Health and Wellbeing

We work closely with community groups, local police and government agencies to coordinate partnered responses to community safety concerns.

Preston Library forecourt upgrade

We will be upgrading the open space, or forecourt, at the front of Preston Library, and we would like to hear your thoughts on the design proposal and answer any questions you may have. Considerations have been made of the different ways we use this place and Darebin Libraries and Darebin’s Landscape Architects have considered what could work well in this small location that tries to be many things to many people. You can check out the concept design proposal, ask us questions and make comments at Darebin's Your Say page. 

Upgrading the unused sandpit at the front of Preston Library is a recommendation of a recent community safety audit. So far we have installed a lighting upgrade, new street furniture, 3 murals and CCTV around the Library. A makeover to the forecourt is the next stage and will create a safer, more functional, and attractive place.   

Current Community Safety and Crime Prevention Initiatives:
-Northland Precinct Action Group
-Community Safety Reference Group
-Graffiti Removal Subsidy Program
-Darebin Street Parties Program
-Darebin Family Violence Network

Further Information

If you would like more info on any of these initiatives you can email us or call us on 8470 8888

Council works in partnership with Victoria Police and other agencies to minimise the negative impacts of alcohol and other drugs on our community.

Drug and alcohol support services 

To support our  residents to access information, advice and referrals on alcohol and other drug use for themselves and their family, we have developed a pocket-sized Alcohol and other Drugs Quick Reference Guide. 

Alcohol Restricted Zones

Two alcohol restricted zones operate within the areas surrounding Preston Market shopping precinct in Preston and the Edwardes Street shopping precinct Reservoir.The zones are implemented in partnership with Darebin Police in an attempt to address public drinking and enhance perceptions of safety in the zones.

In the designated area the consumption or carrying of an open container of alcohol is prohibited, and may incur a $200 fine.

Cafes and restaurants are exempt and can continue trading under the conditions of their existing approved liquor license application.

Reservoir Restricted Zone: Area between Ralph Street, High Street, Cleeland Street, Olive Street and Byfield Street. - See more at:
  1. Preston Restricted Zone: Area between Bell Street, Plenty Road, Murray Road, High Street, Regent Street, Spring Street and St Georges Road.
  2. Reservoir Restricted Zone: Area between Ralph Street, High Street, Cleeland Street, Olive Street and Byfield Street.

Further Information
Community Wellbeing
Phone: 8470 8630

Information on financial assistance and food aid within Darebin.

Access to food and basic items  

Over the next six months Council will be working with our partner agencies to provide weekly grocery vouchers, food parcels and pre-made meals to households. To get this started, we’ve partnered with Darebin Information Volunteer Resource Service (DIVRS) and other local agencies to immediately provide 500 households with grocery vouchers weekly.

Call the DIVRS phone service on 9480 8200, Monday – Thursday between 9.30am -12.30pm. You may need to leave a message with your name and contact details and you will receive a call back the same day.

Otherwise, contact the following local agencies:  

  • Encompass Care, Bundoora:  0422 461 847
  • Reservoir Neighbourhood House: 9462 4611
  • Salvation Army – Emergency Relief, Preston: 9471 9111
  • ST Vincent de Paul - Call Centre: 1800 305 330

Victorian Government emergency relief packages

If you are self-isolating, you may be eligible for an emergency relief package. Call the dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.  The hotline can also refer people to other support services if needed.  Each eligible household will receive a two-week supply of essential goods.  The packages will be delivered door-to-door, with other distribution points to be established as required.

Emergency Assistance

 If you are in financial crisis and need some assistance in the form of free or cheap meals, food vouchers or parcels and financial assistance we have prepared an easy-to-use guide. The guide lists the local organisations that may be able to provide you with assistance - Emergency Relief and Food Aid in the City of Darebin Guide.

Darebin Emergency Relief Network

The Network has a primary role to coordinate a regional approach to meeting the needs of residents experiencing financial or material disadvantage. Membership is open to the Darebin Emergency Relief Network (DERN) for a range of local emergency relief providers and other community agencies providing services to Darebin, or with interest in providing emergency relief services.

