Health and Wellbeing

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 and the Darebin Emergency Relief Network.

Disadvantage in Darebin

Council is committed to addressing disadvantage in our community and ensuring that all residents have equitable access to services and resources.

Darebin - an overview of disadvantage across the municipality draws together census statistics on the population groups identified as most vulnerable to disadvantage and the key characteristics /indicators understood to contribute to  local areas of disadvantage within the municipality.

Food Security and Nutrition Action Plan

Darebin City Council is committed to reducing the level of food and nutrition insecurity across the municipality. This action plan focuses on Council role is addressing both short and long-term aspects of food and nutrition insecurity, tackling the diverse and complex issues surrounding access to food and nutrition.

The Darebin Food Security and Nutrition Action Plan 2016 – 2020 seeks to implement Objective 5.2 of the Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013 - 2017 “to promote food security, healthy eating and safe food provision for all Darebin residents”. Darebin’s Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013 – 2017 has been developed on our understanding that people’s health and wellbeing are influenced by the social, economic, cultural, built and natural conditions in which 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.

Council endorsed Food Security and Nutrition Action Plan 2016 – 2020 & Food Security and Nutrition Background Paper 2016.

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.

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.

Key Objectives

  • Improving links between service providers concerned with the provision of emergency relief in Darebin.
  • Developing service delivery standards and best practice in the delivery of emergency relief.
  • Developing referral procedures which reflect principles of access and equity, flexibility, relevance and responsiveness to the individuals.
  • Identifying and exploring ways to deliver emergency relief that are innovative, effective and appropriate, including food banks, meeting culturally specific needs and having access to fresh food supplies.
  • Liaising with Darebin City Council and developing strategies relevant to the Network's role in implementing the Local Government Disaster Plan as required.
  • Keeping abreast of issues affecting emergency relief provision through links with relevant agencies such as Emergency Relief Victoria, Victorian Council of Social Service and Centrelink.
  • Participating in forums which contribute to the development of Network’s aims & objectives.

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.

2018 Network meetings

Tuesday, 27 February 12pm – 2pm -  Preston Library, 266 Gower St, Preston
Tuesday, 5 June 12pm – 2pm - Preston Library, 266 Gower St, Preston
Tuesday, 4 September 12pm – 2pm - Function Room, 1st Floor, 350 High Street, Preston
Tuesday, 4 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
Ph: 8470 8552

Local government provide a range of services and programs to all aspects of the community, including maternal and child health, family support services and libraries. They are well placed to support gender equity in the early years, to provide leadership and influence community attitudes, infrastructure, programs and services that increase women’s safety and prevent violence against women.  

Darebin is committed to this work and has created a range of resources for Early years to support this to happen. The resources aim to increase knowledge and understanding about the powerful role the sector has in providing services and programs that are gender equitable, by challenging stereotypical notions of gender and creating foundations for learning that are respectful and promote positive gender norms.

For a video summary of the project and associated resources, please scroll down to watch a short video.

You can download the Creating Gender Equity in the Early Years: A Resource for Local Government document which details a number of tools and resources for the local government and early years sectors across Victoria. Some sections of Creating Gender Equity in the Early Years: A Resource for Local Government may also be relevant to other sectors working to improve gender equity and prevent violence against women.

You can download a summary of the resource.

The resource includes links to five supporting videos with gender equity experts and early years professionals, these include:

Video 1: Gender Equity in the Early Years

Video 2: Professional Development for Gender Equity in the Early Years

Video 3: Creating Gender Equitable Spaces

Video 4: Providing Gender Equitable Early Years Services

Video 5: Reflections from Early Years Educators

For more information:

Preventing Violence Against Women Officer
Phone: 03 8470 8522

Creating Gender Equity in the Early Years - Overview of Resources

We play an active and important role in minimising the harms to people and communities associated with Electronic Gambling Machines (pokies) in the municipality and reducing the opportunities for problem gambling.

Our role includes:

  • Regulation and Planning for new and transfer of existing electronic gambling machines
  • Advocacy
  • Research
  • Strengthen the gambling related support system of community based agencies, peak bodies, health promotion, self-help groups
  • Referral to support programs for people who are seeking assistance with gambling related problems.

How can you get involved?

  • Become a member of the Local Government Working Group On Gambling. Meetings are held monthly.
  • Become a member of Committee of Management or volunteer in local support agencies such as Gambler’s Help in the North.

Electronic Gaming Machine Policy
Feedback is sought on the Draft Darebin Electronic Gaming Machine Policy and Strategic Action Plan 2014–2017 by 28 November 2014.

Further Information
Community Planner
Monday – Thursday
Ph: 8470 8635

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. An Annual Action Plan is also developed each year to provide specific outcomes for the 12 month period.

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 8594 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 and financial hardship. Volunteers can become involved via a range of Committees established to address key issues.

