Annual Events Program

We celebrate International Women’s Day with events and activities across Darebin throughout March.

On Thursday 8 March, individuals, organisations and governments around the world commemorate International Women’s Day.  This day exists to celebrate the social, cultural and political achievements of women but also as a day to raise awareness and take action against gender-based discrimination and violence.

The City of Darebin celebrates international women’s day with special events and activities which take place throughout the municipality during the month of March. This is detailed in our International Women's day 2018 Calendar of Events. 

Our key event to celebrate International Women's Day is the Molly Hadfield Social Justice Oration. This is a free public community event held annually in celebration of International Women’s Day. The event is a tribute to well-known Darebin resident Molly Hadfield OAM who worked tirelessly to advance women’s and seniors rights throughout her life. The oration will be delivered by gender transcendent diva, cabaret artiste, jazz singer and community activist, Mama Alto. The evening will also include MC, Sherry-Rose Bih, and performer, Violet Tolhurst.

Thursday 8 March, 6:30 - 8pm at Northcote Town Hall. Registrations via Eventbrite

Other events in March 2018: 

  • Saturday 3 March 10am - 12.30pm, Women's on Wheels: Bike Skills Workshop. Registrations via Eventbrite
  • Wednesday 7 March 7pm - 8pm, Breaking the Silence: Feminist Writers Festival at Preston Library. Registrations via Eventbrite
  • Thursday 8 March 10am - 11.30am, Morning Tea with Aseel Tayah at the Darebin Intercultural Centre. Registrations via email or call 8470 8440

For more information:

Contact Council's Preventing Violence Against Women Officer - or call 8470 8522

Held annually in March, the Darebin Community and Kite Festival is a perennial favourite. Held in picturesque Edwardes Lake Park in Reservoir, the festival is a large-scale, outdoor, cultural and community celebration.

It is a fun, free and immersive festival that offers a broad range of performances, workshops, community stalls, a pet expo, food and beverages, and of course, kite flying!

Gather your family and friends, bring a kite if you have one (or make one on the day!) and come along and celebrate with the Darebin community.

The next Darebin Community and Kite Festival will be held in 2018.

2016's festival was an amazing jam-packed day of fun, free, and engaging activities for all ages.

Celebrated on 17 May each year, IDAHOBIT recognises the discrimination and human rights abuses experienced by LGBTIQ people around the world.

IDAHOBIT also affirms the strength, resilience and contributions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) people and their families, allies and supporters. 

In Darebin, we are proud of our diverse community. As the closest level of government to the community, we believe that we have an important role in challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and promoting social inclusion and human rights for all, regardless of sexuality, sex characteristics or gender identity.

We recognise that discrimination can have serious negative consequences on the social and emotional well being of our residents. We are committed to strengthening community cohesion and connectedness by celebrating diversity and promoting respect for all.

On May 15 2017, Council resolved to raise and fly the rainbow flag at Preston Town Hall in solidarity with the LGBTIQ community until marriage equality legislation is passed by federal parliament. The flag was raised on IDAHOBIT Day on 17 May 2017.

Further information about diversity in Darebin

Messages of Support on IDAHOBIT

National Sorry Day is an annual ceremonial event that is held in Australia on 26 May and coincides with the launch of the 1997 ‘Bringing them Home’ report. Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June commences on the day after Sorry Day.

National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. Stolen generations refer to Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is celebrated across Australia each year between 27 May and 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey: the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. The week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort.

Each year, Darebin City Council recognises and celebrates these significant dates through a number of events across Council.

National Sorry Day 2017 - Leave a message
This year community are invited to leave a message in the commemorative Sorry Day book on display in the foyer of Council’s Customer Service Centre at 274 Gower Street, Preston, during business hours throughout National Reconciliation Week. The book will be presented to the National Sorry Day Committee. People are also invited to view the Stolen Generations Marker located outside Council officers on High Street, Preston for a moment of reflection.

Celebrate food traditions and sustainable food practices throughout May at the Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival.

Held in various locations across Darebin, this week-long program features workshops, seminars, demonstrations and special events, culminating in a ‘meet the makers’ showcase where you can enjoy free wine tastings. You can also enter your own homemade wine, passata, ajvar or olives into competition.

The Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival will next take place mid-2018.

For more details please visit the Darebin Arts website or subscribe to our What's On fortnightly e-newsletter to receive updates in your inbox.

NAIDOC Week 2017 will run from 2-9 July and is an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people.

NAIDOC Week 2017 celebrations:

Darebin City Council together with the Aborigines Advancement League invite you to join us in celebrating NAIDOC Week with an Aboriginal Flag Raising Ceremony. All are welcome to this free and open event to celebrate and share in the rich and thriving culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Date: 3 July 2017
Time: 10 - 11.30am
Location: Mantra Bell City Hotel (215 Bell Street, Preston)

Roll-up, roll-up and get your workplace involved in Ride2Work day on Wednesday 17th October, 2018.

Ride2Work Day is Australia's biggest celebration of bike riding and the perfect opportunity to try riding to work. Join the thousands of riders across Darebin already on their bikes and experience the difference riding can make to your daily commute. 

