Richard Tobin, a local Northcote headmaster, could claim to be the founder of the Northcote municipality after he successfully petitioned to have Northcote made into a separate borough on May 25 1883. Up until this point the area had been part of the Jika Jika Shire (Northcote, Preston and Gowerville).
The petition was made to Alfed Deakin, the Minister of Public Works and was based on the argument that Northcote had sufficient inhabitant ratepayers (more than 300)to allow a separate municipality and that 'the district had attained sufficient importance to be entrusted with the management of its own municipal affairs'. As a result, Council elections were held on July 24th 1883 for a Council of nine members- Cr Edwin Bastings was unanimously elected Mayor.
In 1873 Richard married Fanny Louisa Matthews and the couple lived at Merri Creek.
Lemon, Andrew (1983). The Northcote Side of the River. North Melbourne: Hargreen.
Swift, William George (1928). The history of Northcote: From its first settlement to a city. Northcote, Vic: Leader Publishing.