DFC Community Engagement Grants

The most inclusive and accepting communities are the ones where people from within the community are committed and passionate about making change. 

Because they know their community better than anyone else, locals are better able to make lasting and sustainable change in their community.

This is especially so for people who wish to make their communities more dementia-friendly. 

People who take on this work typically have a personal connection to someone who has been diagnosed with dementia and are keen to become advocates for change in their local community. 

To support local community groups to develop projects or initiatives which make their community more dementia-friendly, Dementia Australia has provided limited grant funding. This funding is to ensure people living with dementia, their families and carers, are supported to retain their connection to community.

Two rounds of grants have been delivered so far, totalling more than $400,000. Grants have been awarded up to $15,000 and 40 groups have successfully received funding.

Each grant recipient is required to focus on active engagement and inclusion of people living with dementia and this may include co-design and delivery of community-focused activity.

A list of each of the projects is given below, to inspire others to start up their own community-focused project. 

Dementia Australia is very proud to support these projects and welcomes enquiries to find out more.

Grant applications for projects in 2020-21 are now open. For more information, click here.



Grants awarded in 2019/2020

Mercy Health and Aged Care Central QLD Ltd

Two streams of education and information sessions will be developed in this project. The first stream is targeted at people living with dementia, care partners and loved ones. These sessions will be designed to follow the journey of dementia from variations in presentation and symptoms, experiences of diagnosis, to assisting people to control their own experiences, as much as possible. The second stream will involve the larger community to broaden and deepen understanding of dementia, improve attitudes towards people with dementia, and perceptions of the disease.

Buderim Dementia Alliance

Grant funding will support the activities of Buderim Dementia Alliance with a particular focus on engaging and working with local businesses and organisations to embed dementia-friendly principles into their operations and increasing awareness and understanding of dementia amongst staff.

Lockyer Information and Neighbourhood Centre Inc

The grant will be used to establish a dementia-friendly sensory community garden environment that is designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses. People living with dementia will be actively involved and consulted with in the development of the sensory community garden.


Grants awarded in 2018/2019


This initiative will develop a Dementia Mentorship program. Its primary aim is to embrace those living with dementia as the greatest asset in the mission to foster dementia friendly communities.  The mentoring program will be defined as a voluntary partnership between the person living with dementia and community members, where development is encouraged through the sharing of the mentors’ expertise and experience to provide an understanding of what the community can do to make it more informed, safe, and respectful for people living with dementia.

View the early progress report here

View the final update here

Millmerran District Hospital Ladies Auxiliary – Darling Downs region QLD

Working with both the Millmerran and Pittsworth communities the aim of this project is to increase awareness of Dementia and to educate both the community generally and local businesses. Educating the general public and the business sector will create a better understanding and awareness of people living with Dementia. The project aims to support people living with dementia, in the community, to live a meaningful and inclusive life.

Back to top


New South Wales

Grants awarded in 2019/2020

Bega Valley Shire Library

The Intergenerational Community Activities project is a Bega Valley Shire Library program that is funded by Dementia Australia’s Dementia-Friendly Communities Engagement Project grants program. The project will engage Bega Valley Shire community members living with Dementia (and their carers), supporting them to create and deliver a series of activities to share with local pre-schoolers. These activities will be designed to highlight their skills, strengths, knowledge, interests, history and/or culture – i.e. something that they are passionate about, something they may have mastered over the years, or experiences from their lifetime. The Community Activities Project aims to reduce stigma by shifting focus onto respecting and valuing these community members for who they are, what they have achieved and what they have to give to the next generation, and the Bega Valley community as a whole. By engaging these community members (and their carers) as key contributors, Bega Valley Shire Library hope to empower and uplift them, whilst providing ongoing opportunities for them to benefit from regular social engagement.

Coonamble Neighbourhood Centre Inc

People living with dementia will be encouraged to guide the direction of the group by speaking up and advising what outcomes they hope to achieve. They will also be able to participate in one-on-one or group sessions of the Art Therapy Program and will take the lead on determining appropriate activities. These sessions will be open to carers as well and art work may be showcased at regular art exhibitions and social gatherings as appropriate, with a wide cross section of the community to be invited and involved. There is also opportunity for interested groups such as the local preschool, to be involved in combined art sessions.

Dementia Friendly Ballina (DAISI Services)

DAISI has supported a group of local people to form the Ballina Shire Dementia-Friendly Community Alliance, which has over 40 members from local businesses, community groups, service organisations and interested individuals. This Dementia-Friendly Ballina project aims to support the process of removing physical and social barriers that stop people with dementia and their carers from participating fully in daily life. This will be achieved through consultation and awareness raising forums, education and training sessions, and community social activities in collaboration with key stakeholders.

