1. Introduction

1.1 What is the Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants Program?

The Victorian Government’s Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants (WRG) program provides funding to support authorised 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 WRG program aim to help wildlife rehabilitators to:

  • improve the standard of wildlife care they can 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 Rehabilitator Authorisation Guide, June 2023 issued under the Wildlife Act.  These conditions enforce the minimum standards required for the humane treatment and successful rehabilitation of wildlife in care.

In addition, the welfare of all animals in Victoria is protected under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA Act) under which anyone who commits an act of cruelty or aggravated cruelty is liable for an offence. Failure to comply with some of the conditions of an authorisation may constitute an offence under the POCTA Act (for example undertaking surgical treatment on animals in care).

1.2 What type of application is acceptable

An application must:

  • meet one or more of the objectives of the WRG program
  • identify the current need or issue and propose a solution
  • meet eligibility criteria.

All applications will undergo assessment to ensure eligibility and funding criteria are met.

1.3 How much funding is available in 2023-24?

The total amount available for the 2023-24 Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants round for wildlife rehabilitators is $230,000.

Grants are capped at $3,000 per eligible applicant.

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

The 2023-24 WRG applications are open from 4 August 2023. Applications will close 15 September 2023 at 3:30pm (AEST).

Note: preference will be given to Shelter Operators or Foster Carers who have not received WRG funding support in the last two years.

2. Eligibility

2.1 Who can apply?

To be eligible for these Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants individuals must:

  • be a wildlife shelter operator or foster carer authorised under section 28A of the Wildlife Act 1975 (Wildlife Act)
  • have submitted all completion reports for previous funding from this program
  • have the consent of the property owner if you are not the owner.

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

2.2 Who cannot apply?

The following individuals are not eligible to apply:

  • a person that has been convicted of any offence under the Wildlife Act 1975, Wildlife Regulations 2013, Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 or similar interstate or federal legislation during the last 10 years
  • any person who does not hold a current wildlife Shelter Operator or Foster Carer authorisation under section 28A of the Wildlife Act 1975 (Wildlife Act).

2.3 What will be funded?

This funding is to support authorised wildlife shelter operators and foster carers to enable them to improve welfare standards for caring for wildlife. The eligible items are listed at Appendix A.

Items must be purchased and paid for between 1 Oct 2023 and 30 September 2024.

2.4 What will not be funded?

The WRG program will not fund the following activities and items:

  • the purchase of land
  • activities that are already funded through another organisation or program (example: WIRES, Wildlife Victoria, local Council) or another fund source
  • recurrent operating costs, for example rent and utility costs, and/or activities that establish expectation of ongoing funding
  • any illegal activity
  • purchase of computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones
  • expenses associated with other animals (i.e. domestic pets) or wildlife that is not covered by your authorisation
  • marketing, advertising, fundraising or promotional activities
  • activities located outside the State of Victoria
  • any other item or activity determined by the Panel through the assessment process to be an inappropriate or unsuitable use of the funds
  • any item that is in contravention of the conditions of the authorisation.

See Appendix B for full list of non-eligible items.

Note: You must not acquire, receive, possess, destroy (euthanise) or dispose of the following wildlife: whales, dolphins, seals, marine turtles, platypus, fish, deer, non-indigenous quail, pheasants and partridges.

3. How do I apply?

3.1 Online Application

Eligible applicants wishing to apply for the 2023-24 WRG can do so using the Grants Online portal.

To apply, go to this web page:


Click on the ‘Start 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 apply 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.

3.2 Suggestions for completing the online form

Tips to assist you with your application:

  1. Start early to give yourself enough time to read the guidelines carefully, get help if needed, check and submit your application on time and with supporting documents.
  2. Refer to the “DEECA Grants Online Information Sheet for Community Users” on the WRG webpage.
  3. Use Google Chrome rather than Internet Explorer which doesn’t perform as well.
  4. *Mandatory fields are marked with an Asterisk*. The online application form won’t let you continue unless these questions are answered.
  5. 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).

3.3 What type of supporting documents or evidence are required?

The following documents may be required:

  • quote for any item that is valued equal to or greater than $500
  • up-to-date shelter records if you are a shelter operator (Appendix C)
  • up-to-date records from your Supervising Shelter if you are a foster carer (Appendix C)
  • layout or design of enclosures if seeking funding for infrastructure (must meet the requirements)
  • photographs of an existing facility or equipment if seeking funding to replace/renew them
  • list of training courses (Appendix D)
  • written consent from the property owner to undertake the activity if renting.

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 grantsinfo@delwp.vic.gov.au quoting your application number. Attach all documents to one email, zipping the files if required.


  • failure to attach your support documents (including shelter records) will affect the assessment score of your application.
  • No hard copy applications will be accepted.
  • Applicants must ensure that their business registration (including their ABN) information is accurate and up to date at the time of application.

Submit your application before 3:30pm 15 September 2023 (AEST)

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered

4. What is the assessment process?

4.1   Eligibility Check

Applications will be checked for eligibility for current authorisation, compliance history as well as reporting from previous funding.

DEECA will also undertake eligibility check on requested items and highlight to make sure that the applicant and their activity are eligible for funding.

Note: Applications that fail to meet the program requirements will not proceed to next stage of the assessment.

