Diversity

Darebin's original inhabitants are the Wurundjeri people and the municipality is recognised as an important area of Aboriginal history and living culture. Today, Darebin is home to people of diverse races, ethnicities, faiths and beliefs, abilities, gender, talents and aspirations, sexualities and sex and gender identities, age and occupations, income and lifestyles.

The community of Darebin cherishes this diversity, and we want to contribute to an inclusive community and make sure our services and programs are accessible, appropriate and responsive to all. Darebin's Inclusive Communications Charter is a public statement that reflects this commitment and provides a clear framework for what you can expect from us.

Video: Equity and Inclusion Policy, recognising Darebin's diversity.

We are working towards a racism-free Darebin where our community's diversity is valued, celebrated, respected, embraced and leveraged. Darebin has a number of initiatives advancing this goal including: Report Racism; Say No to Racism Training Package and 'Racism - It Stops With Me' campaign.

Anti-Racism Strategy

Through our Anti-Racism Strategy 2012-2015 (extended to 2017) we work towards a racism-free Darebin where our community's diversity is valued, celebrated, respected, embraced and leveraged. Darebin is an official supporter of the Federal Government's Racism. It Stops With Me campaign which invites all Australians to reflect on what they can do to counter racism, wherever it happens.

Reporting Racism

If you have been subject to racism or witnessed racism in the community you can report it to us.

Our Preston Customer Service Centre is a special reporting place in a trial of providing an opportunity to the community to report racism to the Human Rights Commission with supporting staff at specific location. The pilot targets the Aboriginal community in the first instance but any report of racism will be accepted. This phase of trial has now been completed with evaluation and recommendations to continue the program. 

Reporting places allow community members to report racism to organisations or individuals they know and trust. If a person wants to make an anonymous report, the reporting place can make the report on their behalf. Staff at these reporting locations will provide advice on how to put in a report and explain how the process works.  Reports can also be lodged anonymously online at reportracism.com.au.

A number of designated Report Racism locations have been identified including our Preston Customer Service Centre, the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and some local police stations. Click here for a list of Reporting Places

Report Racism is an initiative of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) in partnership with Victorian Police and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service. 

For further information visit reportracism.com.au.

Further information
Stuart McFarlane
Ph: 8470 8366
Email: Stuart.McFarlane@darebin.vic.gov.au

Support and Counselling
You can also contact the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission:
Ph: 1300 292 153
Website: humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au

Aboriginal service providers can also help with support and counselling, around past or current experiences.
Contact the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS):
Ph: 9419 3000
Website: vahs.org.au

Say NO to Racism Training

Say NO to Racism training addresses racism through the role of bystanders, and how to take safe and constructive action against racism. The training will teach you to:
  • Acknowledge the ambiguous nature of racism.
  • Understand of the impacts of racism.
  • The social and personal barriers to bystander intervention.
  • Practical strategies and language skills to take safe, constructive action against racism.
  • Recognise the potential of bystander action in creating anti-racist social norms.

You will find yourself in a realistic situation with the opportunity to experience and overcome the barriers to intervention, and learn tools and language required for safe and constructive intervention.

Training delivery
This training package was produced in collaboration with Polykala, who coordinate and deliver the training. For pricing and to make enquiries, visit polykala.com/saynotoracism

Further Information
Ph: 8470 8630
Email: diversity@darebin.vic.gov.au

Say NO to Racism - Voices of the Community

Council is committed to protect, fulfil and promote the human rights of all citizens in the City of Darebin. Do you know your human rights?

Everyone has Human Rights
Human rights guide the way we treat one another. To enjoy our human rights, we must make sure that we do not do or say things which limit the human rights of other people. This includes family members, children, friends, neighbours, club members and the people we work or volunteer with.

Four values are the foundation of human rights: freedom, respect, equality and dignity.  These values express how we need to be treated in order to feel like a human being.

