Annual Events Program

Backyard Harvest Festival

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!

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Held by Darebin Council in partnership with the Darebin Ethnic Communities Council (DECC), The Backyard Harvest Festival has been inspiring home gardeners since 2011, becoming more popular each year.

The 2016 festival is being held from Saturday 19 - Sunday 27 November, on weekends and early evenings during the week.

Are you interested in volunteering or opening your garden at the next festival?
Volunteers are an essential part of the festival. Home gardeners generously donate an hour or two to open their gardens to the public. They have said they find sharing their food growing knowledge immensely satisfying, by helping build a strong sense of community around homegrown food. Other volunteeers help as a guide or translator for home gardeners and benefit first hand from the wealth of food cultivating skills of the passionate gardeners from a diversity of cultures.
Click here to fill out the on-line Expression of Interest form or visit any Customer Service Centre to request a hard copy version. Expressions of interest close Friday 9 Sept 2016
Further Information
Sustainable Food Officer
Ph: 8470 8392
Video: Backyard Harvest Festival 2011/2012

Carols in All Nations

A perfect family night out under the stars, enjoying the musical talents from local choirs and picking up treasures from the market stalls.

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


The next Carols in All Nations is on Saturday 12 December 2015, 6-9.30pm. For more information, visit Darebin Arts.



Citizenship Ceremonies

Congratulations on deciding to become an Australian Citizen! Find dates of Citizenship Ceremonies held at Darebin and what to bring on your big day.

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The Mayor of Darebin hosts the Citizenship Ceremonies, which are also attended by key speakers representing Federal and State Parliament. 

You will need to apply to become an Australian citizen through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection .

Ph: 131 880

When and where will the ceremony be held?
Once your application for Australian citizenship is approved the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will send you a letter to advise which ceremony to attend and when.

You can only attend the Citizenship Ceremony assigned to you in the letter sent by the Department of Immigration & Citizenship.

Duration: The ceremony lasts 1 hour with refreshments served afterwards.
Food and Drinks: Light meal and refreshments are provided.
Guests: Family and friends are welcome and encouraged to attend. It's a celebration!

Remaining Citizenship Dates for the City of Darebin in 2016

Venue and times for the following dates: City Hall 280 Gower Street, Preston 3072. Time: Doors open for Registration at 6.00pm Ceremony commences at 7.00pm until 8.15pm approx.

  • Wednesday 15 June
  • Thursday 11 August
  • Wednesday 2 November
  • Thursday 17 November
  • National Citizenship Day: Saturday 17 September   Venue: City Hall, 280 Gower Street, Preston 3072 Time: 9.30am registration and 10.30am ceremony 

What happens if I cannot attend a Citizenship Ceremony?
Contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship if you have a special request or cannot attend your assigned ceremony date.

Department of Immigration & Citizenship
Ph: 131 880

Registration at the Citizenship Ceremony

  • Register on the day of the ceremony with a Council Officer no later than 15 minutes before the ceremony commences.
  • Please bring along your letter from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
  • Bring along your photo identification (e.g. passport or drivers license).
  • Advise during registration if your contact details have changed (e.g. address, phone number or surname).
Further Information
Communications Project Officer
Ph: 8470 8551

Multilingual Telephone Line (We Speak Your Language)
Ph: (03) 8470 8470

Darebin Community and Kite Festival

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.

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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 Darebin Community and Kite Festival is part of Darebin Arts’ True North program.

For more information and program details for the 2016 event visit the Darebin Community and Kite Festival website.

Sunday 20 March 2016, 11am – 6pm

Darebin Music Feast

Every year, 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.

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This year’s Music Feast will present over 100 events, in more than 10 venues over 10 days across Darebin! 

Darebin Music Feast showcases and celebrates our diverse music community with an eclectic program of events. From rock to folk to gypsy to jazz and everything in between, the Darebin Music Feast sees community music groups perform in local halls, alongside touring international acts in some of Melbourne’s most prestigious live music venues.

Dates: 23 October - 1 November 2015

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


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.

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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.


Homemade Food and Wine Festival

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

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Held in various locations around central Preston, the week-long program features workshops, seminars, demonstrations and special events, culminating in the ‘meet the makers’ showcase where you can enjoy free beer and wine tastings.