Holdsworth Community Ltd

The Woollahra Dementia Alliance convened by Woollahra Municipal Council currently includes a range of organisations in the Woollahra community including local hospitals, businesses, churches and other service providers. Holdsworth Community is a founding member of the alliance and has representation at every meeting.  The funds secured through this grant would ensure the Dementia Support Worker can continue to meaningfully connect people living with dementia in the community to the Woollahra Dementia Alliance, and for the alliance to explore ways to increase dementia awareness in the community by rolling out dementia awareness programs in schools, businesses, shops, community groups, youth groups and public services.

Kiama Municipal Council

This is the second grant to be awarded to Kiama Municipal Council.

The Dementia-friendly Kiama Project commenced in 2014 in partnership with (then) Alzheimer’s Australia – now Dementia Australia (DA), the University of Wollongong and Kiama Council.  The project has achieved a great deal in regards to making the Kiama community a dementia-friendly community, but there is much more that needs to be achieved. This Phase 3 project proposal is to build upon the momentum started in Kiama and to draw upon the insights & knowledge gained around building dementia-friendly communities and to tackle new areas and try new strategies to address the areas the project has not already successfully addressed. These areas include: further business education, further community education, and support the Kiama project’s Dementia-friendly Kiama Advisory Group (DAGs) to become their own incorporated organisation.

View video here.

Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra

This project will focus on dementia in local culturally and linguistically diverse communities including consulting with community members who are living with dementia and working with them to identify gaps in support services that could be addressed. This consultation will be facilitated in many languages to ensure there is no barrier to participation.

Nambucca Valley Care

The grant will go towards establishing a local dementia alliance to work towards a dementia-friendly community. People living with dementia and their carers will be invited to join this alliance. The alliance will aim to increase dementia awareness in the local community and run awareness sessions for local business owners.

Northside Community Forum

In 2018, Your Side initiated the Northern Beaches dementia-friendly community project and established the Northern Beaches Dementia Alliance to govern the project action plan. The grant will go towards supporting the activities of the wider project, establishing and sustaining a local alliance and Dementia Advisory Group, and encouraging and supporting local businesses to become dementia-friendly. The funding will also support intergenerational education sessions with high school students, focused on dementia-friendly awareness and communication.


Grants awarded in 2018/2019

Community and Cultural Connections Inc

This is a collaborative project whose aim is to conduct a dementia awareness campaign to inform, educate and demystify dementia within the targeted CALD communities. It will contain two primary components, a series of co-designed Multicultural Dementia Forums accompanied by an “Expo” of local services with information provided in identified community languages, and development of dementia-friendly local resources. This campaign will specifically target people from Greek, Italian, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities, chosen on the basis of their representation within the population of people aged over 65 in the Sydney’s Inner Western Region.

Anglican Community Services

In this project, Anglicare at Home Dementia Advisory Services along with people living with dementia, aim to contribute to the development and maintenance of Blacktown LGA as a dementia-friendly community by sensitising and educating personnel associated with public transport across the train lines of Blacktown LGA (Sydney trains, Sydney buses, railway police and shop owners) and shopping centres in the Blacktown LGA, through facilitated information sessions.

View the early progress report here

View the final update here

Port Macquarie - Hastings Council

The 'Four Seasons in One Dementia Day' program consisted of a series of four dementia-friendly community activities over the four seasons of the 2018/2019 financial year. The program included a pop-up Dementia Café in Winter 2018, a ‘Meet the Author’ event hosted by the Port Macquarie Library with bestselling fiction author Sally Hepworth in Spring 2018. In Summer 2019 ‘Hands on History’ art and dementia workshops for people living with dementia was held at the Port Macquarie Museum and Historic Courthouse. The year finished with an Artwalk in Autumn 2019. As part of the Artwalk, a short video created with local residents living with memory loss was projected onto the walls of a CBD building.

Read more about the ‘Four Seasons in One Dementia Day’ outcomes here.

3Bridges Community

This project aimed to create a dementia-friendly neighbourhood at Carss Park in Southern Sydney, inclusive and responsive to the needs of people living with dementia. This involved connecting with local residents, businesses, schools, police, council and service providers to raise awareness of dementia in order to promote the rights of people living with dementia to meaningful engagement and participation in the community.

Byron Shire Respite Service Inc.

This dementia-friendly awareness activity aimed to dispel the myth that dementia is an old person’s disease by offering dementia education sessions and promoting dementia-friendly communities in the Northern Rivers. The project aimed to increase people’s engagement/access to existing community activities, health and support services by promoting dementia-friendly communities and raising dementia awareness amongst minority groups in the region.

Read more about the Byron Shire project outcomes here.

Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre

This activity aimed to establish Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre as a dementia-friendly organisation, and promote an optimum environment within the community of support, acceptance, and encouragement. The project includes the design, development and support of a dementia peer volunteer program and meaningful, sensory-rich, culturally, and locally appropriate activity groups and community BBQs.