The concept of human rights is embedded in philosophical principles of how to live together as a community, dating back to the earliest times of civilisation.  It is also the basis of various international agreements, including the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

The Darebin Human Rights Action Plan 2012-2015 (extended to 2017) is Council’s commitment to the actions it will take to protect, fulfil and promote the human rights of all citizens in the City of Darebin.  These actions further embed human rights within Council’s culture and practice at all levels, and commit Council to working with residents and communities based on the key human rights values of freedom, respect, equality and dignity.

The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects 20 human rights of all Victorians. Many of the organisations that provide a public service to the community must comply with and promote the Charter.

All public services must think about the 20 Charter rights when making decisions, laws and policies and when delivering programs and services. They must avoid limiting these rights as much as possible.

Advocating for Human Rights
When you use a public service you can expect that your human rights will be respected and that you will be treated fairly.  But if this does not happen as it should, the Charter can be used to advocate for your rights.  The Charter is a practical tool and is designed to be used by everyday people, to back them up when they have been treated unfairly. 

Council has developed a step by step guide to advocating for human rights using the Charter, which can be used by citizens and community groups. We believe that the community is stronger when everyone respects one another’s human rights. If you require a paper copy, please get in touch with the Human Rights Officer.

Further Information
Darebin Human Rights Officer
Ph: 8470 8446
Email: abasset@darebin.vic.gov.au

 

The people of Darebin are made up of a rich diversity of religions and faiths. We aim to promote peace and harmony among our community by engaging with community leaders and faith representatives, and holding annual events open to the entire community.

RESPECT: A Guide for Muslim Faith Leaders and Communities

RESPECT: A Guide for Faith Leaders and Communities
Download Summary Download Full Document

This resource is a guide for Muslim faith leaders and communities to take action to prevent violence against women and promote equal and respectful relationships. Violence against women and girls is now recognized as one of the leading public health and human rights issues of our time. Everybody has a role to play in creating a safe and respectful community.

Further Information
Interfaith Development Officer
Ph: 8470 8519

DAREBIN INTERFAITH COUNCIL

BACKGROUND

The Darebin Interfaith Council was established on the 29th of June 2005 as and Advisory Committee of the Darebin Council. The aim and objectives of the Darebin Interfaith Council stem from Council’s rights-based Equity and Inclusion Policy and from its three policy goals.

 AIM

The aim of the Darebin Interfaith Council is to support the implementation of Darebin Council's Equity and Inclusion commitments to build a cohesive, harmonious and diverse city.  It offers an interfaith perspective on policy planning, service design, program delivery and activities coordinated by the Darebin Council to ensure they effectively meet the needs and expectations of Darebin's interfaith and intercultural communities.

OBJECTIVES

  • To create an opportunity for dialogue between religious leaders and community members of diverse faith background.
  • To provide leadership on matters pertaining to interfaith relations, interfaith understanding and cooperation in the City of Darebin.
  • To promote the work of interfaith collaboration and interfaith understanding for the City of Darebin.
  • To act as a source of information and advice to Darebin City Council and the Darebin community on interfaith related matters.
  • To facilitate the active engagement of Darebin City Council with its religious leaders and communities of faith.
  • Provide opportunities for the Darebin Interfaith Council to support the Darebin Council with the implementation of its Equity and Inclusion Policy and to participate in Council’s consultations, programs, policy developments and community engagement processes.
  • To promote social harmony and cohesion between diverse faith communities and the protection of human rights.
  • To work towards eliminating racial and religious prejudice, intolerance and vilification.

PRINCIPLES

  • Adhere to the principle of “Conversing rather than Converting”.
  • Respect the value and integrity of each faith.
  • Approach dialogue and debate with a spirit of understanding and collaboration.
  • Contribute to the community’s understanding of faith, beliefs, traditions and customs.
  • Build interfaith bridges of cooperation and understanding between the various groups. 

