What is the Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants program?

The Victorian Government’s Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants (WRG) program provides funding to support authorised wildlife shelter operators and foster carers to rehabilitate sick, injured or orphaned wildlife so animals can be released back to the wild.

The objectives of the program aim to help wildlife rehabilitators to:

  • Improve the standard of wildlife care they provide.
  • Improve their facilities to treat, house and rehabilitate wildlife for release.
  • Increase their knowledge/skills in the care of wildlife.

In Victoria, sick, injured or orphaned wildlife can only be rehabilitated by a wildlife shelter operator or foster carer who is authorised under section 28A of the Wildlife Act 1975 (Wildlife Act). Wildlife rehabilitators are subject to strict conditions. The mandatory requirements that they must meet are set out in the Wildlife Shelter and Foster Carer Authorisation issued under the Wildlife Act.

These conditions enforce the minimum standards required for the humane treatment and successful rehabilitation of wildlife in care. The Wildlife Shelter and Foster Carer Authorisation Guide explains how wildlife rehabilitators can meet these mandatory requirements and can be found here: https://www.vic.gov.au/wildlife-rehabilitation-shelters-and-foster-carers.

How much funding is available?

The total amount available for the Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants 2022-23 round for wildlife rehabilitators is $230,000.

Each applicant can apply for up to $3,000.

The amount granted may be less than this depending on the purpose for which it is to be used, the amount sought, the number of applications received and how well the application meets the assessment criteria.

Who can apply?

Individual wildlife rehabilitators in Victoria who:

  • Hold a valid authorisation issued by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) as a shelter operator or foster carer with at least two (2) years’ experience.
  • Are carrying out their rehabilitation activities from their registered location.
  • Are the only person applying from a given address.
  • Have no convictions for fraud or convictions under the Wildlife Act 1975 or the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 during the past 10 years.
  • Have submitted all Completion Statements for previous funding from this program.
  • Have the consent of the property owner.
  • Are carrying out activities in compliance with all public health measures and requirements in relation to COVIDSafe Settings.

Note: Funds are for the successful grant recipient to use at their own registered place i.e., not pass to another person or place.

Who cannot apply?

Any person who does not meet the above criteria is ineligible to apply for this grant.

Note: Only one applicant can apply for this grant at a given residential address.

When is the eligible purchase period and how long do I need to keep my receipts?

Eligible items that are purchased and paid between 1 Oct 2022 and 30 September 2023 can be funded.

Note: Please ensure that you must keep all receipts for a minimum of five (5) from the completion of your project, as they may be requested if you are audited.

What type of Education and Training is eligible?

Competency-based training delivered by a registered training organisation or any other approved training to be held in between 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023.

The Victorian Wildlife Rehabilitation Guidelines will be released later this year. Shelter operators and foster carers are encouraged to register and participate in free on-line seminars being promoted via ‘Together for Wildlife.’

To receive a copy of the Victorian Wildlife Rehabilitation Guidelines and to be notified of upcoming training and webinar opportunities, please register your interest at https://forms.office.com/r/2rak4M1bsD or scan to register below:

QR Code to register interest in upcoming training and webinar opportunities 

What are the requirements when purchasing general infrastructure and equipment

You may apply for grant to purchase general infrastructure and equipment that helps you with your rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife.

If you are planning to purchase equipment or infrastructure with value of more than $500, it is a requirement that you provide a quote and design dimensions for the proposed infrastructure to be constructed or quote for equipment in your application.

Ensure dimensions for enclosures are consistent with the DELWP Wildlife Shelter and Foster Carer Authorisation Guide, July 2019(Condition 14 and Appendix 2).

Note: Emergency Response Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is mandated by DELWP, however, this year it is not an eligible item for funding. If you have any queries, please contact the Wildlife Emergency team at wildlife.emergencies@delwp.vic.gov.au

What type of consumable items can I apply for?

Consumable items (capped at $1,500 as part of the maximum grant allocation), such as feed, petrol, veterinary fees and veterinary supplies.

Funding for other items (other than those excluded) may also be considered by DELWP on merit providing there is enough information in your application to justify the purchase.

Note: If you want to apply for an item that is not in the eligible list (providing it’s not in the ineligible list) you can apply for it. The assessment panel has the discretion to approve any item determined to be an appropriate or suitable use of the funds.