2020 Network meetings:
Tuesday, 3 March 12pm – 2pm -  Function Room, 1st Floor, 350 High Street, Preston
Tuesday, 2 June 12pm – 2pm - Function Room, 1st Floor, 350 High Street, Preston
Tuesday, 1 September 12pm – 2pm - Function Room, 1st Floor, 350 High Street, Preston
Tuesday, 1 December 12pm – 2pm - Function Room, 1st Floor, 350 High Street, Preston

For further information, refer to the Terms of Reference.

Further Information
Community Development Officer
T: 8470 8552

We play an active and important role in reducing the harm associated with Electronic Gaming Machines (pokies) gambling

If you’re worried about your gambling or someone else’s,  support is available:

  • Gamblers Help Ph: 1800 858 858, TTY 1800 777 706 – 24-hour telephone counselling service
  • Gambling Help Online – 24/7 online support for problem gambling counselling and support.

 Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018-2022

On the 3 December 2018 Council endorsed the Darebin Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018-2022 and Action PlanThe policy seeks to make the Darebin community free of the harm associated with Electronic Gaming Machines (pokies), with over $80 million lost in EGM gambling in Darebin every year. EGM gambling is a major driver of household debt, family breakdown and there is now consistent evidence that gambling is a contributing factor to family violence.

The Policy will be enacted through four priority areas:

  1. Legislation Regulation: To exercise the full extent of Council's regulatory and legislative mandate to minimise harm from EGMs.

  2. Advocacy: Council will continue to be recognised as a state wide leader in driving changes to reform those systems and structures that cause gambling-related harm to the Darebin community.

  3. Organisational Alignment: Council will take a whole of organisation approach to minimising harm, acknowledging that all our activities can contribute to minimising harm.

  4. Evidence Research Data: Council will develop a strong, robust and defensible evidence base that will enhance Council’s capacity to effectively influence the location, management and operation of EGMs in the municipality and contribute to the broader evidence base.

What will the policy mean for the community?

The policy contains a number of items that relate to the provision of Council funding and support, most notably that:

  • Council will not fund community groups who meet in venues that have EGMs through any of its community funding programs.
  • Any sporting club, community group, organisation or association that operate or own EGMs will be ineligible for community grants, financial assistance or in kind support from Council.
  • Any sporting club, community group, organisation or association that receives sponsorship or grants (in-kind or cash) from poker machine revenue will have Council grants, in-kind support and funding reduced by the amount and level of funding and/or in-kind support received from EGM sources.
  • Council will not provide sporting grounds, Council venues or use of Council property to any sporting clubs, community groups, organisations or associations who directly operate or own EGMs in Darebin or elsewhere.

It is Council’s intention through this policy to support clubs and groups to be independent of any reliance on EMG generated funding or support.  We will work with organisations to develop tailored transition plans to ensure that they may continue to access Council facilities and resources and provide a benefit to their members.

Further Information:
Wellbeing Policy Lead
Ph: 8470 8553

Darebin City Council is required under the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 to develop a Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan every four years under the Act.

Darebin’s Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021, has been developed on our understanding that people’s health and wellbeing is influenced by the social, economic, cultural, built and natural conditions in which Darebin people are born, grow, learn, live, work and age. These are known as social determinants that can either strengthen or weaken our health and wellbeing. It sets Council’s health priorities for the next four years.

It outlines what we will do to help achieve improved health and wellbeing outcomes so that residents can live rewarding, healthy and socially connected lives.

Our mission for Darebin’s Health and Wellbeing Plan is healthy, strong and resilient people and connected communities, and strives for health equity for all. There are four overarching goals to reach this vision:

1. Create equitable, healthy and sustainable neighbourhoods

2. Create lifelong learning, educational and employment opportunities for all Darebin people

3. Improve the emotional and social wellbeing of all Darebin people

4. Improve the physical health of all Darebin people

Further Information:

Coordinator Community Wellbeing
8470 8522 or

Tips for keeping yourself and your pets cool and safe during a heatwave.