The Darebin Interfaith Council also adheres to the principles underpinning Council’s Equity and inclusion Policy:

  • Social justice
  • Human rights
  • Accountability
  • Participation
  • Empowerment
  • Diversity

 MEMBERSHIP

The membership of the Darebin Interfaith Council is comprised of:

  • Nominated Councillors
  • One Council officer, and others as required, whose role supposes understanding the specific challenges and barriers to equality facing faith communities and who can implement actions to address issues raised by the Committee
  • Up to twelve members representing the diversity of the Darebin religious community

 
MEMBERSHIP DIVERSITY

The Darebin Interfaith Council  should reflect the full diversity of the Darebin religious community, first in terms of religious affiliation and second in terms of age, ability, indigenous status, cultural and linguistic background, education and income levels, employment status, carer role, etc. This will be a key consideration in the selection and recruitment of members. The Committee will seek to build and reflect diversity within membership and be inclusive in practice.

 COMMITTEE MEETINGS 2017

9 February

4 May

3 August

2 November

 

Meetings will be held at the Darebin Intercultural Centre, 4-5pm

 

Further Information
Interfaith Development Officer
Ph: 8470 8519 
Email: aziz.cooper@darebin.vic.gov.au

We are working towards equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) residents. Our aim is to strengthen the participation and rights of all in Darebin, regardless of sexuality, or sex or gender identity.

The Sexuality, Sex and Gender Diversity Action Plan 2012-2015 (extended to 2017) supports Council's work towards equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) residents and aims to strengthen the participation and rights of all in Darebin, regardless of sexuality, or sex or gender identity. 

The Action Plan focuses on greater inclusiveness:

  • internally within Council as an organisation
  • in Council's services and programs
  • in the Darebin community.

The plan was developed with the support of the Sexuality, Sex and Gender Diversity Advisory Committee, following engagement with the community throughout 2012, and was endorsed by Council on 6 August 2012.

Celebrating our LGBTIQ community
At Council, we celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). Recognised in over 60 countries, IDAHOBIT is an annual event celebrated on 17 May, the date when the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1990.

IDAHOBIT aims to raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBTI rights work. For information on events for IDAHOBIT day, visit theAnnual Events page.

Marriage Equality

In light of the recent announcement made by the Federal Government that a national postal survey would go ahead to gauge public sentiment on marriage equality, Darebin Council resolved at its meeting on Monday 21 August 2017 to reaffirm its support for marriage equality and support the yes campaign.

This reflects the strong position Darebin has taken to stand in solidarity with its LGBTIQ residents on this issue for a number of years. In 2015 we formally endorsed a statement calling for marriage equality, with this statement being reaffirmed in 2016 and expanded to include that marriage equality should be achieved through a direct free vote in Parliament and highlighted the harm of plebiscite to the LGBTIQ community.

Council is showing its support in a number of ways:

  • The rainbow flag is flying above Preston City Hall until the current Marriage Act is changed by the federal Parliament to allow LGBTIQ Australians to marry
  • A rainbow projection has been set up on the Northcote Town Hall which lights up the area at night
  • We are using various platforms to communicate our support of the yes campaign to the wider community.

Our support for marriage equality reflects our commitment to a community free from discrimination, with respect and dignity for all. LGBTIQ people make up a significant proportion of Darebin's population and we have a responsibility to represent and advocate for our community. We believe that denying LGBTIQ people the right to marry sends a damaging message that discrimination is okay, and that these relationships are not as valued as others. 

Australian research has measured the devastating impact of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and intersexism on people's everyday lives including on health, wellbeing and participation in community life. For example:

  • LGBTIQ Australians are two to three times more likely than the general population to experience poor mental health as a direct result of the discrimination, stigma and prejudice they experience
  • Almost half all LGBTIQ Australians hide their sexuality or gender identity because they fear violence or discrimination, with young people aged 16 to 24 more likely to do so than any other age group (Source: Beyond Blue).

As an official supporter of the No To Homophobia campaign since 2015 we have pledged to "Stand up to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Always." We are proud to stand in solidarity with LGBTIQ communities and their allies in support of marriage equality.

 

Find the Rainbow in Melbourne's North
In conjunction with Moreland, Yarra and Banyule City Councils, we have developed a map of LGBTIQ groups and networks as well as LGBTIQ friendly services across Melbourne' north. The map, Find the Rainbow in Melbourne's north, has been designed to provide LGBTIQ people and allies with accurate and reliable information.