HealthWISE New England North West

This project in Narrabri aimed to teach community and business that while dementia comes in many forms and affects people differently there are a number of common symptoms. Education and communication skills were offered to businesses to improve customer service. Education of staff in local businesses will a go a long way towards creating a town where people living with dementia feel respected and valued by making some simple changes to the environment (clear signage, pathways, seating and lighting etc.). The project supported community and businesses with the tools and checklists they need to improve their customer service skills so that people living with dementia can continue to live well in Narrabri. HealthWISE is a proud partner of the Narrabri Dementia-Friendly Community Steering Committee and manages the CEP grant funding on behalf of the committee.

Read more about the HealthWISE program outcomes.

Hammond Care Nowra

This project convened and established a practical community action plan to develop a dementia-friendly community within the Shoalhaven Region. The action plan identified strategies for disseminating dementia-friendly resources and was informed by a mini-scoping study to assess the current strengths and gaps in the local community. These included: social isolation and the promotion of social engagement; the physical environment for people living with dementia; and community awareness and understanding of dementia.
The work of the project was overseen and directed by a working party made up of people living with dementia as well as other relevant stakeholders.

Read more about the Hammond Care Nowra project outcomes.

Back to top



Grants awarded in 2019/2020

Australian Multicultural Community Services

This project will focus on supporting people living with dementia from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who often have difficulty accessing services due to language or cultural barriers. Project activities will be co-designed with people who are living with dementia from multi-cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds and will promote change at a local level in order to make communities more welcoming and inclusive of people living with dementia.

Cardinia Shire Council

Cardinia Shire Council is committed to the delivery of dementia-friendly initiatives through the Age Friendly Strategy and the Liveability Plan 2017-2029. This Dementia-Friendly Communities funding is supporting the active involvement of people living with dementia and their carers. As members of the Cardinia Shire Council’s Dementia-Friendly Alliance group based in Koo Wee Rup, they meet monthly.  Their first-hand lived experience is an integral component to the co-design aspect of the project give a voice to those living with dementia. To date the project has seen the formation of a representative dementia alliance group who have assisted in the delivery of local community-based dementia awareness sessions and the establishment of the forget-me-not dementia friendly café in Koo Wee Rup. This café opened its doors to 15 participants at its launch on 25 June 2019 offering the community a unique opportunity to participate in a regular social support group Cardinia Shire has also presented to colleagues within the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Positive Ageing Network.

City of Yarra

This grant will assist the development of a dementia-friendly community in the City of Yarra. A local dementia alliance will be formed and focus on increasing local understanding and awareness of dementia. The project, while open to all people living with dementia in the identified neighbourhoods, will specifically target culturally and linguistically diverse people residing within the Richmond area (bounded by Church, River, Swan Streets and Bridge Road) who are living with dementia, their carers, family and friends.


The grant will go towards developing an innovative, inviting and interactive pop-up dementia information booth that will be developed and run by people living with dementia, their carers and Cooinda volunteers that will draw the attention of passers-by. The booth will be used to raise awareness and understanding of dementia in the local community.

Coonara Community House

The grant will go towards researching and implementing dementia-friendly initiatives at Coonara Community House, such as improving the physical environment of the Community House and considering dementia-friendly principles to ensure people living with dementia will be able to fully participate in a range of learning opportunities including; arts and crafts, games, computer literacy, cooking, current affairs and vocational tasters. A series of community awareness and education events will also be held in order to increase local awareness and understanding of dementia.

Djerriwarrh Health Services

Djerriwarrh Health Services provides support to the Bacchus Marsh Dementia Alliance. The grant will go to supporting the alliance to continue consulting with carers and people living with dementia who attend the Dementia Support Group and dementia social groups, with designing and delivering projects. Plans include establishing a neighbourhood drop in centre for people living with dementia, their families and carers, and introducing dementia-friendly concepts to local businesses including the hospital and supermarkets.

Maldon Hospital

This grant will help Maldon Hospital establish a Maldon Dementia Alliance which will focus upon building a dementia-friendly community in Maldon. People living with dementia and their carers will be recruited to steer the project and an alliance will be created to lead activities such as running community dementia awareness sessions and partnering with local services.

Russian Ethnic Representative Council of Victoria inc

The grant will go towards raising awareness and understanding of dementia within the Russian community in Victoria. Activities will include translating educational materials, running community awareness sessions, promoting dementia awareness on local community radio channels and in local newsletters. People living with dementia and their carers will be involved in the organisation and delivery of community awareness events and activities.


Grants awarded in 2018/2019

Dementia Friendly Ballarat

The Woowookarung Regional Park, (RP) Ballarat is the location where a native sensory garden/sensory cues trail will be established within an overall Parks Victoria park plan and community health activation plan. This project provides a unique opportunity for people living with dementia to be involved at every stage, as well as the application of dementia-friendly design principles.

