Councillors

For assistance with local issues contact the Mayor or your local Councillor; view list of committees; access key registers and policies.

Councillors are your local elected representatives, they advocate on behalf of residents and work to assist them. Councillors are responsible for managing the City's assets, provide a wide range of services and facilities and ensure finances are allocated in the best interests of the whole community.

Journalists are urged to contact our media centre for comments.

Wards

The City of Darebin ward structure has been changed effective from the 24 October General Elections. The City is now divided into nine single member wards 

For details of the nine wards visit the Victorian Electoral Commission website.

 

Darebin Ward Map

 

Mayor and Council Elections

Darebin's Mayor is Cr Lina Messina. The Deputy Mayor is Cr Gaetano Greco.  

Council Elections are held every four years and this year's election was held on 24 October 2020.

The results of this election were declared and the newly elected Councillors sworn in on 9 November 2020.

Councillors

Cr. Lina MESSINA

 

Cr Lina Messina (Mayor) - Central Ward
Mobile: 0419 750 504
Email: Lina.Messina@darebin.vic.gov.au

Terms as Councillor: 2016-2020, 2020-2024

Term as Mayor: 2020-2021

Councillor profile: Darebin is a great municipality - I love our unique social and cultural diversity.

We know there are many things we can do to collectively make our city even better. For me that includes transparency, social inclusion and good governance. We need to ensure that our planning scheme balances growth with sustainable and appropriate developments that are congruent with our neighbourhood character. We need to stimulate jobs and economic development and foster the arts, culture and heritage that underpin our community identity.

As a council we will need to capitalise on Councillor’s individual strengths, talents and attributes. We’ll need to embody cohesion, trust and strong working relationships.
I am passionate about making a contribution to our community and honoured and humbled by the trust placed in me and the Council.

Cr. Gaetano GRECO

 

Cr Gaetano Greco (Deputy Mayor) - North West Ward
Mobile: 0419 750 214
Email: Gaetano.Greco@darebin.vic.gov.au

Terms as Councillor: 2008-2012, 2012-2016, 2016-2020, 2020-2024

Terms as Mayor: 2013-2014

Councillor profile: Darebin is the best multicultural city in Victoria, with people from all over the world living side by side in harmony and supporting one another.

We have great local businesses, cafes and restaurants - my top priority is protecting the iconic Preston Market’s character and culture. I’m eager to get things done for our city, to make Council more transparent and accessible and help people have a real say about how ratepayers’ money is spent.

It’s time to get on with big project like the multi sports stadium, new intercultural centre, Edwardes Lake Boat House, city beautification, and environmental initiatives.

We also need to stop inappropriate development. Enough is enough. We need to fix traffic and parking problems and ensure the State Government fixes our dangerous rail crossings.

Cr. Julie WILLIAMS

 

Cr Julie Williams - North Central Ward
Mobile: 0419 750 152
Email: Julie.Williams@darebin.vic.gov.au

Terms as Councillor: 2012-2016, 2016-2020, 2020-2024

Councillor profile: I've lived, worked and played in Darebin nearly all my life and am now raising my family here.

Darebin is so culturally diverse with an abundance of food, schools, sporting clubs and innovative businesses, open spaces, and great transport. The Preston Market is a great reflection of the culture that makes this community so wonderful and liveable.

With our growing population, within the next 15 years 25 per cent of our residents will be over the age of 65. I want to ensure Darebin continually invests in infrastructure, trees, safety and appropriate development so that our next generation will be accommodated for.

I was motivated to stand for council again because I wanted to ensure that Darebin builds appropriate development, protects sensitive interfaces, manages parking, and protects local amenities.

Cr Tim Laurence

 

Cr Tim Laurence - North East Ward
Mobile: 0419 750 234
Email: Tim.Laurence@darebin.vic.gov.au

Terms as Councillor: 1996-1997, 1998-2002, 2008-2012, 2012-2016, 2016-2020, 2020-2024

Terms as Mayor: 2000-2001, 2012-2013

Councillor profile: No other place can match the vibrancy of this easy-going and culturally diverse community. People are quick to say hello and we're a multilingual lot with many languages in our midst.

