Media Centre

On this page

Residents are advised to contact Customer Service on 8470 8888 for assistance.

Journalists are welcome to contact:

Communications
Phone: 8470 8121
Email: patrick.naughtin@darebin.vic.gov.au

MEDIA RELEASES

Sporting clubs and community groups will be supported in moving away from relying on Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) as a source of revenue and recreation under Darebin’s new Electronic Gaming Machine Policy and Action Plan 2018-2022, endorsed by Council on Monday, December 3.

Under the new policy, which has received positive feedback from a number of community clubs and associations, Council will not provide grounds or venues to any sporting clubs, community groups, organisations or associations who directly operate or own EGMs in Darebin or elsewhere.

Council will also no longer provide community grants, financial assistance, or in kind support to any sporting club, community group, organisation or association that receives sponsorship or grants (in-kind or cash) from gaming machine revenue, or meet in venues that have EGMs.

Importantly though, the policy will create a pathway for clubs and community groups to reduce their involvement with EGMs as sources of revenue or recreational locations.

Council will support any Darebin club that wishes to divest themselves of EGMs by developing a transition plan so they may continue to access Council facilities and resources and provide a community benefit to their members.
 
A number of local organisations have already taken Council up on this offer to help develop a transition plan.
 
Council will also continue to set up alternative programs and activities for people to connect with, other than gambling, such as the Libraries After Dark program operating at Preston Library.
 
Darebin Council Mayor Cr Susan Rennie said Council’s Electronic Gaming Policy 2018-2022 was bold and ambitious in its goal of reducing harm caused by gambling.
 
“Every year in Darebin people lose over $80 million to gambling, and many of these people are the ones who can least afford it.”
 
“We know gambling is a major driver of household debt and contributor to family violence.”
 
“We also know that for many people, sporting clubs, and community groups in Darebin it is difficult to break the link to electronic gaming machines.”
 
“That’s why we are bringing this policy in, to strengthen our community by helping these people and groups to provide a community benefit without a reliance on EGMs.”
 
For more information, visit darebin.vic.gov.au
 
Media Release 4 December 2018

The City of Darebin is among 22 councils across Australia, representing more than 2.7 million people, which have come together to try to ensure people who have fled persecution do not suffer homelessness and destitution as a result of federal government cutbacks.

Darebin locals are being urged to back their neighbours, their mates, and their coworkers in a new campaign aimed at reversing, modifying or slowing cuts to a federal government scheme that has helped thousands of people transition to new lives, into jobs and to become key members of communities across Australia. 

Earlier this year, the federal government outlined a plan to cut support from up to 7,000 people on the status resolution support services (SRSS) payment who had come to Australia fleeing war and persecution. 

The scheme provides payments to asylum seekers living in the Australian community while the federal government finalises their protection claim. It provides a living allowance – usually 89 per cent of the Newstart allowance, or $247 per week per single adult – along with casework support and access to torture and trauma counselling. 

The Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum is co-ordinating the campaign. Chairperson Cr Roz Blades, from the City of Greater Dandenong said: 

“Since World War II, Australia has welcomed more than 800,000 people who’ve fled war and persecution. These people have contributed to our communities and our country on every level, from our culture to our sporting traditions, from medicine to the law, from science and research to our global reputation for excellence in the culinary arts. 

“The cuts to the support program are out of step with community expectations. 

“In the wake of the shock election result in Victoria, we call on all Federal MPs – Labor, Nationals, Liberals, Greens, minor parties and independents – to impress on their colleagues the need to reverse these unnecessary and cruel cuts.”

Darebin Mayor Cr Susan Rennie said she was proud the City of Darebin, an executive member of the Mayoral Taskforce, was taking a stand in supporting asylum seekers affected by the proposed cuts. 

“We’re strongly urging politicians to reject the proposed cuts.”

“The cuts will affect people who are studying full-time, and would negatively impact on their ability to obtain training and qualifications in an effort to improve their and their family’s lives.

“The proposal could force people to abandon their studies.

“Instead, the Government should commit to continue supporting asylum seekers on the status resolution support service payments.”

People who have fled persecution and war are our neighbours and friends, our lawyers and our doctors, our nurses and our baristas, our scientists and our surgeons, our life savers and our chefs. And often they are our family members. 

That is why today, we are calling on every Australian to get behind our campaign Back Your Neighbour, Back Your Mate, Back Your Colleague and back people arriving in our communities fleeing war and persecution. 

We are calling on Australians to tell the Federal Government that we don’t need to cut the SRSS program, that we don’t need to put many people – who might otherwise become our doctors, nurses, lawyers, colleagues, friends and neighbours – out on the streets. 

For more information visit backyourneighbour.com.au or facebook.com/backyourneighbour to join the campaign. 

Media release: 3 December 2018

 

At the November 26 Special Meeting of Darebin Council, Councillor Susan Rennie was elected as Mayor for 2018-2019, with Cr Susanne Newton elected to the position of Deputy Mayor.

In her speech Mayor Rennie said she was honoured and proud to have been elected Mayor of Darebin and was looking forward to leading a Council that continues to deliver exceptional services to the local community.

“This Council is at the halfway point of an incredible journey,” Mayor Rennie said. 

“Our first two years have been outstanding, with several significant pieces of work achieved as part of our Council Plan. But we have only completed part of the job.

“Our next two years will be about ensuring that we as Councillors do everything we can to support the organisation to deliver on the balance of that plan, as well as listen to our community to ensure we are providing the leadership and vision it deserves.”

Mayor Rennie opened her speech with an Acknowledgment of Country, first in Woiwurrung, the traditional language of the Wurundjeri people, and then in English. 

“It is deeply personal to me to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land we stand on in Woiwurrung language. I understand the significance of respecting the culture and language of a people in their own place and my commitment to improving rights for our First Australians is unwavering. 

“Acknowledging the members of the Kulin nation in language is profoundly important and I believe it’s a fundamental sign of respect.”

Mayor Rennie said the Council will continue to deliver on a strong social agenda and deliver progressive policies and projects that reflect the diverse and engaged community that makes up Darebin “from the north to the south, from Reservoir to Ruckers Hill and every street, park, shopping strip in between”.

Mayor Rennie thanked outgoing Mayor Cr Le Cerf, and said she had demonstrated exceptional leadership during the past two years. She also thanked her fellow Councillors for giving her the privilege of leading Darebin Council.

Cr Susanne Newton was elected to the position of Deputy Mayor.

Media release: 26 November 2018

Darebin Council has been working towards better road safety for the community and as a result has produced an updated Safe Travel Strategy and created the first ever Darebin Walking Strategy.

Through these Strategies, council aims to make it easier and more accessible for everyone including pedestrians, bike riders, children, people with disabilities and older adults to safely get to their destinations in Darebin.

There is also a particular emphasis on encouraging people to walk more often, especially for short journeys, as a way of managing the increasing demands and activity in the growing city.

Both of these Strategies set the course for Council to make it easier and safer for residents and visitors within the municipality. Full implementation of required infrastructure will take many years but some projects are already underway.

One of the major goals of the Walking Strategy is to upgrade the walking network and enhance connectivity across Darebin.

In 2019, Council will install a new signalised pedestrian crossing at Separation Street and Oamaru Street in Northcote. Crossing facilities will be also be upgraded where side streets have a wide crossing distance including those at South Crescent and Wastell Street in Northcote.

Mayor of Darebin, Cr Susan Rennie, said that Council is committed to achieving a sustainable, functional and liveable city.

“We will be continuing our work around local primary schools to improve safety, including crossing improvements at Newlands Primary School and implementing more speed reductions on local streets to 40 kilometres per hour,” said Cr Rennie.

 “Council will be designing our next two Streets for People corridors in Preston (Gower and Cramer Streets) and Reservoir (Broadhurst and Crookston Streets) with input from the community on how to make these streets better for cyclists and pedestrians,” she added.

“Lower speed limits are demonstrated to make our streets safer, and more inviting for people of all ages to walk or ride.”

The Darebin Council Plan 2017-2021 commits to reduce the speed limit to 40 kilometres per hour across 30 per cent of the municipality. Council is now implementing these speed limit reductions in local residential areas with existing vehicle speeds, road layout, presence of traffic management devices and VicRoads criteria for speed limit reductions guiding the project.

The Safe Travel Strategy 2018-2028 can be viewed at darebin.vic.gov.au/safetravel and the Darebin Walking Strategy 2018-2028 at darebin.vic.gov.au/walking.

Both of these Strategies are aligned with the International Charter for Walking and State Government’s Towards Zero Road Safety framework.

Details on Council’s work with schools, speed limit reductions and Streets for People corridors can be found at darebin.vic.gov.au/Transport.

Media release: 29 November 2018

 

A visit to Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre’s much-loved annual Kris Kringle Night Market is a perfect way to kick off the festive season this year.

The free market will run on two consecutive Thursday evenings on 13 and 20 December and will host more than 40 stalls exclusively selling locally designed and handcrafted items. Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre’s magnificent heritage building provides the perfect background for this eclectic market and will coincide with Thursday night trading along the High Street strip, making Northcote a one-stop destination for Chrismas shopping.

Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said the Kris Kringle Night Market is a great night out for the whole family with free live entertainment  and face painting for the kids.

“This market was established to showcase and support our vibrant arts community, local artisans and craftspeople and is the ideal place to buy a unique and meaningful Christmas gift,” said Cr Le Cerf.

Everything from fashion, textiles, illustrations, prints, homewares, jewellery, candles, woodcrafts, ceramics and toys will be on display. Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre’s licenced bar will be operating on market nights and quick meal options will also be available for visitors to take some time out to relax and unwind before completing their shopping.

While the Kris Kringle Night Market runs with a special entertainment program, High Street will be hosting a pop-up Makers Market with live entertainment. Retailers will stay open for late trading giving this lively Northcote strip a real holiday feel. The Kris Kringle Night Market will be open from 5.30pm to 10pm on Thursday, 13 December and Thursday, 20 December at Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, 189 High Street, Northcote.

