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2017-18 Grants Program Overview

Applications for the 2017-2018 round are now closed. We expect to run the next round in the first quarter of calendar year 2019.

2017-18 Guidelines

Consult the Guidelines for everything you need to know about how the ACCAN Grants Program works, including eligibility, how to apply, the timeline and what to expect. These guidelines contain the rules for the scheme and the assessment approach.

Download: pdfACCAN Independent Grants Program Guidelines 2017-18969.79 KB

Download:docACCAN Independent Grants Program Guidelines 2017-18458.5 KB

The Guidelines have changed from previous years. This round spans a longer period, removes the $60,000 funding limit and incorporates updated priority themes.

What is eligible for funding?

Eligible projects address communications consumer issues. A communications consumer issue is one that is systemic, persistent and generally widespread affecting consumers of telecommunications and internet services. The issue could be something that affects the general public or it might be an issue affecting a particular part of the community such as children, older people, or people with disabilities, but preferably one where multiple sectors would benefit from a solution.

It could be something that results in rip-offs or people getting into debt. These are just some examples.

The nature and topics of a project can vary considerably with preference given to cross-sector collaborative projects addressing ACCAN’s priority themes for this year.

The priority themes for the 2017-18 Round are below and also in the Guidelines.

2017-18 Priority Themes

It is critical that applications are framed in terms of a specific consumer problem and describe how the project addresses that problem.


Examples include projects that:

  • Examine and/or produce remedies for issues encountered by tenants, apartments and new developments
  • Examine and/or produce remedies for issues encountered by people living in rural, regional and remote areas
  • Compare or examine approaches to the universal provision of communications services

Future consumer protections

Examples include projects that identify and analyse:

  • Consumer protections needed for the delivery of essential communications services
  • The impact of consumer guarantees
  • Consumer protection needs, including guarantees, rights, security and privacy, in the context of emerging technology such as the Internet of Things, mobile app and device based payment systems
  • Comparisons of approaches to consumer protection.

Market performance in telecommunications

 Examples include projects that:

  • Examine the reliability and performance measures of telecommunications services and/or market behaviour in response to same
  • Aid in consumer decision making by creating tools to examine usage that enable comparison between providers
  • Compare and examine consumer experience with the NBN in practical terms such as migrations, connections, customer education


Examples include:

  • Projects that examine financial barriers faced by consumers or communities and/or approaches to improved affordability in the telecommunications market
  • What programs, policies and interventions are used in comparable markets to improve intensity of use by low-income consumers


Examples include:

  • Projects that look to methods of improving access to telecommunications services by people with disability 
  • Projects that investigate how consumers seek out and obtain information on assistive technology.

Consumer Attitudes

Examples include:

  • Projects that examine attitudes to mobile payments
  • Assessments of consumer attitudes to existing consumer protections such as the USO, Customer Service Guarantee

What won't get funded?

We often see applicants apply for funding to update their organisation's phone and IT systems, set up their web site, or even buy iPads for clients. These applications are usually ineligible as the Grants Program doesn't provide funding just to further an organisation's day to day business or to improve its internal systems. Eligible projects contribute to ACCAN's strategic work and objectives. Make sure you have a look at our strategic plan, our policy priorities and website before applying.

Who can apply?

Eligible projects have come from a range of applicants, such as individual researchers, community organisations, local councils and universities – all you need is an ABN and some great ideas. Check our website to see previous grant recipients. We do strongly encourage partnerships, so if you're interested in a partnership with industry, a community organisation or university, get in touch with us as we may be able to make an introduction.

2017-18 Timeline

Application round opens 14 June 2017
Application round closes 3:00 PM AEST (Sydney)
25 July 2017
Applications reviewed by the Independent Panel August – September 2017
All applicants notified of outcomes 2 November 2017
Opportunity to seek feedback from ACCAN on unsuccessful applications TWO weeks from the date of notification
Funded projects begin 1 January 2018
Funded projects completed Prior to 30 June 2019