Council plays an important role in supporting people with the consequences of housing stress and financial disadvantage including;

  • Housing for the aged
  • Information and advice about public housing and social housing
  • Information about affordable housing
  • Rooming house management
  • Advocacy
  • Data and research

For social services and support for yourself or someone you care for contact:

Department of Human Services:

How can you get involved ?

  • Become a member of the Housing Advisory Committee which meets 4 times per year.
  • Become a member of the Committee of Management of community housing and welfare agencies

Read about our Social and Affordable Housing Action Plan:

Further Information
Community Planner
Monday – Thursday
Ph: 8470 8635

We are committed to preventing violence against women. When you reduce violence against women and children, you help to create a community that is safer, healthier, more inclusive, diverse and dynamic for everyone.

Violence against women is the leading cause of death, disability and illness in Victorian Women aged 15-44. We have a range of initiatives that we are implementing with the community, across our organisation and with partners in the Northern Region. This work occurs in a range of settings, including in schools to develop Respectful Relationships Education, with sporting clubs to create equitable and inclusive spaces and with early childhood settings to promote positive gender norms.

Preventing violence against women is a strategy in the Darebin Council Plan 2013-2017 and the Community Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013-17 and a staff position has been funded to support the organisation in this goal.

Darebin Women's Equity Strategy
The Darebin Women’s Equity Strategy provides a framework for delivery of Council’s policy and actions aimed at improving gender equity and reducing violence against women within the Darebin workforce, within our community and through design and delivery of Council services and programs.

The strategy includes the Preventing Violence Against Women and Gender Equity Action Plans 2012-2015.

Royal Commission into Family Violence 

A Royal Commission into Family Violence is underway in Victoria. The Commission will inquire into and provide practical recommendations on how Victoria's response to family violence can be improved. The Commission is due to provide its report and recommendations to the government by Monday, 29 February 2016. In may 2015, Darebin made a submission to the Commissioners that focused on the role of local government and preventing violence against women before it occurs. You can view our Submission and recommendations. 

Darebin Says NO to Family Violence: A Whole-of-Organisation Approach to Preventing Violence Against Women

Workplaces are a critical setting for creating culture change and in 2014 Council introduced a workplace program. The program builds on the workplace Family Violence Policy as a platform to strengthen our workplace practices and supports to prevent violence against women.  Workplaces are directly impacted by instances of family violence and play a key role in influencing the behaviour of individuals and groups. 

Workplace Family Violence Policy

Council is committed to being a workforce and community leader in the prevention of family violence and violence against women. Council staff experiencing family violence can access a range of support, including access to leave, developing a safety plan and referral to a family violence service. 

Darebin's Family Violence Policy Video outlines our commitment to supporting staff that experience family violence and creating a workplace that is respectful and non-violent. The video can also be watched by scrolling down. 

Council encourages other organisations to adopt staff family violence policies. Family Violence is Everyone's Business is a resource to support businesses create a safe workplace. Contact our Preventing Violence Against Women Officer for support to create a safe workplace.

Preventing Violence Against Women Campaigns
Week Without Violence
Internationally, Week Without Violence is an initiative created by YWCA USA in 1995 to mobilise communities to take action against all forms of violence, wherever it occurs. The worldwide campaign takes place in the third week of October to encourage communities to think and act towards a world without violence against women and children.

UN International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women
In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared 25 November the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and a white ribbon has become the symbol for the day. The White Ribbon Campaign runs from 25 November through until 10 December, the International Day for Human Rights.

Each year, Council celebrate these campaigns with a range of community events.

2017 Community events: 

  • A documentary screening and panel discussion of Grace Under Fire at Northcote Library at 7pm. For further information and bookings, visit Eventbrite
  •  March to the Oval to Say No to Violence Against Women on Thursday 30 November, starting at 11am at the Preston Police Station - 55 Roseberry Avenue Preston

If you are affected by family violence, contact 1800 RESPECT National Counselling Helpline, Information and Support - 1800 737 732. If you are in immediate danger, call the Police on 000 (triple zero).  

Further Information:
Preventing Violence Against Women Officer
8470 8522 or

Video: We have a long-standing commitment to preventing violence against women. This video shares some of the work we are currently doing, and how you can get involved.

Workplaces have a vital role to play in preventing violence against women and providing support for staff who are experiencing family violence

We invite all woman aged 18 and over to participate in our leadership program. This program aims to connect women and provide leadership opportunities.

The leadership program is designed to bring together Darebin women in leadership roles who wish to work with women to enhance their leadership skills and to encourage connections & networking between women in Darebin.

Through this program we hope to increase social inclusion and equity among women wishing to participate in leadership opportunities but face barriers and are at risk of being excluded. This program is open to women from all cultural and faith backgrounds. 

In 2017, there will be a range of networking events and workshops. To keep updated about these events and leadership opportunities, watch this spaces for updates. You can also request to join our email list by emailing:

Upcoming Women's Leadership event:

Our next Women’s Leadership Event will take place on Thursday the 16 November and will include Sherry-Rose Bih as MC and writer Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen as guest speaker. Register via Eventbrite

Further Information:
Ph: 8470 8552