Civic and Ceremonial Functions Policy

Policy Goals

Civic, ceremonial functions and awarding formal honours, foster relationships with the community and Council, recognise and celebrate individual and community achievements, and promote a proud and harmonious City.

This policy outlines the civic and ceremonial functions that will be hosted by the Mayor, and the formal honours that can be bestowed by Latrobe City Council. 

Policy Implementation

To foster relationships with the community, Latrobe City Council recognises and celebrates individual and community achievements, promoting a proud and harmonious City through hosting civic and ceremonial functions from time to time and bestowing formal honours as the need arises.

Civic and Ceremonial functions

Civic and ceremonial functions refers to an official event held for celebratory, ritual or commemorative purposes.
The Mayor may approve civic functions for visiting dignitaries, local residents who are recipients of awards or prizes, exchange students and visitors from other local authorities from Australia and overseas.
Civic and ceremonial functions associated with Council approved events or activities do not require approval by the Mayor.
Civic and ceremonial functions are conducted for a range of purposes including to:

  • welcome individuals and groups to Latrobe City to demonstrate hospitality, courtesy, or provide recognition for a milestone or significant event;
  • recognise significant achievements of local individuals and/or groups;
  • acknowledge the contribution of community groups and organisations;
  • further relationships and links with businesses important to the region; and
  • welcome dignitaries and community members of our Sister Cities.

In determining whether the Mayor will host a civic or ceremonial function on behalf of Latrobe City Council, the Mayor will take into account the following:

  1. That the event has a high profile that will generate a positive image for Latrobe City;
  2. That the event will benefit Latrobe City;
  3. That the event may be sponsored by Latrobe City;
  4. That the cost to hold the civic function is contained within existing budget.

A civic or ceremonial function may be deemed inappropriate where it is auspiced by another Government agency or provides commercial benefit to a private individual or organisation.

The scheduling of civic or ceremonial functions will be determined by the Mayor.  The invitation list shall be at the discretion of the Mayor, but is to include all current Councillors.

The Chief Executive Officer shall liaise with the Mayor to determine the format and all other arrangements of functions, receptions and ceremonies.

Formal honours

Formal honours refer to the awarding of the Key to the City or Freedom of Entry to the City.
Individuals or organisations may apply to Council to receive the Key to the City or Freedom of Entry, or alternatively, the Council may grant these without an application.

Key to the City

The granting of the Key to the City is a symbolic presentation, with no formal entitlements, which represents the highest honour that Council can confer on an individual or group.

Eligibility for an individual or an organisation to receive the Key to the City of Latrobe must demonstrate an outstanding contribution in furthering the ideals of the city or in recognition of outstanding achievement in public and civic life.

As conferring the Key to the City is one of the highest honours Council can bestow on an individual or group, nominations are considered on a case by case basis, with the aim of one key per term of office.

The key is presented at an official ceremony by the Mayor. The key can be produced in various formats, but will always include a suitable message indicating when, to whom, and for what reason(s) the key has been presented.

An application by an individual or group must be made and submitted for consideration for the awarding of the Key to the City. Although, Council may, on its own initiative, award a Key to any eligible person, group or organisation.

Nominations are to be informally discussed by Councillors or by an Advisory Committee established for this function, prior to any motion being put to Council.

The following are the minimum criteria that should be taken into account:

  • The nominee has the signed support of two sources. In the case of individuals, relatives are not allowed to nominate a family member. In the case of groups or organisations being nominated, supporters are not allowed to be employees or providers of other paid, contractual services to the group. Rather, supporters should be independent of the group being nominated;
  • The nominee is of enduring good character (if an individual) and this can be accounted for by reference checks from at least two independent sources. If a group, then the nominee is a bona fide reputable registered entity;
  • Where an achievement or a contribution is being acknowledged, this is independently verifiable, is of a high level and over and above what might ordinarily be expected of a person/group;
  • That the contribution made is significantly different and stands out from other valuable contributions;
  • There is a close association between the achievement being recognised (or the person/group being acknowledged) and Council’s strategic priorities.

The award of the Key to the City will not be made in recognition of length of service, but for depth of impact and enduring value to communities of interest.
Granting of the Key to the City is by a joint decision of the Mayor and Chief Executive Officer.

Freedom of Entry

Eligibility to grant Freedom of Entry requires a military or civilian unit to demonstrate a significant attachment to the City of Latrobe.
The granting of Freedom of Entry is conferred in recognition of a unit’s achievement while on active service or overseas duty or as a mark of respect and gratitude for their efforts in defence of Australia.

Freedom of Entry is the highest honour the City can confer on an Australian military or civilian unit. Once conferred, the Freedom of Entry gives the ‘Title, Privilege, Honour and Distinction of marching through the streets of Latrobe City Council on all ceremonial occasions with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing, colours flying and guns in train’.

As granting Freedom of Entry is the highest honour Council can bestow on an Australian military or civilian unit, nominations are considered on a case by case basis.

Nominations are to be informally discussed by Councillors or by an Advisory Committee of Council established for this function, prior to any motion being put to Council.

The following are the minimum criteria that should be taken into account when considering a nomination:

  • The award is restricted to Australian Military or civilian units that have a direct attachment with the City of Latrobe;
  • The unit has made a significant contribution to the defence of Australia or made a significant achievement whilst on active service or overseas duty;
  • The unit will supply the appropriate documentation to support their nomination.

Initial approval to grant the enduring right of Freedom of Entry is by a formal  decision at a  meeting of the Council.
The decision for a unit to exercise that right of entry is by a joint decision of the Mayor and Chief Executive Officer.
Costs associated with any street closures and other event logistics will be at the cost of the unit, rather than Council.

This policy has been reviewed after giving proper consideration to all the rights contained within the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006; and any reasonable limitation to human rights can be demonstrably justified.