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Pierre Gorman Award

The Pierre Gorman Award, valued up to $25,000, inspires Victorian public libraries to enhance their services for people with disability. Proposals that collaborate with local organisations to provide innovative responses to community needs are highly desirable.

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

  • Reading programs for adults with learning disabilities
  • A library-specific customer service training program, developed in partnership with Arts Access Victoria
  • Improvements to physical library environments for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Exemplar Pierre Gorman Award proposals demonstrate a commitment to engaging with the disability community. Library Services are strongly encouraged to use the expertise of the panel in shaping their concepts.  

Proposals welcomed between 1 August until 2 October.

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About the panel

The Pierre Gorman Award Ideation Advisory Panel was established in 2023 to promote co-design and inclusivity with the principle of ‘nothing about us, without us’. The panel:

  • Advises on proposed library service concepts, offering diverse perspectives and ideas.
  • Facilitates knowledge-sharing between the disability community and library services.

Vickie Feretopoulos is Senior Policy Officer Access and Inclusion, Deputy Municipal Recovery Manager, Community Development Branch, City of Melbourne. Vickie is excited to support the Victorian Library sector on the Pierre Gorman Ideation Panel. With vast experience in human services – particularly in advocating for disability access and inclusion – she brings valuable insights to libraries. Her expertise in equity dedication to incorporating disabled individuals’ perspectives contribute to informed recommendations that prioritise the disability community's needs for a more inclusive environment. 

Akii Ngo (they/them) is a renowned advocate for disability and gender equity. With expertise as an accessibility consultant, trainer, and educator, they have held significant roles, including Accessibility Manager at Sydney World Pride and Senior Co-Design & Engagement Advisor at the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). As a Councillor on the Victorian Disability Council and a qualified public health nutritionist, Akii is dedicated to making a positive impact within the community.

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.

The Library Board of Victoria

The Pierre Gorman Award, established in 1997 by the Library Board of Victoria, is generously supported by the Pierre Gorman Foundation. It remains an essential component in inspiring Victorian public libraries to prioritise library design and service accessibility for people with disability.