Guidelines — Unmarked First World War Graves Funding Assistance Program

Last updated: 
28 January 2020

The debt of honour owed to those who gave their lives in the service of their country can never be repaid but we demonstrate our gratitude and honour the sacrifice in our cemeteries in Australia and overseas. The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) is providing funding assistance to mark currently unmarked graves in Australia of veterans of the First World War.

The Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG), within DVA, has established a program whereby individuals or associations might apply for funding to assist in marking an unmarked grave. This is a pilot program that will be available for two years. These guidelines apply to that program.

Who can apply?

Any individuals, non-commercial organisations or community groups, who have an interest in arranging to have a marker placed on a currently unmarked grave in Australia can apply for funding assistance.

What is the eligibility criteria?

In order to be eligible to receive funding assistance the following applies:

  • The current unmarked grave is located in Australia and is the grave of a First World War veteran.
  • The First World War veteran served in the Australian Forces.
  • The applicant has the authority to alter the grave. This may be in the form of having the Right of Burial or in the absence of that, authority from the cemetery where the grave is located.
  • The applicant provides a quote for the total cost of the marker.
  • More information on eligibility criteria can be found in the accompanying frequently asked questions (FAQs).

What level of funding is available?

Each application received by OAWG will be assessed to decide whether funding can be provided. The funding assistance for this program is capped at $450 for each application.

Submitting your application

Applicants should provide all information requested on the application form where possible. Applicants are also asked to include a quote for the cost of work to be done and the appropriate authority to alter a grave.

An application form can be downloaded from Unmarked First World War Graves under the heading 'Applications'.

Once completed, the application should be submitted by using either of the following methods:


Director, Office of Australian War Graves
Department of Veterans' Affairs
GPO Box 9998
Brisbane QLD 4001


unmarkedgraves [at]

How are applications assessed?

Applications that meet all eligibility criteria will be considered by OAWG. If the required documentation is not attached to your application, or further information is required, you will be given the opportunity to provide this.

Applications will be processed within 90 days of receipt of application where possible.

OAWG makes the final decision on each application and applicants will be notified in writing of the decision.

Funding does not denote Commonwealth ownership or responsibility

Funding assistance under this program does not denote Australian Government responsibility for ownership, or maintenance, of a grave marker.

Uses of funding assistance

Funding assistance of up to $450 may be provided to cover the entire cost of the grave marker, or as a part contribution toward a larger cost, depending on the grave marker that is being arranged.

If the funding assistance is going to be a part contribution to a larger cost, please ensure that your application addresses how you will be funding the remaining costs.

Please note that funding will not be approved for any of the following items:

  • expenditure already incurred
  • costs associated in obtaining permits or approvals
  • the routine repair and maintenance of a grave marker
  • future costs associated with the grave or grave marker.

What happens if my application is approved? What are my responsibilities?

The approval and distribution of funding assistance will be decided by OAWG, based on information submitted in the application.

Recipients of the funding assistance will be required to acknowledge receipt of the funding within the specified timeframe in the letter of approval. You will also be required to acquit the funding once their project has been completed. Projects will be expected to be completed within 180 days.

To acquit the funding, recipients will be required to provide documentation verifying funds were spent consistent with the submission and accompanied by photographs of the installed marker.

The preferred method of payment is by direct credit to the applicable person/ organisation/ contractor's bank account.