We're spoilt for food choice with Preston market and a diverse range of cultural providores, and our large urban parks and creek valleys provide great open spaces.

I ran for council again to make a difference.  I believe we must ensure a fair go for all, equal access to council services, and equal allocation of ratepayer funding across our suburbs.

Our biggest challenge is restoring our City to being the best place to live in Melbourne.  We need better roads, replanted parks, affordable housing, greener streetscapes, renewed sports facilities and first-class community centres and services.

Cr. Susanne NEWTON

 

Cr Susanne Newton - West Ward
Mobile: 0419 764 245
Email: Susanne.Newton@darebin.vic.gov.au

Terms as Councillor: 2016-2020, 2020-2024

Councillor profile: I choose to live in Darebin because it's so diverse and vibrant, and I've gotten to know and love Reservoir.

Reservoir is an amazing example of different ethnic communities living in harmony.  But there’s room for more small businesses and a livelier shopping strip - enhancing what's good about Reservoir now while maintaining the sense of community.

Our city faces significant challenges with population growth, the impacts of traffic, and climate change.  As a Council we need to ask if we have good enough planning to cope with density and manage the impact.

At a local level, my key concerns reflect what the community told me: hoons and safety on our streets, appropriate development and open spaces to balance the increase in housing density.

Cr. Susan RENNIE

 

Cr Susan Rennie - South Central Ward
Mobile: 0419 750 035
Email: Susan.Rennie@darebin.vic.gov.au

Terms as Councillor: 2016-2020, 2020-2024

Terms as Mayor: 2018 - 2020

Councillor profile: Cr Rennie was elected to Council in 2016 and served as Mayor from November 2018-2020.

I am a long-term public health campaigner and community activist for gambling reform and equality. 

I work to enhance community health and wellbeing and believe we cannot achieve good community health without environmental health and social justice. I push for decisive action to respond to the climate emergency and address inequality in our community.

In addition to my role as a Councillor, I am employed at the Victorian Local Governance Association and have many years’ experience working alongside councils on public policy and community development projects. Prior to being with the VLGA, I worked for Primary Care Partnerships for almost 10 years. 

In addition to holding a Doctorate in Social Work, I am a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. I’m enormously enthusiastic about being a Councillor, Mayor of Darebin in 2019 and 2020, and the many ways in which local governments can shape and improve the lives of communities.

Cr. Trent McCARTHY

 

Cr Trent McCarthy - South West Ward
Mobile: 0419 750 604
Email: Trent.McCarthy@darebin.vic.gov.au

Terms as Councillor: 2008-2012, 2012-2016, 2016-2020, 2020-2024

Councillor profile: The place we now call Darebin has a rich history of human settlement going back thousands of years. We should look to how the Wurundjeri Nation has lived in harmony and connection with this land to meet the challenges we face, now and into the future.

With Darebin’s population expected to grow by 40,000 over the next 14 years, we need to make better and fairer use of what we have. We must secure, rejuvenate and create the services and infrastructure our diverse community needs, from community centres and sports facilities to children’s services and aged care. We must always keep an eye on what makes Darebin a great place to live - our inclusive and vibrant community, our unique streetscapes and urban spaces and our bushland, parks and creeks.

I'm excited to work with you and our new Council team to meet the big challenges, ensuring we have well-designed, accessible and sustainable housing and that we take strong local action on climate change. We need open and accountable governance and community-led solutions - everyone should feel ownership of Council’s plans.

Emily Dimitriadis

 

Emily Dimitriadis – South East Ward
Mobile: 0437 918 708
Email: Emily.Dimitriadis@darebin.vic.gov.au

Term as Councillor: 2020-2024

Tom Hannan

 

Tom Hannan – South Ward
Mobile: 0437 917 078
Email: Tom.Hannan@darebin.vic.gov.au

Term as Councillor: 2020-2024

 

Council has established a number of Standing Committees and Community Advisory Committees to facilitate efficient and effective decision making processes.

Standing Committees

Standing Committees are formal committees that either make decisions on behalf of the Council, manage a service or facility on behalf of Council or advise and recommend to Council on specific functions or responsibilities.

