2021 Darebin Community Grants Recipients

Darebin Council is pleased to share that the recipients of the 2021 Darebin Community Grants have been announced! 

2021 Darebin Community Grants

We are pleased to share that Darebin Council has awarded nearly $300,000 in community grants this year for not-for-profit groups and organisations that contribute to the health and wellbeing of its residents. 

The recipients announced highlight the best programs and initiatives that Darebin has to offer the community.

Darebin Mayor Lina Messina praised the recipients commitment to their community in challenging times

“We are delighted to see so much talent and innovation in Darebin especially during these tough times. It’s an honour to be able to support such a diverse range of organisations and programs,” she said.

2021/2022 Small Community Grant Recipients:

  1. Preston Primary School - Original performance created by the Grade six students to be performed at Reservoir High School Performing Arts Centre.
  2. Preston - Reservoir Indochinese Elderly Refugees Group – Providing a welcoming space and conduct the seniors hub to increase seniors’ participation in Darebin community and provide outreach to isolated seniors
  3. Melbourne Harmony Rhythm Beijing Opera Group Incorporated - “Singing for healthy wellbeing”. Supporting Chinese new migrants over 60 years of age and who are usually living in a more socially isolated situation.
  4. Greek And Cypriot Social/Welfare Centre – Monthly meetings at Reservoir Global and Learning Centre and offer activities such as luncheons, bingo, outings, guest speakers and a welfare service and two cultural events during the year.
  5. Home Away From Home Chinese Elders Group - Weekly group activities for seniors at East Reservoir including presenters educating the group on topics such as Dementia, Diabetes
  6. The Preston Boxing and Youth Club - Provide an inclusive environment for our young members of society to feel safe while improving their health and fitness levels.
  7. Melbourne 7 Melody Notes Incorporated – Celebrate Chinese New Year 2022 event and provide opportunities to develop music skills, work with emerging musicians from Chinese and other culturally diverse backgrounds including people with disabilities.
  8. Australian Thornbury Pensioners Club – Regular Wednesday meetings where Club members meet for morning tea, lunch and activities such as cards board games, dancing, craft, socialising with others
  9. Greek Community of Northcote, City of Darebin and Districts – Greek Community Festival to be held at St George orthodox church Thornbury and will include the following: food stalls, music (band), traditional sweets, children's activities
  10. Strings Band Melbourne Inc. - Bringing together Chinese members of the Darebin community who share an interest in playing classical music in safe and familiar surroundings
  11. Macedonian Senior Citizen Group Prespa – Weekly group to socialise, have morning tea, play games, craft and once a month to have lunch.
  12. Melbourne Polytechnic Advanced Diploma Jewellery and Object Design, Fairfield Campus - Showcase to the public the work of graduating jewellery students from Melbourne Polytechnic in the Studio Space 1 of the Northcote Town Hall.
  13. Bipolar Life Victoria Inc. - Our support group provides a support and self help services to the bipolar community including 4 Bipolar Workshops with specialist lecturers
  14. Croxton Community Garden Incorporated - Workshops with Very Edible Gardens (permaculture organisation) creating permaculture gardens that are resilient and sustainable, as well as running educational workshops.
  15. Probus Club of Kingsbury - Encouraging lifestyle, health and wellbeing of semi-retired/retired members of the community through day trips, theatre outings and guest speakers.
  16. We Serve with Love Pty Incorporated - Workshops on educating community and schools to increase awareness and understanding of their rights and how to report discrimination.
  17. Victorian Chinese Seniors cooking Club Inc. - Project is centred around learning basic cooking skills while learning about traditional Chinese cuisine in hope elderly members become more self-sufficient.
  18. Australian Greek Ex Servicemen Citizen Club of Darebin - The project is yearlong, and centred around improving physical and mental well-being of the Greek community in the Darebin municipality.
  19. Reservoir Combined Probus Club Inc - To provide a range of social activities to promote the well-being and active ageing of its Members. Reservoir Probus aims to provide its Members with the opportunity to enjoy fun, friendship and fellowship with like-minded people.
  20. Friendly Seniors Citizen Group - Monthly meetings at senior’s centre. Proposed a training course for all members as to how to deal with cardiac arrest or fainting done by St John Ambulance.
  21. Spring Dreams Dancing Group - Members come together weekly for dance lessons and rehearsals. The group will participate in a number of community performances such as Christmas, Chinese New Year, Seniors Month in October and at Aged Care facilities. We also share home cooked meal at the end of lessons.
  22. Nuba Omarang Association - A day for social connection for the community to come together and celebrate our cultural traditions including singing, traditional dancing by the women, food, information stands and entertainment. Speakers will be invited to talk about positive aspects and achievements of the Sudanese community. The event will be open to all members of the Darebin community to increase social cohesion of all cultures
