The National Cultural Heritage Account helps Australian public cultural organisations buy significant objects that they could not otherwise afford.

How it works

Who can apply
Australian cultural institutions can apply for funding. This includes museums, art galleries, libraries, archives, historic buildings, national trusts and local history museums and galleries, and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander keeping places for sacred/secret material.
When to apply
You can apply at any time. We approve funding on a case-by-case basis.
Funding available
A total of $500,000 is available each year.

Program Information

funding tabs

About The Program

The National Cultural Heritage Account keeps Australian protected objects in Australia so they can be preserved and made available to the public.

Cultural organisations that can care for and provide permanent public access to Australian protected objects have a priority for funding.

Individuals can also apply if they intend to gift the object to an eligible cultural institution with a permanent public collection. In these cases, the grant and the gifting of the object must be simultaneous.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups can apply for funding even if they do not have a permanent public collection. This is because of the special significance of Class A objects of heritage to Indigenous communities.

The following Australian protected objects are priorities for funding:

  • Class A objects in Australia and overseas
  • Class B objects that have been denied an export permit
  • Class B objects that have been granted an export permit on condition that they be available at fair market value for purchase by an eligible cultural organisation
  • Class B objects that are overseas.

Find out more: The National Cultural Heritage Control List.

How to apply

You must apply in writing to us.

Funding is approved on a case-by-case basis and usually covers a proportion of the fair market value of the object. Fair market value is determined by recent auction prices or the actual price paid.

The National Cultural Heritage Committee considers applications and provides recommendations to the Minister for the Arts.

You might be asked to provide at least two independent valuations from valuers approved under the Commonwealth's Cultural Gifts Program.

Find out more: A list of approved Cultural Gift Program valuers.

How to care for your object

After you receive funding you must agree to permanently care for and provide public access to that object.

The National Cultural Heritage Committee must be informed if a cultural organisation loses, can no longer care for or keep safe, or de-accessions an object.


Cultural Property Section
Office for the Arts
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
GPO Box 2154
Canberra ACT 2601

Phone: 1800 819 461

National Cultural Heritage Account fact-sheet

The National Cultural Heritage Account is a grant program that assists Australian cultural organisations to acquire significant cultural heritage objects.

Funding applications