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Civic Protocol Policy

Version 1.0

Purpose and Intent

This policy provides guidelines on activities related to Civic Protocols and the traditions of the Office of the Mayor. The policy articulates the expenditure, organisation and frequency of civic events and specifies how, and under what circumstances, civic honours will be awarded to an individual, group or organisation.


This policy considers Civic Protocols as they relate to Civic Honours, Ward Forums, presentation of Keys to the City, coordination of Civic Events and use of tickets obtained through sponsorship, corporate partnerships or are offers of hospitality from associated organisations for use by Councillors.

This policy applies to the individuals and organisations who the Council may wish to honour through presentation of Keys to the City or Mayoral Awards and non-continuing Councillors who have served a full term of Council.


Key term



means Casey City Council, being a body corporate constituted as a municipal Council under the Local Government Act 1989


means the individuals holding the office of a member of Casey City Council

Council officer

means the Chief Executive Officer and staff of Council appointed by the Chief Executive Officer.

Full Term of Council

A full term of Council is from one general election to the next, typically four years.

Keys to the City

The key symbolises the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend to residents and is a high and significant honour for Council to bestow.

Non-continuing Councillor

A Councillor who has not been elected or has chosen not to stand for election in the next term of Council.



Civic Events

A civic event may be held for:

  • Exceptional achievement in sport, the arts, charitable endeavors and community service.
  • Commemorative events that celebrate significant occasions of importance to the local community.
  • Official Delegations recognising an overseas or interstate delegation.
    The Chief Executive Officer shall be authorised to determine the format and all other administrative arrangements associated with the organisation and conduct of the civic event.

Schedule of Civic Events

In consultation with Mayor, Council Officers will prepare a report to Council recommending the events to be held each year.

At the commencement of the Mayoral term, a Civic Events Schedule will be presented to Council for adoption. Additional events may be added to this schedule within available budget.

A Civic Events Schedule will be reported to Council no later than two months after the Mayor takes office; this will include any annual civic events e.g Mayoral End of Term Dinner.

Any requests for additional civic events, not included in this schedule, will require authorisation of Council and is subject to available budget for civic events.

Budget and Financial reporting requirements

The Council will annually, through the budget process, make provision for Council civic events to be held in the forthcoming financial year. The annual allocation is split to align with the Mayoral term.

Accurate records will be kept of all persons attending all events for calculation of Council’s Fringe Benefit Tax liability.

Tax invoices, where applicable, will be obtained from all suppliers for Goods and Services provided.

Direct costs will be recorded in a separate general ledger account number for each event.

Bunjil Place

Councillors may access up to two house tickets for ticketed events within the Bunjil Place precinct.

House tickets provide an opportunity for professional development by enabling Councillors to experience a variety of art forms and performances, thereby increasing understanding of the premier arts and culture precinct.

Requests for house tickets will be coordinated by Manager Bunjil Place subject to availability.

Representing Council at Events

Council and Councillors receive tickets to events and events across the municipality which encourage the development of sector/community networks, provide opportunity to engage with key stakeholders and recognise the civic leadership of elected representatives.

Tickets received and allocated can arise from sponsorship arrangements, corporate partnerships or are offers of hospitality from associated organisations.

Tickets received via the Office of the Mayor will be distributed according to the following hierarchy.  Tickets which are offered outside of Council’s partnership or contractual arrangements will be declared in accordance with Council’s Gift and Hospitality Policy.



Mayor of the Day

  • Principal spokesperson of the Council
  • Presides over civic ceremonies including citizenship, official openings, ministerial events

Deputy Mayor

  • Fulfils duty of the Mayor when Mayor is unavailable

Portfolio Holder

  • Receive regular briefings on key initiatives and progress against strategic objectives
  • Lead in speaking notes, and media comments on portfolio issues

Ward Councillor

  • Primary contact for residents
  • Lead in speaking notes on ward specific issues
  • Undertakes formalities at events as relevant to the ward where the Mayor or Deputy is unable to attend
  • Recognised on plaques at official openings within wards

Where tickets require purchasing, Council will purchase tickets for each Councillor and a guest where:

  • Events are run solely or in partnership by the City of Casey
  • Events are of a charitable nature and held in neighboring municipalities
  • Events are held by local government industry organisations

Civic Honours

Keys to the City

Traditionally keys to the City are presented to esteemed visitors or residents who are honoured for their service to the community.

Presenting a Key to the City is a tradition which dates back to medieval times, when many cities were enclosed by walled fortifications. An ornamental key is presented to esteemed visitors, residents or others the City may wish to honour, usually for exceptional service to the community.

