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Pierre Gorman Award

The Pierre Gorman Award for Victorian public libraries (valued up to $25,000) has been designed to improve access to or delivery of library and information services for people with a disability.

Award funds have previously been used for a range of activities, including:

  • The development of reading programs for adults with learning disabilities in up to 10 public library services across Victoria, supporting diversity and people of all abilities.
  • The development and delivery of a library-specific accessible customer service training program for library staff, called the Access Ambassadors Customer Service Program, developed in partnership with Arts Access Victoria.
  • The development and delivery of a program to improve the library services physical environment for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), created in partnership with Supporting Parents of Children with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome and Community Living and Respite Services Inc.

The award is generously supported by the Pierre Gorman Foundation. The Library Board of Victoria inaugurated the Pierre Gorman Award in 1997, and continue to view it as an essential component in inspiring Victorian public libraries to prioritise library design for people living with disability.

When to apply

Each award year, applications open on the first Monday of August and close at 5pm on the first Monday of October.

Award yearApplications openApplications close
20247 August 20232 October 2023
20264 August 20256 October 2025
20282 August 20274 October 2027

About Pierre Gorman

Dr Pierre Gorman, CBE, was born in 1924. He studied at the University of Melbourne, and in 1960 became the first profoundly deaf person to graduate with a doctorate from Cambridge University.

Pierre was recognised for his devotion to improving services for the hearing and speech impaired. Continuing the work of Sir Richard Paget, he devised the Paget Gorman Sign System, and he developed the library at London's Royal National Institute for the Deaf into a leading resource on all aspects of speech and hearing.

Upon returning to Australia, Pierre led the Policy Investigation Project of the Victorian School for Deaf Children. He received an honorary doctor of laws from the University of Melbourne in 2000, and he died on his birthday in 2006.