For more information phone 9481 9500 or email ntownhall@darebin.vic.gov.au

Media Release: 15 November 2018

Council resolved to develop the entire Ruthven site as a park only.

Darebin Council’s purchase of the former Ruthven Primary School in 2016 addresses a gap in the municipality’s open space network and moved towards Council’s goals of ensuring that all residents live within a 500-metre walking distance of public open space.

As part of Council’s Plan Darebin 2021, Council recognised the importance of this site and outlined Council’s initial vision to create a new park, playground, oval and children’s hub on the site.

Council undertook large scale consultation with the community via a Family Fun Day and establishment of a community reference group to understand community aspirations, needs and ideas to help develop a master plan into the future.

The feedback from the consultation showed that a significant proportion of the community would like the entire site to be developed as a natural park, which does not include a Children’s hub or large buildings on the site.

“We’ve worked closely with the Community Reference Group on this project and are really pleased to be confirming our support for their vision that a three-hectare green and natural park for the local community is the right way forward for Ruthven,” said Cr Le Cerf.

At the Darebin Council meeting on 7 November, Council resolved to support this change of scope and to develop the entire Ruthven site as a park only.

“The master planning of the site at 74-76 Glasgow Street, Reservoir will now focus on providing a local park with natural character for the long term, in line with community aspirations,” said Cr Le Cerf.

Prior to Council’s purchase of the site, and while the school was operating, it had been used by the community for many years and is a very well-loved space.


Media Release: 9 November

Council invites residents to Recycle Right and test their recycling knowledge by taking the Pledge.

Overall, we’re pretty good recyclers in Darebin, but around 15 per cent of the items in our waste bins are still recyclable. While we largely know what can be recycled, there are things we can all learn so that we’re recycling right.

A common mistake that people make is to collect their recycling in a plastic bag and then place the bag and the contents into the recycling bin. All that’s needed is to tip the items out of the plastic bag so they fall directly and loosely into the bin. Plastic bags can’t be processed by the facility that receives recycling from Council’s yellow-lidded recycling bins; so any recycling in plastic bags may not get sorted at the facility and could end up in landfill. Plastic bags and other soft plastics can be recycled at your nearest major supermarket through REDcycle.

Things that are recyclable that people often miss include: lids of coffee cups, pizza boxes (no food), books and magazines, toys made of hard plastic (no batteries) and old lunch boxes or plastic containers. Items that cannot be recycled in Council’s yellow-lidded kerbside bins include polystyrene, soft plastics, disposable coffee cups (you can recycle the lids only), drinking glasses, electrical goods, nappies and fabric.

All residents are invited to make the commitment to recycle right at home and test their recycling knowledge by taking the Pledge to Recycle Right on Council’s website. Recycling Right means always putting the correct items in the recycling bin and keeping the wrong items out.

So what other items can you recycle? Hard plastic such as milk and soft drink bottles, ice cream and yoghurt tubs, takeaway containers, laundry and bathroom bottles, buckets and biscuit trays. You can also recycle paper and cardboard, glass bottles and jars and metals like aluminium and steel. Pots, pans and other metal cooking dishes, including those with plastic handles can also go in your kerbside recycling bin.

Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said the aim of the campaign is to educate the community on the right way to recycle. “Getting recycling right is really important so the materials can be reused in new products and we reduce unnecessary waste to landfill,” she said. “Council’s Water and Waste team will be visiting libraries, markets and community events during spring and early summer to share tips and information about how to recycle right.”

By recycling right, you help to save valuable resources from going to landfill, save energy and water and protect the environment. More information is available at www.darebin.vic.gov.au/recycleright. Residents will see recycling right information and promotions throughout spring and early summer as part of Darebin Council’s recycling education campaign to the community.


Media Release: 8 November 2018

Council is determined to find long-term solutions for the lack of affordable housing in Darebin.

Lack of affordable housing options can have significant impacts on individuals, families and communities. Lost productivity and wages, issues with workforce attraction and retention, and harmful outcomes for health and social inclusion are just some of the problems facing people struggling to find accommodation they can afford.

The lack of affordable housing in Darebin is a significant issue and one that Council is determined to find long-term solutions for.Council agreed on 7 November to proceed with leasing the Council-owned site at 52-60 Townhall Avenue, Preston and make it available for an affordable housing development.

The decision follows extensive community consultation about the proposal and more than 300 submissions from residents. Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said Council was excited to progress the project and thanked community members for their valuable input.

“Council is aware of the wide range of opinions about this proposal and we are committed to ensuring any development of the site is thoughtfully progressed,” said Cr Le Cerf.
The common issues that emerged in the consultation process included support for affordable housing, concern over car parking, the size and design of any future building, and a perception that the proposal could impact negatively on property values.

“We have done an extensive analysis of the issues raised in the submissions and considered all information before making our decision,” Cr Le Cerf said. “Some issues, such as car parking in the area need to be better managed and we have started work to investigate this.

“We are committed to exploring parking management measures and will introduce any new procedures that are appropriate before construction commences. We have also committed to retaining access through the site to the rear laneway,” she added.

Cr Le Cerf said there was little evidence that property values would be impacted by such a proposal. According to a recent study by Launch Housing, in June 2007 there were 14 local government areas across Melbourne with 30 per cent or more of rental properties affordable for low income households. However, by June last year just three local government areas were at, or above, the 30 per cent mark. Darebin was not one of those.

Melbourne’s rental market is increasingly expensive with average rental prices rising by 46 per cent over the past decade, or twice the rate of inflation over the same time. Housing affordability is measured by the 30/40 rule.  When households that are classified in the bottom 40 per cent bracket of income distribution spend more than 30 per cent of income on housing, they are said to be experiencing housing stress. The knock-on effect of this is the inability of a stretched household budget to meet demand for health, education and sometimes even food.

Council reiterated that any members of a future affordable housing development would be valued and respected, as with all members of the Darebin community. “Darebin is an inclusive and diverse municipality and we have a responsibility to make sure everyone feels welcome and accepted, regardless of their income or background,” said Cr Le Cerf.

Council will now run a process to identify a housing association that can develop and manage the site.

Media Release: 8 November 2018

The results from Council’s recently completed food waste trial in Kingsbury are in – and almost three-quarters of survey participants (72%) support food waste recycling for the wider Darebin community.

Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said it was a great response from the community who are supporting better environmental outcomes from food waste.

“On behalf of Council, I would like to thank the Kingsbury residents who took part in the trial. Their valuable feedback will help us to consider how we can manage food waste across the entire municipality,” she said.

The food waste recycling trial was held from December 2017 to June 2018 with more than 1,000 Kingsbury households invited to participate, by placing their food waste into their green waste bins.

“While a food waste recycling service increases capacity for those with limited food recycling options, it’s important to remember that only five per cent of the embedded energy in food can be regained through composting,” said Cr Le Cerf. “Therefore, avoiding food waste remains a key priority for Council,” she said.

Food waste makes up approximately 38 per cent of the average Darebin kerbside household waste bin. By diverting this food waste from landfill, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced and the circular economy supported through the creation of nutrient-rich compost that can be used by Victorian farmers.

Where food waste can’t be avoided, home composting, food waste recycling and diversion of food waste from landfill have strong environmental benefits. Cr Le Cerf said that Council is considering the best way to manage food waste in the long-term.

“Council recognises that we are in a state of climate emergency, so it’s important to ensure that we’re looking at how our services are responding to this,” she said.

Council’s current Waste Strategy Review will consider the lowest carbon options for food waste, along with consideration of social and financial outcomes and impacts on services.

Media Release: 8 November

Council hosted more than 300 students at the Aborigines Advancement League in Thornbury for a Yarning Conference focusing on the NAIDOC Week 2018 theme, Because of Her, We Can.

This theme celebrates the significant part that First Nations women play as role models in the community.

The Year 5 students, from 11 Darebin primary and two secondary schools including public, Catholic and independent schools, all came together to learn about Aboriginal history and culture.

The day was a cultural feast for all who attended, with more than 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, educators, activists, artists and elders sharing their wisdom and skill with the students.

Activities included nine concurrent and interactive cultural, sporting and storytelling workshops. Students participated in workshops that included Wurundjeri dance, games, traditional crafts, the history and culture of yarning, media, and creating art on the Because of Her, We Can theme.

Highlights included a session with Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy, who read from her beautifully written and illustrated book, Welcome to Country, and a smoking ceremony facilitated by Uncle Trevor Gallagher who spoke to the students about the meaning of fire and smoke to the Aboriginal community.

Olympic legend Nova Peris, Ambassador of The Long Walk, also led a little Long Walk for the students on Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval. The little Long Walk was to commemorate Michael Long’s 2004 walk from Melbourne to Canberra to meet with the then Prime Minister about the things that are important to Aboriginal people.

Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said the students all walked in the same spirit as Michael did on his journey to advocate that Aboriginal people be treated with fairness and respect like all Australians.“The purpose of the day was to recognise and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have made a difference to the lives and experiences of Aboriginal people and who have inspired others to be strong and to stand up for one another,” said Cr Le Cerf.

The students heard many stories of resilience, strength and determination about mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters and daughters who did not stop fighting for their families and their culture. Feedback from the children ranged from how great lunch on the oval was, to excitement about getting to play a didijeridoo and learning dance moves such as the ‘platypus’ and the ‘emu’.

The idea for the Yarning Conference originated through the Darebin Education Committee and was developed by a working group which included Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educators from schools, DET, and Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI).

For the past three years, Council has worked on a range of ongoing initiatives to promote the teaching and learning of Darebin Aboriginal history and culture across Darebin schools.

“Council believes that the rich and diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture is important for us all to understand and celebrate,” said Cr Le Cerf.

Media Release: 2 November

Council was presented with the 2018 WorkSafe Award in the Commitment to Health and Wellbeing category.

Darebin City Council has been presented with the 2018 WorkSafe Award in the Commitment to Health and Wellbeing category for the Council’s workplace family violence policies and practices.

Family violence has a big impact on the Australian workforce and Darebin City Council has long been committed to addressing this issue and creating a safe and respectful workplace.

