Communities Innovation Fund: Responses to Social Isolation and Loneliness

The Communities Innovation Fund provided 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, two grant types were available:

  • small grants – for short-term initiatives up to $50,000. Small grants will be offered annually from 2023 to 2026.
  • large grants – for longer-term initiatives up to $200,000. Large grants were offered once in 2023.

The Communities Innovation Fund is a flagship initiative of Communities 2032 – the Queensland Government’s new ten-year plan for supporting vibrant, inclusive, safe and welcoming communities.

As a key priority of Communities 2032, the Communities Innovation Fund is focused on initiatives that combat social isolation and loneliness in Queensland communities.


Small grants (2023)

Carpentaria Shire Council

Carpentaria Shire Council received $49,500 for the Flooded with Art project, which 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)

QUT received $50,000 to launch 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.

Central Queensland University (CQU)

Central Queensland University received $49,800 to deliver the 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.

Tully Support Centre Inc

Tully Support Centre Inc received $50,000 to deliver the Young, Strong, Connected (YSC) project, which has been co-designed by young people. The project 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)

The Trustee for Port Curtis Coral Coast Aboriginal Peoples Charitable Trust

The Trustee for Port Curtis Coral Coast Aboriginal Peoples Charitable Trust received $508,000 to deliver the River Connections project in 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

Kuku’nathi Services Pty Ltd received $595,278 to fund the 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.

Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Ltd (IUIH)

Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Ltd received $600,000 to deliver the multigenerational Connecting Our Elders project in Brisbane South. The 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’.

Central Queensland University

Central Queensland University received $427,829 to deliver Our Strengths Central Queensland, which 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

The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre Inc received $533,772 to deliver Connecting Communities which 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

North Townsville Community Hub Inc received $535,122 to deliver the Notch Social Inclusion Project: A Place to Belong in Townsville. The project 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.

More information

Applications for grants under the Communities Innovation Fund are currently closed.

Grant guidelines are provided below for reference only: