Creating an Age Friendly Darebin


The Aged Care system has been changing and further change is to come. The Federal Government is introducing further major reforms to aged care funding, which Council needs to respond to.

Council is conducting a broad review of everything it does to support older people in Darebin, and we want your input.

The outcomes of the review will inform our planning for the future and help us achieve our commitment to Darebin being an ‘Age Friendly City’.

Council has appointed an independent Panel of distinguished Victorians (Rhonda Galbally AO and Peter Allen), to conduct this broad review and provide a report with recommendations to Council.


The Panel has released a Discussion Paper and a Feedback Form.


Read the Discussion Paper in your language:

Italian - Italiano

Arabic - عربى

Chinese - 普通话

Macedonian - македонски

Greek - Ελληνικά

Vietnamese - Tiếng Việt



Project overview:

Stage 1 consultation - have your say from 9 October until 23 November

Next steps in the process

Background – why the review is happening

Council’s position

Stay informed


Stage 1 consultation - have your say

The Panel has developed a discussion paper to guide the conversation and help people provide ideas and feedback.

Have a read of the discussion paper and provide feedback by:

  • Filling in a feedback form
  • Completing a written feedback form and emailing to AgeFriendly@Darebin.vic.gov.au or posting to Darebin City Council PO Box 91 Preston VIC 3072
  • Presenting your feedback at a Panel Hearing scheduled for 6 December (feedback deadline and registration – 23 November)

Translations will be available in Italian, Macedonian, Greek, Mandarin and Arabic. If you would like to receive a copy of the discussion paper in your language, please contact Council on 8470 8828.


Other ways to get involved

Come along to the Seniors Month Drop In Event on Thursday 18 October from 1pm to 6pm at the Preston Shire Hall.

Visit staff, grab information and provide feedback at a series of neighbourhood Pop Up sessions that are listed to your right on this page.

Attend a focus group.


Next steps in the process

Following stage 1 consultation, the Panel will analyse community feedback and pull together all their research to develop a draft report with recommendations.

This report will be placed on community consultation in February/ March next year, then a final report will be presented to Council, with a final decision from Council scheduled for April 2019.

No decisions about the review will be made by Council until then.


Background – why the review is happening

Federal Government Reforms

There are three levels of support in the federally funded aged care system: residential care, Home Care Packages, and Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).

Currently, Council only receives funding to deliver Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) services. These services are for people with low needs who are just starting to require some support in the home, including personal care and domestic assistance. We provide these services to about 3,500 community members in Darebin.

From July 2020, the Federal Government plans to move all CHSP funded services to a market based competitive environment. This will change the way Council can offer services.

Council currently receives almost $6 million each year in Federal Government funding for Home Support services. This funding model will cease from July 2020.

The needs of older people are changing

Darebin’s older residents are living longer, and have more active lives. Their interests, needs and expectations are changing.

This means that the activities, facilities, housing and services they need, will also continue to change over time.

In response to these changing needs, we currently provide a wide range of programs, events and facilities for people over 65 including fitness classes, activities and workshops at libraries, and support to seniors’ groups.


Council’s position

We are committed to being an Age Friendly City where older residents are active, valued and supported to live the way they choose.

Although there will be major changes to the Federal funding from mid-2020, Council is committed to continuing its current budget for services for older people each year – a commitment of about $6 million per year.

The review will help Council make sure this money is being used in the best way possible to effectively support older people in Darebin.

Council is concerned about what this may mean for the most vulnerable older residents and we have asked the Government to extend the current CHSP funding beyond 2020, to provide more certainty for the community.


Stay informed

To get regular updates on the project and reminders about consultation dates, sign up for our Older and Active Newsletter by emailing AgeFriendly@Darebin.vic.gov.au or calling Council at 8470 8888.




The Aged Care system has been changing and further change is to come. The Federal Government is introducing further major reforms to aged care funding, which Council needs to respond to.

Council is conducting a broad review of everything it does to support older people in Darebin, and we want your input.

The outcomes of the review will inform our planning for the future and help us achieve our commitment to Darebin being an ‘Age Friendly City’.

Council has appointed an independent Panel of distinguished Victorians (Rhonda Galbally AO and Peter Allen), to conduct this broad review and provide a report with recommendations to Council.


The Panel has released a Discussion Paper and a Feedback Form.