With a commitment to health and wellbeing and preventing violence against women across all areas of the organisation, Darebin City Council was one of the first local governments to adopt a Staff Family Violence Policy in 2009.

This has included the appointment of a family violence support officer, as well as the introduction of a range of comprehensive workplace practices such as professional development, training and community programs to deal with family violence issues and encourage reporting of incidents.

A video about family violence policy is one of the methods used for communicating with staff and leaders about the role of workplaces in addressing family violence.
Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said that family violence has a profound impact on people’s lives.

“As an organisation we are deeply committed to promoting gender quality and preventing violence against women,” said Cr Le Cerf.

The workplace can influence the major drivers of violence against women, while strengthening workplace processes has been a critical component of building the capacity of the workforce to provide a healthy, safe and respectful environment.

WorkSafe Victoria received more than 170 entries from a variety of industries for the awards that recognise the outstanding contributions from individuals and organisations to improve workplace health and safety and help injured workers return to work.

“This award is a significant milestone in the recognition of family violence as a workplace health and safety issue and the importance of the workplace in dealing with the issue,” added Cr Le Cerf.

Media Release: 29 October

Council launches first round of the Celebrating Darebin Seeding Grants for Community Events program for events that celebrate the people and places of Darebin.

The aim of the grants is to expand opportunities for participation and social connection through arts and culture.

Celebrating Darebin: Seeding Grants for Community Events offers three categories: Community Events which is capped at $3,000; Quick Response Community Events capped at $1,500 and True North Events capped at $5,000.

Community Events and Quick Response Community Events are available to groups and individuals who are seeking to mount a new, first-time community event that celebrates people and place.


True North Events is open to groups and individuals wanting to stage events that celebrate Reservoir and the people of Reservoir but does not have to be for a new or first-time event.


All three categories should include events that are community-led and small in scale, must take place within the City of Darebin before 31 December 2019 and priority will be given to outdoor events and events in public spaces.


Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said the grants are a great way for people who have an idea and can identify a need for a particular event to get involved and demonstrate they are connected to their community.


“Celebrating Darebin: Seeding Grants for Community Events is a brand new initiative from Council to support smaller events within the community,” she said.


“We want to encourage and empower our community to stage their own celebrations that they feel inspired and motivated about.”
Round 1 applications for Community Events and True North Events close on Thursday 15 November 2018 and applicants will be notified of the outcome in December.


The Quick Response Community Events grant is an initiative by Council that will always remain open and applicants will be advised of the outcome within one month from submitting their application.


Applications to Celebrating Darebin: Seeding Grants for Community Events can be submitted online at http://darebin.smartygrants.com.au  


For further information contact Emily Fuller, Festival & Events Officer at emily.fuller@darebin.vic.gov.au

Media Release: 29 October 2018

New exhibition at Bundoora Homestead explores gold-mining and wealth through a contemporary lens

Bundoora Homestead, a magnificent Queen Anne style mansion, was commissioned in 1900 through the wealth of the Smith Family and is now a public gallery for the City of Darebin.

Bundoora Homestead Art Centre seems a fitting context to begin a conversation about the ways Australians have made and saved money throughout history, and at what environmental and social cost.

In a new exhibition titled Lucky? Bundoora Homestead Art Centre’s Senior Curator Claire Watson, together with guest co-curator Sophia Cai, explore the history and effects of gold-mining and the pursuit of wealth in Australia through a contemporary lens.

The exhibition brings together artworks that explore issues of exploitation, mining for gold and desecration of the natural environment. The selected works interrogate wealth and the Australian dream of finding a better life — a fair go — in the context of cultural, racial and political inequalities.

The exhibition curators said that in today’s climate of highly divisive politics and growing inequality across cross-sections of society, Lucky? forces us to confront ideas surrounding Australian identity.

Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf said the exhibition is an opportunity for the City of Darebin to continue to lead conversations about important issues like Indigenous custodianship of the land, multiculturalism and respect for our natural resources.

“The exhibition is told through various cultural narratives and subjective histories,” said Cr Le Cerf.

“In researching this highly politicised topic, the curators were mindful of honouring the voices of the First Nation peoples — the traditional custodians of the land, as well as how Australian Chinese people have forged their path in Australia’s culturally diverse history.”

Lucky? provides a chance to reflect on the foundations of contemporary Australian life, from wealth generation to immigration and all people seeking a better life.
The exhibition brings together diverse voices to respond to these questions, including esteemed Indigenous Australian and Chinese Australian artists.

The featured artists are: Paola Balla, Aliça Bryson-Haynes, Shoufay Derz, Marlene Gilson, Jonathan Jones, Eugenia Lim, Danie Mellor, Raquel Ormella, Ryan Presley, Lizzy Sampson and John Young. The Exhibition Advisor is Yhonnie Scarce.

Lucky? will be on display from 17 November 2018 to 3 March 2019.

There will be an opening event on Saturday 17 November from 2pm to 4pm, with artist and curator talks taking place from 3pm. Everyone is welcome to attend

Media Release - 25 October 2018

Darebin City Council last night voted to accept a proposal by Darebin Falcons, the all-female sports club run entirely for women by women, which will see Council contribute $160,000 to the club over the next two years. This will enable the Falcons to continue to field an elite team in the Victorian Football League Women (VFLW) and provide a range of other benefits to the Darebin community.

In a landmark decision to support women and girls’ participation in sport, the Council’s vote marks a significant step towards the target of increasing the number of women and girls participating in organised sport to at least 30 per cent by 2020.

The Darebin Falcons were established in 1990 and have more than 550 playing members.

The club has participated in the VFLW’s competition since its inception and also offers girls and women the opportunity to play soccer and Australian Football League (AFL) from four years of age through to seniors. The club also fields an under 12 cricket team and an 8-ball team.

Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said the Falcons play an important role in the community by pioneering and fostering sport run by women for women at all levels.

“Their participation in elite competition is inspiring for women and girls and their commitment to social inclusion and community is outstanding,” said Cr Le Cerf.

“Council sees this as a unique opportunity to partner with the Darebin Falcons and secure their future as the sole women-only club in the VFLW, with a whole range of benefits for the Darebin community.”

Addressing the Council meeting last night, Darebin Falcons Club President Sarah Brady noted that while the Falcons have a long and impressive track record of achievements they were facing the toughest fight in their history.

“Without the help of Council our days of fielding a VFLW club would have been over,” said Ms Brady.

“We are proud to be continuing our involvement in the VFL and are delighted to partner with Darebin City Council.”

The club can now keep its identity and not be absorbed into a men’s AFL club. Without Council’s support the Falcons would have been forced to join an existing AFL club outside the municipality to continue their participation in the AFLW.

The Darebin Falcons have been the most successful team in the elite competition, having won 10 premierships in the past 12 years.

They also have a budding junior AFL program demonstrating 30 per cent growth from 2017 to 2018, while offering teams at every level from ages four to 16.

Following the initial two-year partnership of $160,000, there will be a review by both Council and the Falcons with the possibility of continuing the arrangement at a cost of $140,000 over a further two-year period.

Media Release - 16 October 2018

Darebin City Council is calling on the State Government to respond to the findings of a parliamentary report into the Public Housing Renewal Program.

The report, released in early June, reviewed the structure and process of the renewal program, and called for significant action to be taken in response to critical issues. The Government was given three months – until September 5th - to respond to the findings. 

“The report is highly critical of the process, funding model and anticipated outcomes of the Public Housing Renewal Program. It revealed for the first time the total number of people waiting for public housing – more than 80,000, and called for the renewal program to respond to this need.” Cr Le Cerf said.

Two sites in Darebin are affected by the Public Housing Renewal Program. One of the sites – the former Huttonham Estate in Preston – was one of the first public housing estates in Victoria.

“Darebin has a long history of public housing provision and we want to ensure this stock is retained and increased. We have repeatedly called on the State Government to provide substantially more public housing through this program, and to ensure that public land stays in public hands.”

Another site is the Walker Street Estate in Northcote, where there is opposition to the development from local residents, both within the estate and the surrounding area. A local community group, Darebin Community Friends of Public Housing, hosted a public forum on 16 October to raise community awareness of the State’s plans.

“This vibrant community is being fragmented. More than 40 families will be displaced “by design” from the estate, despite a public pledge by the Minister for Housing that all residents would have the right to return.”

Council wants to work in partnership with the Victorian Government because public housing is vital to building strong communities. Darebin has one of the highest population growth rates in the state – the shortage of public housing will continue to grow as the municipality’s population increases. 

“We remain firm in our belief that the supply of affordable housing is a responsibility of all levels of government. We want to work in partnership with the government to significantly increase public housing at Walker Street and ensure that public land remains in public hands”

“The Government must respond to the findings of this report, and find a more transparent, effective and inclusive way to deliver substantially more public housing.” she said.

Council is committed to exploring all avenues to increase the supply of public housing and other forms of affordable housing. Council recently consulted on using some of its own land for an affordable housing development.

The first round of community consultation has begun for Darebin Council’s ‘Creating an Age Friendly Darebin Review’ and will run until 23 November.

Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf, is encouraging community members, groups and organisations to get involved in this important consultation.

“It is critical that we hear from a wide range of people as this review will inform our long-term planning of services and programs for older residents,” she said.

Darebin City Council’s independent Aged Care Services Review panel members Dr Rhonda Galbally and Peter Allen have developed a short discussion paper to help guide the conversation and get people thinking about the issues, challenges and needs of older people.

The paper outlines and acknowledges the changes resulting from the Federal Government’s aged care reforms and why Council needs to undertake this review.

It also explores the changing needs of older people and the different types of services and support potentially required today and in the future.

“Community engagement is a critical part of this review and feedback received will inform our draft report and recommendations to Council,” said Dr Galbally.

“A variety of engagement activities have been organised to ensure we capture a broad range of views and we will also be speaking with people who currently use Council’s aged care services,” added Mr Allen.