Depending on their role and the need for delegated powers, Standing Committees can either be Special Committees or Advisory Committees.

Council has established the following Standing Committees for a period of 12 months or until such time as Council makes a futher resolution on the matter.

STANDING COMMITTEES
 COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Planning Committee All Councillors
Hearing of Submissions Committee All Councillors

Audit and Risk Committee

Audit and Risk Committee Charter -July 2020

Cr. Lina Messina, Cr. Tom Hannan
Ms Lisa Tripodi (Chairperson), Dr. Marco Bini, Craig Geddes

 CEO Employment Matters Committee
(Advisory Committee)

All Councillors and Independent Chairperson

Community Advisory Committees

Council has established a number of Community Advisory Committees to facilitate community participation and input into policy and service development, or to assist with facility, project and event management.

Community Advisory Committees typically are made up of Councillors, Council Officers and a number of community representatives. The community representatives may be local residents appointed in their own right, or representatives of service authorities, support agencies or community organisations.

Council has established and appointed Councillor members to the following Community Advisory Committees for a period of 12 months or until such time as Council makes a further resolution on the matter.
COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEES
 COMMITTEE
 MEMBERS
Active and Healthy Ageing Advisory Committee

Cr. Gaetano Greco (Chair)

Cr. Susan Rennie (Deputy)

Cr. Julie Williams (Proxy)

Art and Heritage Advisory Panel

Cr. Susanne Newton
Cr. Lina Messina (Proxy)

Darebin Aboriginal Advisory Committee Cr. Lina Messina (Chair)
Cr. Gaetano Greco (Deputy)
Cr. Susan Rennie (Proxy)
Cr. Tim Laurence (Proxy)
Cr. Susanne Newton (Proxy)
Darebin Disability Advisory Committee Cr. Julie Williams (Chair)
Cr. Tim Laurence (Proxy)
Darebin Domestic Animal Management Reference Group

Cr. Julie Williams (Chair)
Cr. Tim Laurence (Proxy)

Darebin Education Network Cr. Susan Rennie (Chair)
Cr. Emily Dimitriadis (Proxy)
Climate Emergency Darebin Advisory Committee Cr. Trent McCarthy (Chair)
Cr. Susan Rennie (Deputy)
Darebin Community Awards Advisory Committee Cr. Lina Messina
Darebin Interfaith Council Cr. Gaetano Greco

Darebin Nature Trust

Cr. Trent McCarthy (Chair)
Cr. Tim Laurence
Cr. Gaetano Greco
Cr. Tom Hannan
Darebin Women's Advisory Committee Cr. Emily Dimitriadis (Chair)
Municipal Emergency Management Planning  Committee No Delegate
Sexuality, Sex and Gender Diversity Advisory Committee Cr. Susanne Newton
Welcoming Cities Community Reference Groups Cr. Gaetano Greco
 
 

Council is represented on a number of state-wide, metropolitan, regional and Darebin-based Organisations. Council has appointed representatives to the following community organisations for a period of 12 months or until such time as Council makes a further resolution on the matter.

STATEWIDE, METROPOLITAN AND REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS
 ORGANISATION COUNCILLOR(S)
Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Cr. Susan Rennie
Cr. Lina Messina (Proxy)
Metropolitan Local Government Waste Management Forum Cr. Lina Messina
Inner Northern Group Training Ltd (IntoWork) Board Manager Governance and Performance
Inner Northern Local Learning and Employment Network Inc. Coordinator Economic Development
Friends of Baucau Cr. Gaetano Greco
Metropolitan Transport Forum

Cr. Lina Messina

Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA) Cr. Trent McCarthy
Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy  Cr. Lina Messina

Northern Councils Alliance

Cr. Lina Messina
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

DAREBIN BASED ORGANISATIONS
 ORGANISATION  COUNCILLOR(S)
Melbourne Innovation Centre Cr. Trent McCarthy
Cr. Lina Messina
Darebin Ethnic Communities Council (DECC) Cr. Emily Dimitriadis
Cr. Gaetano Greco
Darebin Creek Management Committee Inc. Cr. Emily Dimitriadis
Merri Creek Management Committee Inc. Cr. Tom Hannan
Cr. Gaetano Greco (Proxy)

Council is committed to making information available that explains how we operate and how we make our decisions in accordance with the 6 principles of our Good Governance Charter: Transparency; Accountability; Equity and Inclusion; Effectiveness and Efficiency; Community Engagement; and Ethical Decision Making.

