The National Cultural Heritage Account is a grant program that assists Australian cultural organisations to acquire significant cultural heritage objects that they could not otherwise afford.

Who can apply

Australian cultural organisations can apply for funding. This includes public galleries, libraries, archives and museums as well as historic buildings, local cultural organisations 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.

    About the program

    The National Cultural Heritage Account helps to retain and protect Australia's cultural heritage for future generations and provide public access to important objects that tell a story about our cultural identity.

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

    Given the special significance of Class A objects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage to Indigenous communities, grants in respect of those objects may be made to groups which do not have a permanent public collection.

    Funding is approved on a case-by-case basis and usually covers only a proportion of the fair market value of the object. One or more valuations by valuers registered under the Cultural Gifts Program may assist in demonstrating fair market value.

    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

    To apply for funding through the National Cultural Heritage Account, you should submit an application using the Department's SmartyGrants online portal. The SmartyGrants application form is designed to assist applicants to demonstrate how their proposal meets the funding program eligibility requirements and objectives.

    Before applying, you should read the National Cultural Heritage Account guidelines. The guidelines include information about the purpose of the program, eligibility for funding assistance, the funding process and responsibilities of funding recipients. The guidelines can be accessed at the Australian Government's GrantConnect website.

    Care of your object

    Successful applicants 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 wishes to de-accessions an object.


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


    Phone: 1800 819 461

    National Cultural Heritage Account fact sheet

    Program logos

    The NCHA logos are used to acknowledge Australian Government support for activities funded under the NCHA.

    We have funded state and national institutions, as well as regional and not-for-profit organisations.

    Past recipients of funding have included:





    1. Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, 'Untitled (Euro Dreaming Ceremony)', 1972
    2. Uta Uta Tjangala, 'Tjitiji Kutjarra at Yawarrankunya (Two Boys Dreaming)', 1972
    3. Johnny Warangula Tjupurrula, 'Women'''''s ceremony in a cave', 1971
    4. Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, 'Bushfire Corroboree', 1973
    5. Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, ''Tingari' Cycle Dreaming Journey', 1972
    6. Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, 'Untitled (Goanna Story)', 1971
    7. Charlie Tarawa (Wartuma) Tjungurrayi, 'The Importance of Fire', 1973



    • Thylacine pelt in complete condition, National Museum of Australia, December 2018
    • Silver Streak hydroplane, South Australian Maritime Museum, September 2018
    • The Campbell Epergne, Orange Regional Museum, June 2018
    • A collection of 23 paintings by artist Jarinyanu David Downs, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, June 2018
    • 19th century Aboriginal shield, Queensland Art Gallery, June 2018



    • The Bulahdelah and Districts Historical Society's Alunite-veined Rhyolite Specimen, Geological Society of Australia National Rock Garden, June 2015
    • The Marlborough Chrysoprase Specimen, Geological Society of Australia National Rock Garden, June 2015
    • 'Otto' type stationary engine, Tangyes Limited, serial no 93, c1892, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, June 2015
    • Collection of nine drawings by Hilda Rix Nicholas, Australian War Memorial, June 2015
    • Gold paperweight by Hammerton & Sons, Geelong (1922) presented to Dame Nellie Melba, Museum Victoria, April 2015
    • Marshall Colonial Traction Engine number 52110, Southern Tablelands Vintage Farm Machinery Club, June 2015


    • Bechstein Concert Grand Piano, 1878, the Powerhouse Museum, February 2014
    • John Fowler, Three Speed, Road Locomotive 16161, 1923, the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery, June 2014
    • Horace Moore-Jones, Landing at ANZAC, Painting, 1915, the Australian War Memorial, June 2014
    • The Fairfax Media Glass Plate Negative Collection (1908–1930s), the National Library of Australia, June 2014


    • Virgin Rainbow Opal, the South Australian Museum, January 2013
    • Innes Motor Car, 1904, the Australian Motorlife Museum, June 2013


    • Wedgewood Swan Vase, c. 1878, the Powerhouse Museum, February 2012
    • Two opalised crinoid fossils, South Australian Museum, February 2012
    • The Fairfax media Glass-Plate Negative Collection (1900–1935), the National Library of Australia, June 2012
    • Water Dreaming at Kalipinya, the National Gallery of Australia, September 2012
    • The Mary Anne Friend Journal, c. 1829, the State Library of Western Australia, September 2012
    • The Marshall T6275 Engine, c. 1914, the New England Antiques Machinery Club, September 2012
    • The Malcolm Moore Engine, c. 1956, Alexandra Timber Tramways, May 2012


