Activation Grants

Events, public programming, activations and local businesses have an important role in shaping the unique experiences and character of places, attracting people to activity centres and creating a vibrant destination for all.

Our Activation Grants program reflects the City of Stonnington's vision to be a vibrant, creative city that enhances its thriving and unique places and delivers positive economic, community and sustainability impacts for our communities.

Application dates for 2024-25 Activation Grants coming soon.

Full information on the Grants program, including terms and conditions, can be found in the Activation Grants guidelines(PDF, 479KB).

Find inspiration and discover the projects from 2023/24 grant recipients.

Grant objectives

Objectives

The Activation Grant program supports local businesses, organisations and individuals to deliver innovative, creative and interactive activations and experiences and test new ideas in our outdoor public spaces within our activity centres.

The grant supports projects that meet the following objectives and priorities outlined in the Council Plan and its connecting Place-Led Economic Development (PLED) Strategy.

The following key objectives have been identified as priorities:

  • increase visitation to our outdoor public places
  • increase economic activity in our municipality
  • improve place perceptions and experience
  • grow the local economy.

For more information, view the Business Support and Activation Policy(PDF, 1MB).

City of Stonnington activity centres

The City of Stonnington is located in Melbourne's inner southeast, alongside the Yarra River. It includes the suburbs of:

  • Armadale
  • Kooyong
  • Malvern
  • Malvern East
  • Prahran
  • Toorak
  • parts of Glen Iris
  • South Yarra
  • Windsor.

The municipality has a range of activity centres, from clusters of local shops to renowned high streets and Australia's largest shopping centre, Chadstone. Activity centres play a significant role in the liveability and character of Stonnington by providing places for socialising, working, shopping and living.

Each of Stonnington's activity centres has its own economic, community and environmental role depending on its size and position and can be categorised in the hierarchy as outlined below.

  • Stonnington's larger activity centres: predominately located in the western half of the municipality, have a broader economic role, attracting visitors from within and beyond Stonnington.
  • Stonnington's smaller neighbourhood activity centres: predominately located in the eastern half of the municipality, serving a local population and providing day-to-day services for residents and workers.
  • Chadstone Shopping Centre: a major hard-top activity centre and a key driver of Stonnington's visitor economy.
Map showing the activity centres in Stonnington

Examples of activation concepts

Examples of activation concepts that can be considered as part of this program include but are not limited to:

  • precinct-specific public exhibitions or performances
  • temporary public art installations
  • creative lighting installations and projections
  • temporary public urban garden initiatives
  • interactive sustainable initiatives
  • community health and wellbeing activities
  • outdoor intergenerational activities and games
  • experimental projects in the public realm that lead visitors through a precinct, such as augmented reality trails.

Grant applications

How to apply

Register online

Register online at SmartyGrants and preview a copy of the application form and requirements.

You must register before you can apply.

Attend an information session

Attend an information session to gain additional information and insights into lodging an application.

Dates for 2025 announced soon.

Gather information

Plan, research and gather the information required for the application.

Submit an application

Complete all questions, upload supporting documents and submit the application online before the closing date and time.

No further editing or supporting materials will be accepted once the application has been submitted. So, allow ample time and crosscheck before submitting.

Submit one application per activation only.

No additional City of Stonnington grants can be applied for or used in conjunction with the Grant for the same project.

Applications for the 2025 Grant opening soon.

Receive confirmation

On submission, you will receive an electronic reply acknowledging receipt from SmartyGrants.

Eligibility

To be eligible for an Activation Grant of up to $25,000, applicants must:

  • be a registered business or an incorporated association or not-for-profit (NFP), and have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • individuals or community groups that are not incorporated must formally enter an auspice arrangement with a not-for-profit incorporated organisation that has an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • provide proof of current Public Liability Insurance of no less than $20,000,000
  • have no pending acquittals or debts to the City of Stonnington
  • be over the age of 18 years
  • propose a project within one of the 27 activity centres within the City of Stonnington boundaries
  • submit a concept overview and relevant documentation that addresses the assessment criteria outlined in these guidelines
  • make a co-contribution to the delivery of the activation - in-kind, financial or a mix of both.