  23. U3A Darebin Inc - running a physical activities program for older people in Darebin –"Come and Try'series of events. Program accessible to people with mobility issues and disabilities and offering a variety of activities.
  24. Roma Social Club - Dinner and live music at low cost to encourage seniors to come our venue instead of venues with electronic machines
  25. Darebin Presbyterian Church - A community Christmas Carols and Family Festival in Penders Park Thornbury
  26. Sicilia Bella Folkloristic Group - A Musical concert provided introducing new songs and dances from our Sicilian and Italian Homeland.
  27. Somali Seniors Womens Group - Promoting well-being and social inclusion for the Somalian women that reside in the Darebin community through weekly meetings including participating in physical exercise and socialising.
  28. Kouchkovski Social Club Inc – Holding an annual Christmas Lunch function with members to socialise and enjoy a meal with the group
  29. Sylvester Hive - Expanding Sylvester Hive with the local community.To grow food in urban and suburban areas. Workshops to help build and expand the membership base.
  30. Dancebourne Arts – Present a gala dance performance by the company and provide collaborative dance workshops to members of the community following gala.
  31. Golden Oldies Reservoir - Golden Oldies meet twice a week, Monday and Wednesdays at the YMCA to exercise and socialise, aimed at reducing the feeling of isolation and keeping members mentally and physically healthy through exercises and board games.
  32. Friends of Baucau - Sustaining Partnerships & Networks with Friends of Baucau in Darebin -to build a sustainable base for communication exchange and fundraising
  33. Japanese Community Language School In North - Planning Japanese cultural events such as the school concert, sports day and cultural day to promote the wellbeing of families who have Japanese cultural background.
  34. Northern Inner Multiple Birth Association - Two separate activities with the shared aim of supporting, connecting and building resilient families of multiples.
  35. Darebin Hard Rubbish Heroes (DHRH) - The project will educate and enable Darebin residents to rethink buying new when usable items already exist, reduce waste and, subsequently reduce landfill.
  36. Multi Ethnic Senior Citizen Group- Preston - Socializing Seniors from Bosnia and Herzegovina by having regular Wednesday meetings at Preston Library
  37. Rossmoyne St Community Group – Organising a weekend event for the community to participate in to help with the Planter box renewal and renovating Little Reading Exchanges
  38. Hellenic Women's Federation - Hellenic Multicultural Gathering Day Darebin community gathering in October to celebrate the history and Greek culture
  39. Friends of Regent Community Garden - A community space and food production garden with an active community and supportive networks across the Darebin garden community
  40. St Stephen's Primary School (Playgroup) - St Stephen's playgroup charges a voluntary gold coin donation for entry, for which children receive a guided, informal play time, tactile/messy activities, time to chat and discover, trouble shoot ideas and socialise with peers (all at St Stephen’s School grounds in a safe and supportive environment, facilitated by qualified staff).
  41. Melbourne Konkan Community – Celebrating and holding an event - Monthi Fest is a cultural event celebrated in India, activities include folk dance, music, songs and vegetarian meal at Santa Maria College Hall
  42. Darebin Chess Club Inc - will provide free weekly chess coaching and practice sessions to any interested Darebin resident, participate in tournaments (assisting with memory retention, concentration and logical thinking)
  43. Fairfield Hellenic Seniors Women and Carers Inc - As carers and volunteers, we endeavour to connect CALD seniors most vulnerable to isolation in the Southern Suburbs of City of Darebin through weekly social meetings and culturally relevant social activities.
  44. Darebin Songwriters Guild - The Darebin Songwriters’ Guild runs performance events and songwriting workshops for members
  45. Hellenic Writers Association of Australia - Conducts weekly sessions in the art of writing in the Greek language in order to encourage new writers and publishing an annual literary journal “O Logos” which includes poems, short stories and reviews written in Greek.
  46. Off The List Records – Harley Young - promote two accessible indie music gigs within the City of Darebin boundaries in 2022 – providing live music experience for those living with a disability and providing the opportunity for artists living with a disability to be play funded shows.
  47. Sacred Heart Parish Preston - Technology upgrade to meet Government requirements for venue check-in and aims to improve better inclusion and participation via live streamed services when access to the church is not possible due to covid-19 restrictions
  48. Reach Community Church Incorporated – Celebration of Children's week -Focus on the importance of children in our community and provide opportunity to engage in sport, leisure and physical activity in a fun and safe environment
  49. Transition Darebin - Transition Darebin’s ‘Auspice, Build, Connect – Darebin’s project is about connecting groups of people in Darebin. The work is underpinned by the need to address climate change, food insecurity, social isolation, and waste and help to prepare Darebin residents to thrive as a community.