You can also enter your own homemade wine, beer, passata, ajvar or olives into competition.

The next Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival will be held from 9 - 15 May 2015. For more details please visit

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia

This year again, we will proudly fly the Rainbow Flag to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Join us to celebrate the day and our LGBTIQ community with a suite of events!

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Celebrated annually on 17 May, International day against homphobia, biphobia and transphobia (IDAHOT) is recognised worldwide as the date when discrimination and human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities are acknowledged and when LGBTIQ people and their allies take a stand against discrimination.

In Darebin, we are proud of our diverse community. Being 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 on the basis of sex characteristics, gender identity and sexuality can have serious negative consequences on the social and emotional wellbeing of our residents.  As such, we are committed to strengthening community cohesion and connectedness by celebrating diversity and promoting respect for all.

To celebrate IDAHOT 2016, join us at one of these events:

  • Rainbow flag-raising and community conversation: Tuesday 17 May 2016, 10am-12pm, Preston.
    • Mark the day by attending our raising of the rainbow flag at the Preston Town Hall at 10am.
    • Then join us at 10.30am at the Darebin Intercultural Centre to listen to Monique Hameed, from the Multicultural Centre for Women's Health, speak about her work with young same-sex attracted women from immigrant and refugee communities.
    • All welcome to the flag-raising ceremony, but please RSVP  to the intercultural centre for the community conversation.
    • All details are here!
  • Screening of Gayby Baby: Tuesday 17 May 2016, 7pm-8pm, Reservoir.
    • Come and join us at the Reservoir Library, 23 Edwardes Street for the screening of acclaimed Australian documentary, Gayby Baby.
    • Gayby Baby observes the lives of four children whose parents are either gay or lesbian and explores the ways in which growing up as a ‘gayby’ has affected them.
    • Free but registration essential. All details are here!

    On May 17, come and celebrate the strength, resilience and contributions of Darebin LGBTIQ residents with us!

And if you're in a neighbouring municipality, why not join one of these events?

  • in Moreland:
    • Launch of #ThisCampaignIsQueer on Monday 16 May 2016 at 5.30 pm at Brunswick Town Hall, 233 Sydney Road, Brunswick
    • Intergenerational Queer story share at East Coburg Community House 32 Nicholson Street, East Coburg on Tuesday 17 May 2016 at 6.30 pm
  • in Banyule:
    • Launch of ‘Inclusion: What Makes a Family Photography Exhibition on Saturday 14 May  at 10:30am at Banyule Council Offices, 275 Upper Heidelberg, Ivanhoe

    • Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony and Morning Tea on Tuesday 17 May  at 11:00am at Banyule Council Offices, 275 Upper Heidelberg, Ivanhoe

    • IDAHOT Party, a night of comedy and music with Tom Ballard and Bluehouse on Tuesday 17 May at 6pm at Max’s Burger Bar, Cnr Rattray Rd and Were St, Montmorency

International Women's Day

We celebrate International Women’s Day with events and activities taking place in the municipality throughout the whole month of March!

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March the 8th is a global day of recognition and celebration of women’s social, political, cultural and economic achievements. It is also a day that invites reflection and action to combat gender-based discrimination and violence. 

Council has a range of events on to celebrate International Women's Day, notably the Molly Hadfield Social Justice Oration, instituted by Council in 2013 as a tribute to Darebin resident Molly Hadfield OAM, who worked tirelessly throughout her life to advance women’s and seniors’ rights.  The oration provides an ongoing platform for exploring and understanding key social justice issues of interest to women in our community.   

The inaugural oration was delivered by prominent women's rights activist Mary Crooks AO in 2014 and by human rights advocate, curator and author Tasneem Chopra in 2015.
This year the oration was delivered by social commentator, writer and activist Celeste Liddle, supported by spoken word performance from local poet, Jan Earthstar.

Koorie Pride Youth Festival

Held annually in April in Preston, Koorie Pride features main stage programming all day, market stalls, kids’ activities and a barbecue.

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Presented in partnership with Songlines Aboriginal Music, Koorie Pride Festival showcases the work of young Indigenous performers.

The date for the 2015 Koorie Pride Youth Festival is yet to be confirmed.


The Loud Mouth theatre program is presented by Darebin City Council and provides quality, contemporary and creative programming specifically designed for children, young teens and families.