Additionally, please note the following.

  • The City of Stonnington will only accept one activation concept per application annually.
  • Applicants must hold or seek the relevant permits required for the activity. Permits that may be required for the activation are not guaranteed, despite awarding of grant.
  • Applicants are encouraged to work with delivery partners, local community groups or local creative organisations to ensure successful delivery. This will be viewed favourably in any application.

Who is not eligible to apply?

The Activation Grants will not be awarded to:

  • applications that do not meet the eligibility or assessment criteria
  • political organisations or businesses that have a political purpose
  • government departments or agencies, foundations or grant making bodies
  • businesses with a primary focus on fundraising
  • an employee or elected member of the City of Stonnington or their immediate family. This does not include an application from an organisation that an employee, elected member or their immediate family member may be part of
  • an applicant who has outstanding debts to the City of Stonnington
  • an applicant who is in legal conflict with the City of Stonnington
  • an applicant who has failed to provide satisfactory acquittal reporting for any previous City of Stonnington funding
  • an applicant who has already received City of Stonnington funding (including in-kind) for the same project within the same financial year
  • an applicant who has already applied for City of Stonnington funding (including in-kind) for the same project within the same financial year and been refused
  • an applicant who conducts themselves in a way that the City of Stonnington considers to be injurious or prejudicial to the character or interests of the municipality.

Required documentation

  • Activation Concept Plan
  • Sketches, designs and site plans
  • Project budget, including verified quotes with assumptions if necessary
  • Project delivery plan and timelines
  • Certificate of incorporation or registration of business name
  • Public Liability Insurance for up to $20 million coverage; including personal volunteer accident insurance and professional indemnity insurance if required
  • Skills and qualifications of key personnel who will be working on the project
  • Project budget, and evidence of other funds required to deliver the activation
  • Marketing plan and examples of creative to support the application
  • A written assessment of how the proposed activation will benefit the relevant activity centre and achieve the program’s objectives (no more than 300 words)
  • Provide evidence of the proposed co-contribution to the delivery of the activation - either in-kind, financial or a mix of both
  • Be ready to apply for the relevant permits to conduct the activity. No guarantee can be given that these will be granted.
  • Letters of support from relevant community members, local traders or organisations, if available

If successful, on completion of the activation, you will also need to provide an acquittal report of receiving funding.

If your project is a festival, event or activation on City of Stonnington-owned land such as in a park, garden or open space, you will need an event permit.

Important dates

Date Details
1 September 2023 Applications open
1 October 2023 Applications close at 5 pm
Throughout October 2023 Assessment period
30 October 2023 City of Stonnington endorsement
November 2023 Applicant notified
 June 2024  Activations delivered

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed by a panel of City of Stonnington officers and external experts, against the following criteria:

Key criteria Weighting

Activation merit

Demonstrate how the project will activate the precinct as well as its strategic alignment to the Council Plan and other relevant strategies.

15%

Visitation

Demonstrate how the project will attract visitation to the chosen precinct and how this will be measured.

15%

Economic impact and benefit

Demonstrate how the project will stimulate the local economy and benefit local businesses and how this will be measured.

15%

Community collaboration and benefit

Demonstrate how the project will collaborate with the local community, celebrate the diversity of the local community and its inclusive and accessible approach.

15%

Project management experience and capability

Demonstrate the capacity and experience of personnel to manage and deliver the project on time and on budget.

20%

Financial viability of project

Demonstrate that the project plan and budget are realistic and offer value for money.

20%

Applications will be kept confidential and not be disclosed to any person outside the application and assessment process.

Applications will be assessed on their eligibility and ability to deliver on the program objectives.

Eligible applicants are not guaranteed funding. Only the strongest applications will receive funding through a competitive assessment process.