Dr Galbally and Mr Allen will be meeting with community members, groups, staff and service providers while Council staff will be out and about talking to people at a series of neighbourhood pop-in sessions and at a Seniors Month drop-in event.

In early December there will be hearing sessions where interested community members can present their submissions in person to the Panel.

“We are really interested to hear people’s ideas and perspectives about older people feeling safe and supported,” said Cr Le Cerf.

“We’d also like to hear suggestions about providing good access to things like information, services, social networks, accessible transport and buildings, as well as participation in activities, programs and events.

“I encourage everyone to read the paper, get involved and have a say,” she added.

Council will not be making any decisions in relation to the review until the Panel’s final report has been received in April 2019.

More information is available at yoursaydarebin.com.au/growingolder.

Media Release - 12 October 2018

As part of Ride2Work Day this year, City of Darebin is partnering with the volunteer-run community bike shed WeCycle to host a community celebration on Wednesday, 17 October in Batman Park, Northcote.

The action kicks off from 4pm for Darebin’s bike-riding locals with plenty of food and drinks, music, entertainment, give-aways and prizes.

Mechanics will be on hand to give your bike a free tune-up and Police will be available to offer bike-engraving services.

Ride2Work Day is Australia’s largest celebration of bike riding and provides the ideal opportunity for people who have never ridden to work before to give it a go.

Held annually in October, Ride2Work Day celebrates the benefits of riding to work and allows regular riders to stay motivated and perhaps encourage their workmates to get involved. It’s also a great way of bringing together the communities that support this initiative.

So hop on board, join the cycling craze and beat the traffic jams. Regular riding improves your health, wellbeing and productivity, produces zero carbon emissions and eliminates the anxiety of finding a car parking space.
What:     City of Darebin and WeCycle Community Celebration for Ride2Work Day
Where:   Batman Park, Northcote (cnr St Georges Road and Arthurton Road)
Date:      Wednesday, 17 October
Time:     4pm to 7pm

Media Release - 11 October 2018

Darebin City Council is proud to sponsor three films at the forthcoming Environmental Film Festival Australia, all showing at Palace Westgarth on High Street in Northcote. The Festival, now in its eighth year, will entertain while educating with a challenging and interesting program featuring films covering all environmental issues.

Council is sponsoring three films in the Festival:

  • LIVING THE CHANGE: INSPIRING STORIES FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE | Wednesday 17 October, 6:45pm
    Living the Change sets out to inspire everyone to make a difference by using their social networks and communities. From forest gardens and composting toilets, to community-supported agriculture and time-banking, this film presents a plethora of ingenious yet practical ways to rethink our approach to how we live. It will show us how we can really live the changes we want to see in the world. Filmmaker Jordan Osmond will be present for a Q&A after the screening.
  • STELLA POLARIS ULLORIARSUAQ | Thursday 18 October, 6:45pm
    The Kalaallit people of Greenland have been inseparably connected to the eternal ice for millennia. But in just a few short years, colonialism has put pressure on this culture to accept a more modern lifestyle. Today, as the foundation of their traditions is literally melting beneath their feet, documentarian Yatri N. Niehaus sets out with a team of two photographers to capture images of a sadly vanishing world.
  • BIRD OF PREY | Friday 19 October, 6:30pm – Closing night film
    In 1977, world-renowned cinematographer Neil Rettig captured the first filmed images of the Philippine eagle in the wild, transforming the bird into a national symbol. Native to and found only in the Philippines, this majestic creature is the world’s largest and rarest eagle. Shockingly, less than 700 remain today and the future of these iconic birds is tied to the preservation of the Philippine’s last fragments of old-growth forest. This film highlights the fight to save this beautiful species from extinction.

The short film, Darebin’s Natural Heritage, will also be shown. Made by Council’s Environment and Bushland teams, this film showcases some of Darebin’s significant natural heritage sites. It demonstrates the commitment of many in our community to value, protect and conserve our natural heritage areas and looks to raise awareness of the natural beauty right here on our doorstep. This film will be shown prior to Bird of Prey and another film in the festival.

Co-Director of Environmental Film Festival Australia, Chris Gerbing said, “Darebin City Council's proactive stance on climate change, which includes declaring a climate emergency in its municipality, means that they are perfectly placed to join EFFA as a partner.

“Together we look forward to sharing thought-provoking films, as well as hearing from local voices about actions the community can make towards creating a more sustainable future. We thank the Council for its support and look forward to an exciting festival ahead.”

Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf added, “At Darebin we are thrilled to engage with an audience about environmental issues. One of our major goals is to broaden awareness of the climate emergency and work with the community to protect and conserve areas of natural heritage. We wish the Festival every success.”

Media Release - 9 October 2018

City of Darebin residents had the highest pokies losses in more than 12 months according to damning figures released on Friday.

Monthly data from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation show that pokies venues in Darebin took more than $7.6M last month.

Darebin Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf said it was disturbing the new financial year had opened with an 8.5 per cent increase on losses in the Darebin local government area.

The figures show that residents lost $600,000 more to poker machines in the month of July 2018 than for the same period last year.  A huge $7,675,768 was lost in the month of July 2018 compared with $7,075,482 for the same period in the previous year. 

 “Our council is dealing with the dire consequences of pokies.   Our communities are suffering from gambling harm and it’s only getting worse. As community leaders we want reform. We call on the State Government and opposition parties to commit to $1 maximum bets, clamp down on losses disguised as wins and reduce venue opening hours,” Cr Le Cerf said.

Alliance spokesman and Director Tim Costello said the new VCGLR data shows Victoria is headed for record pokies losses in 2018.

The figures for the month of July 2018 show that Victorians lost $239.037 million over the month, an increase of 3.9 per cent or $8.911 million on the $230.126 million lost in July 2017.

This means in the first seven months of 2018, Victorian pokies losses have jumped by $81.13 million or 5.48 per cent to $1.562 billion and are on track to set both a calendar record in 2018 and, if the trend continues, a financial year record in 2018-19.

“Successive Victorian Governments have become reliant on the easy money of gambling taxes but this has got to stop,” Mr Costello said.

“With the state election just three months away we need the major parties to come up with new policies which will reduce pokies losses.

“We are saying the next Victorian Parliament must show some spine and heart and address this issue to prevent the needless suicides, family violence, bankruptcy and fraud, which flows when $2.7 billion a year is ripped from the community through addictive poker machines in suburban pubs and clubs.”

Media Release - 30 August 2018

Council is calling on the Federal Government to provide adequate resources to meet the needs of people seeking asylum who live in Darebin and other local government areas.

As a result of the Australian Government making significant funding changes to the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) program, including the withdrawal of income support for people awaiting assessment of their claim for protection, asylum seekers are struggling emotionally and financially.

Darebin City Council Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said it was vital the Federal Government provides adequate income and case management support for people seeking asylum while they pursue suitable and sustainable employment.  Darebin is working with other councils and established the Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum (the taskforce). This taskforce has the purpose of coordinating a Victorian local government approach around an effort for advocacy, alongside local area responses to asylum seeker policies.

“We know that people studying full-time will have their support cut and this will impact people who are learning English or training in order to get a job to support their families,” Cr Le Cerf said.

“It doesn’t make practical sense, and will further undermine people’s ability to live with dignity and self-worth in our community.”   

Darebin agencies are expecting to see an increase in asylum seekers needing material aid and other forms of support in the wake of the initial round of cuts to the SRSS and these will likely increase over the next months. 

Darebin City Council joins other local councils in Melbourne in asking the Federal Government to work with local government areas to improve the services to Asylum Seekers by allowing local governments to respond to area needs.

“If the Federal Government commits to assisting community service and volunteer organisations, this will assist people seeking asylum to live safely in local communities and contribute to their communities and to Australia.” Cr Le Cerf said.

With the first cut to the SRSS program taking place on August 16 2018, Darebin City Council is calling on the Federal Government to urgently reinstate funding to the SRSS program. The Council is also part of a northern alliance of councils, which will better share and coordinate approaches to the issues facing people seeking asylum following the cuts to the SRSS program.

“These are people who have come to Australia seeking freedom and safety.  Some have been held in detention; some have previously been prevented from working as a visa condition. By working with local governments and reinstating funding, the Federal Government will help these vulnerable people and this will see them adhere to its national and international obligations in accordance with the UN Refugee Convention. We are requesting the Government reconsider its position and recommence funding to the SRSS program immediately.”

Also enclosed is a copy of the Joint Statement against changes to the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) for People Seeking Asylum.

Media Release - 19 September 2018

Darebin City Council is calling on the Victorian State Government and the State Opposition in the lead up to the State Election in November to commit to fixing the Darebin’s rail and road issues.

Darebin City Council is calling on the Victorian State Government and the State Opposition in the lead up to the November State Election, to commit to fixing Darebin’s rail and road issue. 

Darebin City Council is advocating for two key outcomes.

 

Firstly, the removal of five level crossings on the Mernda train line between Thornbury and Reservoir stations, particularly at Bell Street, Oakover Road, Murray Road, Cramer Street and High Street, Reservoir.  

 

Mayor Le Cerf said Council believes the removal of the four level crossings in Preston needs to be done as a single project, both in terms overall fiscal responsibility as well as providing the best outcome for the community.

 

“To remove only the Bell Street level crossing would not provide the required improvements to transport and traffic issues and would fail the State Government’s own test of future proofing additional level crossings that are already identified as needed,” she said.

Removing all four crossings concurrently would result in improved traffic flow and is considerably more cost effective and efficient than a just removing one crossing now.

“The Murray Road level crossing should have been included in the State’s top 50 planned level crossing removals, because it is within a Principal Activity Centre, carries major bus routes and 20,000 vehicles per day use it,” Cr Le Cerf said.

Secondly, Council is strongly urging the State Government as part of the level crossing removal to fund an effective roads package at Reservoir, which Council says is essential to deliver promised improvements to the shopping centre and traffic flow.

 

“Darebin City Council was disappointed the May Victorian State budget did not include funding for this package of works, but will continue to campaign on behalf of the community for a firm commitment for this rail and road package,” Cr Le Cerf said.

