14 March 2024

Grant guidelines for the Albanese Labor Government’s $200 million Play Our Way program are now available, so applicants can begin preparing their submissions ahead of the grant round officially opening later this month.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters met with players and officials from local women’s AFL team the Bendigo Thunder to discuss how opportunities like the Play Our Way fund could help improve women’s participation in sport in Central Victoria.

For every two males who play sport, only one female does and many girls drop out of sport and never come back later in life.

The Play Our Way fund addresses this inequity by supporting local governments, community not-for-profits and sporting organisations to make sport more welcoming and equitable for women.

Grants will be available in two streams:

• Facilities: For projects that establish and improve sporting facilities that are designed for women and girls and further encourage them to take part in sport and physical activity by better meeting their needs; and
• Participation and equipment: For programs that encourage women and girls to participate and remain involved in sport and physical activity for life, by tackling barriers such as disadvantage or lack of equipment, and for programs that will lead to sustained cultural change in sport.

Play Our Way grant applications will be assessed through an impartial, transparent process led by the Department of Health and Aged Care.

The Play Our Way program Grant Opportunity Guidelines are available at Forecast Opportunity View - P5261: GrantConnect (grants.gov.au) with applications opening later in March 2024.


“This grant program will not only help women and girls maintain better physical and mental health, but will contribute to a sporting culture that treats women with equality, fairness and respect.

“Too often in our community women and girls are changing in men's bathrooms, wearing hand me down boys’ uniforms, playing with men's equipment on fields that they wouldn't let the boys’ teams train on.

“The Albanese Labor Government is proud to invest in community sporting facilities and participation programs to enable women and girls to find their feet in sport.

“I’ve been a strong voice and advocate for women’s sport locally for many years. This funding program is an opportunity that many people, including myself, have been calling for.”