Media Centre

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Dave Bell
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Phone: 8470 8603


Supreme Court Ruling

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The City of Darebin lost its Supreme Court bid to nominate Cr Ross as its MAV delegate on 20 February 2017. Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf said the council was disappointed with the outcome.

“We believe the case tested an important matter of public interest and we will continue to maintain a strong stance on gender equity issues because representation in local government leadership falls well short of community expectations,” she said.

The judge is accepting written submissions regarding the awarding of costs and a decision is expected next week. 

Darebin Council believes pursuing the case was in the public interest as it tested an important aspect of local government legislation and will argue the MAV’s legal costs should not be awarded against it on this basis.

Darebin Council’s legal team worked on a no win, no fee basis.

Media Release: 20 February 2017

Council contests MAV decision re delegate

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Council seeks and injunction order to contest MAVs decision not to recognise our nominated delegate.

“Darebin Council has today sought an injunction from the Supreme Court in order to contest the MAV’s decision not to recognise Boroondara councillor, Coral Ross, as our MAV delegate.

"MAV’s rejection of Cr Ross as our delegate precludes her from running in the March MAV election for Board and President.

"If the Court grants the injunction it would restrain the MAV from conducting the election without including Cr Ross on the ballot paper, and will enable Cr Ross’ validity as Darebin’s nominated delegate to be determined by the Court. Council believes the matter to be in the public interest.

"We are maintaining a strong stance on this matter because we believe it to be legally sound, and because gender representation in local government leadership falls short of community expectations.” 

Kim Le Cerf

Media Release - 13 February 2017

Darebin Budget Consultation

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Tell councillors what services and initiatives you would like to see more or less investment in to help formulate the 2017/2018 Council Budget.

Darebin City Council has launched an online budget tool which enables residents to tell councillors what services and initiatives they would like to see more or less investment in to help formulate the 2017/2018 Council Budget.

The budget simulator gives local people a chance to see what it’s like to try and allocate and balance the Council budget. You can increase funds in service areas, maintain funding levels, or decrease them and see what happens when you do.

According to Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, the online budget tool is the first component of the budget consultation program run by the council between now and the end of May to ensure local people have plenty of opportunities to participate in formulating the 2017/18 budget.

"The choices you make - and the comments you provide along the way – will tell us where you think Council should spend more and where we should spend less to help us develop a budget that meets your needs and expectations. It’s one of the ways you can inform and influence the decisions we make as a Council.

"We deliver more than 100 services, along with a range of initiatives and major projects, which makes setting the budget each year one of the most important and challenging things we do as a Council. We’ll work hard to get the balance right.

"That’s why we’re starting this process early and listening to the community to understand their preferences.

"The simulator is an innovative tool which makes it simple for anyone to jump online at their convenience. It’s just one of many opportunities for local people to have your say between now and the end of May," the Mayor said.

"To get the budget right, it’s important that we encourage as many people as possible to get involved in budget consultation activities, so keep an eye out for information about further opportunities as we roll out our consultation program."

To access the tool and view instructions visit the Darebin Budget Simulator.

Media Release - 3 February 2017

Darebin MAV delegate – nomination not accepted

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MAV CEO Rob Spence informed Council today that he would not accept Cr Coral Ross as Darebin’s nominated MAV delegate, based on legal advice he has obtained regarding MAV rules.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, said in response, "Darebin Council has been clear and transparent about our goal in relation to Cr Ross’ temporary appointment as our delegate: to support better gender representation in the local government sector by enabling Cr Ross to stand in the March MAV Board and President elections. 

"We are extremely disappointed that the MAV has effectively blocked that goal.

"This situation has arisen due to the rare - in fact unprecedented – circumstance of an MAV member Council determining not to appoint a delegate.  That decision disadvantages a long-serving female councillor and serious contender for MAV president. 

"Darebin Council carefully examined the MAV rules before making the unusual decision to appoint Cr Ross as our delegate.  It is our strongest view, supported by legal opinion, that there is nothing in the current MAV rules that precludes nominating a councillor from another municipality.

"We respect the importance of rules, and followed MAV rules carefully with a genuine and transparent goal in mind. The MAV CEO’s decision not to accept our nomination smacks more of exclusion than any breach of the rule book.

Darebin Council will now consider its position and has not ruled out contesting the MAV CEO’s refusal to accept our nomination," the Mayor said.