 

“Darebin City Council wants a substantial commitment to fund the required road improvement package at High Street in Reservoir to accompany the level crossing removal.  As well, it wants the best value for money project delivered for Preston where all four level crossings are removed as a single project.”

The Mayor outlined the approach the Council will take to ensure the voices and concerns of the community is heard during the coming months.

“Our community has consistently told us how frustrated they are by the log jams created by the level crossings on the Mernda train line between Thornbury and Reservoir stations, particularly at Bell Street, Oakover Road, Murray Road, Cramer Street and High Street around Reservoir station itself”, she said.

“The roads around these streets are a mess and we believe there is a comprehensive and logical solution that will address the level crossings and the traffic issues, and we are calling on both the State Government and the Opposition to commit to fixing this problem. This includes the removal of the levels crossings at these intersections and better designed roads to move the high volume of traffic more efficiently.”

From next week Council will be activating the local Darebin community and asking people to contact local members and Ministers and Shadow Ministers to demand a funding commitment. This will take the form of online and face-to-face petitions, emails, community information and support from high profile community advocates.

Darebin City Council wants a comprehensive road and rail solution that ensures the community thrives.

“For example, Reservoir is growing and we must also consider safer options for pedestrians and cyclists whilst improving our transport system. To make positive change we need the help of residents and commuters to engage with their candidates and let them know we need to have our worst level crossings removed, our roads around those crossings improved and safer options for both pedestrians and cyclists,” Cr Le Cerf said.

The City of Darebin will hold activation sessions at the Reservoir Rail Station and Preston Station Car Parks from September 17, and will have online and in person petitions to provide the community with the forum to have their voices heard.

“Reservoir and Preston deserve sustainable solutions. We are calling on residents and commuters to help us by letting candidates know what needs to be done.

“Council’s position provides a long term, cost effective solution that will create connected and safe communities, allowing retailers, commuters and residents to benefit from improved public spaces and reduced travel times.

“We all want to get home to our families and homes safely and quickly, so let’s work together to speak up and tell our candidates that we have to have our roads fixed and four level crossings removed.” Cr Le Cerf said.

The wider community can show their support for these significant infrastructure projects that will significantly improve our community by signing the petition.

The Darebin Advocacy Map and more information is available upon request.

Darebin Advocacy Programme 2018

Media Release - 18 September 2018

A highlight of the Hindu calendar, the Ganesh Chaturthi event will again be celebrated at the Darebin Arts Centre (DAC) and Bundoora Park on Saturday 15 September.

Reflecting our commitments to cross-cultural and interfaith connections, Council extends an open invitation to the Darebin community to join in this holy occasion.

This celebration marks the birth of Ganesh, the Hindu elephant headed god of wisdom and prosperity and the remover of obstacles.

The celebration sees Darebin Arts Centre transformed into what the local Hindu community affectionately refers to as ‘The Temple’ for a day. The ceremonies will begin at 10am with almost 500 people attending to perform darshan (prayers) and bhajan (sacred music).

Following this ceremony, the statue of Lord Ganesh will be transported by devotees to Bundoora Park for further rituals, prayers and a ceremonial immersion of Lord Ganesh in the lake. Darebin’s Ganesh statue will be created by artist Ken Evans from recycled materials. This is in keeping with a significant movement in India towards more environmentally friendly festivals, and mirrors Council’s commitment to protecting the environment.

Mayor of Darebin Cr Kim Le Cerf said “It’s tremendous to be able to band together as a community and recognise our rich diversity. We are proud of our many religions and welcome this opportunity to support our Hindu community as they celebrate Ganesh Charturthi.”

Event details

What: Ganesh Chaturthi
When: Saturday 15 September 2018, 10am – 4pm
Where: Darebin Arts Centre and Bundoora Park

Media Release - 12 September 2018

An important support and referral program for women in the sex industry or trafficked for sexual exploitation has received a grant from Darebin City Council.

Established in 1998, Project Respect works with licensed brothels in the Greater Melbourne Region to provide information and support for women in the sex industry. Project Respect runs workshops to a broad range of social, community and welfare services, which includes sections on human trafficking indicators, support and referral pathways.

As part of its Community Grants Program Darebin City Council has awarded Project Respect $4000 to:

  • Deliver capacity building workshops, which will build the knowledge and responsiveness of services to identify and respond to human trafficking, as well as build their capacity to provide tailored support and services for women in the sex industry;
  • Continue to grow and develop partnerships with social, community and welfare services within the Darebin area to develop warm referral pathways from women in the sex industry; and,
  • Provide outreach services to the two licensed brothels in Darebin.

Rachel Reilly, Executive Director Project Respect said: “The contribution from Darebin City Council to our organisation is appreciated and vital for our group. Funding is used for the workshops, which are developed specifically to counter the effects of human trafficking and as such are a necessary component of our work. We were fortunate enough to receive funding in the last round of community grants, and the additional funding this year, allows us to build on the work already completed.

“We have significantly strengthened our relationships with service providers in the Darebin area and have a place on the Darebin Family Violence Network. The strengthening of these relationships and engagement in the networks is crucial to continue to grow the capacity of service providers to support women trafficked and women in the sex industry,” Ms Reilly said.

Darebin Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said: “Project Respect serve the community by ensuring a safe space for all women, particularly those who may be in dangerous situations through human trafficking. We are pleased to support this group to see an end to trafficking and putting women in dangerous situations.

“With Project Respect supporting 15 women currently who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation, the work this group do, and the funding we supply them, is vital. We look forward to hearing of the successes of this group and others who work to stop trafficking and exploitation” Cr Le Cerf concluded.

Media Release - 11 September 2018

Darebin City Council congratulates the Victorian State Government on its announcement of the investigation of the Melbourne Suburban Rail Loop.

The project would link 10 rail stations, build five new stations and ease congestion to both inner and outer suburbs to make it easy for commuters to move across the city. This infrastructure project is vital for the Northern suburbs. The line, which is proposed to travel underground through Darebin, will potentially include stations at Bundoora and Reservoir.

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said: “For a long time Melbourne has been calling out for solutions to ease the congested roads and issues with travel to and from the airport and city. The Suburban Rail Loop could mean an end to the long travel times and has the potential to take 200,000 vehicle trips off our major roads. It will connect Melbourne to Latrobe University, and make an orbital link, eliminating the need to go into the city to travel outward.”

This proposal connects all priority growth precincts and would offer better access to jobs and a variety of consumer and strategic networks enhancing productivity, liveability and accessibility across Melbourne.

But Mayor Le Cerf added that there are a number of urgent transport priorities in Darebin that need investment by the State Government now.

“While we are thrilled with the decision from the Victorian State Government to announce this plan, concentrated work still needs to be carried out in Darebin and we’re still advocating for a Bell St corridor connecting with Coburg. We look forward to working with the State Government and discussing further east-west public transport opportunities.” Cr Le Cerf said.

The City of Darebin has put forward a compelling case to maximise the benefits from the Level Crossing Removal Authority’s program by removing an additional three level crossings. Council is asking the Victorian Government to expand the Bell Street project by also removing the Oakover Road, Cramer Street and Murray Road level crossings.

Cr Le Cerf said “Our community is clear that they want these extra crossings removed. This is the most cost-effective solution that will bring the most benefits for Darebin and Victoria. Council also believes that the Reservoir level crossing removal should be a top priority for construction.”

The plan for the Suburban Rail Loop will see more people living closer to high productivity jobs outside Melbourne’s CBD. The extensions to the Regional hubs are to be applauded.

“While the plan for the Suburban Rail Link is a long term and ambitious one, it benefits the city and on behalf of the City of Darebin, I’d like to congratulate the State Government for having the foresight to put in such a great transportation network for the future of Melbourne.” Cr Le Cerf concluded.

Media Release - 28 August 2018

Reservoir West Primary was the pilot school for Darebin City Council’s Octopus Schools program in 2017-18, which encourages school children to find safe, sustainable ways to travel to school. Applications to be the second school for the program are now open and will close on August 31 at 12pm.

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said: “The Octopus Schools program was embraced by Reservoir West Primary, which received a new bike shed, 18 bikes and safety helmets for students to use.

“The kids at the school have created a range of unique projects to keep the theories and practices behind the Octopus Schools going. Student leaders have instigated a weekly competition, rewarding students and classes who take the most active trips to school. They’ve also created and drawn decals, which have been painted onto the road, changing infrastructure and ensuring the spaces around schools are safer for kids.  We look for innovative ways to increase the uptake of active transport, changing the streets and routes around schools so kids can walk to school. We are addressing both the physical and behavioural changes through this program.

“It’s amazing for the pupils to see work go from drawings to decals on the ground, and more innovative, wonderful practices from the school besides these.”

Reservoir West Primary has expanded on the initial program and kept a tally of active travellers. The class with the most is awarded a trophy at assembly to keep until the following week.

Flora Kossivas, Reservoir West coordinator said “Our students love getting the trophy and being recognised for being active travellers. Thanks to Darebin Council for supplying the bikes, it’s a tremendous way to maintain program enthusiasm. The student council has also organised spot-prizes to award active travellers using a raffle system, Darebin Council have supplied prizes for this and we couldn’t be happier with the response, it really is a highly interactive and fun program.”

Students also designed helmets of the future for a Ride 2 School day competition, which has helped make Reservoir West Primary School students active, safe and happy.

Flora said: “The partnership with Darebin Council is so successful. With the acquisition of our brand new bike shed and fleet of bikes it is an exciting time for many of the students at our school and a great chance for them to actively and safely travel to and from school. The students, parents and school community have embraced the program enthusiastically and are continuing to support all our initiatives.”

Cr Le Cerf said “We’re looking forward to seeing the applications for the next school and the steps the successful school will take to remain active.”

For more information on applying for the second round, please visit Travel To School or email safetravel@darebin.vic.gov.au.

Media Release - 27 August 2018

Darebin Council announced winners and finalists of the 2018 Darebin Community Awards at a special ceremony at Preston City Hall on Friday 24 of August, which was overseen by Darebin Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf.