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Loud Mouth takes place on school holidays at Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre, with occasional events also held at Northcote Town Hall.


National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

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.

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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.

National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week 2015 

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

In 2015, the celebrations will commence with the launch of the Stolen Generations Marker on Sorry Day on Tuesday 26 of May. The development of the Marker, and the public event are organised in partnership with the Darebin Aboriginal Advisory Committee and in consultation with the Stolen Generations Working group. 

On Wednesday 27 of May  Preston Library will hold a reading of The Brother Quibble first in English followed by Wurundjeri Woman Mandy Nicholson reading it in Woi Wurrung language. 

On Thursday 28 of May at  Preston library, Aboriginal educator and cultural practitioner, Eva Jo Edwards, will share traditional and contemporary stories from Aboriginal nations across Australia in the Aboriginal Yarns Story Telling Session. This session is for children aged 5-12 years..

On Saturday 30 May, Hip hop and urban rap artist Meriki Hood, an Aboriginal Kunai and Gunditjmara woman will perform at  Preston Library. 

Pride March

Darebin at Pride March 2016

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We will be participating in the annual Pride March on Sunday 31 January 2016, at 1.30pm for a 2pm start.

This open air celebration sees over 100 groups march down Fitzroy Street (St. Kilda) to express courage, solidarity, pride and diversity of the LGBTIQ community. The program includes assembly at the parkland at the northwest corner of Fitzroy Street and Lakeside Drive and finishes with free performances on the foreshore.

Darebin Council will march in Pride as a demonstration of our commitment to equity and inclusion and our aspiration to create a community where everyone feels included, safe and able to achieve their full potential and wellbeing, regardless of sexuality, sex characteristics or gender identity.

The theme of this 21st annual Pride March is marriage equality – for which Council expressed official support in July 2015

Join us and show your support for a diverse, inclusive community!

When: Sunday 31 January 2016, 1.30pm for a 2pm start
: Meet at the “Darebin’s coming out” banner at the parkland on the corner of Fitzroy Street and Lakeside Drive, St. Kilda.


Find your nearest Ride 2 Work Day breakfast and ride along on the 14th of October 2015.

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Try riding to work on Wednesday 14 October for National Ride 2 Work Day. Workplaces across Darebin are holding breakfasts for their staff and there are six public breakfast events you can ride along to.

Community Breakfasts

Find your nearest public Ride2Work Day breakfast:

  • Preston Council Offices, Corner of High and Gower St, Preston - 7:30 to 9am (coffee, smoothies, breakfast, prizes and bike checks from The Spokesman)
  • Kiln Café, 85C Clyde St, Thornbury - 7:30 to 9am (coffee, breakfast, prizes)
  • Reservoir Leisure Centre, 2A Cuthbert Ave, Reservoir - 7 to 9am (light breakfast, prizes)
  • Jika Jika Community Centre, Corner of Union and Plant St, Northcote - 8:30 to 10am (hot breakfast, hot drinks and prizes)
  • Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre, 180 Victoria Road, Northcote - 7 to 9am (pancakes, bike engraving, bike checks from the Darebin Men's Shed, prizes)
  • Northcote Uniting Church, 251 High Street, Northcote - 7 to 9am (light breakfast, hot drinks, prizes)

Participating workplaces

These workplaces are supporting healthy and sustainable transport by holding a Ride2Work Day breakfast for their staff:

  • Northern College of the Arts and Technology, Preston
  • La Trobe University, Bundoora
  • Silver Lane Studio, Northcote
  • Wales Street Primary School, Thornbury
  • Melbourne Polytechnic, Preston
  • Northcote High School
  • Women's Health in the North, Thornbury
  • Doctors of Northcote
  • Neami, West Preston
  • Perry Street Childcare Centre, Fairfield
  • Darebin Community Health, Reservoir
  • Darebin Community Health, Preston
  • Darebin Community Health, Northcote
  • Distance Education Centre Victoria, Thornbury
  • Practical Ecology, Preston
  • Rutledge AV, Northcote
  • Department of Human Services, Preston

Congratulations to Women's Health in the North who won the Ride 2 Work Day prize draw and received new bike hoops for their bike shed.

Visit the Bicycle Network website to find out about National Ride2Work Day or register for their Ride2Work Program.