Read the Discussion Paper in your language:

Italian - Italiano

Arabic - عربى

Chinese - 普通话

Macedonian - македонски

Greek - Ελληνικά

Vietnamese - Tiếng Việt



Project overview:

Stage 1 consultation - have your say from 9 October until 23 November

Next steps in the process

Background – why the review is happening

Council’s position

Stay informed


Stage 1 consultation - have your say

The Panel has developed a discussion paper to guide the conversation and help people provide ideas and feedback.

Have a read of the discussion paper and provide feedback by:

  • Filling in a feedback form
  • Completing a written feedback form and emailing to AgeFriendly@Darebin.vic.gov.au or posting to Darebin City Council PO Box 91 Preston VIC 3072
  • Presenting your feedback at a Panel Hearing scheduled for 6 December (feedback deadline and registration – 23 November)

Translations will be available in Italian, Macedonian, Greek, Mandarin and Arabic. If you would like to receive a copy of the discussion paper in your language, please contact Council on 8470 8828.


Other ways to get involved

Come along to the Seniors Month Drop In Event on Thursday 18 October from 1pm to 6pm at the Preston Shire Hall.

Visit staff, grab information and provide feedback at a series of neighbourhood Pop Up sessions that are listed to your right on this page.

Attend a focus group.


Next steps in the process

Following stage 1 consultation, the Panel will analyse community feedback and pull together all their research to develop a draft report with recommendations.

This report will be placed on community consultation in February/ March next year, then a final report will be presented to Council, with a final decision from Council scheduled for April 2019.

No decisions about the review will be made by Council until then.


Background – why the review is happening

Federal Government Reforms

There are three levels of support in the federally funded aged care system: residential care, Home Care Packages, and Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).

Currently, Council only receives funding to deliver Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) services. These services are for people with low needs who are just starting to require some support in the home, including personal care and domestic assistance. We provide these services to about 3,500 community members in Darebin.

From July 2020, the Federal Government plans to move all CHSP funded services to a market based competitive environment. This will change the way Council can offer services.

Council currently receives almost $6 million each year in Federal Government funding for Home Support services. This funding model will cease from July 2020.

The needs of older people are changing

Darebin’s older residents are living longer, and have more active lives. Their interests, needs and expectations are changing.

This means that the activities, facilities, housing and services they need, will also continue to change over time.

In response to these changing needs, we currently provide a wide range of programs, events and facilities for people over 65 including fitness classes, activities and workshops at libraries, and support to seniors’ groups.


Council’s position

We are committed to being an Age Friendly City where older residents are active, valued and supported to live the way they choose.

Although there will be major changes to the Federal funding from mid-2020, Council is committed to continuing its current budget for services for older people each year – a commitment of about $6 million per year.

The review will help Council make sure this money is being used in the best way possible to effectively support older people in Darebin.

Council is concerned about what this may mean for the most vulnerable older residents and we have asked the Government to extend the current CHSP funding beyond 2020, to provide more certainty for the community.


Stay informed

To get regular updates on the project and reminders about consultation dates, sign up for our Older and Active Newsletter by emailing AgeFriendly@Darebin.vic.gov.au or calling Council at 8470 8888.



Ask us anything! 

You can also share your interesting ideas in the categories outlined in the report.

We will get back to you as quickly as possible. Please allow up to five business days.

Q&A

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  • Are there any council or volunteer groups operating a transport system in Darebin whereby elderly residents can get picked up from home in a mini bus taken to a shopping centre and then brought home after a couple of hours? This enables socialisation . What I have found in Darebin is you have to be unable to use public transport or drive a car to access services. I lived for many years as a senior citizen in Yarra Ranges and found their services far easier to access and in turn this enabled me to socialise more. I am a 78 year old living in Reservoir and although I drive I find it hard to find parking spots these days and this service would be fantastic. There was also a bus operating out of Belgrave community house where we were taken out every week to different locations, could have lunch or coffee, and then brought back after about 3 hours - fantastic service!

    Pat asked 24 days ago

    Thank you for your enquiry and comment. It’s true that transport and parking are important factors in people being able to socialise.

    Council offers a community transport service along the lines of what you have suggested. It picks up older residents from home and for a low fee takes them to various destinations in the municipality such as shopping centres, the market, health centres, and social groups. Phone 8470 8296 to find out more and access the service.

    Another local option is Community Link transport which offers other destinations and services for people needing help with transport. Phone 1300 546 528 find out more and access the service.