More than 70 nominations were received from nominees aged from 10 to 89 years young and Mayor Le Cerf said the finalists in each of the five categories were selected from a strong field of nominees, which reflected the rich diversity of our local community.

“It was a privilege to preside over these awards and acknowledge the wonderful contributions so many people contribute to our Darebin lifestyle.”

The awards were held at Preston City Hall with about 300 friends and families of the nominees in attendance.

Darebin Community Awards 2018 winners

More information on winners and special commendations are available upon request.

Citizen of the Year: Norma Salisbury

Norma has worked tirelessly for the Darebin community as a volunteer for more than 32 years and continues to provide support and inspiration at the tender age of 89. 

As a nominator wrote: “Norma excels at the core acts of kindness that is the soul of any community group. From baking the phenomenal morning tea, organising activities, leading the children and parents to dancing to the Wiggles each week, or simply listening to those in need, Norma demonstrates that she is a true foundation of this Darebin community.” Norma is well known through initiating morning teas for parents, instigating the Croxton Uniting Playgroup, and her previous involvement in casework for the Northcote Benevolent Society.

Special Commendation awarded to Cheryle Michael

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Leader of the Year: Alan Thorpe

Alan is a proud Gunai man who has worked and lived in Darebin for 36 years. In 2000 he founded and leads Dardi Munwurro (Strong Spirit), an organisation that delivers healing and mens behavior change programs for all Aboriginal men, including those incarcerated. Alan also coordinates an annual gathering of Aboriginal men from across Australia. Alan volunteers his time to speak with young people, the corporate sector, politicians and government officials across Victoria and nationally, as well as many other activities promoting culture and contributing to community wellbeing. Visit Wikipedia.org/Alan_Thorpe_(footballer) for more information.

Special Commendation awarded to Beverley Murray

Young Citizen of the Year: Lynton Martin

At only 16 years of age, Lynton Martin is head coach for the newly formed Keon Park Stars Junior football club under 10s. The club states he is the number one supporter and a great role model – the kids love him and the parents see him as a great asset to the team

Special Commendation awarded to Osob  Yusuf

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, Emerging Young Community Leader Joint Winners: Steven Glasby-Ellis and Elijah Augustine

Steven Glasby-Ellis

Steven, is a proud Aboriginal man of the Bundjalung Nation, Jinabara and Wakka Wakka, and he has lived his life in Darebin.   Steven works part-time at the Aboriginal Health Service in Administration. He happily dons a superhero suit and becomes ‘Deadly Dan’ the smoking cessation hero. He was also awarded MR NAIDOC 2018. Steven is hoping to become a personal trainer.

Elijah Augustine

Elijah is a 20 year old Nyul-Nyul, Jabirr-Jabirr and Ngumbarl Saltwater man from the coastline of the Kimberleys, Australia. As a young child he was diagnosed on the autism spectrum and doctors predicted he would never learn to talk. Music and culture have inspired Elijah and he participates in numerous community events and as a volunteer for 3KND broadcasts ‘The Rock Show’ weekly on radio. His love of music and guitar sees him performing at many community events including the 2018 Koorie Idol, where he won 3rd place.

Community Group of the Year – Mums in Darebin

“Mums in Darebin” (MiD) is an online community who shares tips and provides support for local mums. MiD assists by providing a safe, moderated space for mums from all cultures and all walks of life to connect with each other on Facebook.  Several spin-off groups have formed including Dads in Darebin and a ‘Free to a Good Home’ page. There are also several meet-up groups like the ‘Women in Harmony’ singing and musical group, the French speaking group, ‘food trains’ for Mums who need help getting food on the table, last minute baby-sitting groups and so much more. This group provides physical, emotional and material support to women through difficult challenges and changes in their life.  MiD is a community group bringing local families closer together, reducing the feelings of isolation and loneliness often felt by mothers, and helps foster the wonderful sense of community we all enjoy as residents.

Media Release - 24 August 2018

The Active Spaces in Darebin program works with real estate agents, property owners and creative businesses to transform areas which have an abundance of vacant shops, graffiti tagging and bill posters into economically stimulated and culturally charged go-to places.

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said “It’s great to increase visitation in areas. Active Spaces helps from the ground up. We assist in finding properties, negotiating rent, marketing, promotion and support, and so much more.

“We are thrilled that at this point, we have over 30 leases for the program, generating over $600,000 in rent, and employing over 150 people in their creative businesses. We are seeing ongoing partnerships between landlords, real estate agents and council departments.”

The current Active Space is Be Kind Textiles at St George’s St Thornbury. Roz Slade, owner of Be Kind Textiles said “We love working with the City of Darebin and are happy to provide classes that focus on mindfulness and sustainability, using art positively as therapy.”

Be Kind Textiles is a combined retail and workshop space that offers a mix of craft supplies, handmade accessories and homewares, with a sprinkle of vintage treasures throughout.

A Previous Active Space, Good Day Rentals Director Kate Forsyth said “Active Spaces provides us so much support, encouragement and resources.”

Property owner and developer Richard Levy said “We contacted Active Spaces and had tenants almost immediately. We’ve seen an empty shell site come alive and provide positivity to the Thornbury area.”

“Active Spaces connects artists, makers and new enterprises with vacant property owners who want to see their shopfronts activated while they seek a permanent lease arrangement. Most Active Spaces enterprises also move on to permanent premises, often in the same area. That way they continue to be part of the local business ecosystem. It’s a win-win.” Cr Le Cerf said.

For more information on the Active Spaces Program please go to: www.darebin.vic.gov.au/activespaces

Media Release - 22 August 2018

As part of its community grants program, the City of Darebin has awarded Friends of Merri Park Wetland $3,500 to contribute to its planting day.

Established in 2014, the Friends of Merri Creek Wetland assists the biodiversity hotspot located in a flood hindering basin off the bluestone lane behind Sumner Avenue Northcote. This group is a subgroup of the Friends of Merri Creek.

Dr Leslie Fraser, Friends of Merri Creek Honorary Life Member, said: “Every year we organise litter clean-ups, hand weeding and planting sessions and other events of an educational and cultural nature based in and around the wetland. The community grant will be used to organise and hold a planting day when we’ll plant climate change adapted species on the southern and western embankments of the basin.”

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said: “At Darebin, we love partnering with organisations that have an eye on the sustainability of our planet, and Friends of Merri Creek Wetland is just such an organisation.”

Dr Fraser said: “We will continue to care for the wetland and hope to turn our attention to areas just outside the fenced perimeter. These are high-traffic areas for pedestrians, dogs, bicycles, baby strollers and the like, and need to have plants filled where there are gaps.

“The grant is tremendously useful for building our group. We see so many people attend our planting days and these are suitable for all ages, including families with young children. Everyone loves to help nature by planting grass, shrub, trees and then checking back over time to see how they’re thriving.”

Cr Le Cerf said: “The large turnouts at these planting days show that our residents care about the environment and we like partnering with community and future focussed organisations.”

Media Release - 20 August 2018

Darebin City Council is calling on the State Government to move the $511.4 million of Landfill Levy money out of the State’s coffers and spend the money on environmental projects where it is critically needed.

“It’s no secret that we are in a state of climate emergency and need urgent action” said Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf. "Yet the State Government has $511.4 million of environmental money in its bank account, just sitting there, gathering interest. It needs to spend it on critical environmental projects now.”

The Landfill Levy is a fee paid to the State Government on all waste disposed of at landfills in Victoria by councils. Funds from the Levy must be used by the State to address greenhouse gas, climate change, waste management or environmental issues and to help fund key environmental agencies.

 “We all know there’s a War on Waste. Globally the recycling industry is in trouble and wasteful single-use plastics and micro beads continue to pollute our land and oceans. In Victoria more than one-third of the average household waste bin is made up of wasted food. All these issues need attention.

“When there are so many crucial environmental issues facing Victoria, the State needs to explain why so much Landfill Levy money remains unspent. It must commit to spending it.”

The Landfill Levy began in 1992 at only $2 per tonne, but in 2010, shot up more than 300 per cent in one year - from $9 to $30 per tonne. Since this time the Levy has increased rapidly and eight years later it sits at $64.30 per tonne.

“This is money that Council pays to the State Government for every, single tonne of waste we take to landfill. That’s ratepayer’s money the State is just sitting on and not using. Council can’t withhold the Levy, because that’s illegal, so we need to take a different approach”.

Darebin Council is now preparing to form an advocacy group with others on this issue.

”We’ll be calling on the State this year, an election year, to commit to spending the remaining Landfill Levy funds in the coming year on climate change, waste and environmental projects - transparently, honestly and urgently.

“There are a lot of important environmental projects that need to be implemented in Victoria. The State has $511.4 million to do this. All we’re asking is that it spends it”. Cr Le Cerf said.

 Media Release - 16 August 2018

We’re in a state of emergency - Australia’s first Council-led Climate Emergency Conference announced. Darebin City Council is taking a leadership role in climate change by hosting Australia’s first council-led Climate Emergency Conference.

To be held at Northcote Town Hall on 11 and 12 September 2018, Council has engaged the support of renowned international and Australian experts to discuss the climate emergency and to call on business and government to take urgent action.

Over two days, a series of plenary discussions will address scientific understandings, social dynamics, learnings from disaster management and corporate responsibility.

The free conference offers 18 presentations from climate and social experts, including Paul Gilding – author of the ‘The Great Disruption’, Jeremy Heimans, founder of GetUp!, and author of "New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World and How to Make it Work for You" and Kate Fitzgerald of Emergency Management Victoria.

The event follows the adoption by council of its Climate Emergency plan, a world first for local government. The plan focuses on mobilisation and leadership; energy efficiency; renewable energy and efficiency; zero emissions transport; consumption and waste minimisation; fossil fuel divestment and adaption and resilience and engaging the community and the creation of the Darebin Energy Foundation.

Darebin Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said the focus on climate emergency is not only an important issue to Councillors and community members but also addresses the Council’s social responsibilities.

