Dame Roma Mitchell Grants
Dame Roma Mitchell Grants provide opportunities for eligible children and young people who are or have been under the guardianship of the Minister for Education and Child Development.
Other grants and resources for young people should be considered before applying for a Dame Roma Mitchell Grant.
Dame Roma Mitchell Grants are available in the following categories:
Achieving personal goals
These grants provide a range of social, recreational and self-development opportunities. Previous grants have been awarded for:
- travel which enhances self-identity and re-connection
- musical instruments
- attendance at workshops
- art materials
- sporting equipment
- travel costs to participate in events
- drama or dance tuition
- performance costs.
Health and wellbeing
Grants have been awarded to support independence, identity and health such as:
- obtaining a driver's licence
- surgery, health services or equipment not covered by Medicare or other government services
- essential basic furniture and household items for moving into independent living
- connecting with family members
- attending cultural events.
The Commonwealth Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) also provides funds to meet some of the costs involved in moving to independent living. Please check your eligibility with TILA before applying to this fund.
Grants can support young people to re-engage in learning or earning to successfully achieve educational or vocational outcomes. Previous grants have provided:
- pre-vocational courses
- computers and software to assist with study and gaining employment
- business expenses
- study opportunities, workshops and conferences
- tools for apprenticeships
- equipment, training courses, tuition
- clothing for special events - eg graduations
South Australians aged 16 and over who have been, or who are currently under the Guardianship of the Minister on any type of Guardianship Order will be eligible for a full fee waiver for subsidised courses that attract a course fee (such as WorkReady). Incidental fees may apply. Contact 1800 506 266 for further information.
To be eligible for a Dame Roma Mitchell Grant you must be 29 years or younger at the closing date for applications and be, or have been:
- under the Guardianship of the Minister under the Children's Protection Act 1993 (or a previous equivalent in South Australia), for at least one year
- a child/young person from a remote Aboriginal community who is/was placed in the long-term care of relatives under family care agreements, financially supported on a regular basis by the Department for Education and Child Development (or a previous equivalent) for a combined total of at least one year.
How much you can apply for
There is no set limit, and all requests will be considered by the Board.
You should provide quotes with your application for the items or services you are applying for.
Applicants may only submit one grant request per funding round.
What is not supported by the Dame Roma Mitchell Grants
The fund will not provide assistance where there are existing government or other avenues of funding. All possible sources of funding from government and non-government should be explored in the first instance.
The Dame Roma Mitchell Grants will not fund the following:
- Goods, services or activities that should reasonably be made by the Department for Child Protection in its role as "parent" of applicants aged under 18 years, or for those leaving care
- Services or activities that should reasonably be made by Disability SA
- Non-essential furniture or household items (other than those mentioned above) such as home entertainment systems, stereos and television sets
- Personal computers for gaming purposes, telephones
- Overseas travel
- Funds to pay debts for Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)
- Funds for emergency or crisis relief, including the payment of bills, debts or fines
- Payment for an item on 'lay-by' or 'hire purchase' or reimbursement of something you have already paid for
- Nursery items – due to the Australian Government Baby Bonus payments
- General budgetary items – such as clothing, school uniforms
- Motorised vehicles, except in the case of modifications to a vehicle for young people with a disability.
How to apply
If you are unable to complete your application on your own, or with help from a friend, carer or support worker, you can contact the Dame Roma Mitchell Grants Executive Officer to make an appointment to meet with you to help finalise it.
If you are still under the Guardianship Order, there is a section in the application that needs to be completed by your Department for Child Protection Social or Support Worker.
Items or services you apply for should express your interests and desires, not those of your carer or social worker.
Further education grants
Further education grants are available for post-secondary educational costs and associated expenses.
Applications for Further Education grants are only accepted twice a year to accommodate timelines of tertiary education providers.
The information you provide when applying for a grant is kept confidential.
It will take several weeks after the close of the funding round for all applications to be assessed. Please take this into account when applying for funds. If you require funds urgently, you may need to find an alternative source of funding.
When final decisions are made, you will receive a letter advising you of the outcome of your application.
If your contact details change, please advise the Dame Roma Mitchell Grants Executive Officer so that you can be notified.
How applications are considered
All eligible applications received by the closing date will be assessed by the Dame Roma Mitchell Grants Board.
Priority will be given to applications that would not generally be eligible for funding from another grant, scheme or funding source. The Board will also take into account the applicant's history of approved Dame Roma Mitchell Grants.
If your application is unsuccessful, this is not a reflection on you personally. The Board only has a limited amount of funds it can grant in each round of funding. It may be that you have applied for something the Board cannot fund or may have funded you for previously.
Hear about how the Dame Roma Mitchell grants have helped young people in the following videos:
Grant program management
The Trust funds are managed by the Public Trustee, with the operational support provided by the Department for Education and Child Development.
The Dame Roma Mitchell Grants are governed by a Board who reports to the Minister for Education and Child Development. All Board members are volunteers and receive no remuneration.
Board members come from a variety of backgrounds including young people who have been in the care system.
Supporting the Dame Roma Mitchell grants
You can support the Dame Roma Mitchell grants by:
- participating in a workplace giving program
- making a tax deductible donation
- becoming a champion.
The Executive Officer
Dame Roma Mitchell Grants
Department for Education and Child Development
Phone: 1300 650 971