If you have concerns about a place that has been included or if there is a group or service that you think should be included in the map, please email us.

Our Stand Against Homophobia
Council also supports the No to Homophobia campaign. Victoria-based, but with a national reach, the No To Homophobia campaign challenges all forms of harassment and discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people (LGBTIQ), whether in the workplace or in social situations. The campaign aims to reduce the incidence of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic harassment in Victoria (and beyond) by empowering both LGBTIQ people and the broader community to respond to and speak out against this harassment. No To Homophobia sends the message to all Australians that homophobic, transphobic and biphobic harassment is never acceptable. The campaign also aims to raise awareness and let those who experience unlawful harassment know that they have official avenues to respond to it, including the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the police. Victoria Police has Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs) specifically trained to deal sensitively with and respond to the needs of LGBTIQ people. On 3 June 2013, Council emphasised our commitment by "giving [our] word to stand up against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Always". Council's support to marriage equality and Safe Schools Coalition
On 6 July 2015, Council passed a motion to publicly support the marriage equality campaign. On 21 March 2016, Council officially became a supporter of Safe Schools Coalition by signing this pledge: "We believe that schools should provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students, so that they can learn, grow, and reach their full potential – free from bullying and discrimination. We pledge to stand up against homophobia and transphobia whenever we see or hear it. We are proud to support Safe Schools Coalition Australia and its work to create positive change for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families."

In signing the Safe Schools Coalition's supporter pledge, we want to express our support to Darebin schools, their LGBTIQ students and families and all of Darebin's LGBTIQ residents! Further Information
For support or to keep informed about what's going on in the LGBTIQ community, here is a list of community organisations, peak bodies, interesting initiatives and support groups. Diversity Policy Officer
Phone 8470 8423
Email diversity@darebin.vic.gov.au

We support gender equity and women's rights to full and equal participation in all aspects of community life, and prevention of violence against women. We run a Women's Advisory Committee, implement a Strategy for gender equity and each year support International Women's Day and prevention of violence against women campaigns to help focus attention on women's rights.

It is increasingly recognised across Victoria that Councils have a role to play on many levels to support gender equity and women's participation in community life.  At Council, we acknowledge this and live up to our commitment to gender equity, women's right to full and equal participation in all aspects of community life and prevention of violence against women. 

Here are a few of the many ways in which we aim to achieve this:

  1. Darebin Women's Advisory Committee – a community advisory committee to Council on issues faced by women.
  2. Supporting gender equity: Darebin Women's Equity Strategy 2012-2015 (extended to 2017) – a Strategy and plans to increase women's participation, wellbeing and leadership in Darebin, endorsed in June 2012. The Darebin Women's Equity Strategy is implemented through two interlinked and mutually-reinforcing action plans: the Gender Equity Action Plan and the Preventing Violence against Women Action Plan.  These two action plans, which have been extended until 2017, aim to deliver tangible outcomes for women in our community.
  3. International Women's Day – also known as United Nations Day for Women's Rights and World Peace, the day is held annually on 8 March to recognise women's social, political and economic achievements throughout the time and across nations. In Darebin, we celebrate with a wonderful suite of free events taking place throughout the municipality. Check this site closer to the time to see what's on!
  4. Prevention of Violence against Women – Council’s initiatives to address the leading cause of death, disability and illness in Victorian Women aged 15-44.

Gender Equity in Local Government
The Gender Equity in Local Government Fact Sheets include 10 ways in which local government can advance gender equity, recognising that gender inequity has a major impact on women's health and wellbeing and their contributions to our community. Reducing gender inequity for women is crucial to allow for a more inclusive, just and fair society for both women and men.

The fact sheets constitute a resource package designed to build the capacity of local governments to consider gender equity in their planning, policy and service delivery.

Further Information
Diversity Policy Officer
Ph: 8470 8423
Email: darebinwomen@darebin.vic.gov.au