“We recognise we are in a state of climate emergency. We need to reverse our environmental footprint to avoid dramatic impacts on our community. We see this as a problem for all levels of government and we’re proud to be the first council in Australia to lead the climate emergency discussion,” Mayor Le Cerf said.

“It’s about starting the conversation and mobilising a plan of action to reduce our impact, at both an institutional and individual level,” Mayor Le Cerf said.

Darebin Climate Emergency Conference will be held at Northcote Town Hall on 11 – 12 September. It is free to attend, however registration is required.

Conference Emergency Conference details:
When:  Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 September 2018 (all day)
Where:  Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote
Cost:  No cost, registration required, visit Darebin Climate Emergency Conference to register.

Jeremy Heimans’ Presentation
Date:  Tuesday 11 September 2018, 6.30pm
Venue:  Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote
Cost:  No cost, registration required, visit Jeremy Heimans' Darebin Climate Emergency Conference to to register.

Media Release - 16 August 2018

On Monday 13 August, Darebin City Council adopted its Council Plan - Action Plan for 2018-19. The plan outlines the actions Council will carry out this financial year to make its ambitious, strategic and future thinking vision a reality.

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf explains “Our council plan is set for four years, and our vision is to make Darebin a ‘greener, bolder, more connected city’. The action plan puts the rubber to the road and this year sees so many highlights. We will develop a play space at Bundoora Homestead and implement recycling activities to increase recycling in the city.

“There is so much to be excited about living in Darebin. We are going to plan the future development of the Preston central precinct, which will guarantee the neighbourhood continues to thrive. We are looking to improve public safety by continuing to work on the Gender Equity map in tandem with the Victorian State Government and housing another Octopus school, giving kids a safe way to walk to school.”

There is a lot more that Darebin City Council will be carrying out, including, in consultation with the community, start of a detailed design for the Multi-Sport Stadium in Thornbury. Additionally, Council will continue to focus on the greening of services and parks with the planting of 2100 street trees and 300 park trees in the next year, including the planting of 500 indigenous plants. This means an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year.

Cr Le Cerf said “We are very happy with our Solar Savers program. We will see the first roll out of our Streets for People program, which shall create a high priority pedestrian and cycling environment along with the beautification of several key areas in the municipality, we want to make sure Darebin’s streets are safe and cycle and walk friendly. We are keen to continue to be more transparent and accessible and so the preplacement of the website will be more user-friendly, this year will be something I’m sure most web visitors will be very grateful for.”

The Council Plan - Action Plan for 2018/19 details investments from the City of Darebin into walking and cycling, alongside upgrades to major parks across the municipality.

“There are in excess of 200 separate actions in the Action Plan, so I’d like residents to keep an eye out on our website for quarterly updates. These will deliver better services across the board for our community.

“I acknowledge that this is an ambitious agenda, but we have great staff of people who are striving to deliver the action plan”.

Media Release - 15 August 2018

Ryan Johnson is your typical 28 year-old. He skateboards and is an avid electronic music fan and producer/composer. Ryan though has a very different day job. He’s a School Crossing Supervisor. Every morning and afternoon, he gets to a school crossing and helps young people cross the road safely.

“I really enjoy the work, it’s important for the local community and also for me. I get to spend time outside and talk with the kids and parents. The past year of doing this work has had me happy and given me time to focus on what I love, my music.” Ryan said.

Ryan doesn’t only enjoy the hours and time with the community but it’s also reflecting positively on his social circle “My friends think it’s great, they think it’s pretty funny because most young people don’t do this kind of work. It’s great for anyone with another focus, like a creative. It really leaves my whole day open to get whatever you need done, while still providing a healthy income.”

“Best of all I can jump on the skateboard and be at the school in seconds, it really helps provide a great quality of life. I’d recommend anyone who wants a bit of responsibility with a bit of sun and you always know you’re an important part of the community.” Ryan concludes.

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said “We’re looking for Crossing Supervisors, people of all ages, with a positive sunny disposition who want to give kids and families a smile on their way to school are welcome to apply. Someone like Ryan, while not typically thought of as a Crossing Supervisor, is making the kids happy and providing a nice level of consistency in their lives. It doesn’t matter what your background as long as you want to provide a helpful ear to children and help them and their families cross the street.”

Darebin City Council are currently accepting applications for School Crossing Supervisors from all appropriate ages and people. They need to be dedicated, like kids and want to contribute to younger members of society’s lives, visit Council Jobs for details.

Media Release - 10 August 2018

Darebin City Council has commenced a formal independent review of all services and programs it provides to older people. The review will be completed by distinguished Victorians Dr Rhonda Galbally and Peter Allen who will complete the evaluation and provide a report with recommendations to council.

Dr Galbally said “I’m thrilled to be working on a report which gives older people a say in how aged care is being undertaken. Together with Peter, we are looking forward to providing vital feedback to Darebin City Council. We want to make sure Darebin remains an Age Friendly City.”

Dr Galbally has spent a lifetime working in leadership for the public health and community sectors. She has worked as Chair of the Royal Women’s Hospital, the Chair of the National People with Disability and carers Council and Chair of the Independent Advisory Council for the NDIS amongst other relevant roles.

“This open, consultative process will take into account the changes in federal funding to the aged care sector. The area of aged care is always a sensitive one, and we look forward to receiving honest feedback from all sectors in regards to these changes.” Dr Galbally concludes.

Peter Allen has more than 20 years’ experience in the Victorian Public Service with a variety of senior positions including Under Secretary of Human Services and Deputy Secretary at Community services. Additionally he has worked as Director of Social Policy and Research at the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Mr Allen said “This review is being undertaken in response to the changing needs of older people and changes in funding by the Federal Government. I look forward to seeing the results and working alongside Dr Galbally in which will be an important paper to shape aged care services in the Darebin area for years to come.”

“Council is committed to ensuring older people in Darebin are active, valued and supported to live the way they choose and this report will be the first step.”

The review will focus on the question of how do we create an Age Friendly Darebin? The Panel will consider input already received from the community over the past 12 months, and all community feedback received through upcoming consultations on the discussion paper and draft report.

Council currently spends over $13 million each year delivering targeted aged care services like in-home care, delivered meals and help around the house. Of the $13 million almost $6 million comes from Federal Government funding and $6 million from Council resources. In addition, Council also funds and provides a range of programs, classes, events and facilities for older people.

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said, “Whether you are an older Darebin resident, approaching retirement, or have ageing parents or loved ones – this review is relevant to you. We need to hear all perspectives on how we can achieve an Age Friendly City for older people today and in the future.”

“Council will not be making any decisions in relation to the review until the Panel’s final report has been received in April 2019.” Cr Le Cerf concludes.

More information about the Review is at Growing Older.

Media Release - 13 August 2018

Darebin City Council is inviting the community to attend one of our ‘Council Meet and Greets’ to talk about important issues and share their vision for the City with local Councillors and Council staff.

These meetings aim to encourage and improve community participation and enhance transparency says Mayor, Kim Le Cerf.

“Meetings will be scheduled in different parts of the municipality to provide an accessible avenue for the community to have a conversation with their local Councillors and staff about matters that are important to them and the City’s future,” she said.

“Some of the best ideas come from the community we serve. The get-togethers are an opportunity for us to listen to these ideas and be more open and accountable for the decisions we make,” the Mayor said.

Meetings will take the form of drop-in sessions where community members can discuss any issues with staff or Councillors. No bookings are required.

Meeting schedule:

Latrobe Ward: Councillors: Cr Gaetano Greco, Cr Susanne Newton
Thursday 13 September, 7pm-8.30pm
Address: Darebin Arts Centre, corner St Georges Road and Bell Street, Preston

Rucker Ward: Cr Kim LeCerf (Mayor), Cr Trent McCarthy, Cr Susan Rennie
Wednesday 19 September, 7pm-8.30pm
Address: Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote

Future meetings will be promoted via advertising in local media and online at www.darebin.vic.gov.au/wardmeetings.

Media Release - 10 August 2018

Established in 2015, WeCycle looks to house unwanted and discarded bicycles with members of the community who otherwise couldn’t afford them. In 2018, WeCycle received a grant of $2000 from Darebin City Council.

Gayle Ilievski, WeCycle co-founder said, “The money provided to us from the council will be used to purchase a range of items for bicycle recipients including, but certainly not limited to vital safety components; helmets, locks and lights. It’s amazing that what started as Craig Jackson and I started working in our backyard as a small interest, has grown to a team of volunteers who have joined us to grow this project.

“We are open every Saturday from 10am to 3pm for clients to come and find a bike of a suitable size and type. Cycling is a great way to get fit while seeing this great city.”

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said, “WeCycle is a progressive and wonderfully inclusive initiative and is ideal for our Community Grants.  Many people that are struggling to afford a bike will be helped through WeCycle.”

Gayle said, “We have excellent partners like Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Mind Australia, Women’s Refuge, Foundation House,  Good Cycles and CERES and of course the City of Darebin who we hope to continue to work with through the Community Grants program. We continue to encourage women to join our team.  We continue to apply for the grant every year, as we need assistance with the cost of public liability insurance and to keep the project afloat.”

Mayor Le Cerf concluded, “We are thrilled to continue to support WeCycle.”

For more information visit the WeCycle website.

Media Release - 10 August 2018

The Islamic Museum of Australia received a $3,000 community grant from Darebin City Council used to support Community Week, a program of events for kids and families in the museum during the school holidays and the forthcoming gala dinner.

Ali Fahour, General Manager of the Islamic Museum of Australia said, “We want to continue to offer compelling events and experiences, for people of all ages. It’s about welcoming people and running activities to engage the community, and the funding greatly assists us in opening up our doors to the wider community.”

The week, which took place in the July school holidays, saw 13 activities over the week, engaging in excess of 300 people. Mr Fahour continues, “It was really popular; we saw a mix of workshops, guest speakers and highly interactive activities.”

Partnering with the City of Darebin, the Islamic Council of Victoria and the Board of Imams - Victoria, the peak organisations of the Muslim community, all religious faiths are welcome to the Museum.