Keys to the City - Nominations

A Key to the City may be awarded to an individual, group or organisation that furthers the ideals of the City of Casey or to recognize significant and outstanding achievements in a field of endeavor, or in public and civic life.

Council may, on its own initiative, award a key to any eligible individual, group or organisation.

Nominations are to be informally discussed by Councillors prior to any motion being put to Council.

Through a Notice of Motion, Councillors can nominate a person, group or organisation to receive the Keys to the City.

Keys to the City – Presentation

After Council resolves to award a Key, the Mayor will present the Key to the recipients at either an already organised community or official event at which the intended recipient is a guest of honour. In the absence of an available event, the Mayor shall present the Key at the beginning of the first suitable Council meeting.

Documents conferring a Key to the City will also be prepared and Council’s Common Seal affixed.

An inscription on the Key, or plaque on which the key may be mounted, shall state the name of the person or group the key has been presented to, the date of presentation and the reason for the award.

Mayoral Awards

Mayoral Awards may be awarded to an individual, group or organisation which has given outstanding service to the people of Casey or to recognise outstanding achievements or actions which are an example to others within the City of Casey.

Up to four Mayoral Awards can be issued during each Mayoral term, reflective of the high standing recognition these provide.

In addition, the Mayor may at times present Certificates of Recognition to members of the community for outstanding achievement or contribution to the Casey Community.

Mayoral Awards - Nominations

The Mayor may choose to award a Mayoral Award to an individual, group or organisation up to four times during his or her Mayoral term.

Mayoral Awards - Presentation

The Mayoral Award will be presented by the Mayor or Deputy Mayor at a Council meeting or an appropriate event. The Mayoral Award will be a trophy style award up to the value of $50, with the inscription on the award reflecting the name of the person or group the award has been presented to, the date of presentation and the reason for the award.

Acknowledgement of Service – Non-Continuing Councillors

In recognition of the contribution to the Casey Community non-continuing Councillors may be recognised at a joint civic event within four months of each general election,

  • Non-continuing Councillors, having served a full term of service be recognised with a letter under seal, a plaque and an appropriate gift to the value of $100.
  • Non-continuing Councillors, having completed more than 3 full terms of service be recognised with a letter under seal, a plaque, an appropriate gift to the value of $200 and a casual civic event for up to 100 people.

Ward Forums

Local Government is the closest and most accessible sphere of government to the community. Ward forums help to promote open communication and consultation with the community which assists to develop partnerships and build better relationships.

Councillors benefit from their constituents having the opportunity to interact with their elected representatives and help shape the community in which they live.

Ward Forums are not Council meetings and no official decisions can be made. Ward Forums provide the opportunity to engage with the community, including sports clubs and community groups. Ward Forums will not be held during the Election period.

Forum Formats

Ward forums are generally held at community or council owned facilities within the ward of the relevant Councillor.

  • Traditional or Formal Ward Forum held in a community facility or centrally in the Civic Centre. People seated in an audience style with Councillors and Council officers seated in a panel style with microphones. Brief presentations/welcome followed by questions from the floor. Light refreshments available on request.
  • Informal Forum held in a community meeting space or park as an opportunity for people to meet with and talk to Councillors on a one-to-one basis. This would likely be a standing event. Light refreshments available on request.
  • Street Stall style Forum held in a busy shopping center or strip during a busy period in a highly visible spot.
  • Forum as part of Event – a forum which utilises an existing community event.


Council officers will provide support at one Ward Forum in each ward during a financial year.

Advertising and Invitations

Council Officers will advertise the date of the Ward Forums two weeks in advance in the local papers, Casey Community News, City News (if deadline allows), and on Council’s website and social media pages.

An invitation to the Ward Forum will be sent to all local community organisations and sporting clubs involved in the Ward.


Council officers will attend the Forum to assist Councillors, should the need arise. Ward Forums should be planned in conjunction with Councils advocacy strategy to maximise effect of Council’s communications.

Signage and promotional material

Councillors are responsible for any personal advertising or promotional material they wish to distribute. The Council logo should not be used unless approval has been sought from the Communications department.

Post Forum

Officers will prepare a summary of the forum to be sent to the Council for information.





Chief of Staff

Responsible for

  • preparation of Civic Function schedule in conjunction with the Mayor
  • Coordination of Civic Honours

Authorised to determine the format and all other administrative arrangements associated with the organisation and conduct of the civic event.

Manager Bunjil Place

Coordinate requests from Councillors for tickets to events at Bunjil Place. 




Relevant Forms


Document History

Date approved

Change Type


Next Review Date

16 July 2019

Document initiation


31 July 2023


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