    • A Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) Beaufort Bomber Mark V–A9–13, Australian Aviation Restoration Group, June 2011
    • The Rennie Ellis Photographic Collection (1960s to 1980), State Library of Victoria, January 2011
    • A sundial by Raphael Clint, c. 1837, Port Macquarie Historical Society, October 2011
    • The Loch Ard Watch, c. 1812, Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum, October 2011


    • Two Nineteenth-Century Indigenous Shields, National Gallery of Victoria, January 2010
    • Durack Family Papers collection, State Library of Western Australia, January 2010


    • The Adelaide Hunt Club Cup 1870, Art Gallery of South Australia, April 2009
    • The Bruno Benini Photography Archive (1950–2001), Powerhouse Museum, April 2009
    • Three Omai Relics from the Tobias Furneaux Collection, Australian National Maritime Museum, November 2009
    • An 1885 blackwood table with inlaid mosaic, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, December 2009


    • A 1930s handwritten tonic book used by Harry Telford, trainer and part owner of Phar Lap, Museum Victoria, May 2008
    • The Charlotte Medal, Australian National Maritime Museum, July 2008


    • A nineteenth-century Aboriginal wokali bark shield, South Australian Museum, April 2007
    • Two drawings, A Fight and Another Fight, by Tommy McRae, c. 1890, Museum Victoria, May 2007
    • A double bass by John Devereux, c. 1856, Powerhouse Museum, May 2007
    • The Australian Jockey Club Sydney Gold Cup, 1950, Powerhouse Museum, May 2007
    • A roll top desk, c. 1900, Norfolk Island Museum, June 2007
    • A Fowler Steam Traction Engine, 1884, Nathalia and District Historical Society, June 2007
    • Seven sketchbooks by Arthur Streeton, Official War Artist, World War One, Australian War Memorial, June 2007
    • A Genairco biplane aircraft, 1930, Powerhouse Museum, June 2007
    • The photographic archive of Mark Strizic, 1957–1977, State Library of Victoria, August 2007
    • Eleven diaries of the Bussell Family, c. 1832–1840, State Library of Western Australia, August 2007
    • A daguerreotype Aboriginal Man, Woman and Child, 1847 by Douglas Thomas Kilburn, Museum Victoria, September 2007
    • An 1896 Fowler 0–6–0T Tank Steam Locomotive, Isis & District Historical Society, October 2007


    • The Pascoe Ichthyosaur fossil, South Australian Museum, January 2006
    • A Broadwood Upright Cabinet Piano, c. 1830, National Trust of Australia (Tasmania), February 2006
    • Two Gulmari Shields, Queensland Museum, February 2006
    • A Ronisch Concert Grand Piano, c. 1880, School of Music, Australian National University, April 2006
    • View of Geelong by Eugene Von Guerard, 1856, Geelong Art Gallery, June 2006
    • A Hobson's Bay Pier Steam Hoisting Engine, c. 1854, Museum Victoria, June 2006


    • A Clayton & Shuttleworth Steam Traction Engine 1911, Millthorpe & District Historical Society, December 2005


    • The original Deed of Settlement of the South Australia Company, State Library of South Australia, February 2004
    • The racing saddle worn on Phar Lap by the jockey, Billy Elliot, Museum Victoria, March 2004
    • The Holden 'No.1 Prototype', National Museum of Australia, August 2004


    • Master Blackburn's Starter and Cosh, a cat of nine tails whip made between 1788 and 1892, South Australian Museum, January 2003
    • A Cliff and Bunting Steam Traction Engine c. 1902, Museum Victoria, May 2003
    • A Marshall 'Colonial' C Class Oil Tractor c. 1911, Queensland Sugar Museum, February 2003


    • An Aboriginal painting 'Water Dreaming' 1972 by Old Walter Tjampitjinpa, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, February 2001
    • A 1923 Alfa Romeo Tourer motor vehicle, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston, May 2001
    • The Frodsham Regulator No.1062, Museum Victoria for the Melbourne Observatory in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, June 2001The left shoulder plate of the armour worn by Ned Kelly at the siege of Glenrowan in 1880, State Library of Victoria, October 2001