See Appendix 1 for detailed information on eligible items.

What will not be funded?

Funding will not be provided for a range of activities and items not consistent with the WRG program, including:

  • Utility costs such as rates, electricity, gas, and sewerage bills.
  • Vehicles including all types of trailers, boats, and ride on mowers.
  • Chainsaws, mulchers, freezers, and generators.
  • Infrared and motion-sensing surveillance cameras, radio telemetry, Schedule 4 and 8 capture chemicals.
  • Emergency Response PPE that is mandated by DELWP.
  • Firearms including captive-bolt guns and darting related equipment, purchase, hiring and training courses. Gun safes, bullets and darts are not permitted.
  • Any illegal activity.
  • Purchase of goods for competitions, prizes, giveaways, vouchers, or alcohol.
  • Legal fees or lobbying activities.
  • Education campaigns that could be considered political in nature (whole or part).
  • Promotional or marketing material (e.g., stickers, magnets, flyers, etc).
  • Computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones/smartphones.
  • Insurance (vehicles, memberships, house, and property, etc).
  • Any other activity or item determined by the assessment panel through the assessment process to be an inappropriate or unsuitable use of the funds.
  • Any item not permitted by the DELWP Wildlife Shelter and Foster Carer Authorisation Guide, July 2019.

Note: If an item in your application is deemed ineligible this will not affect the rest of your application. However, it will decrease the amount of your grant, so for your best result ensure you choose eligible items.

See Appendix 2 for detailed information on ineligible items.

How do I apply?

Applications are to be submitted online using the Grants Online portal.

Apply online at Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants.

From this web page, click on the Start a new application button.

You will be asked to enter your account. If you don’t have one, click on the Create an Account button.

Keep a record of your username (email) and password for future reference. Try to choose an email that will not change in the future because over time your account will record your grant history.

To return to a saved draft application, click on the ‘Access Saved Application’ button.

You will receive an application number (APPL-XXXXX) when you submit an application online. Please quote this number in all communications with the department relating to your application noting that this number will change if you are successful in obtaining a grant.

How to complete the online form

  1. Start early to give yourself enough time to read the guidelines carefully, get help if needed, check and submit your application on time.
  2. Refer to the DELWP Grants Online Information Sheet for Community Users link provided on the web page above.
  3. Use Google Chrome rather than Internet Explorer which doesn’t perform as well.
  4. *Mandatory fields are marked with an Asterisk*. The online form won’t let you continue unless these questions are answered.

Use the navigation bar to get to the page you want or use the Next Page or Previous Page buttons (not the browser backwards/forwards arrows).

Supporting documents

In the Supporting Documents section of the application form attach all required documents and any others you think would support your application.

Note that:

  • Supporting documents must be in an acceptable file type, such as Word, Excel, PDF, or JPEG. The maximum file size for each file is 10MB.
  • If you have documents to submit that cannot be attached to your online application, you can email them to enviro.grants@delwp.vic.gov.au, quoting your application number. Attach all documents to one email, zipping the files if required.

Submit your online application form

Check your application first by either clicking the View as PDF button or navigating using the navigation pane or Next Page or Previous Page buttons.

When you are confident your application is complete and correct, press the Submit button.

Make sure your application is submitted before 1PM Tuesday 6 September 2022

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

What supporting documents need to be provided?

To assist the assessment panel and grant team, please provide any information that would support your application, and in particular:

  • Quotes for training courses, infrastructure, or any other large items (greater than $500).
  • Designs for enclosures or infrastructure.
  • Up-to-date shelter 2021-22 records.
  • Your training register - a simple template that you can fill out and add to over time at wildlife.vic.gov.au/grants/wildlife-rehabilitator-grants. You can either list your training in the online form or attach this document (or something similar) in the Supporting Documents section of the application form.
  • Written consent from the property owner to undertake the activity.

How will applications be assessed?

First, applications will be checked for eligibility to make sure that the applicant and their activity are eligible for funding. After that eligible applications will be assessed using the criteria listed below. Each criterion is given a percentage weighting to indicate its relative importance in the assessment process. Applications should address all relevant criteria.

Assessment Criteria



Improving standards of care


You will be asked in the application form to describe how your project will benefit wildlife welfare through:

  • improved facilities to treat, house and rehabilitate wildlife (resulting in successful release)
  • improved standard of care

Your application will be assessed on your response to this question and how it relates to the budget items you are requesting.