4.2   Independent Panel Assessment

An Independent Panel consisting of internal DEECA and external experts will assess eligible applications 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 in the application form.

Assessment Criteria



Improving standards of care


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

  • improved   facilities to treat, house and rehabilitate wildlife (resulting in successful   release) (provide evidence such as photos of existing facilities)

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.

Higher scores will be given to applicants that provide the following:

  • quotes,   drawings, and evidence (such as photos of existing facilities) 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   and training undertaken
  • mentor/mentee   relationships.

5. Key dates

Applications open

4 August 2023

Applications close

3.30pm 15 September 2023 (AEST)

Applicants notified

October 2023

Activities commence

October 2023

Activities completed and acquittal reports submitted

November 2024

6. What is the notification process?

Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing after the assessment process is completed. All decisions are final and are not subject to further review. Unsuccessful applicants can ask for feedback on their application.

7. What are the funding conditions?

7.1 Funding agreements

Successful applicants must enter into a funding agreement with Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA). The Victorian Common Funding Agreement is used for funding agreements with community sector.

It is recommended that applicants review the terms and conditions before applying. Information about the Victorian Common Funding Agreement is available on https://www.vic.gov.au/victorian-common-funding-agreement.

Note: Funding must not be used for political campaigning or advocacy activities for political parties. 

7.2 Legislative and regulatory 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:

All recipients are required to comply with their authorisation conditions.

7.3 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.

7.4 Acknowledging Victorian Government support

Successful applicants are expected to acknowledge Victorian Government support. Promotional guidelines (https://www2.delwp.vic.gov.au/grants) will form part of the funding agreement. Successful applicants must liaise with the departmental program area to coordinate any public events or announcements related to the project.

7.5 Payments

Payments will be made when:

  • the funding agreement has been signed by both parties;
  • grant recipients provide supporting documents as required;
  • other terms and conditions of funding continue to be met.

7.6 Monitoring and Reporting

Grant recipients are required to comply with project monitoring and reporting requirements as outlined in the funding agreement. This may include progress reports, site inspections, completion reports and acquittal documentation.

7.7 Privacy

Any personal information about you or a third party in your application will be collected by the department for the purposes of administering your grant application 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.

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

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

8. Additional information

Additional information is available at the program web page https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/grants/wildlife-rehabilitator-grants

If you require assistance submitting your application online, email


9. Checklist

Read these guidelines and the information about this grant program at https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/grants/wildlife-rehabilitator-grants before applying and complete the following checklist.

Have you: 

☐ Checked if you are, or your organisation is, eligible for this grant funding?

☐ Checked if your activity is eligible for this grant funding?

☐ Checked that you would be able to comply with all relevant laws and regulations in delivery of your activity?

☐ Prepared the appropriate supporting documents? For example, quotes, shelter records (both shelter operators and foster carers) design layout and evidence (photograph).

Appendix A – Eligible Items

What items may be funded? 

General infrastructure and equipment




Fencing & fencing items for enclosure**

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 (up to $300)

Spotlights (hand-held only)

Rescue equipment

GPS (up to $300)2

Urine refractometer

ICUs for furred animals

Personal Protective Equipment3 (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 B below


Water tanks or hoses

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)


Consumable items (maximum limit of $1,500 per applicant)

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, and nursing pads

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

1 Please refer to DEECA Wildlife – Rehabilitation Authorisation Guide: Things you need to know, 2023

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

3 Exclude PPE for Emergency Response

4 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.

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

Note: Items must be purchased and paid for between 1 Oct 2023 and 30 September 2024.

Appendix B – Non-Eligible Items

What items will not be funded?

General infrastructure and equipment


Purchase 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, ammunition and related equipment

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

Radio telemetry

Chainsaws including pole chainsaws

Firearms & darting licence


Donation boxes

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

Any vehicle servicing, maintenance,

or registration

Vehicle purchase including motorbike

Shipping containers

Electric fencing unit

Synthetic grass

Landscaping (plants)

Training courses

Firearms, captive bolt and darting training

Flights and accommodation to attend training

Snake handling training

Arboriculture courses (such as Tree climbing)

TAFE course


Consumable items

Vouchers for consumable items, including fuel vouchers

Insurance (all types)

Lethabarb for euthanasia

Credit to vets

IV drips

Prescribed medications

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.


Appendix C – Shelter Records

You can download a copy of the Wildlife shelter record sheet from https://www.vic.gov.au/wildlife-rehabilitation-shelters-and-foster-carers

Wildlife shelter record sheet

Wildlife code book

Species code for use on wildlife shelter record sheets

Appendix D – Training attendance Record

This template has been developed from applicant feedback from previous years. Each year in the Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants application form, a question asks you to list training/course details you have completed over the years. This template is for you to update once you complete training or attend conferences. Simply upload the template into the application form without having to re-type the information each year.

Name of course/ training/conference

Provider name of course/training /conference

Location of course/training /conference

Date completed

Comments about course/training/ conference if applicable


Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference 2021

National Wildlife Rehabilitation Group


13-15 August 2021

Attended the conference

Together for Wildlife webinar series

Zoos Victoria, Australian Veterinary Association, IFAW, RSPCA Victoria, University of Melbourne, and DEECA


21 June 2022

Online training and support opportunities offered by the Together for Wildlife collaboration

Page last updated: 05/03/24