Media Release - 3 February 2017

Darebin Council MAV delegate

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Council resolved on the 30 January 2017 to take the unusual step of appointing a councillor from another municipality as our Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) delegate. While unusual, we believe this is allowable within MAV rules.
This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly, but one that has arisen from a situation we felt too important to ignore.  We’ve taken this step to ensure that Cr Coral Ross, current Interim President of the MAV, has the opportunity to stand for the ongoing role of president, which became vacant when long-serving president Bill McArthur lost his seat in the October 2016 Council elections.  

Appointment as a Council delegate is a prerequisite to standing for MAV election. Cr Ross’ own Council recently voted in a closed meeting not to appoint a delegate to the MAV, effectively rendering Cr Ross ineligible to run for the presidency in the upcoming MAV elections in March.

The MAV has never had a female president – in a history of more than 100 years - and we don’t feel comfortable seeing a highly capable and viable female candidate struck from the race.  There is agreement across the sector that we need more women in local government, and more women in leadership roles.  

Darebin Council has a proud history of supporting gender equality. With six women elected last October Darebin is now one of the 15 Victorian councils leading on gender representation with a majority of women councillors.  We are committed to fostering greater female representation across the local government sector.

We have taken this decision to give Cr Ross the opportunity she deserves to compete for the MAV presidency. 

Kim Le Cerf

About Cr Coral Ross
Cr Coral Ross is currently serving as interim MAV President until elections in March, and is highly respected in the local government sector. She represents Victoria on Australia’s national peak local government body, the Australian Local Government Association. She was elected to the MAV Board in 2011, and was the Deputy President (Metro) until elected Interim President by the Board in November 2016.

First elected to Council in 2002, Cr Ross, an independent, has served as Boroondara mayor three times. Cr Ross was named as one of the Westpac/Fairfax 100 Women of Influence in 2014, was chosen for the Local Government Minister’s Mayoral Advisory Panel in 2015 and was the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) Victorian President from 2011 to 2016. Cr Ross is currently the National President of ALGWA. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors.

Media Release: 31 January 2017

60 years of reconciliation

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Darebin Council has reaffirmed its long and proud history of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the spirit of reconciliation, almost 60 years to the day that Aboriginal leader, Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls, delivered an historic speech in Northcote about entrenched inequality.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf said Pastor Nicholls was a prominent Aboriginal Australian, activist, professional athlete, pastor and pioneering campaigner for reconciliation.

"Speaking in Batman Park on Australia Day in 1957, he called for the gulf between White Australia and our First Australians to be bridged, for adequate housing for the Aboriginal community, for Aboriginal representation in government and for equality," Mayor Le Cerf said.

"Today, there is a national debate taking place about how we can make Australia Day more inclusive and use it to bring all the peoples of our country together to heal the deep wounds inflicted on indigenous people.

"It’s a date that has a big history, a complicated history, a history that we grapple with. It's not something we put in our citizenship tests, but Australia Day, which marks the planting of the British Flag at Sydney Cove and the beginning of colonisation, is also a symbol of the unfinished business we have with the First People in this country.

"Standing on stage, together with the Mayor and City Councillors of the day, Pastor Nicholls spoke about the discrimination and the disadvantage that had plagued Aboriginal Australia since Europeans colonised their lands. He made the case that Australia’s First Peoples had been cast aside and forgotten by modern Australia.

"But he did not speak of recriminations or debts. This is what was so powerful about his speech. This is what captured the imagination of the crowd and helped to establish the reconciliation movement in this country – he asked only that we extend the hand of friendship. That we recognise our First Peoples, that we afford them the same chances and opportunities.

"As a Council I want to honour that tradition and reaffirm Darebin Council’s commitment to real recognition and real reconciliation.

"In the spirit of Sir Doug's speech, I want to extend the hand of friendship to local Elders and to say, we are listening. We have open hearts and we are ready to hear what we need to do, to work towards healing.

"Maybe it will mean shifting the date on which we celebrate the nation – to a date that can be owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people just as much as the rest of us.

"It is a conversation we need to have because we all play a role in shaping and building a better and more just Australia. We all play a role in healing wounds, and righting the wrongs of our predecessors.

"As we look to the future and learn from our past, I put it to you that Australia will remain an unfinished project until true reconciliation occurs.

"It is this however, the work of reconciliation – the dedicated work of so many Australians to bridge gulfs, to right injustices, to break down barriers and come together as one people – that makes Australia worth celebrating," the Mayor said.

Media Release: 27 January 2017

Australia Day Awards

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Darebin Council announced winners and finalist of the 2017 Darebin Australia Day Awards at a special ceremony at Preston City Hall on Wednesday 25 January.

This year the ceremony was presided over by Darebin Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf and Darebin Australia Day Ambassador, Deepak Vinayak.

Mayor Le Cerf said the finalists were selected from a strong field of nominees which reflected the rich diversity of the local community.

"It was a privilege to preside over these awards and acknowledge the wonderful contributions so many people make to life in Darebin together with Mr Vinayak. Mr Vinayak has made a significant contribution working with newly arrived migrants and it was great to hear him speak about what it means to be Australian," Mayor Le Cerf said.

The awards were held at Preston City Hall on Wednesday 25 January from 6.30pm with about 200 friends and families of the nominees in attendance.

Darebin Australia Day Award 2017 winners

Citizen of the Year

Awarded to Reservoir resident Rossella D’Arienzo, who for 17 years has volunteered her time on a daily basis at St Gabriel's Primary School. Throughout this time her contributions have had an immeasurable impact on the lives of all the students, staff and families. She is very much part of the school community and a worthy recipient.

Citizen of the Year Special Commendation - Judy McKay
St Celia’s Calisthenics and subsequently Millbrooke Calisthenics has run in Preston for the past 60 years. Operated by three generations of the same family, the club has taught calisthenics, fitness, teamwork and fun to thousands of local children over the years.

Citizen of the Year Special Commendation - Keith and Marion Coffey
A joint Special Commendation Awarded in Category of Citizen of the Year has been awarded to Keith and Marion who have been part of the Keon Park Youth Club for 47 years as committee members and President. Both have been heavily involved in local volunteer organisations including the Red Cross, Life on Wheels and Reservoir Men’s Shed.

Citizen of the Year - Certificate of appreciation - Andrew Mitilneos
Andrew has been given a certificate of appreciation for placing the needs of others above his own and for tirelessly supporting his daughter Cheryl who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease. Many members of his family and MND Australian will be in attendance whilst Andrew receives his certificate.


Community Group of the Year

Awarded to Millbrooke Calisthenics which has operated in Preston for 60 year during which time the family run club has taught calisthenics, fitness, teamwork and fun to thousands of local children.

Community Group of the Year - Special Commendation
Australian Multicultural Theatre Association was awarded a Special Commendation for their work at promoting multiculturalism.


Young Citizen of the Year

Lucy Grage-Perry was named the Young Person of the Year in recognition of her outstanding work which has provided opportunities for girls to participate in sport. As a 12 year old she assisted in the implementation and management of a NetSetGo netball program run by Parkside Netball Club. Today she continues to nurture young netball talent.

Young Citizen of the Year - Special Commendation
Ryley Clarke is enthusiastic person who is passionate about live music and photography. He was awarded a special commendation in the Young Citizen of the Year category for his commitment to community and his volunteer work at Decibels Records.


Media Release - 25 January 2017

Artists announced for unique artist residency

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Bundoora Homestead Art Centre and Arts Access Victoria are proud to announce the winners of the inaugural Bundoora Nebula Residency.

The Bundoora Nebula Residency Program was open to Australian visual artists, performers and musicians in which half of the residency positions were reserved for artists with disability, or artists who have experienced mental illness.

Artists will be provided an artist’s fee, a working space, a materials budget and, where needed, support to meet the needs of the participating artist including Auslan interpreters and one-on-one support workers.

Eight residencies have been offered in 2017. Each month-long residency pairs two artists, with each pairing including one artist with a disability.

Curator Claire Watson says artists will be inspired by each other and the location to encourage them to explore new ideas and processes.

"This is a unique opportunity for artists to work in a supported environment to develop new work while learning from another person in the same situation. This residency is all about supporting the creative process," Claire said.

"The residencies offer space inside Nebula - a revolutionary custom built portable studio - as well as spaces within the historic Bundoora Homestead. All spaces will be open to the general public for the duration of the residency," she said.

The Bundoora Nebula Residency artists are:

  • Fayen d’Evie and Joseph O’Farrel
  • Patrick Francis and Sandra Long
  • Claire Mooney and Amani Tia
  • Elana Grunberg and Hannah Raisin.


Arts Access Victoria is the state’s leading arts and disability organisation. They are dedicated to an ambitious agenda of social and artistic transformation for people with disability, the communities in which they live and the arts sector in which they aspire to participate without barriers.

Bundoora Homestead Art Centre is the City of Darebin’s public art gallery committed to developing challenging and inspiring programs in contemporary visual arts and craft. Bundoora Homestead is also a heritage house, gardens and operates a café on-site.