In this section you’ll find a range of documents that outline processes and procedures relating to various aspects of Council business.

Councillors

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 (formerly Protected Disclosure Act)

Child Safe Standards

In 2015, the State Government introduced a set of national child safe standards for organisations regulated or funded by government that provide services for children.

The standards were recommended by the government’s parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations and are established under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act (2005). They aim to ensure that organisations are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect.

We pride ourselves on being a child safe organisation with zero tolerance for child abuse.

We recognise our legal and moral responsibilities to keep children and young people safe from harm;

  • We promote their health and well-being and support their best interests.
  • We have policies, procedures, and training in place that support our leadership team, employees and volunteers to achieve these commitments.
  • We create environments where all children, including children with a disability, Aboriginal children, and children from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds, have a voice - they are listened to, their views are respected and they contribute to how we plan for, design and implement our services and activities.

Council has created a Safeguarding Children Policy which is applicable to all Council staff and representatives.

We require that Councillors, employees, volunteers, organisations and others associated with Council understand and follow the Safeguarding Children Policy and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards, and in the company of children.

What is child abuse?

The Child Safe Standards aim to protect children from abuse in organisations. Under the Act, child abuse includes the following categories of abuse:

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual offences
  • Serious emotional or psychological abuse
  • Serious neglect

What should be reported?

Any child safety concerns, such as:

  • disclosure of abuse or harm
  • allegation of suspicion or observation
  • breach of Code of Conduct relating to child safety
  • environmental safety issues

How to report concerning conduct

If you are concerned about the conduct of a Darebin staff member, volunteer or work experience students towards a child, report it:

  • City of Darebin
    Child Safe Officer
    8470 8575

If you are concerned about the conduct of a community member towards a child there are a number of organisations you can contact:

  • You receive a disclosure from a child about abuse or neglect, or observe indications of abuse or neglect.
    Department of Health and Human Services, Child Protection
    1300 664 977
    dhhs.vic.gov.au
  • You have formed a reasonable belief that a child is experiencing abuse.
    Victoria Police
    police.vic.gov.au

Public Transparency

In accordance with s.57 & 58 of the Local Government Act 2020, Council adopted it's Public Transparency policy on 20 July 2020. S.57 & 58 replaces s.222 of the Local Government Act 1989, which required a Schedule of Prescribed Documents to be made available for public inspection.
Council's Public Transparency policy describes Council's transparency , integrity and accountability as being central to the principles and requirements that underpin local government democracy, accountability, conduct and enable the community to hold Council to account. The policy discusses how Council will make information readily available to the public.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

FOI and COVID-19: Please note that Council is doing its part in assisting with limiting the spread of the COVID-19 by enabling staff to work from home and implementing social distancing practices.This is impacting on the ability of Council being unable to conduct searches in a timely fashion. We ask for your patience during this period, and we will endeavour to process FOI Applications received within the 30 day time limit wherever possible. In the event we believe that we may go over the time limit, we will contact you and advise you to that effect.

Summary of Initial Personal Interest Returns

The Local Government Act 2020 (Act) requires Councillors, members of Delegated Committee (who are not Councillors), Chief Executive Officer and Nominated Officers of Council to complete Personal Interest Returns.

Section 135 of the Act states that the Chief Executive Officer must prepare a summary of the Personal Interest Return (Summary). The Summary will include personal interests information disclosed in the last Personal Interests Returns lodged by Councillors, Delegated Committee Members, Chief Executive Officer and Nominated Officers.

The Summary is available via the following link and is also available for Public Inspection at the office of Council during normal office hours.

Registers and Schedules 

Council Elections

Governance Rules 2020

Local Laws 

Planning and Building