopiers, as well as land, construction of buildings, and vehicles, salaries and wages for full time personnel
    • Capital infrastructure or equipment that does not comply with industry/ISO standard.
    • Planning permission
    • General building improvements
    • Living accommodation
    • Security personnel/guards
    • Chapels and prayer rooms
    • Weaponry, armoury or defence equipment and/or hardware.
  • Application meets eligibility criteria and is not an excluded activity

    Applications from ineligible organisations or for excluded activities are not eligible for consideration.

    Application form is complete and submitted on time

    Incomplete applications will not be progressed for assessment.

    Applications that are not submitted online through the Multicultural NSW SmartyGrants portal before the closing will not be progressed for assessment.

    Applicants need to register with SmartyGrants to apply. If the organisation has used SmartyGrants to apply for a grant with Multicultural NSW before, they will already be registered.

    Attachments are uploaded through the online application form.

    Application is appropriate to the Program

    Successful applications will clearly and convincingly show, with supporting evidence as appropriate:

    • For grant funding requests of $50,000 or more only (‘Pathway B’), submit evidence showing the need for the proposed grant-funded safety measures based on:
      • Current risks assessments
      • Health and safety audits
      • Security capability assessments
      • Incident reports
      • Community sentiment or demand
      • And/or other evidence demonstrating the need for the grant.
    • For both Pathways, how the proposed grant funded safety measures meet a need that is not met through existing measures or through other available funding sources.

    Application demonstrates capacity to successfully deliver the grant funded measures

    Successful applications will clearly demonstrate the organisation’s capacity to deliver the proposed grant funded measures within the grant period and within budget.

    Applications should clearly identify resources that will be committed to ensure the proposed grant funded measures are implemented successfully.

    A work plan and risk mitigation strategy must be included with all applications.

    Application presents good value for money

    Successful applications will clearly demonstrate value for money with a well-considered, proportionate, clearly itemised budget.

    Multiple applications

    Eligible organisations can submit more than one application for different measures. If successful, organisations will only receive one grant within the same funding round.


  • Assessment of applications

    Applications which comply with the requirements of these grant guidelines will be assessed against the assessment criteria, in comparison to all other applications and in comparison to similar applications in terms of locality, community, and types of measures or approach.

    Grants will be awarded to a diverse range of faith communities, for a diverse range of activities and approaches across the Program’s resilience measures, and in diverse localities across New South Wales. Please refer to the Grant Guidelines for more details about the Resilience measures.

    No independent risk assessment

    When assessing Pathway B applications for grant funding requests of $50,000 or more, the assessment panel will rely solely upon the evidence-based risk assessment submitted by the applicant. The assessment panel will not make an independent assessment or determination of the level of risk or the validity of the risk assessment or the proposed solution submitted by the applicant.

    Grants will be awarded on the basis of the strength of the application, not the level of risk the applicant is proposing to mitigate by its proposed solution.

    Available funding pool

    Application for funding does not guarantee funding. Multicultural NSW always receives more funding requests than the amount of funding available. Successful applications will be of a high standard. The limited funding pool and competitive assessment process also means that sometimes even strong applications will be unsuccessful.

  • Terms and Conditions will apply to the grant funding agreement. Successful organisations are required to:

    • Review and understand the funding agreement Terms and Conditions
    • Acknowledge that an agreement based on those Terms and Conditions will apply to the grant.

    If a grant is awarded, they will agree to comply with these Terms and Conditions in acquitting the grant.

    Acquittal for this grant requires independent audit of the grant financial statements and information. Grant funding cannot be used for the independent audit costs.

  • Successful grants recipients under the Safe Places for Faith Communities will have the opportunity to join the Safe Places for Faith Communities Community of Practice.

    By joining our Community of Practice, grant recipients will have opportunities to engage with NSW Government agencies, including the NSW Police Force, and to learn from each other about good practice in safety and security at places of worship and other places where faith communities gather regularly. The Community of Practice includes workshops and information sessions designed to enhance knowledge sharing and foster closer collaboration between government, police and communities.

    The Community of Practice encourages interfaith collaboration and acts is a community resilience network of likeminded partners who are committed to community safety and wellbeing across cultural and religious communities.


Page last updated: 15 February 2024 | 2:45 pm