About Us

DPA Committee

The DPA is governed by a volunteer Management Committee, responsible for setting the organisation’s direction and managing resources on behalf of members.

The Committee meets every couple of months, plus many Committee members take responsibility for a DPA activity -like publishing Parklands News, coordinating our Junior Rangers program, or setting up for Park Care Days.

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Committee Member

How long have you been involved in the Parklands?

I have been visiting the Darebin Parklands since 2004 with my dog when I moved into Alphington. Since 2014, I have been running a Bush Kinder program 2 days a week through Yarralea Children’s Centre as the 4 year old Kindergarten Teacher. I joined the committee in 2017.

What is your role & what does it entail?

I have been adding content to the DPA Facebook page & helping out at various events. In 2021, I will be assisting in the coordination of the Junior Rangers program.

What is your favourite part of the Parklands?

As a local, my favourite part would have to be the wide open spaces as well as the little secret spaces you only find after quite a few visits and venturing further. As a Bush Kinder Teacher, I enjoy introducing the many different areas of the Parklands to the children & then hearing them talk about it or how they showed their family in the weekend. Knowing the children have the opportunity to participate in unstructured nature play for a length of time each week and facilitating this, is very special.

What are your interests and hobbies? Walking the dog, hiking/Bush walking, reading, the beach.

The Committee meets every couple of months, plus many Committee members take responsibility for a DPA activity -like publishing Parklands News, coordinating our Junior Rangers program, or setting up for Park Care Days.

Darebin Parklands Association

Meet our members

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President

Maryanne Newton, DPA President

How long have you been involved in the Parklands?

I’ve watched the Parklands evolve into the beautiful bushland refuge since we moved to Alphington in 1997.

What is your role and what does it entail? I’m the current DPA President; I joined the DPA Committee in 2005 and served as Secretary for several years. I am also an Honorary Life Member.

As President I get involved in all aspects of DPA activities. I’m enthusiastic about working closely with members, the community and the DCMC staff to protect, improve and advocate for the bushland character of the Parklands as an integral component of the Darebin Creek, Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay catchments, maintaining it as a wildlife haven and a place to appreciate nature, support catchment health, biodiversity and community wellbeing.

I want to achieve on-ground habitat gains for flora and fauna, effective planning to secure the Parkland’s future, happy and safe volunteers and local community, and a sustainable membership base.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best Parklands moment?

I love the tranquillity of the Parklands and how it allows me to leave the city almost as soon as I walk out my front door.

What are your interests or hobbies?

When not in the Parklands, I spend my time with family including our dog and horse, in natural areas, undertaking vegetation restoration at my Dad’s, dog training and walking.

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Committee Member

Ian McMaster, Newspaper Editor

How long have you been involved in the parklands?

I lived in Northcote in the 1980s and used the parklands regularly and participated in tree planting days. In 1987 we moved to Ivanhoe but still close to the parklands. For many years we would pick mulberries, fly kites and ride our bikes with our children.

What is your role and what does it entail?

I am responsible for producing the newsletter and I have a keen interest in the revegetation of the park. I work with other volunteers every Thursday morning planting and weeding under the guidance of the rangers.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?

My favourite part is downstream from Clifton Bridge. One day we planted some grasses along the creek. It was a beautiful autumn day –the creek was crystal clear [well almost] and the birds were out –a memorable day!

What are your interests or hobbies?

I like cycling, fishing, gardening and most of all bushwalking.

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Treasurer and Membership

Peter Williams, Treasurer and Membership

How long have you been involved in the parklands?

I was born in England and after many years of travelling to interesting countries in between jobs I finally came to Australia, met my future wife Lynn and settled down in Melbourne. We now live near the Darebin Parklands, considered by our family to be one of Melbourne’s best urban bushland reserves and enjoy taking our overseas visitors there. We believe it is these kind of experiences of Melbourne that they treasure the most. I have been on the committee of the Darebin Parklands Association for over a year.

What is your role and what does it entail?

I look after the finances and process memberships. Oh yes, I also look after the DPA website.

What are your interests or hobbies?

When I get the chance, I enjoy walking and cycling, doing crosswords and our family outings. And yes, these are often to the Parklands!

Committee Member

Maree Trentin - Junior Ranger Co-ordinator

What is your role and what does it entail?

I moved to Ivanhoe with my family in 2007. My background is in Environmental Science Education and I am involved in co-ordinating the various Junior Ranger Activities. If anyone has any skills or resources to support or conduct an activity for the Junior Rangers I would be very happy to utilise your expertise – new activities are always well received.

Ever since arriving we have appreciated and utilised the beautiful natural environs of the Darebin Parklands. We are so grateful for the insight and perseverance that the founding members invested to create this natural urban oasis for local resident’s body mind and soul and of course the name fauna and flora.

How long have you been involved in the parklands?

Our first involvement with the DPA was through the Junior Rangers and member activities which improved the Parklands. I strongly believe that it is important for children to have experiences and connections with nature to enhance many aspects of their development and well-being and the literature supports this. I am thrilled that the Darebin Parklands now has three bush kinder programs for youngsters, many of whom are now growing up in an increasingly crammed urban and built-up environment, where their connection with the natural world may be limited to pot plants (not even a courtyard any more!). Hence the increasing importance of the Parklands today.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment? My favourite part of the Parklands is hard to define, I simply like following the creek and listening to the water flowing. I walk and ride along the bike track several time each week, and enjoy seeing other utilising the outdoor spaces in a wide variety of ways.

What are your interests or hobbies? I love gardening and getting out of the City into the bush. Other than that, family, friends and food, preferably together.

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Secretary

Alice Bennett - Secretary

How long have you been involved in the Parklands?

I've been visiting the Darebin Parklands regularly since I bought my apartment in Alphington in 2014. Having never been to Alphington before, I was over the moon when I discovered just how amazing the Darebin Parklands was. Until then it was just a green area on the map.

What is your role and what does it entail?

I took on the role of DPA secretary in 2018 and again in 2021.

What is your favourite part of the Parklands or best Parklands moment?

My favourite part of the Parklands is the big duck pond near Mt. Puffalo. I love sitting on one of the benches with a book and some snacks, lapping up the afternoon sun. What are your interests or hobbies?

Reading, swimming, gardening (I don't have a garden so now have to make do with the succulents on my balcony and lots of indoor plants), yoga, movies and markets.

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Committee Member