our grants



small grants program

Highways and Byways – A Community of Service continues the work of the Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS) reaching out in hope and love to people socially and geographically isolated, strengthening community relationships and networks, developing leadership and empowering people to meet the challenges that confront them.

Since 1944 the MSS have travelled vast distances to reach people in all kinds of places and situations, and support those on the margins: geographically, culturally, spiritually, socially and economically.

Each year we provide small grants to community-led organisations for projects that address disadvantage and exclusion within towns and communities, especially in rural and regional Australia.

OUR theme and focus for 2021 grants



In March 2021, we announced the successful recipients of our Small Grants Program. We are delighted that 43 small community organisations from across Australia will receive funds to heal the land and their communities.

We received many interesting and exciting initiatives, including ones involving bees, dung beetles, cultural burns, re-vegetation and restoration, and healing and caring for country.

All involved in the challenging task of assessing many grant applications have been mightily impressed with what grass root communities are doing to care for their local environments.

Thank you to our volunteer Projects Committee who work many hours in January and February each year, and to our donors who help to fund these projects – we could not assist these communities without your support!

Further information on each of the projects supported in 2021 can be found here.


New growth from a tree burnt in the bushfires


Our next Grants Round will open in November 2021. To apply for a small grant, you must first ensure your project reflects the grant criteria and aligns with our theme for the year. Once ready to apply, you can do so via our online application or by downloading the application form

Who can apply?

Highways and Byways – A Community of Service funds community groups and organisations which can demonstrate that they are at minimum an Incorporated Association or similarly constituted entity. We do not fund individuals.

Preference will be given to applications for projects in rural and regional Australia, from fire and drought affected communities and areas with vulnerable eco-systems.

How much can I apply for?

Generally, grants allocated are up to $3,000.

What is the 2021 focus area?

Throughout 2019-2020 vast areas of the continent were devastated by bushfire, resulting in the loss of life, destruction of species and ongoing ecological and biodiversity impacts. With the continuation of drought, and the challenges associated of living with a global health pandemic, the struggles for many rural and regional communities have been immense. Accordingly, in 2021 Highways and Byways is seeking to fund projects that support the theme of HEALING. This refers to the healing of our land, our earth, our ecosystems, and our people.

Our theme is also underpinned and guided by Catholic Social Justice principles. These are: the stewardship of creation and care for the earth, dignity of each person, the common good, the right of all people to participate in decisions that affect their lives, subsidiarity and participation, solidarity, preferential care for those who are poor and vulnerable, economic justice, and the promotion of peace.

What type of projects will you support in 2021?

In 2021 Highways and Byways – A Community of Service will support community-based grass roots initiatives which:

• Focus on healing the land in holistic ways.
• Increase opportunities for people to build community through practical projects that improve land health and increase local knowledge.
• Equip communities with knowledge and skills to sustainably manage land for current and future generations.
• Address the relief of social, economic, and environmental distress, or geographical disadvantage, through locally led action.

Projects may include, but are not limited to:

• Indigenous cultural fire management practices – such as creating cultural burn opportunities with local Indigenous Rangers / Leaders.
• Grasslands restoration.
• Carbon capture initiatives – for example, bolstering soil fertility.
• Revegetation initiatives – such as local community environmental assets damaged by fires.
• Education and training initiatives – including sustainability expos and other information sharing events and activities.

When do grants open and close?

Program timeline has been extended. Applications close at 6.00pm on Tuesday 23rd February 2021.

How do I apply?

1. Online:  Applicants can complete a submission form via our website.

2. Application form:
A downloadable application form can be completed and submitted as follows:

All applications must be received by 6.00pm Tuesday 9 February 2021.

When do you announce successful applicants?
Successful applicants will be notified by May 2021.

A grant agreement will need to be signed by an authorised representative of your organisation.

How long do I have to complete my project?

Projects are to be completed within 12 months unless otherwise negotiated.

I have a question. Who do I contact?

Please contact Highways and Byways – A Community of Service in one of the following ways:

• Telephone: 03 9873 5520

• Email:grants@highwaysandbywaysltd.org.au

Featured Grant Recipients

success stories


Wellington, NSW Life after prison can be tough, really tough. A woman, often disconnected from her children, tries to come back to her old life. But it’s lonely, sad and uncertain. Then she’s offered a chance to go away for a few days with her children and be looked...


Smithton, TASMANIA Jodie Saville wants local girls to thrive, not just survive. Too many miss opportunities while they are waiting to ‘escape’ Smithton, a small isolated town on Tasmania’s north-west coast. Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation, Soroptimist...


  Walgett, NSW A few new faces have started turning up for Friday night food and fun activities at the Walgett Police Citizens Youth Club.  They are young women who now consider the PCYC a safe place to ‘hang out’, following the success of ‘Girls BREW’, an...

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