If you’re a business owner, take the lead and encourage your staff to ride. If you’re an employee, ask your boss to support the day. 

All businesses that register for Ride2Work Day with Darebin Council receive a FREE fresh fruit box for everyone to enjoy, as well as promotional posters, bike information and cycling-related give-aways. 

It’s free and easy to register - simply go to our registration page:  

All businesses that get involved are in the running to win some great prizes.  

Registrations close on September 30, 2018. 

Benefits of bike-friendly workplaces

Riding a bike is fast, convenient and fun. There are many other benefits of riding to work, such as:

  • Improving personal health and wellbeing
  • Attracting and retaining staff 
  • Reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity
  • Saving money on petrol and public transport fares 
  • Reducing congestion on our roads
  • Alleviating parking pressures at work
  • Minimising our greenhouse gas emissions

For more information about how to make your workplace more bike-friendly, visit Bicycle Network Victoria.

Every year throughout October, Melbourne’s thriving music community comes together to celebrate songwriting and music at the Darebin Music Feast.

This rich and diverse collection of musical events is built on the philosophy that music brings people together and can be enjoyed by all.

Darebin Music Feast 2017 will be taking over venues right across the municipality from 12 - 22 October. With signature events, dance parties, interactive installations, intimate gigs and returning favourite, the Darebin Songwriters Award, Darebin Music Feast showcases Darebin's diverse mix of music genres and cultures.

Few municipalities in Melbourne can boast the boundless creativity of Darebin. Taking in Thornbury, Northcote, Reservoir, Preston, Macleod, Fairfield, Bundoora, Alphington and Kingsbury, Darebin boasts a veritable bounty of talent and is brimming with art, music and dedication to culture.

For updates and news about this event, and opportunities to be involved, visit the Darebin Music Feast website.


Held annually in November, the Backyard Harvest Festival is a celebration of home food growing traditions. Learn from passionate and knowledgeable local experts from a diversity of cultures. Visit home gardens, participate in gardening workshops and get inspired to create your own food garden this spring!

The Backyard Harvest Festival has inspired home gardeners since it first began in 2011, helping build a strong sense of community around homegrown and homemade food. The 2017 festival is taking place from Saturday 18 - Sunday 26 November.

This year Darebin Council is partnering with Moreland City Council to deliver the festival, which means there are over 34 inspiring and diverse garden tours and workshops to participate in across Darebin and Moreland.

Learn about keeping bees, worm farming, fruit tree grafting, and how to attract beneficial insects to your food garden.

Download the detailed program here

Places are limited and bookings are essential via Eventbrite, or contact Tina Stagg on 8470 8673, email

Tours and workshops cost $10 ($5 Concession) Children are free.

Take advantage of 20% off the ticket price when you attend 3 or more events. Enter the promotional code MultiBYH17 in the booking window OF ALL THREE (or more) OF THE EVENTS YOU PURCHASE (don't just enter it at the last event you won't get the full discount)

Are you interested in volunteering or opening your garden at the next festival?

Click here to fill out the on-line Expression of Interest form or visit any Customer Service Centre to request a hard copy version.
Further Information
Sustainable Food Officer
Ph: 8470 8392

Video: Backyard Harvest Festival 2017

Held annually in December, Carols in All Nations is a perfect family night out under the stars, enjoying the musical talents from local choirs and picking up treasures from the market stalls.

This free event features performances from local choirs, music, community market stalls, sausage sizzle and more! Bring a picnic, your best singing voice and celebrate Christmas with your community.

The next Carols in All Nations will be held on Saturday 9 December 2017.

For more information, visit Carols in All Nations.

The FReeZA program is a part of the Victorian State Government funded FReeZA initiative that gives young people the opportunity to lead the planning and staging of live music and cultural events within their local communities.

As one of 78 state-wide providers, the FReeZA program also provides important performance opportunities for local musicians and emerging artists to showcase their talent through competitions such as the Victorian FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands.

All FReeZA events are fully supervised, drug, alcohol and smoke-free.

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We offer a variety of sessions for parents year-round to learn new techniques to help raise your child.

For complete details about our forthcoming programs see the July- December 2018 Parenting Seminars Calendar.

BOOKINGS: Bookings are essential as places are strictly limited, so book now.

Upcoming Sessions available for bookings:

  • Sleep and Settling
  • Babies and Food in the First Year
  • Promoting Children's Development
  • Siblings without Rivalry
  • Tuning into Your Baby
  • Mindfulness for Parents
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Anxiety in Young Children
  • Communication Development in 1-2 year olds
  • Baby Massage
  • Building Resilience in Children
  • Risky Play

True North is a series of year-round celebration of arts and community in the creative and diverse suburb of Reservoir.

A rolling series of participatory arts projects and events to delight locals, inspire visitors, and bring people together through sound, illustration, music, dance, food and play. Join us as we explore and celebrate the unique character of this thriving northern suburb. All you have to do is head True North.

To find out more, visit True North Arts.

Video: Attend a free event, find something to do over the school holidays, or visit public art in your neighbourhood.