7-27 Snake Gully Drive
Bundoora VIC 3083
Wed-Fri 11am-4pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm

Media Release - 16 January 2017

Play prevents developmental delay

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Darebin Council is urging parents to help their children get the best start in life by joining a local playgroup in response to research showing participants are half as likely to have developmental problems when they start primary school.

Darebin Council Playgroup Officer Michelle Prendergast said robust research1 published by Play Groups Australia backs the importance of play for early development.

“Children build physical, social and cognitive skills through unstructured play with other children of a similar age and developmental stage,” she said.

“Children who participate in playgroups are half as likely to have developmental problems when they start primary school.  They are also a great way for parents to connect with each other,” Ms Prendergast said.

The council runs free playgroups for families with children up to four years of age in local parks throughout the year. 

The playgroups include story time, songs and lots of fun activities that encourage learning through play.

It is free to attend a play group and fruit and water is provided.

For further information or to find a local playgroup please visit Playgroups, Telephone 8470 8347 or email

1 It takes a village to raise a child: The influence and impact of playgroups across Australia (source:

This report used information from the Australian Early Development Census – a national census of the 290,000 children who started school in 2012 - to understand the differences in child development for children who did and did not attend a playgroup prior to starting school. The impact of playgroups on physical, social, emotional, and language development was explored, as well as the impact of playgroups for children with different background characteristics.

Media Release: 23 January 2017

Interim CEO appointed by Darebin Council

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Darebin Council Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, today announced Mr Philip Shanahan has been appointed interim CEO to lead the organisation for a period of six months starting on the 2nd of January, 2017.

Mr Shanahan has previously been CEO at several Victorian councils, including Darebin between 1999 and 2005. He also has extensive expertise in governance having provided governance training to the Municipal Association of Victoria and as a consultant to the Victorian Local Governance Association during a career that spans five decades in local government.

Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, said Mr Shanahan has worked with more than 50 councils and will lead the organisation while an extensive executive search and recruitment process is undertaken to appoint a permanent CEO in 2017.

“I am very pleased to confirm the appointment of Mr Shanahan as interim CEO on behalf of my fellow councillors. We are very committed to restoring community confidence in Darebin Council and he brings a wealth of experience to the organisation in the areas of governance, organisational reform, managing cultural diversity, urban redevelopment and renewal,” Mayor Le Cerf said.

“We have a challenge ahead to maintain services and invest in the city to meet the changing needs of a growing population with less revenue due to rate capping and funding cuts from both the Victorian and Australian Government. “Mr Shanahan is the ideal person to lead organisation and work with councillors to develop a four-year Council Plan that will meet these challenges.

“It is important that we appointed someone who will hit the ground running for this critical task and he will also help Darebin Council to recruit an ongoing CEO,”

Mayor Le Cerf said. Mayor Kim Le Cerf thanked Mr Andrew McLeod for leading the organisation as acting CEO. Mr McLeod will continue to act CEO until Mr Shanahan starts in 2017.

Media Release - 20 December 2016

Future of Preston Market Community Forum

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Council will host a community forum on Wednesday 21 December to hear the community’s views about the future of Preston Market.

Darebin Council Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, said councillors are keen to provide the community with an opportunity to share their perspectives, ideas and concerns about the Market and to ask Council questions.

"This Council is committed to consulting and working in partnership with the community to make Darebin a better place,” the Mayor said

"We know Darebin residents love the market and we encourage them to come along to the town hall meeting to ensure we capture the issues that matter to them most," she said.

All are welcome.

Future of Preston Market Forum
Wednesday 21 December
Preston City Hall
6:00pm – 7:30pm

RSVP by email to or telephone 8470 8551.

Media Release - 14 December 2016

Temporary car parking arrangements at Preston Market

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Darebin City Council is working with the Preston Market to help them simplify their new parking ticketing machines in response to concerns raised by the community.

Effective immediately, these ticketing machines have been switched off and will not be switched on again until they have been modified and signage improved.

The modifications will include machines issuing a ‘pay and display’ ticket rather than shoppers needing to enter a licence plate number, and no ticket at all will be required for the first two hours. These changes are expected to be in place from Wednesday 3 January 2017.

Car parking will continue to be free for the first two hours and continues to be restricted to a maximum of four hours. However, as the machines will not be operational for the next week, shoppers will not be required to pay for car parking until the ticketing machines are switched back on.