2021/2022 Medium Community Grant – Equity Inclusion & Wellbeing Recipients:

  1. Ne African Women's and Children Support Group - Ne African Women’s Group is a local not-for-profit organisation founded by African women in Darebin to serve the needs of their community. It has a particular focus on women and children. The group has organised many activities in Darebin since 2014, including children's homework club, women's exercise classes and inclusive celebrations welcoming women from other communities. The project will consist of one class a week, continuing throughout the year, together with some additional activities which have been requested by the women, and some outreach work to let more women know about the program.


  2. Merri Health: Victims Assistance Program - Continue to deliver human rights campaigns, events and programs protecting the rights of all people, to live without fear and with freedom, respect, equality and dignity - this project will support community to improve freedoms for families who need to flee family violence with their family animals with options of safety and dignity by raising awareness of family violence and the support services available. The project Merri Health would like to run is Keeping Our Pets Safe: (Family animal safety in the context of family violence)."Identifying and Responding to Family Violence with a family animal focus" training program to be offered to Vet Clinics and Animal Rescue organisations that service Darebin. Volunteers and community members who come in contact with families with animals often have a lack of training or awareness of family violence and miss the signs that these animals are at high risk of being injured or killed, or used as a tool to manipulate other family members to not leave family violence. Family animals have the right to live safely as does their family members.


  3. Northern Autism Parent Support Group - The volunteer run Northern Autism Network is a peer support network for parents and carers of children who are on the autism spectrum attending pre and primary up to early high school years (and Distance Education) in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.


  4. Youth Activating Youth - Youth Activating Youth is a non-profit organisation that assists disadvantaged multicultural Australian youths re-engage in their communities. We aim to bridge the gap that currently exists between different government organisations, non-profit agencies and other services providers.


  5. Darebin Community Health Service t/a Your Community Health – Rainbow Village - Through Rainbow Village, YCH is able to engage with and support the LGBTIQA+ community in Darebin, focusing on connecting and empowering socially isolated people and celebrating LGBTIQA+ communities.


  6. Somali Australian Council Of Victoria - The Somali Australian Council of Victoria (SACOV) advocates in resilience for the wellbeing of Somali Community in Victoria.


  7. The Open Exchange- The Open Exchange will use structured, clinically supervised group processes to explore issues of respect, family peace (violence) and social connection/support. Regardless of the harshness of the environment where males grow up, this will be an opportunity where they can re-evaluate their life and work towards better understanding and application of roles in family and community.


  8. High Street Bells Choir Inc. - The Choir is a unique music program for people with disabilities offering music and singing in a communal setting with socialisation, inclusion and friendship. The Choir program is tailored to weekly sessions where people with disabilities come together in a safe and supportive environment to enjoy singing, playing rhythm accompaniment and connecting with friends.

2021/2022 Medium Community Grant – Environment & Sustainability Recipients:

  1. Community Food Marketplace Ltd trading as Melbourne Farmers Markets - The proposed project is built upon our continuous effort to eliminate single-use plastics at our weekend markets in Alphington


  2. WeCycle – WeCycle takes donated bikes, repairs and refurbishes them for people in need who are referred to us by many charitable organisations. The primary goal is to provide sustainable transport options for those who are most in need including newly arrived migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.


  3. Sustain - Sustain will establish and support a small urban community farm at St Mary's Church vicarage in the Oakhill precinct for Food production for those in need, training and volunteering opportunities, ecosystem support.


2021/2022 Medium Community Grant – Creative Projects Recipients:


  1. Debris - Debris is a biannual print magazine and website. Debris is printed in Naarm/Melbourne and publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, cutting-edge artist conversations, poetry and reviews. Each edition and print cover showcases the work of one artist.
  2. Ms Kate Rohde - Baroquetopus: Tentacular Outreach - A contribution to the excellence of two new artworks, one made by a Darebin artist in Darebin, one by a Melbourne artist, and both exhibited in Darebin, at the Gertrude Contemporary gallery. Additionally, funding of a series of events which engage the public to interact and think about these artworks and their ecological subject matter.


  3. Sissy Screens - Sissy Screens is a Darebin-based online literary magazine dedicated to queer screen and digital culture. It premieres the work and ideas of gender and sexuality diverse (LGBTQIA+) writers, artists and cultural leaders, and is produced entirely by gender and sexuality diverse artists, providing a world-class curated platform for LGBTQIA+ creatives to showcase their work.


  4. CLAUDIA ESCOBAR VEGA - Claudia Escobar Vega is an artist specialising in collaborative projects with children. For over 20 years she has developed multiple creative projects where children express their thinking and feelings about specific issues and themes. These initiatives have been developed through mediums such as drawing, theatre, music, and object-making. Through her practice, she has developed a strong interest in research on children’s and young people’s thinking and well-being.


  5. Pony Cam: Pony Cam is a Darebin-based collective of theatre makers, who strive to create transformative communal experiences.


  6. Gravity Dolls - Gravity Dolls’ combines contemporary circus, physical theatre, and original new writing to provoke a powerful emotional response in the audience that activates positive change. Our work is a stark collision of often brutal and confronting themes with those evoking compassion and awareness to challenge power structures in existing environmental and social hegemonies.


  7. Gamelan Dananda Australia Inc - Gamelan Dananda (GDA) is a community gamelan orchestra modelled on a Balinese organisation known as a Sanggar in which beginners and experienced players, students and professional performers come together to create a dynamic network of musical ensembles under one roof. Generous sharing of knowledge and teamwork are the key components to a successful Sanggar, as everyone benefits from a stronger community.


  8. Circus Nexus (formerly Westside Circus) - Circus Nexus (CN – formerly Westside Circus) is a unique not-for-profit organisation in Melbourne, dedicated to using creative approaches to grow the mental and physical health of young people whilst supporting the growth and diversity of the Melbourne circus sector.