Ineligible applications will be withdrawn from the assessment process.

All funding decisions are final.

All applicants will be notified of the result of their application.

Support

Application and concept help

Applicants are encouraged to contact a City of Stonnington officer to discuss any proposed ideas, specific needs or additional support that may be required to complete and submit an application.

Where required, our team will be there to assist with the development of the activation concept, providing experience, expertise, and recommendations to help create a placemaking-focused activation concept.

To request help, email placemaking@stonnington.vic.gov.au

Working with the community

We encourage collaboration with other businesses, business groups or community groups. Engaging with these groups has a broader benefit for our activity centres, businesses and community in the City of Stonnington.

Start conversations with these groups as early as possible. The conversations can sometimes be slow-moving due to resourcing and schedules. Please allow plenty of time to engage with external groups.

Letters of support from these groups can strengthen your application.

Marketing support

City of Stonnington can provide you with help to promote your project via e-newsletters, Facebook and What's On Stonnington. However, as a grant recipient, it is your responsibility to market your own project.

Applicants are encouraged to email What's On Stonnington directly at whats_on@stonnington.vic.gov.au.

Your email should include:

  • project name
  • description
  • dates
  • times
  • ticket information
  • any other information relevant to your project.

We will do our best to support and promote projects when we can, but this can vary depending on what else may be happening within the City of Stonnington.

It is a requirement that the City of Stonnington logo be displayed on your marketing collateral. The City of Stonnington must sign off on your use of the logo. All marketing collateral must also be approved by an Activation Grant Officer before publication.

We request that collateral for promotion is submitted in a timely manner as approvals can take time.

Auspicing

What is Auspicing ?

Often, auspice organisations will enter into agreements to assist individual artists and local community groups so that valuable community projects get off the ground. Auspicing can be viewed as a larger organisation assisting an individual or community group to apply for a grant and then managing or overseeing elements if successful.

Your application will require an auspice if you are an individual or community group that is not incorporated. To apply for the grant, you will need to enter into an auspice arrangement with a not-for-profit incorporated organisation that has an Australian Business Number (ABN).

What is an incorporated organisation?

An incorporated organisation, or incorporated association, is incorporated in a state or territory under that jurisdiction's laws. Incorporation establishes it as a not-for-profit legal entity separate from its individual members.

You can recognise an incorporated association by the word 'Incorporated' or the abbreviation 'Inc.' after its name.

Often, arts, cultural, recreational, and diverse community groups are established as an incorporated organisation. An incorporated organisation must meet the requirements and regulations of the state or territory in which it is incorporated.

More information about incorporated organisations can be found on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

What does the auspice organisation do?

The auspice organisation is responsible for ensuring that the grant funds are utilised as outlined in the formal 'Sponsorship Agreement'. This includes:

  • receiving, banking, managing and administering the grant funds
  • ensuring that the applicant uses the funding on time
  • making sure the money is accounted for (acquitted)
  • signing the acquittal form.

An auspice organisation may also provide additional support and/or request additional involvement, such as:

  • providing insurance for the project
  • acting as a mentor for the successful applicant
  • monitoring project progress
  • administering a fee for auspice services, negotiated between you and the organisation.

What auspice arrangements are required for a grant application?

As part of the grant application, you are required to provide the auspice organisation's contact information, financial documents, and evidence that they are an appropriate legal entity, such as their Certificate of Incorporation and an Auspice Agreement Form.

It is important to spend time with the auspice organisation so that they understand your proposed project and you both agree with the auspice arrangement. Once a written Auspice Agreement Form has been obtained and signed, you must provide a copy as part of the application.

What if an Auspice Agreement is not received in time?

Preferably, we would like applicants to have finalised their auspice agreements before submitting their applications.

However, if, for some reason, the final agreement has not been received before submission, a one-week extension to submit your agreement can be granted.

After this time, pre-eligibility checks of applications will commence.

If you require this extension, please include all correspondence with your auspice organisation in your grant application and advise that the agreement will be provided within the week.

