Communities Innovation Fund: Responses to Social Isolation and Loneliness

Applications for grants under the Communities Innovation Fund have closed.

From 2022 until 2026, the Communities Innovation Fund will provide up to $200,000 per year to community organisations for innovative services that create meaningful connections for Queenslanders experiencing social isolation and loneliness.

In 2023-24 small grants of up to $50,000 were offered to support innovative initiatives that respond to social isolation and loneliness amongst culturally and linguistically diverse people and communities. Recognising the unique experiences of people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, people seeking asylum, and Australian South Sea Islander people which may place them at increased risk of social isolation and loneliness.

The total funding available in 2023–24 is $200,000.

Applications process - next steps

Applications for the Communities Innovation Fund opened on Friday 15 March 2024, and closed at 2pm, Monday 22 April 2024.

A panel is currently assessing applications against the published eligibility criteria, as well as how they compare to other applications. The panel may take into consideration local needs, existing service provision and the geographical spread of applications to avoid duplication and/or concentration of service delivery in a single area.

Applicants will be notified in writing about the outcome of their applications in the near future.

A list of successful applicants will be published to the Department website.



2022–23 grant recipients

Small grants (2023)

Organisation Project title Project details Total grant funding (ex-GST)
Carpentaria Shire Council Flooded with Art

Flooded with Art aims to engage Karumba residents in a range of art activities during the wet season, when the township can be isolated by flood waters for months at a time. Local artists will deliver weekly art activities such as canvas painting, bark painting, photography, song writing, and creation of a 6m long rainbow serpent, and the project will culminate with a four-week exhibition during April.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Improving Social Inclusion Pathways for Low-Income Families in Townsville through Place-Based Creative Collaborations A pilot program, in partnership with Daktech and The Smith Family, to fight social isolation and loneliness in low-income families and households in Townsville. The project will create a safe space for participants to engage in activities that help develop social connections, digital skills and personal confidence, and will develop pathways for digital inclusion that provide participants with peer support and training in a safe, informal environment. $50,000
Central Queensland University (CQU) Gladstone Community Connection and Inclusion Project The project targets young people (including those with a disability), people experiencing financial disadvantage due to unemployment or underemployment, and people with poorer health or mental health. CQU and key partners and stakeholders will engage up to 60 people to co-design, test, trial and refine new activities and ways of working to ensure people are connected and engaged in community life. $49,800
Tully Support Centre Inc Young, Strong, Connected (YSC)

The project, which has been co-designed by young people, will provide enjoyable and inclusive programs that build connections and friendships, improve social and emotional well-being, and support young people to live healthy and active lifestyles. This includes facilitating the Tully Youth Centre mixed touch football team, weekly cooking and life skills, a multi-purpose chill-out space, arts and crafts, and one-on-one youth support.


Large grants (2023)

Organisation Project title Project details Total grant funding (ex-GST)
The Trustee for Port Curtis Coral Coast Aboriginal Peoples Charitable Trust River Connections (Bundaberg)

The project uses dragon boats as a recreation activity to foster social connections and support the development of long-term friendships and peer support networks for Indigenous youth. Elders and local Indigenous communities are providing support to the project which will also offer one-to-one support and employment readiness skills programs.

Kuku’nathi Services Pty Ltd Walk the Talk Yarning Shed in the very remote, disadvantaged Indigenous community of Napranum Kuku’nathi Services is mentoring and supporting the Na-Muk-A-Run Mob (NMARM) to co-create the Yarning Shed, which will be a welcoming, inclusive and culturally-safe gathering space for youth and other residents to yarn, socially interact, and rekindle their connection to local culture. $595,278
Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Ltd (IUIH) Connecting Our Elders (Brisbane South) The multigenerational project brings together groups of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kindy-aged children, high school-aged children, and Elders (over 50 years old) and will collaborate with an existing IUIH program in Moreton Bay/North Brisbane. The project will support Elders to confidently engage in exercise programs, digital literacy and sharing cultural stories and skills, and access diverse activities like the Work it Out Program for chronic condition self-management and the ‘Indigenous Seniors Games’. $600,000
Central Queensland University Our Strengths Central Queensland

The project will bring at-risk rural youth and the elderly together to engage in conversation about community. The program will recognise the strengths of the elderly as experts/trustees of community memory and knowledge, and the strengths of the young for their abilities to work with digital technology and manual arts. Outcomes such as in-community digital resources, intergenerational linkages and upskilling of community members will be transferable, with resources made available to other communities in other regions to replicate the experience.

The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre Inc Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities will address issues leading to isolation such as socio-economic challenges, distance from family and friends, public transport access, language barriers, information insecurity and social challenges. The program will collaborate with existing community-based organisations and activities to provide individual support for vulnerable community members. It will also enhance the capability of local organisations to promote their activities, engage new members and use digital solutions to the benefit of all Fraser Coast residents.

North Townsville Community Hub Inc Notch Social Inclusion Project: A Place to Belong (Townsville) Notch Social Inclusion Project: A Place to Belong will include a social prescribing program, a ‘100 lunches with strangers’ project and the creation of social inclusion groups where there are currently gaps, such as a garden club and groups for youths and men. Community feedback will inform other needs. $535,122