Signage will be displayed on ticketing machines and around the market to explain these temporary arrangements.

Council and Preston Market officers will also be onsite to provide information to shoppers and traders each day that the market is open between now and Christmas.

These temporary arrangements will additionally be promoted through advertising in local media, social media and other communication channels.

Darebin Council Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, said Preston Market is working collaboratively with council officers to implement these temporary changes with immediate effect.

"We have gathered a range of concerns from the community. We’re pleased that Preston Market has taken these concerns on board and our people are working with them to help resolve this situation as quickly as possible," the Mayor said.

"Darebin residents love the market and these temporary arrangements will make it easier for everyone."

"Obviously, parking time limits need to be enforced, otherwise city bound commuters would park at the market all day, taking up valuable space for shoppers and impacting on trade. Enforcement helps to ensure that car parks aren’t clogged up all day and that local people can find an available parking space when they come to the Market to shop," the Mayor said.

Media Release - 13 December 2016

Resignation of Darebin CEO

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Chief Executive Officer with the Darebin City Council, Rasiah Dev, has resigned from his position.

Rasiah Dev has today resigned from his position as Chief Executive Officer with the Darebin City Council to allow him to spend more time with his family and to pursue other opportunities. His resignation is effective from today (7 December 2016).

Rasiah has served the Council in the position of CEO for more than six years. On behalf of the Council I wish to acknowledge the contribution Rasiah has made to the Council and the ratepayers of Darebin during the term of his employment, and to sincerely thank him for his contribution. We wish Rasiah all the best for the future.

Council has appointed Andrew McLeod, Corporate Services Director, as Acting CEO until 20 December.  Council will hold a Special Meeting on 19 December to appoint an interim CEO while recruitment is undertaken for the role.

I look forward to a busy year ahead in 2017 as we continue to deliver excellent service to our community and work to develop the new Council Plan that will set our goals for the future.

Media Release - 7 December 2016

New Mayor Elected

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Last night at a Special Meeting of Darebin Council, Councillor Kim Le Cerf was unanimously elected as Mayor for 2016-2017, with Cr Gaetano Greco elected to the position of Deputy Mayor.

Mayor Le Cerf said she was looking forward to leading the change the community had voted for when they elected the new Council on 22 October. Cr Le Cerf is one of five newly appointed councillors elected to serve the City of Darebin, with four returning councillors.

“Our residents voted for a more progressive Council and one that plans for the future,” she said.

“We know Darebin is going through a period of extraordinary change. The city is projected to grow by 40,000 people in the next 14 years.

“This is going to put enormous pressure on our infrastructure and services, so we need to make the crucial investments in intergenerational infrastructure that will keep Darebin a vibrant and connected place to live, well into the future.”

Mayor Le Cerf said it was imperative that the Council works together to meet the challenges ahead.

‘We have to work together, we have to listen to the community and put their needs first - and we have to be the change the community wants to see.”

The Mayor outlined key priority areas, including:

  • Getting the multi sports stadium at John Cain Park built by 2018
  • Investment in the Junction Urban Master Plan and Donath and Dole Park Master Plans
  • Redeveloping Northcote Aquatic Centre
  • Increased participation in sports and recreation for women and girls
  • Enhancing libraries and neighbourhood houses
  • Preston Market
  • Establishing a Darebin Energy Foundation
  • Expanding Council’s Solar $avers program

Mayor Le Cerf also committed to Council transparency, accountability and public participation and flagged actions such as enhancing the role of question time in public meetings and using participatory budgeting to engage residents in budget development.

City of Darebin Chief Executive Rasiah Dev said he was delighted to have a female Mayor with a family take up the leadership of Council.

“I’m delighted to have a woman at the helm of Council once again, showing us all that political leadership and family life do go together.

“As a mother of three, Cr Le Cerf brings a deep understanding of community life in Darebin and a genuine desire to do her best for current and future residents,” said Mr Dev.

“Cr Le Cerf also holds a significant position as an officer in Melbourne City Council and has an intimate knowledge of how the organisation operates, something my staff will value enormously in their dealings with the Council.

“I congratulate Cr Le Cerf on her election to the Mayoral role and very much look forward to working with her.”

During the Special Meeting, Council representatives were appointed to Council Standing Committees, Community Advisory Committees and Community Organisations.

The next Council Meeting will be at 6pm on 5 December 2016 at Darebin Council Chamber, Level 1, 350 High Street, Preston.

For information on upcoming Council Meetings and Agendas, please visit

Media Release - 15 November 2016