Further Information
Sustainable Transport Officer
Phone: (03) 8470 8683

Darebin Seniors Month

Seniors are valued and respected members of the Darebin community. Each year to celebrate Victorian Seniors Festival, a range of activities and events take place across Darebin.

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Darebin Seniors Month 2015 saw some great events come to Darebin, including:
  • Reservoir Village Festive Day for Seniors
  • Darebin Seniors Expo
  • Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll exhibition
  • Darebin community gardens tour
  • Community morning teas, lunches and pizza nights, and 
  • A range of exercise, art and craft, and education activities
Keep your eye out for our Springtime Community Events 2016 brochure for ways that you can get involved in Darebin Seniors Month 2016.


Speakeasy is a year-round independent theatre program. Now in its second year, Speakeasy presents creative and challenging contemporary performances by emerging and established artists.

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The Speakeasy program is presented at Northcote Town Hall and features artists from across Melbourne and beyond.

Visit the Speakeasy website for upcoming shows and tickets. 

Summer Jamboree

Summer Jamboree returns for its second outing this January in Northcote Town Hall’s Civic Square

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Summer Jamboree will feature a huge program of free entertainment by the best local talent, games and activities for all ages, and refreshing provisions and nourishment from our kiosk bar.

Come pull up a deck chair and make camp in Northcote this Summer. The outdoors have never felt so good.

Friday 23 January 5pm-10.30pm
Saturday 24 January 4pm-10.30pm
Sunday 25 January 2pm-8.30pm
Monday 26 January 11am-8pm - Decibels JJJ Hottest 100 Australia Day Party

Friday 30 January 5pm-10.30pm - Decibels Records Party
Saturday 31 January 4pm-10.30pm
Sunday 1 February  2pm-8.30pm

Sustainable Living Expo

Visit Darebin's Sustainable Living Expo to learn more about how you can live more in harmony with the planet.

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Saturday, 2 April 2016
Preston City Hall and Preston Shire Hall, Gower Street, Preston

Darebin's Sustainability Expo is a chance for residents from all walks of life to find out more about sustainability and discover easy ways to reduce their impact on the planet with a range of free workshops, group presentations and information stalls.

One workshop well worth checking will be provided by local architects and the Alternative Technology Association who are offering free 10-minute consultations where people can discuss their green home design ideas and renovation plans with architects specialising in sustainable design. 

There’ll also be plenty on for the young ones with face painting, a pedal-powered smoothie maker and green puppetry crew Trash Puppets on hand to teach kids (and adults) to make their very own puppet from recycled waste materials.

Council staff will also be on hand to provide information on solar energy and details about sustainable transport options including car sharing and electric bicycles. And there’ll be a workshop offering tips to reduce food waste – and make good use of unavoidable waste through composting and worm farming.

The program (so far) for the day is as follows... 

11.00am - 2.00 pm - Visit the information stalls of local environmental groups and green businesses

11.00am - 2.00pm - Trash Puppets - learn how to make puppets from waste materials, Bike 'n' Blend - pedal powered smoothie maker and face painting

11.30am - 12.20pm - 10 minute consultations with local architects and the Alternative Technology Association - bring aling your green home design and renovation ideas

12.30pm - Official opening 

12.40pm - 1.30pm - Presentation by local architects about green home design and renovation

We will be adding to the program over the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

True North

True North is a celebration of arts and community in the creative, culturally diverse suburb of Reservoir.

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A rolling series of participatory arts projects and events will 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.


Overheard in Reservoir
This summer, Oslo Davis hit the pavement as our artist-in-residence. Sketching his encounters with locals in his ever-humorous style, Oslo has produced a local newspaper to pictorially represent the unique character of Reservoir. Our gift to you this January!


The Peoples' Tours of Reservoir
Join us for an audio adventure led by Reservoir locals. ABC Open producer Jane Curtis has been busy recording audio tours with unlikely tour guides in unlikely places. Discover bountiful backyards, modernist dreams and multiculturalism at its best through the Peoples Tours of Reservoir. Available for download and broadcast in February 2016.

Outdoor CinemaTrue North is excited to present an Open Air Cinema event especially for Reservoir! Join us from 6pm on Friday, 26 February at Edwardes Lake Park for an evening of family entertainment.

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.