“We focus on all communities regardless of their background, it’s important to acknowledge that people from all walks of life are welcome here. Ninety per cent of our visitors are non-Muslim, our program is completely inclusive and we’re very proud of that. We are looking at building this as a program that’s more than just a one-off event; it will be an annual event held during the July school holidays.”

 “We want to grow the program every year, to extend our reach and engagement. We believe the more we can bring different people together, the stronger the Australian community becomes. We’re going to use some of the funding for our Gala Dinner on October 20, which celebrates the contributions of Muslims to the Australian way of life. It promises to be a tremendous event.” Mr Fahour concludes.

Darebin Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf is delighted to see the Community Grant funding put to good use. “The Islamic Museum of Australia is a tremendous facility, and we are thrilled to be able to fund their exhibitions and events. They leave a lasting, positive impact on all who visit and we look forward in continuing our partnership with them in the future.”

Media Release - 2 August 2018

The Raleigh Street Childcare Centre has received a funding boost totalling $40,000 to complete its refurbishment through a grant from Darebin City Council.

Having already undergone a front yard redevelopment in 2016 and undertaking an internal building renewal in 2018, the funding will allow for the remaining outdoor play space to be upgraded and enhanced by the end of the current financial year.

Darebin Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf talks about making sure infrastructure is in place for the next generation, “Council enjoys seeing public submissions for funding like the Raleigh Street Childcare Centre. We know how important it is to maintain and improve facilities for the younger members of our community. We expect the kids will love the new space!”

The funding boost from council will allow the childcare facility to provide a high quality outdoor play space and will complete the final stage of the site renewal works.

Justine Rouse Centre Director said “We are so grateful to the Council for the support and strong commitment to early childhood development in making this budget decision. We thank the Council for recognising the importance of high quality facilities to give the children the best possible start in life. On behalf of the community, including the little ones who will benefit from these upgrades, we thank you again.”

Cr Le Cerf concludes “We look forward to seeing the works completed and the children using these upgrades happily for decades to come.”

We will keep you updated on the completion of the playground in the future.

Media Release - 30 July 2018

On Monday night, Council declared a Special Charge Scheme, which will allow nearly 500 Darebin households to install solar at no upfront cost before Christmas this year.

Council’s award-winning Solar Saver program helps Darebin residents by paying for the cost of their solar system and installation costs. Households pay Council back in small increments over 10 years, while saving more than enough on their electricity bills to offset the cost of the solar system.

Social housing provider Northcote Rental Housing Cooperative are participating again, with a further six properties to have solar installed later this year. Jen Jewell-Brown is a part of the cooperative and had panels installed in a previous round of the Solar Saver program. She reports:

“I’m already saving $10 to $20 a week, and one of our members says her bill has halved!”

By the end of this year, nearly 1000 households will have benefitted from this award-winning program.

The success of Solar Saver also means that ordinary householders are helping Council achieve its ambitious target of doubling solar capacity in Darebin by 2020 – a key commitment in Darebin’s Climate Emergency Plan.

Soozah, another participant in the program, says she enjoys contributing to local renewable energy:

“I love my solar panels. I love the feeling of being part of the new direction of power generation. I am so pleased that Darebin Council is progressive enough to have pioneered this scheme.”

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said “Darebin is a leader in responding to the climate emergency. Programs like Solar Saver help on so many levels – not only creating clean local energy but making our community more resilient to extreme weather and rising energy prices. We want a whole city approach to combating climate change and Solar Saver is only the first step.”

Expressions of interest for Solar Saver are now open to all households and organisations in Darebin.

To find out more and register go to www.darebin.vic.gov.au/solar or call Council on 8470 8888 or on 8470 8470 for languages other than English.

Media Release - 26 July 2018

To encourage the next generation of leaders, Darebin City Council is inviting local schools to attend council meetings in 2019. This will mean three meetings during 2019 will move from a Monday night to during the day.

Councillor Susan Rennie who proposed the change said, “We are encouraging the next generation to become passionate about issues that affect them, and are welcoming schools to view the democratic process first hand. Inviting students to our council meetings will assist them in finding out about how councils work. It will assist us by letting us tap into vital young minds, giving us greater understanding of what they are passionate about.”

The motion to invite the schools passed unanimously and council is looking forward to seeing school students’ visit.

“This innovative program could be very valuable across numerous learning streams,” Cr Rennie said.

Be it Law, Social Studies or English, students can learn all about democracy and how it influences their lives. We are very excited about offering this program to schools and seeing students at our meetings.

Schools in Darebin will be engaged in the selection of dates and times.

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said “Darebin Council sees itself as one that encourages people to reach their potential and we’re thrilled that this motion was passed unanimously. We can’t wait to welcome students in 2019. With the changing nature of working hours, this will also allow other residents in our community an opportunity to participate in our meetings.”

Media Release - 25 July 2018

Darebin City Council is thrilled to make a significant investment in its community through the Darebin Community Grants Program.

The Program aims to support community projects and activities that address 2017-2021 Council Plan priority areas including building social inclusion, addressing climate change and enhancing the well-being of City of Darebin residents.

These aims are achieved through provision of cash grants and venue hire subsidies to local not-for-profit groups and organisations.

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said “It’s tremendous to see the community request funding and we are happy to supply these to all worthwhile and forward thinking groups and venues. The funded projects are enhancing the way we live in Darebin.”

“Successful organisations cover all walks of life in the City of Darebin, from Arts Access Victoria – Flow Festival, to health education and wellness programs, to the Islamic Museum of Australia and so much more. The projects, venues and ideas from our community are all inspiring and progressive. We see workshops being delivered, festivals being undertaken and sustainability increase in our area.”

Ali Fahour a recipient for the Islamic Museum of Australia said “The Islamic Museum of Australia is delighted to receive this grant. This will help enhance the participatory program of events we offer including panel discussions and art based activities, enabling us to continue to share and celebrate the contribution of Muslims with the community.”

For the 2018/19 Community Grants Program 188 applications were received with 96 approved for cash grants and 61 approved for in-kind venue hire support, with a total investment of $319,316.

“Enhancing the community in this way assists with morale and contributes to the Darebin way of life and we look forward to distributing these community grants every year.” Mayor Le Cerf concludes.

Successful and unsuccessful 2018/2019 cash and venue hire subsidy applications will be available from www.darebin.vic.gov.au/communitygrants or can be requested by calling the Community Grants Officer on 8470 8504.

Media Release - 23 July 2018

Darebin City Council is today joining with four other mayors and The Alliance for Gambling Reform on the steps of State Parliament in a united call for the next Victorian Government to embrace meaningful gambling reform.

The five mayors joined with Alliance spokesman and director Tim Costello, who welcomed the unprecedented commitment of local government leaders to the vital community cause of addressing Australia’s world record levels of gambling harm.

“Successive Victorian Governments have been intimidated by a ruthless industry and become reliant on the easy money of gambling taxes but Mayor Le Cerf and the City of Darebin are saying this has got to stop,” Mr Costello said.

“Councils are at the coal face of gambling harm and are not conflicted by the tax revenue or intimidated by an industry which has exerted way too much power over our major political parties, leaving Australia with the largest per capita gambling losses in the world.” 

Mr Costello says “the next Victorian Parliament must show some spine and heart” and address this issue to prevent the needless suicides, family violence, bankruptcy and fraud, which flows when $2.7 billion a year is ripped from the community through addictive poker machines in suburban pubs and clubs.

City of Darebin recently proposed a motion to the MAV State Council calling on Vision Super to investigate divesting its shares in Woolworths; if it doesn’t dramatically change its business to no longer be the world’s biggest suburban poker machine operator, it takes $670 million a year from Victorian gamblers alone. Darebin Council also resolved to assist all local clubs and community groups divest themselves from support from poker machines.

Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said, “The community harms from poker machines greatly outweigh any perceived benefits. The untenable situation is highlighted by AFL clubs now starting to eliminate these highly dangerous and addictive machines. In Darebin, poker machines strip $81 million per year mostly from our disadvantaged neighbourhoods. They are responsible for growing levels of inter-generational poverty that both major parties continue to ignore.

“As community leaders we want reform. We call on the State Government and opposition parties to commit to $1 maximum bets, clamp down on losses disguised as wins and reduce venue opening hours,” Mayor Le Cerf concludes.

The Darebin community lost $81m in 12 venues in 2016-17.

Media Release - 24 July 2018

Chosen as one of only 20 women to travel overseas with the Vital Voices Engage Fellowship, Darebin Cr Susanne Newton feels incredibly inspired and fortunate.

Cr. Susanne NEWTONVital Voices exists to inspire and create amazing women leaders of tomorrow. The organisation originally developed as an adjunct to the United Nations by Madeline Albright and Hillary Clinton stemmed from a UN conference in regards to the status of women. The fellowship will take Cr Newton to Florence in November and Massachusetts in March of next year.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more from the leaders and my peers. To meet people from all around the world is a wonderful opportunity. To truly expand my horizons and bring my learnings back, and apply them to my work at the council, is an opportunity I truly cherish.” Cr Newton said.

Cr Newton is familiar with the program and its principles already having spent a year working in Uganda for the United Nations Women, the UN Agency for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. “The year illustrated to me that we could be doing more to encourage women to be a part of public life and serve the public.”

Cr Newton looks forward to gaining a greater understanding of leadership practices from the year as part of the Vital Voices team.

“I really want to bring my new knowledge to the City of Darebin and my organisation Women’s Melbourne Network. I enjoy leading from the front and working collaboratively with all. We have a strong female leadership team at Darebin who are keen to hear all about my travels and the course.”

The program identifies strong female leaders and enhances their training and practices, and partners with them to make their unique and progressive vision a reality.

“I’m looking forward to travelling the world and learning from leaders, expanding my thinking and continuing to see strong female leadership in the City of Darebin.”

Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said “It’s a great opportunity for Susanne to take the next year to explore leadership on a grander scale and she is to be congratulated to be chosen.”

Media Release - 20 July 2018