  • Dental services in Darebin (Community Centre) has a 2 year waiting list. For Seniors the cost of private dental treatment is excorbitant . I would like to see this addressed as part of the funding model for Seniors who wish to stay in their home as long as possible.

    dina33 asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your contribution to the Age Friendly Darebin Review.

    Access to affordable dental care is a vital aspect of being able to age well. Dental services in Victoria are funded by the state and federal governments.

    Your comments have been noted, however we would also encourage you to make your concerns known to your local MPs and candidates for the upcoming election.


  • We are sensitive to the numerous and complex issues relating to the Darebin Council running the Aged Care program with a significant shortfall in Commonwealth funding. The way forward may be clearer when the expert consultants submit their report and engage in increased consultation with Dareibin residents and ratepayers, both online and in face to face discussions. An increasing number of Darebin residents look to Council to be much more proactive in looking at creative ways to deliver a new and innovative Aged Care Model and advocating that model to the Commonwealth Government and the the community. We suggest that Darebin Council look at partnering other Councils in a strong marketing / media push to raise awareness of funding issues. Bendigo and Moonee Valley have already taken a proactive position There is also a need for Councils to collaborate with each other to challenge the Commonwealth Government on its current policy focus, its obsession with treating citizens and residents as consumers and customers. Darebin Council could lead the way in changing the language around Aged Care. Council has already led in the way it uses language around refugees. Language has the power to change policy from negative and exclusive to positive and inclusive. At a local level Council has changed the Commonwealth rhetoric from inferring that refugees are unwanted and illegal (queue jumpers and iIllegals) to welcome and valued (Refugees, Asylum seekers). Language is powerful, it is the voice of attitude, policy and practice. Many examples exist showing that most private/public companies have their focus on profits, cost minimisation and make promises which they fail to deliver. We would like to see Council funding priorities reassessed in a way that enables Council to continue funding Aged Care. Is it a part of the brief given to the expert consultants that they reconsider Council funding priorities in a way that would enable Council to continue to fund Aged Care Services? Not-for-profit charitable organisations are struggling to survive as the government decreases its funding, at the same time expecting them to carry bigger and bigger responsibilities as the charitable dollar/ donation shrinks. The failure of regulatory bodies to hold service providers to account is constantly apparent. Under-funding or self-regulation has been largely responsible for poor standards of service in the private sector.

    Sam and Jen asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your considered interest in the Age Friendly Darebin Review. 

    Services and support for older people in Darebin is a significant topic in the current reform environment.  It is indeed part of the brief for the independent panel to include consideration of funding priorities and possibilities with regard to existing, expanded or adapted aged care services.  The panel will explore all possible avenues to make sure that Council continues to meet the needs of older people in Darebin now and in the future. 

    As you have indicated, part of the review process includes further opportunities to contribute feedback in coming weeks with the public release of a discussion paper. In addition, early next year when the panel produces the draft report and recommendations after considering the evidence, research and community input. We invite you to participate in these activities.


  • As a senior citizen without a car the 86 tram is my main means of transport. However the no. 52 tram stop at cnr Plenty Rd and Tyler St only operates for journeys to the city. On return journey passengers have to alight at stop 51 or 53. This adds nearly 10 mins extra walking time and uphill with shopping trolleys etc. I am concerned when I may need a walking stick or walker as my arthritis gets worse. I contacted Yarra Trams but their reply indicated that the new trams stopping would prevent traffic flowing and they had no intention of replacing it. The tram stops ok on the north side of Plenty Rd at the remaining city bound 52 stop. The traffic has to stop then. I don’t see why a tram stop cannot be build on that side of Plenty Rd so that trams stop in the centre of the road similar to tram stops in Northcote and Westgarth. Instead passengers, including the elderly and disabled have to walk an extra kilometre or so uphill. It is also dangerous not just to our health in inclement weather but in the past there have been assaults and attacks on elderly people and a past rape on an elderly woman alighting at stop 53. I would appreciate any persuasion Darebin Council could give to the necessary authorities to restore stop 52 or build a new stop on the northern side so people especially the elderly and infirm don’t have to walk so far with heavy parcels etc to their homes.

    Alexandra Irini asked 9 months ago

    Hi Alexandra, thanks for your question!