Project need


Your application will be assessed on the following:

–   eligibility of items requested

–   demonstrated need of resources to improve the standard of care

Preference will be given to those rehabilitators that have not received funding under this program or another Victorian Government initiative in the last two years.

Preference will be given to applicants that provide the following:

–   quotes, drawings, and evidence to demonstrate project need and plan

–   up-to-date shelter records

Capacity building


Your application will be assessed on capacity building and your demonstrated ability to support positive wildlife welfare outcomes through ongoing learning and knowledge sharing. Examples include:

  • courses undertaken
  • mentor/mentee relationships


  1. Eligibility checks include uncompleted past projects, overdue grant reports, and current compliance notices.
  2. Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants are competitive grants and are scored according to these assessment criteria. Therefore, if more funds are requested than available, only those applications with scores higher than the total amount available will be funded.

What happens after applications close?


All applications will undergo an eligibility check. Eligible applications will then be assessed by an assessment panel using the criteria listed above. All decisions are final and are not subject to further review.


Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing via email. Unsuccessful applicants can ask for feedback on their application.

Please be patient as it can take some time to assess all grants before you will be notified. It is anticipated (but not guaranteed) an announcement of successful recipients will occur between December 2022 and January 2023.

Contracts and payment

If successful, DELWP will send you the Victorian Common Funding agreement via Adobe Sign for you to sign electronically. DELWP will counter-sign the agreement and you will receive a fully signed contract via email.

If it takes more than 4 weeks for DELWP to receive your signed contract and any specified documents, DELWP may withdraw and reallocate the funding.

A single upfront payment will be paid into your nominated bank account within 3-4 weeks of the signing of the agreement by both parties. DELWP will provide a supplier details form for you to complete prior to payment.

What are the key dates?

Applications close:

1:00 pm Tuesday 6 September 2022

Applicants notified:

December 2022 - January 2023

What are the funding conditions?

Funding agreements

Successful applicants must enter into the Victorian Common Funding agreement with DELWP. It is recommended that applicants review the terms and conditions before applying. Information about the Victorian Common Funding Agreement is available at vic.gov.au/victorian-common-funding-agreement.

The activity does not include using the Funding for political campaigning or advocacy activities for political parties.


A one-off upfront payment will be made when the funding agreement has been signed by both parties.

Monitoring and Reporting

Grant recipients are required to comply with project monitoring and reporting requirements as outlined in the funding agreement. This includes the submission of a completion and acquittal report.

What other information do I need to know?

Tax implications

Applicants should consult the Australian Taxation Office or seek professional advice on any taxation implications that may arise from this grant funding.

Successful applicants without an ABN will need to provide a completed Australian Taxation Office form ‘Statement by a Supplier’ so that no withholding tax is required from the grant payment.

GST: If you are registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), where applicable we will add GST to your grant payment and provide you with a recipient created tax invoice.

Acknowledging Victorian Government support

Successful applicants are expected to acknowledge the Victorian Government’s support and promotional guidelines Acknowledgment and Publicity Guidelines for Victorian Government Funding Support.

Successful applicants must liaise with the departmental program area to coordinate any public events or announcements related to the project.

Where can I find other regulatory or legislative and  requirements?

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We know that your environmental volunteering work means a lot to you, as it does to us. Your health and safety is paramount.

Please carefully check and ensure you comply with all public health measures and requirements as per COVIDSafe settings.

Stay up to date at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

Legislative and regulator requirements

In delivering the activity grant recipients are required to comply with all relevant Commonwealth and state/territory legislations and regulations, including but not limited to:

  • Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth)
  • Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Wildlife Act 1975
  • Wildlife Regulations 2009
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986

All recipients are expected to abide by their authorisation conditions.


Any personal information about you or a third party in your application will be collected by the department for the purposes of grant administration and informing Members of Parliament of successful applications. Personal information may also be disclosed to external experts, such as members of assessment panels, or other Government Departments for assessment, reporting, advice, comment or for discussions regarding alternative or collaborative grant funding opportunities. If you intend to include personal information about third parties in your application, please ensure that they are aware of the contents of this privacy statement.

Any personal information about you or a third party in your correspondence will be collected, held, managed, used, disclosed or transferred in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and other applicable laws.