In Darebin, temperatures often reaches more than 30 degrees in summer, which can be dangerous for people and animals. Some basic tips to remember during a heatwave are:

  • Keep your home cool
  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat and light, loose clothing if you go outside
  • Keep your body cool and hydrated by drinking water and avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks.

Plan Ahead

  • Check weather forecasts often at the Bureau of Meteorology website
  • Reschedule outdoor events, physical or sporting activities on days when extreme heat is forecast
  • If you are on medication, check with your doctor before going out in the summer heat
  • Stock up on food and other essentials so you don't have to leave the house during the heat

Steps for dealing with the heat

  • Drink plenty of water regularly to replenish fluids lost through perspiration.
  • Don't leave people or pets in cars
  • Keep cool by putting a damp towel around your neck and sit in front of a fan or air conditioner
  • Block sunlight from windows with heavy curtains or blinds
  • Stay indoors during the heat of the day
  • Open windows at night to let cooler air in to your house

Heat Stress

Signs of heat stress can include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, and heavy sweating. If you feel don't well call your doctor, Nurse-On-Call (1300 606 024) or in an emergency, ring 000 (triple zero).

Check in on others

If you have older, sick or frail neighbours, check in on them on heatwave days to make sure they're okay. Pass on the tips listed above to help them reduce their chances of suffering from a heat related illness. If they receive services from our Aged and Disability department they can also be put on our Client Heatwave Register so we can check in on them too. For more information call 8470 8828.


Don't forget to look after your pets during summer, make sure to:

  • Provide plenty of fresh, cool water every day
  • Ensure they have access to shaded, cool areas
  • Walk your dog early morning or in the evening to avoid sunburn and dehydration
  • Never leave your pet in a car or hot, enclosed space
  • If concerned, take your pet to your local vet

For further advice visit the RSPCA website.

Heatwave Planning

Our Heatwave Strategy aims to reduce the impact of heatwave on our community through education, service provision and urban design. For further information and resources, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Council assists with the support of people under housing stress, homelessness and financial hardship by providing referral to local support agencies and homelessness outreach support.

Homelessness Support Services

Merri Outreach Support Service (MOSS) provide an assertive outreach program to people sleeping rough in Darebin to bridge the gap between rough sleepers and the service system. A referral should be made by email with details of the location and other relevant information. Please note, this is not an emergency response.

Information on homelessness services

  • Haven; Home, Safe is the local access point for people who are homeless, they provide intake and assessment to determine needs.
    T: 9479 0700 | 52-56 Mary Street Preston
  • St Kilda Crisis Service is the statewide after-hours service from 5pm to 9am Monday to Friday and 24 hours on weekends.
    T: 1800 825 955 | 29 Grey Street St Kilda

If you are in financial crisis and need some assistance in the form of free or cheap meals, food vouchers or parcels and financial assistance we have prepared an easy-to-use guide. The guide lists the local organisations that may be able to provide you with assistance: Emergency Relief and Food Aid in the City of Darebin Guide

Homelessnesss initiaves in Darebin   

Darebin Council has announced it will soon begin two pilot programs to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to access housing and wellbeing services. You can read the media release here.

  • Homelessness Assertive Outreach Program: Merri Outreach Support Services has been engaged to deliver Darebin Council’s two-year homelessness assertive outreach program. The program will see specialist outreach workers visit and respond to individuals experiencing homelessness to connect them to services they need, including housing and healthcare. The assertive outreach program is anticipated to be fully operational in early 2020 and will include two full-time Darebin focused homelessness outreach workers. For more information or to alert Council about some rough sleeping in Darebin, email
  • Community Shower Access Program: This program will provide access for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping to the Reservoir Leisure Centre and Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre. For more information about this program, email

Further Information
Coordinator Community Wellbeing
Ph: 8470 8552 or