    Council’s understanding is that the changes at this location were undertaken to allow the longer e-class trams to be used on tram Route 86. Council requested at the time that a solution be found so that the tram stop on the south side could be retained, but was told this wasn’t possible. Unfortunately, public transport is managed by the State Government, and Plenty Road is an arterial road managed by VicRoads, so Council has very little influence.

    It may be worth contacting Public Transport Victoria, along with your local MP (Robin Scott I assume) and the Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan, as this matter falls within their responsibility:

    Robin Scott, State Labor Member for Preston

    T: 9478 5611

    robin.scott@parliament.vic.gov.au

    Jacinta Allan, Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Major Projects 

    T: 5443 2144

    http://www.jacintaallan.com/Pages/Contact.aspx

    Council’s Aged and Disability Department will also be adding this issue to the list of concerns older residents have made regarding public transport through our advocacy to Government.



  • I know there must be a lot of older people who would appreciate the Community Buses that pick up people at home, go to Northcote Plaza, and Northland but hardly anyone knows about this service. When I first found out a couple of years ago, rang up transport at council, told I had to go through My Aged Care and given a 1800 number and go through hoops - now I am 82, with it and could navigate my way through these people who ask a lot of questions - OK - it came to where was I born = London England, next question was I an Aborigine or Torres Strait Islander - no I repeated London England and she said she guessed that question was for Australians. Who when they are faced with this farce would continue and as it is not advertised by Council they are missing out plus Council could be putting bums on seats and picking up extra money. I love this service and only found out through my elderly cits club and speaking with the women there. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO MIGHT LIKE THIS SERVICE WHICH IS BRILLIANT AND ALL POWER TO THE WONDERFUL DRIVERS WHO DESERVE A MEDAL. Angela

    10 months ago

    Firstly, thank you for your positive feedback about our transport staff, we will pass it on to them.

    We have recently undertaken a large community consultation exercise with older people in Darebin about what they need to age well, and Transport is evidently a very important issue. Being able to access Public Transport is a strong concern, as was being able to get around safely, and being able to come and go when and where you need to, such as offered by the convenience and security of taxi and ride-sharing services. Council services are a small part of the big picture, offering to eligible clients the community bus as you mentioned, or escorted shopping.

    Promotion of our services is done via several channels. All new clients are provided an information pack that outlines all of our services and they are talked through. Flyers are handed out at community events, community groups and clubs. The Darebin Council website has all the service information, and when residents call with queries information is given over the phone. Our services are all listed on the My Aged Care system. We are happy to hear about other effective ways to promote services.


  • I am a pensioner and have health issues which requires me to have home help I have now been receiving home help for a while but the past year since all the changes came in have been so disruptive to my home care . I no longer have a regular carer I have anybody turning up for my care and when i complain am told that as of next week so and so will be your carer ,can I say I am so annoyed and angry at being told that every time I call the council to ask where is my regular carer I feel like I am being taken for a joke . Its not fair that I should open my home to people that i dont know have to explain every time what to do and it never really gets done .Some weeks I am left without a carer because they want to come at the most inconvenient of times , and so very unfair to the carers themselves being shoved from pillar to post not knowing who they are going to care for on the day . I truly feel let down by the Darebin Council and I feel like as a residents with needs am not listened too . Please listen to your residents

    Maria asked 10 months ago

    I am very sorry that your experience of our service has left you feeling let down and not listened to. That is definitely not what we want to be the case for you or anyone else. There has been a period of disruption causing concerns for some clients with regard to some services. This has at times affected the regularity of staff, and our communication, both of which we have been working hard to fix. We realise it has not been improved quickly enough in some areas. I am glad that you have been calling to tell us your concerns because whilst we do not want things to go wrong, if they do go wrong, it is better that we know about it and can try to correct it. You are right that we can always improve how well we listen and respond to residents’ concerns.

    You are of course entitled to make a formal complaint, whether it is about the service itself or about the way your concerns were handled. 


  • Having moved to Reservoir and the Darebin shire 6 months ago, I am still coming to terms with the availabilities of my age care. My local rsl had a day trip to the chateau tabilk winery preceded by a 2 hour journey around the Negambi lakes. As the majority were pensioners discussion with a number of them confirmed they loved to just get out and have a nice day, a chat and a glass of wine. As we enter the last stage of our lives, we have done the hard yard, let's keep it simple, uncomplicated and the availability of having a glass of wine with our new found friends!

    Kevin Reilly (young pensioner, almost 70) asked 10 months ago

    Glad to hear about your lovely trip!