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit this agreement via email to placemaking@stonnington.vic.gov.au

Successful grant recipients 2023/24

Five successful applicants from diverse backgrounds benefited from a pool of $150,000 to deliver a wide range of unique community and public activations as part of the 2023/24 Activation Grants.

Glenferrie Road Malvern Business Association

Project: Malvern's season of celebration
Activation: End of year festivities
Location: Malvern
Date: 1 to 24 December 2023
Funding amount: full funding

The Glenferrie Road Malvern Business Association (GRMBA) is a committed group of Malvern business operators working on behalf of the community to ensure the continued success of the precinct.

Glenferrie Road Malvern is one of Melbourne's oldest strip shopping precincts with an abundance of choice with more than 400 shops, restaurants, cafes and services available on Glenferrie Road and adjacent streets.

Elves on Glenferrie

Wings of Wonder

Project: Wings of Wonder
Activation: Art installation with live painting
Location: Prahran Square and Rockley Gardens
Date: 6 February to 1 May 2024
Funding amount: full funding

Josh Deane Gower is an emerging Indigenous contemporary artist from Naarm/Melbourne, Victoria. With a profound connection to his personal experiences, ancestors, and cultural heritage, Josh's contemporary art inspires and preserves the land.

Drawing inspiration from Australia's biodiversity, his artwork captures the beauty and significance of native flora and fauna. Through meticulous craftsmanship, he creates pieces that deeply resonate with viewers. Using various mediums, including photography, film, audio, hand-painted artworks, sculpture, and clothing, Josh brings his artistic vision to life.

Beyond his art, he actively engages with the Indigenous community, collaborating with renowned brands, creating murals, and showcasing his work at events.

Wings of Wonder cube

BioRhythm

Project: BioRhythm
Activation: Live sound and light plant sculpture
Location: Grattan Gardens
Date: 17 April - 
Funding amount: full funding

BioRhythm is a collaborative and immersive place-making project presented by Buko Studio and Public Street.

Buko Studio is an experimental design studio run by Chris Nichols. The studio endeavours to create spaces of sensory experience and social connection by blending emerging technologies with visual arts to transform everyday realities into the surreal and mystical.

Public Street, founded and directed by Rachel Iampolski, is a cross-disciplinary, collaborative, tactical urbanism platform that engages with, and aims to subvert how we conceptualise public space.

By exploring the potential of the public realm and threshold spaces, the placemaking practice focuses on play and democratisation of public space.

BioRhythm activation

Workshops in the Wild

Project: Workshops in the Wild
Activation: Outdoor art workshops
Location: Grattan Gardens, Rockley Gardens and Central Park
Date: 7 February to 23 June 2024
Funding amount: full funding

The Windsor Workshop (TWW) creates community through the gathering of people – providing a space where celebration, learning, making, creating, and inspiration thrive. A vibrant hub for the arts, crafts, and design movement, they curate a diverse range of workshops and events that inspire individuals to unleash their creativity.

With each meticulously crafted experience, they encourage participants to slow down, indulge in the joy of creating, and find mindfulness in the process. Their events have become a sanctuary for those seeking an escape from the fast-paced world, a place where connections are forged and ideas are born.

Participants of Workshops in the Wild

Share and Swap Shop

Project: Share & Swap Shop
Activation: Pre-loved share and swap workshops
Location: Winter Street Park and Rockley Gardens
Date: 20 January to 4 May 2024
Funding amount: full funding

Share & Swap Shop is a community-driven event model in the form of a pop-up shop that fosters neighbourhood connections by facilitating item sharing, encouraging sustainability practices and fostering inclusivity. At its core, the Share and Swap Shop provides a physical presence in the form of a pop-up shop, where individuals can exchange items they no longer need, fostering a spirit of collaboration and mutual support.

This initiative addresses both social and environmental concerns, offering a space for community members to interact, engage, and establish meaningful connections.

Share and Swap Shop