Resources for applicants

Resources for applicants

The Community War Memorials Fund (CWMF) provides grants to help conserve, repair and protect war memorials across NSW.

These resources have been developed to assist you to prepare an application for the CWMF. If you have other questions, please contact us via



Frequently asked questions


What are the two project categories used for the CWMF?

Applications to the CWMF must align with and be submitted under one of the below category descriptions:

  • Category A - Engaging heritage specialists to produce reports relating to the repair, protection and/or conservation of existing war memorials.
  • Category B - Physical works relating to the repair, protection and/or conservation of existing war memorials.

Reminder: The CWMF supports projects for existing war memorials. Applications cannot be submitted for the construction of new war memorials.


How can I find out if my project is eligible for funding?

The mandatory eligibility criteria are listed in the Program Guidelines. We recommend you read the guidelines thoroughly before preparing your application and contact us with any questions. Examples of projects that may be funded are also listed in the Program Guidelines. These include Category A projects, such as condition assessments or arborist advice for war memorial trees, and Category B projects, such as repointing mortar joints on monuments, and repairs to damaged lettering. You can also read about some recent Category B memorial conservation projects which received funding under the CWMF.

In addition, examples of projects that are ineligible are listed in the Program Guidelines. These include constructing new memorials, replacing existing war memorials, and installing seating or interpretative signage. If your project is ineligible for the CWMF, we have a list of other grant programs related to war memorials you may wish to investigate. A list of other NSW Government grants are listed on the NSW Government Grants and Funding website. Grants from the Australian Government are listed on the GrantConnect website.

If you are still unsure if your project is eligible, please email the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs at


Do I need heritage advice for my project?

Applicants are expected to obtain relevant heritage advice for their project before applying to the CWMF or to apply for funding to obtain heritage advice from a qualified specialist.

The CWMF can award funding to pay for specialist heritage advice, such as a condition assessment or a conservation management plan for a war memorial.

If you do not have access to specialist heritage advice for your project, please consider submitting a Category A application to request funding for heritage advice, as a first step.

Once the assessment has been completed, and you have acquitted that grant, you can reapply to the CWMF for funding to undertake physical work according to the assessor’s recommendations (Category B application). Please refer to the Program Guidelines for more information on heritage advice.


Can I apply for funding for more than one memorial in the same round?

Yes. If you are applying to the CWMF for work to more than one memorial, we recommend you submit a separate application for each memorial. Each application will be reviewed on its own merit and evaluated against the other applications received in the same round, including the other applications you have submitted.

If you choose to submit on application only, please clearly describe the needs of each memorial throughout your answers and remember to attach supporting documents for each memorial. Please note, some fields in the application form can only be filled out for one memorial, such as the memorial’s address and the NSW War Memorial Register link. Please fill out these specific fields with details of the main memorial you are applying for and attach information about the other/s in the ‘Additional and/or missing information’ section of the form.


Who is the owner of a war memorial?

For the purposes of the CWMF, the owner of the war memorial is the entity who owns or manages the land on which the war memorial is located, or the building in which it is housed, also known as the landowner.

Owners are often local councils, RSL sub-Branches, Crown Land Managers, committees, or private property owners.

There is no official list of war memorial owners in NSW. When attempting to identify who the owner of a war memorial is, first consider who owns the land it is located on.

A war memorial will generally have one owner; however, there may have one or more additional groups involved in its care, such as the local council who own the land the war memorial stands on and the local RSL sub-Branch who organise commemorative services at the site. These groups should be considered stakeholders in the war memorial and be consulted as part of planning works to it and preparing an application for the CWMF.

The war memorial’s owner does not have to be applicant on a CWMF application; however, they must be consulted and give their endorsement for a CWMF application to be lodged. If the applicant is not the owner, they must have a clear and demonstrable relationship with the war memorial. There are questions about this in the CWMF application form.


How do I find someone to help me do the work, or quote for the work?

Work to war memorials must be undertaken by suitably qualified and experienced consultants and contractors. OVA does not recommend or endorse particular heritage specialists. The following list may help identify individuals and businesses to approach about your project.

When seeking quotes, we suggest you tell the consultant or contractor you are applying to the CWMF and give them the Program Guidelines. Ask them to provide you with:

  • detailed quotes with a clear breakdown of costs and proposed methodologies
  • information about their relevant skills, experience, and qualifications (this can include a letter of introduction, examples of previous works, evidence of professional accreditation in a relevant field, or their resume). We ask for this so the State War Memorials Committee can see that your consultant or contractor has proven and documented experience working on similar projects.

If you are in a regional or remote location in NSW, ask your consultant or contractor to include travel fees in their quote. Heritage specialists are often happy to travel to locations to undertake work.

You must attach at least one quote for each element of the proposed work to your CWMF application.


What are co-contributions?

Co-contributions are multiple sources of funding for the same work. You are allowed to have co-contributions for your CWMF application and there is a question about this in the CWMF application form.

When considering if you may need co-contributions for your work, please note:

  • The maximum grant for any one application under the CWMF will ordinarily be $10,000 (ex GST)
  • CWMF grant rounds are generally oversubscribed and not all applications are successful. Even if your application is successful, you may not be awarded the entire amount you requested.
  • The State War Memorials Committee may consider your application favourably if you have secured co-contributions, as this demonstrates your project has strong support.

You can consider approaching the other stakeholders of your war memorial, such as your local council and local RSL sub-Branch. Other groups to consider are local historical societies, local businesses, and community or social groups who are interested in supporting military history or community projects.


