Media releases

$7 million for climate action, culture and First Nations programs

Published 12 December 2023

The City of Sydney has awarded almost $7 million in grants and grants subsidies to 94 recipients in its area.

More than $6 million in cash and in-kind support has been approved for projects ranging from environmental and climate action initiatives to cultural programs, major events, local festivals, and First Nations programs.

Two grant rental subsidies worth almost $1 million have been approved through the City of Sydney’s resilient communities committee and accommodation grant program for the next 3 financial years.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO, said the grants were instrumental in helping to revitalise business and ensure sustained growth of the local economy.

“These grants will help look after our most vulnerable, create exciting cultural experiences and increase the reach of community organisations in our area,” the Lord Mayor said.

“By supporting local groups, we will strengthen Sydney’s cultural landscape, boost economic vitality and enhance the quality of life for our residents.”

The funding includes:

Affordable and diverse housing fund

Council has approved a $3 million cash grant to Wesley Community Services to support the redevelopment of the RJ Williams building in Glebe into an affordable housing complex.

Initially approved in 2020 as a 74-room boarding house, Wesley Community Services modified its development plans last year and following extensive consultation, submitted an updated application.

The approved design features 56 rooms in 39 dwellings and can cater for up to 92 residents at a time.

Cultural grants

Arts and community organisations of all shapes and sizes will be supported to put on events and programs that serve our communities.

More than $2 million in cash and in-kind support will be shared among 45 recipients for projects including Oxtravaganza, a 2-week celebration during Sydney Mardi Gras, an electronic dance and music festival, five events celebrating NAIDOC Week and the 10-day Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival.

Accommodation grants

Two rental subsidies have been approved to the value of almost $1 million over the next 3 years.

Beehive Industries, a not-for-profit social enterprise, supports more than 200 seniors, people with disability and long term unemployed. To assist Beehive Industries address challenges it faces in the current climate, the City has approved a 100% rental subsidy of its Darlinghurst premises from 1 December 2023 to 30 June 2026.

A 7-month accommodation grant has been approved for Scarred Trees Ministries to use meetings rooms in Glebe Town Hall. The Aboriginal, Torres Strait and Australian South Sea Islander ministry offers community and justice support, counselling, youth programs and special projects.

Innovation and ideas grant program

Twenty innovation and ideas grants have been approved to the value of $577,000. Projects include a training program to upskill Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing facilitators and a pilot program to provide free electronic devices to people experiencing digital exclusion.

The Refugee Council of Australia has been awarded $40,000 each year for the next three years for a research and advocacy project to address the root causes of homelessness for people seeking asylum in the local area.

Adama Kamara, Deputy CEO, Refugee Council of Australia said: “This grant from the City of Sydney has come at a critical time, with increasing costs of living and an increasing number of people seeking refugee protection living below the poverty line.

“The funds will support our research and advocacy to call for a basic financial safety net for people who are unable to work and need help to survive whilst waiting for a decision on their protection claims.”

Environmental grants

Through its Green Building Grant Program, Council approved 23 grants worth more than $241,000.

Projects include apartment building feasibility assessments for EV charging and decarbonisation, Green Star Performance certifications for 2 Sydney hotels to improve environmental performance and NABERS assessments and action plans for multiple apartment buildings to assess their performance and identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collaboration fund

Three Indigenous grant recipients will share more than $100,000 in funding, including Redfern All Blacks Rugby League Football Club.

The corporation has established a health and well-being program that provides cultural support and guidance to young Aboriginal players.

Treena Cutmore, Chairperson for Redfern All Blacks RLFC, said the Club was excited about the positive transformation and legacy that will result from the City’s support.

“We’re very grateful for the incredible support the City has given – this will enable us to host our Health and Wellbeing Program to enrich the lives of our players and contribute significantly to the overall growth and development of our club,” Treena said.

“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collaboration Fund has been instrumental in helping us move forward, facilitating positive changes within our community.

“We sincerely appreciate the City’s belief in our vision and the impact it can have on the lives of our players.”

The City of Sydney’s summer round grants program opens on Tuesday 6 February 2024.

For more information, go to

For media inquiries, contact Elaine Kelly. Phone 0477 362 550 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay Phone 0436 816 604 or email