View the early progress report here

View the final update here

The Centre for Continuing Education Inc.

This project, based in the community of Corryong (Towong Shire) aimed to: increase community understanding of dementia, reduce stigma and the resultant social isolation (including self-imposed social isolation) of people living with dementia and their carers, increase community support for people living with dementia to maintain engagement with their community.

Read the final progress report for this project

Inner East Primary Care Partnership (auspiced by Carrington Health)

This project expanded on an existing project and supported the development and implementation of a model of co-design and active project engagement with people living with dementia, to deliver actions. This was done through partnerships and collaboration, working with local businesses in key activity areas such as Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre and Brentford Square (a smaller shopping strip in Forest Hill) to increase education and public awareness of dementia, and obtain support for the local dementia-friendly initiatives. The project also worked with the local media to increase public awareness of dementia and promote the local dementia-friendly community initiatives and actions.

Read more about the Inner East Primary Care Partnership project outcomes

Back to top



Grants awarded in 2019/2020

Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania

This project will develop a how-to guide for creating community gardens that are dementia-friendly. This is not a landscape design guide but rather a guide to creating spaces that are truly inclusive of people living with dementia. It will focus on the physical, social, activity and philosophical elements of dementia-friendly community gardening. It will be created by a team of people who have been regularly involved in a very successful supported community garden project, the DIGnity Supported Community Gardening project.


Grants awarded in 2018/2019

Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, UTAS

Living with Dementia Conversation Cards are a resource to improve engagement with people living with dementia across the community through conversation. As a precursor to this project, the Wicking Centre undertook a series of community forums over two years aiming to initiate conversations about dementia, inspire reflection on what dementia-friendly communities mean for community groups in different regions and distil targets for action to support establishment of dementia friendly communities.

Read the final progress report for this project

Back to top


South Australia

Grants awarded in 2018/2019

Adelaide Hills Council

This project fostered and promoted tourism, social and retail destinations that are dementia-friendly. The project supported Adelaide Hills businesses to demonstrate awareness, respect and responsiveness to people living with dementia. The project was a collaboration between the Hills Inclusive Tourism (HIT) group and the Hills Dementia Action Group (HDAG). The HIT completed an inclusive tourism project whereby local tourism destinations were reviewed for access and inclusion, and supported to make changes for older people and people with mobility constraints.

View the early progress report here

View the final update here

ACH Group

ACH Group will work with people living with dementia (including people with Younger Onset Dementia), their families, supporters, and in collaboration with State Swim to develop Dementia Friendly Swimming Experience resources for people living with dementia. Together they will design resources that swimming venues, programs, services, and people living with dementia and their families can use to create Dementia friendly swimming experiences.

View the early progress report here

View the final update here


This Victor Harbour based project enabled ECH to build capacity in order to facilitate engagement of local people living with dementia, those living with them and the broader Victor Harbor community in South Australia, while initiating the process of creating a dementia-friendly community. The grant was expected to assist ECH to increase the overall capacity and capability of the community to support people with dementia to remain living at home, to participate in their local community, and to conduct a meaningful and engaged life.

Back to top


Western Australia

Grants awarded in 2019/2020

Shire of Denmark

This project aims to co-design and deliver strategies that are truly developed in partnership with the community in the Shire of Denmark. This project will work towards developing a dementia-friendly community in Denmark which will involve establishing a local dementia alliance group, participatory community engagement process and community awareness events to increase local understanding and awareness of dementia. It is expected that the local dementia alliance group will continue beyond the scope of this project.


Grants awarded in 2018/2019

Shire of Manjimup Community Home Care

Developing a stronger dementia-friendly working group, awareness training aimed at building capacity for volunteers, and intergenerational skill/swap sessions, were all planned as part of this project. Specifically, Manjimup Community Home Care planned to engage a dementia trained artist to run a 10-week art workshop series within their Boronia club program. During this time volunteers were expected to train alongside the artist and learn sufficient skills in order to continue running regular art programs into the future. It is anticipated that with assistance of trained volunteers, this program will improve levels of engagement of people living with dementia and attract new individuals from the community.

Read the final progress report for this project

Back to top


Northern Territory

Grants awarded in 2018/2019

Darwin Community Arts

This grant supported the dementia-friendly design and implementation of community activity workshops, including: music programs involving singing and the use of music instruments; storytelling, wherein clients tell their stories which are then recorded and edited; weaving using grasses, plants and recycled materials; arts and crafts, including jewellery making, origami, sewing, crochet and knitting; flow painting on canvas using simple techniques; and guidance on computer use, enabling participants to look up ideas or research whatever the participants chose.

Read the final progress report for this project