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The Victorian Women’s Trust was established in 1985 in recognition of the role of women in shaping Victoria. We conduct research, advocate for women, and every year we give out grants to projects that help women and girls thrive. Over the past 34 years, we have seen community projects take shape, grow and change lives — all through the power of targeted grant-making.

The Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust has ten Sub-Funds open for grants in 2019. The Sub-Funds provide small grants to eligible organisations for innovative programs for Victorian women and girls that directly address the purposes of each Sub-Fund. We ask applicants to carefully consider and address these purposes when applying for a grant.

Applicant organisations are asked to only apply to one Sub-Fund, so they should choose the most appropriate Sub-Fund for their project.

Applicants are encouraged to read our grant ethos before submitting an application.

Grants Ethos

Applications must be lodged no later than midnight Monday 12 August 2019




Seeks applications from:

  • Women from African countries living in Victoria, including those who are refugees or asylum seekers, enabling them to avail themselves of educational, employment and other economic opportunities in Australia.


Jan Webster and Sue Peterson Sub-Fund

Supports project that works with:

  • women exiting prison;
  • educational and leadership opportunities for Aboriginal women;
  • and pathways for women out of homelessness.


Christine Friday & Kathleen Pooley SUB-FUND

Seeks applications from:

  • Aboriginal community organisations for projects addressing the education, health needs and housing of Aboriginal women and girls in Victoria.


Con Irwin Sub-Fund

Supports innovative social justice projects that offer circuit breaking solutions to long- term problems of:

  • discrimination;
  • violence against women and children;
  • inequality of educational opportunity.


Essie Burbridge Sub-Fund

Supports projects that:

  • provide leadership and achievement in cross-cultural understanding, and strategies for combating racism;
  • promote values critical to a vibrant and non-racist society;
  • build bridges between European, Middle-Eastern and Asian cultures;
  • advance tolerance, compassion and understanding in the community.


Fay Marles Equal Opportunity Sub-Fund

Supports projects that provide:

  • leadership training to increase young women’s working knowledge of equalopportunity legislation, structures and processes;
  • research that strengthens knowledge of loopholes and gaps in equal opportunity legislation, with a view to system improvement and policy change;
  • education and engagement on equal opportunity issues in workplaces, organisations and in the broader community.


Fleur Spitzer Sub-Fund

Supports projects that:

  • increase the literacy, educational opportunity and empowerment of women and girls;
  • identify and address barriers that deny older women safety, security and dignity.


Jean McCaughey Social Justice Sub-Fund

Supports research projects that relate to women in the areas of:

  • homelessness;
  • poverty and family well-being;
  • strengthening local communities.


Joan Hudson Sub-Fund

Supports innovative social justice projects that provide:

  • positive and effective community supports for mothers and their children;
  • new and/or improved opportunities for respite care for mothers of children with high-need disabilities; or
  • practical support for young women from less advantaged backgrounds to access educational and academic opportunities.


Loula Rodopoulos Sub-Fund

Makes grants to:

  • assist women recovering from mental illness or other difficult circumstances; or
  • support and enable programs which encourage young and established female writers.


Prue Myer Sub-Fund

Supports projects for immigrants and refugees and disadvantaged girls and young women that:

  • provide them with positive mentoring opportunities;
  • improve their academic and educational outcomes;
  • encourage their engagement and participation in political life.


Read More about the Sub-Funds

Grant Amount

Grants can range from $3,000 to $15,000 depending on the Sub-Fund.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss proposals with VWBT prior to submission.

Application Timelines

Monday 8 July 2019 – Applications Open

Monday 12 August 2019 – Applications Close

Decisions about successful applications are made by Trustees in November 2019.

Eligibility and Exclusions

  • The Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust cannot fund individuals.
  • Grant applicants must be endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office for Item 1, Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and either Tax Concession Charity (TCC) or can prove that they would be charitable but for their connection with government (usually established by a letter from the ATO). Applicants must provide a copy of these endorsements, or letter from the ATO, at the time of application.
  • Eligibility is strictly limited to groups which operate for charitable purposes and either provide relief of poverty, sickness, suffering, distress, misfortune, destitution or helplessness amongst Victorian women or operate for purposes beneficial to Victorian women.
  • Projects must address the needs of women and girls living in Victoria.
  • VWBT is open to funding the project of an eligible organisation in partnership with another organisation.
  • VWBT does not provide matching or shortfall funding for government funded projects, infrastructure or operational costs.

If Successful – Reporting and Expectations

Effective reporting benefits all parties. It helps us to better inform our donors and future grant-making decisions, and it helps the grant recipient by clarifying the links between objectives and outcomes. The wider community gains through exposure to the knowledge and experience from the project.

Successful grant recipients are expected to:

  • provide a final report on project outcomes and as appropriate, progress reports
  • complete a financial acquittal
  • co-operate with VWBT for our promotional materials and publications such as photos for our annual report and newsletters
  • accommodate site visits when requested
  • acknowledge VWBT in any promotional material or media resulting from the grant
  • work with VWBT, where appropriate, in exploring possible policy implications of the project

How to Apply

Complete the Small Grants application form here:

Apply for a Grant

Applications must address all questions in the application form.

Applications must be lodged no later than midnight Monday 12 August 2019.

other information

For queries or to discuss your potential application, please call 03 9642 0422 email Also refer to our FAQs. See our full list of previous grants via our Annual Reports.