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.

2019 Network meetings
Tuesday, 5 March 12pm – 2pm -  Function Room, 1st Floor, 350 High Street, Preston
Tuesday, 4 June 12pm – 2pm - Function Room, 1st Floor, 350 High Street, Preston
Tuesday, 3 September 12pm – 2pm - Function Room, 1st Floor, 350 High Street, Preston
Tuesday, 3 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 are committed to supporting gender equity and preventing violence against women. By reducing violence against women and children, we can help to create a community that is safer, healthier, more inclusive, diverse and dynamic for everyone.

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).  

The Preventing Violence Against Women Action Plan 2015-17 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.

Global Sisters Program
Do you want to improve your financial stability? Be less reliant on welfare services? Plan for a strong financial future? Stand tall in your community? If so, the Global Sisters Program may be for you.

We are partnering with Global Sisters, a business education program for women who are low income and/or excluded from mainstream employment, and who are motivated to be self-employed. This is a highly practical business education program that addresses the knowledge and skills needed to run a business. The journey starts with the participation in the My Big Idea Workshop (MBI), which helps you find the ‘big idea’ you want to turn into a business. The next stage is the Sister School (5 days) which focuses on progressing an idea into a real business or growing an early stage business.


  • My Big Idea workshops (2 x 1/2 day) on 24 April or 08 May
  • Sister School on 15, 22, 29 May, 05 and 19 June

A digital screening tool is used to assess a candidate’s suitability for the Global Sisters program and the specific support that they will need at their individual stage of business development.  This is a free program.

To express your interest, contact Sig: or phone 0410 246 844

Royal Commission into Family Violence 
In April 2016, the Royal Commission into Family Violence released its report and recommendations to the Victorian Government following a 13-month inquiry. The Commission was tasked with identifying and solving system-wide issues in the response and prevention of family violence.

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. 

The final report includes 227 recommendations. The majority of these recommendations are associated with the response and legal frameworks that interact with family violence.

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. 

Darebin Women's Advisory Committee
Established in 2009, the Darebin Women's Advisory Committee aims to support the right of women to fully and equally engage and participate in community life. Council upholds our commitment to local women and their rights by hearing the voices of women in our community through the Committee.

The purpose of Darebin Women's Advisory Committee (DWAC) is to advise Council on issues and barriers to equality affecting women in their diversity in the City of Darebin, notably by providing a gender lens on issues, policies, services or programs.

Women’s Leadership Program
We invite all woman aged 18 and over to participate in our leadership program.  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.


The program provides a range of networking events and workshops. To keep updated about these events and leadership opportunities, watch this space. You can also request to join our email list by emailing the Preventing Violence Against Women Officer.


Further Information:
Preventing Violence Against Women Officer
8470 8522 or

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

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

Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018-2022

On the 3rd December 2018 Council endorsed the Darebin Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018-2022 and Action Plan.

The 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:

If you have any questions about the Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018-2022  please contact:

Community Planner
Ph: 8470 8635

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 – online support for problem gambling counselling and support (Australia-wide), 24 hours, seven days


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 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