How do I find out if my war memorial is heritage listed?

War memorials, particularly older memorials, may be heritage listed at local or state level. In rare cases, they may be heritage listed at national level.

For local and state listings, they will have a unique reference number, which is asked for in the CWMF application form.

  • Local level – This means being listed in Schedule 5 of your local council's Local Environmental Plan (LEP). You can generally find your council’s current LEP on their website. If you are unsure whether the memorial is listed as a heritage item on an LEP, please contact your local council.
  • State level – This means being listed on the NSW State Heritage Register (SHR). The SHR is managed by Heritage NSW and lists items of state heritage significance. You can search for the memorial on the SHR via the Heritage NSW website.
  • National level – This means being listed on the National Heritage List, Australia’s list of natural, historic and Indigenous places of outstanding significance to the nation. It is unlikely a community war memorial will be on this list.

If, after you have searched the above sources, you are unsure whether your memorial is heritage listed, please email OVA at

A listing on the NSW War Memorials Register is not a form of heritage listing.


When will I find out if my application is successful?

All applicants will be formally notified of the outcome of their application by email. Please refer to the Program Guidelines for approximate dates for the announcement of outcomes.

OVA will send key information and documents to all successful applicants via SmartyGrants, which you must complete and email back to OVA within two weeks. These documents will include your Grant Funding Agreement, a request for your bank details, and details of any special conditions that have been attached to your grant funding, which you must comply with, and any related timeframes. Successful applicants will have one year from the award of their grant to acquit their grant.

If you are unsuccessful, it does not mean your application was without merit. Funding is limited and not all applications are successful.

Unsuccessful applicants interested in reapplying to the CWMF should seek detailed feedback from OVA. It is important you understand and address this feedback on how your application could have been improved.


Can the CWMF support work to graves?

No. The objective of the Community War Memorials Fund is to help conserve, repair and protect war memorials across NSW to support community commemoration. Individual graves are not war memorials.

We recommend you refer to the Australian Government’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs website for information on commemorating war dead.



Guidance on answering application form questions


How to write a project description

The CWMF application form asks you to provide a ‘concise description of your project’. This is a brief overview of what you are planning to do. It should be consistent with the works outlined in the quote/s you are providing with your application and any areas of concern shown in the photos of the memorial.

Your description can be up to 200 words, and we encourage you to use this fully. Your description should be more detailed than simply saying ‘Repairs to the war memorial’.

If your work includes stages or separate items you have been quoted for, you can use bullet points or a numbered list to make your description clear, logical, and easy to read. You can also refer to your quotes or other attachments, so the assessors know where to go for more information.

If your project is large or multi-staged, please also identify which elements the CWMF funding would be used for.



For a grant application to obtain a heritage specialist report, an example of a project description could read:

Our organisation plans to engage a specialist to undertake a condition assessment of our war memorial. Our consultant, Jane Smith of ABC Heritage, will visit the memorial and prepare a detailed report, including photographs, a condition assessment and treatment recommendations. Her report will address the criteria for ‘Heritage advice’ in the Program Guidelines.

For a grant application to undertake physical works to a war memorial, an example of a project description could read:

Our organisation plans to undertake cleaning and repairs to our war memorial. Works will be carried out by ABC Conservators, as per their quote attached to this application. The works are:
  1. Hand-clean full monument and surrounding steps, including removing biological growth on north side.
  2. Repoint all open joints in the steps with lime mortar.
  3. Treat rust spots on north side of monument.
  4. Regild three names on south honour roll.
  5. Replace broken pavers around park bench adjacent to monument.

CWMF funds would be used on items 1-4. We will cover the cost of item 5.


How to write a summary of the condition of your war memorial

The application form asks you to ‘provide a concise summary of the current condition of the memorial’. Your description can be up to 200 words, and we encourage you to use this fully. Your description should be more detailed than simply saying ‘the memorial is in poor condition’. Our assessors are looking for detailed information that is relevant to your project description.

Your answer can be based on a visual inspection of the memorial and does not need to be technical. However, if you have heritage specialist advice about the memorial, such as a condition assessment, you should draw information from it (for example, from the Executive Summary or Condition section). Similarly, if you've received a specialist quote for repair works, those works should align with the condition elements in your summary.

Remember to refer to the condition photos you have taken of the memorial. Make sure you include the areas you are most concerned about in your summary.

You can write in sentences or include a list to highlight particular areas of concern.

An example of a condition summary could read:

The honour roll is in fair condition overall, considering it is over 100 years old and has been positioned in direct sunlight in our hall for some time. However, we have five main areas of concern our project aims to address. Relevant photos are attached to this application.
  1. There are four visible splits in the timber on the centre panel.
  2. Ten names in columns 3 and 4 are faded and require refreshing by appropriate conservation methods.
  3. There are visible nail/screw holes in the top and bottom moulding. These have caused scratching and flaking of the varnish.
  4. There are areas of beige paint on the left and right sides of the honour roll and some spots of paint on the top left corner.
  5. The brass unveiling plaque attached to the bottom right corner is tarnished and would benefit from cleaning by appropriate conservation methods to make the text legible.


Naming your supporting photos and documents

We ask you to provide three kinds of photos in the application, as well supporting documents. Please rename your image and document files to explain their contents using the guidance in the link below.

Download the guidance on naming submitted files



Application checklist

This checklist has been prepared as a guide to the key requirements of an application for the CWMF. You may need to undertake additional steps relevant to your particular project.

Download the application checklist