DELWP is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information. You can find the DELWP Privacy Policy online at www.delwp.vic.gov.au/privacy.

Requests for access to information about you held by DELWP should be sent to the Manager Privacy, P.O. Box 500 East Melbourne 8002 or contact by emailing Foi.unit@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Where to find help?

DELWP is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information. You can find the DELWP Privacy Policy online at delwp.vic.gov.au/privacy. For further information and for assistance in completing your application contact:


Read these guidelines and the information about this grant program at Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants before applying and complete the following checklist.

Have you:

  • read these guidelines carefully?
  • checked if you are eligible for this grant funding?
  • renewed your authorisation with DELWP?
  • checked if all your items/activities are eligible for this grant funding?
  • checked that you would be able to comply with all relevant laws and regulations in delivery of your project?
  • prepared and uploaded all the relevant supporting documents?

Appendix 1: Eligible items

What items may be funded?

Training courses and educational materials

First aid training

Reference manuals

Workshops, conference registrations*, webinars

Books (you must list the name/s of the books to help assessors)

TAFE courses (must relate to wildlife rehabilitation)


General infrastructure and equipment




Fencing & fencing items fencing items for enclosures**

Plumbing of water to pens

Nesting boxes


Portable cages / pet packs

Water enclosure, pond, or other facilities to assist in the rehabilitation of animals

Heat boxes

Binoculars / monocular

Spotlights (hand-held only)

Rescue equipment

GPS (up to $300)***

Urine refractometer

ICUs for furred animals

Personal Protective Equipment**** (PPE) (e.g. gauntlets, eye protection, gloves, snake gaiters etc.)

Other enclosure furniture such as UV lights for reptiles

Personal first aid kits

Crop needles for feeding

Shelter signage

Other items deemed appropriate and not listed on the ineligible items list in Appendix 2


Consumable items

Veterinary fees and supplies


Milk formula

Appropriate medications for animal first aid and / or prescribed by a veterinarian

Vaccinations or booster costs for lyssavirus

Food including fresh, dried, frozen or formula

Cleaning products (disinfectant including F10 disinfectant, hand wash, hand sanitiser, tissues, etc)

Medical supplies including gauze, cotton tips, bandages, thermometers, nursing pads,

Tip fees are permitted providing you comply with Condition 12 of DELWP Wildlife Shelter and Foster Carer Authorisation Guide, July 2019

* Cap of $300 per recipient for cost of registration fees. Flights, accommodation, and food are not eligible.

** Please refer to DELWP Wildlife Shelter and Foster Carer Authorisation Guide, July 2019 (Condition 14 and Appendix 2) when providing dimensions for enclosures.

***Wildlife tracking research permit is required if it is used to track animals.

**** Exclude PPE for Emergency Response

***** A fogger is eligible for carers who keep birds in indoor rooms. It can be filled with a disinfectant like F10 and used to fumigate the room if they have had issues with chlamydia or beak and feather disease.

Appendix 2: Ineligible items

What items will not be funded?

Training courses and educational materials

Firearms, captive bolt and darting training

Flights and accommodation to attend training

Snake handling training

Arboriculture courses (i.e Tree climbing)   

General infrastructure and equipment


Purchasing of land

Computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phone, smartphones

Trees for rehabilitation

Dishwashers, mulchers, freezers

Vehicle mounted spotlights (handheld spotlights are acceptable)

Trailers – all types including car, boat, ride on mower, etc

Equipment for the rehabilitation of unfurred animals, including ICU’s


Firearms, captive bolt, or any darting equipment

Gun safes and equipment

Promotional materials including magnets, business cards, flyers, promotional items, reflective stickers

Radio telemetry

Chainsaws including pole chainsaws

Firearms & darting licence

Vehicle registrations of any type (excluding training or course registration)

Donation boxes

InfraRed and motion-sensing surveillance cameras, wireless wildlife trail cameras

Any vehicle servicing, maintenance, or registration

Motorbike & 4wd purchase

Shipping containers
Electric fencing unit Synthetic grass  

Consumable items

Vouchers for consumable items

Insurance (all types)

Lethabarb for euthanasia

Credit to vets

IV drips


Utility costs including rates, electricity, water, gas, and sewerage bills

Scheduled chemical capture drugs listed in Schedule 4 and 8 in the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2006.

Page last updated: 11/01/23