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.

How it works

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.

Program Information

funding tabs

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

Funding applications