NSW Wildlife Heroes Vaccination Fund grants close 31 August

The NSW Wildlife Heroes Vaccination Fund grant program is managed by the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife with funding from the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust. It is an initiative of the NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy.

The purpose of this grant program is to increase the number of volunteer wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife vets that can handle bats, leading to better outcomes for bat welfare and care and increased human safety.

Anyone handling bats in Australia must be vaccinated for Australian bat lyssavirus (rabies).


Applications open 9.00am Monday 17 August 2020 and close 5.00pm (AEST) Monday 31 August 2020.

Successful applicants will be notified by 4 September 2020

All grant applicants should have documented policies and procedures for ABLV risk management, including use of personal protective equipment, pre- and post-exposure protocols and additional industry specific control measures.


Protocols must note that “Only rabies-vaccinated people who are experienced in handling bats and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should handle, rescue or examine a bat.”


Many elements of the assessment criteria below will also be future requirements of the NPWS accreditation program for the NSW wildlife rehabilitation sector.

Eligible items

Eligible items the grant can pay for:

  • A complete course of rabies vaccinations or a booster delivered by a registered medical professional


Grants made available through this program are one off or multi-year to a maximum of two years.

Funds Available

The funds are available for allocation in the 2019-2020 financial year are $70,000


In this program the minimum grant available per year is $300 and the maximum grant available is $4,500. Applications are welcome for 1 or 2 years of funding.

Goals of the grant round

  • Enable licensed wildlife rehabilitation volunteers to provide emergency response that meets DPIE standards i.e. Codes of Practice for injured, sick and orphaned flying foxes
  • Improve bat-related training, policy and record-keeping in the wildlife rehabilitation sector
  • Increase the number of first responders for emergencies related to bats
  • Offset the cost of emergency response to individual volunteers
  • Increase the capacity of the wildlife rehabilitation sector to meet the demands of future emergency events
  • Enhance the efficiency, safety and effectiveness of wildlife emergency response operations
  • Improve animal welfare outcomes for injured wildlife

Who is eligible?

Applications are welcomed from:

  • Licensed NSW volunteer wildlife rehabilitation groups (groups)
  • Not for profit wildlife veterinary clinics or hospitals.


Applicants will not be eligible for funding if they are:

  • Based outside of NSW
  • An individual member of a wildlife group

Essential criteria

All applications must comply with essential criteria. Applications that do not confirm the following for their group will be rejected:

  • Provide a safe workplace for volunteers including evidence of volunteer insurance and WHS policies
  • Bat rescue and care experience
  • A current ABN and associated bank account
  • No outstanding grant reporting requirements with FNPW or NPWS
  • Endorsement from the Chair/CEO/President
  • Groups may submit only one application

Assessment criteria

Applicants (the group) should provide evidence of bat handling policy and procedures that demonstrate compliance with public health recommendations. Evidence of the following will be used to score each application:

  • Auditable record keeping system for tracking member vaccinations, training and titre levels
  • Group members required to resubmit titre levels regularly in order to remain as bat rescuers/carers
  • Up to date policy and procedures related to bat rescue and care
  • Policy aligns with WHA and Public Health guidelines
  • Policy includes PPE advice
  • Policy includes vaccination requirements
  • Policy includes advice about what to do if a member of the public or a group member is bitten or scratched by a bat
  • Policy includes heat stress event advice
  • Policy outlines specific advice for bat related rescues that ensures they are prioritised and only handled by trained and vaccinated members
  • Policy was updated in the last 5 years
  • Applicant provides sufficient beginner and refresher training for bat handling and care
  • Group has provided a copy of its training manual

Priority will be given to:

  • Groups with high demand for flying fox heat stress response (5% weighting applied to scores); and
  • Groups that have no or little funding from other sources (5% weighting applied to scores)

Grant administration and record keeping

The NSW Wildlife Heroes Vaccination Fund grant program will be administered using the online SmartyGrants grant management program. Applications must be made via SmartyGrants.


The following documents will also be stored by SmartyGrants:

  • Financial invoices, contracts and acquittal forms
  • Contact details of organisations and grantees
  • Additional documentation required for application assessment and reporting

Application process

Applications will only be accepted via the online applications portal, Smarty Grants.