    Our recent community consultation has told us that social connection is very important for ageing well. The next phase of that work is consulting with experts to understand how council can better support a range of ways for older people to feel connected and have enjoyable, meaningful things to do.


  • In relation to the last Q:What can we do to ensure better help to live independently in the new funding system/ you could add that Darebin CC could advocate with the Commonwealth about the inclusion of the Homeshare model as a service to be offered as part of the NDIS and MyAged care . The national body HANZA is busy working with the feds on this, and it would be good to have local government support. http://www.homeshare.org.au/news/submission-to-future-reform-an-integrated-care-at-home-program-to-support-older-australians/

    Meg Montague asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this with us.

    Council recognises that that one of the major policy and funding gaps for older people and people with disabilities (and their carers) in the new aged care reform and the roll out of NDIS is affordable housing. At the same time, there has been a spike in the number of older women ‘sleeping rough’ or in insecure unsafe boarding houses.

    As such Darebin Council have:

    ·  Endorsed the use of Council owned land for the development of social and affordable housing;

    ·  Prioritised older women and people with disabilities as priorities for housing.

    ·  Actively advocated to the State and Federal Government for capital funds to build on Council land.

    ·  Targeted advocacy to relevant Age Care Ministers and to the NDIA for capital funds

    ·  Acknowledged, promoted and intend to expand the ‘Homeshare’ model in Council’s Affordable Housing Policy 2018 – 2022 as key action to support  the independence and well-being older people and people with disabilities ( and their carers) 

    ·  Always been guided by the individual’s lived experience to guide policy.

  • I have been asking for 2 years for the reservoir leisure centre to run classes after midday suitable for older persons. They do have the living longer stronger program which I started but as with a lot of older persons who have been inactive for a long time I had a lot of subtle injuries and my osteopath told me to quit. What we need, and I have spoken to a few of my friends is a stretching class so our muscles can become flexible enough to exercise. Also all classes are before midday at the moment including the arthritis class, most older persons that I know are bored out of their brain after lunch but before dinner. There are no yoga or any other classes that can be taken during the day. I would like to know if anything can be done about this and if not, why. Its great to have seniors badminton and walking football and alike but if your muscles aren't flexible its impossible not to hurt yourself.

    colleen asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Colleen

    Thank you for your feedback in regards to older adult classes after midday at Reservoir Leisure Centre. We are currently reviewing our timetable to make sure we are offering the best programs for our patrons. A Group Exercise Survey was recently issued to members and guests and we have received an overwhelming response in regards to what programs and time-slots people would like classes to run.  The survey has now closed, but I will add your feedback to the mix.  At this time we are not seeing a demand to run classes after midday and from the discussions I have had with Staying Active members they have requested to have classes similar to Living  Longer Living Stronger (LLLS) earlier in the day.

    We currently run a Yoga class on a Friday at 11:35am and we will be introducing another one on a Sunday morning around the same time. Tai Chi has also been a popular request and we are currently trying to source an instructor that maybe available after one of our LLLS classes. Our new  group exercise timetable will be launching late October and I do hope you find some suitable classes for yourself.

    Reservoir Leisure Centre will also be working closely with Darebin Community Health at launching a new chair based strength training class in 2018. This will create a pathway program into our other classes and hopefully be suitable and accessible to all of the community.


  • What can residents do to convince Darebin Council to continue providing aged care services into the future? The transition to the NDIS has caused such confusion and distress for people with a disability and their families. The advent of Aged Care Reform is likely to be equally disruptive. Older people like me believe Council as a trusted provider and advocate must remain engaged.

    Dylan asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Dylan

    It is good to know that you view council as a trusted supporter of older people. Council is definitely committed to remaining engaged in, and responsive to, the needs of older residents. Big system changes at the national level like the NDIS and My Aged Care can indeed cause some disruption and uncertainty for individuals in the initial stages of the roll out. It changes so many details about how people can enquire about, or obtain services, the types of services offered, or alter their arrangements.

    Council decided last year not to be a provider of home-based services under the NDIS, but this had no bearing on individuals’ experiences of the roll out of the NDIS. There is also no direct link between Council providing services and an individual’s experience of the national My Aged Care system. Council cannot change the My Aged Care system itself or how it is implemented, regardless of the services provided.

    Council staff will however always do their best to provide the right information, advocate where needed and support people in the most effective ways available, including via services, support, activities, facilities, and communications.