Darlene has had an extensive public career, which began in the Social Planning Department of the City of Vancouver in 1968. From this position, Darlene continued on as a Vancouver City Councillor for 8 years and served as a GVRD Director. Darlene became MLA of Point Grey in 1986 and held two cabinet positions: Minister of Tourism & Culture from 1991-1993 and Minister of Municipal Affairs from 1993-1996. During this time she was responsible for the creation and adoption of an innovative Growth Strategies Act in 1995.
Now retired, Darlene serves on a number of boards and committees. Her roles have included, Chair of Georgia Basin Network, Honorary Director of the Legal Action Fund, Honorary Director of the Big Sisters Society of BC, Member of the Katherine Sanford Housing Society, Board Member of Headlines Theatre, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Elected Member of the UBC Alumni Association, and Member of the Vancouver Folk Festival Society Board.