Vision / Mission Statements




Board and Staff Profile



Victorian Council of Deaf People

VCOD advocates on behalf of deaf people to increase access to service, to represent and providing leadership to the state government and disability groups pertaining to deaf people.

Vision Statement: A voice for deaf Victorians.

Mission Statement: The Victorian Council of Deaf People is a non-profit organisation led and managed by deaf people through provision of advocacy and information services to strengthen community participation and quality of life for deaf Victorians.


To provide advocacy to Deaf individuals and groups to produce systematic improvements in social justice and human rights.

Information Dissemination:
To provide members with information on a regular basis that assists them to make informed choices and decisions.
To provide service organisations of Deaf people and other generic services, information pertaining to the Deaf community.

To lead Deaf people to become independent and valued members of society.
To provide leadership to the State Government and disability groups in matters pertaining to the Deaf community.

To value members of VCOD To keep membership of VCOD at a viable level.


In 1982, a special meeting was held and involved several deaf organisations like Deaf Committee, Earforce, Catholic Deaf, CADM, John Pierce Centre, Parents Group, Deafness Foundation (Vic), Ballarat, Dandenong, Bendigo Deaf Club, Better Hearing Australia, Victorian Deaf Society, Deaf Seniors Group and Deaf Sports. VCOD was established as a result of the deaf community wanting an organisation that is run by deaf people representing the deaf community.

Under the Cain Government, VCOD received funding for employment of part time administrator and still remains the first and only state organisation to employ staff.

Over years, VCOD had advocated, lobbied and increased the quality of life for deaf people. Campaigns held in the past were Ethics of Fundraising (Telethon) Free Telephone Typewriter Access (TTY relay Service) subsidised TTY equipment, captioned television programs, interpreted theatre events, SMS Emergency Services, policies on education, communication, deaf rights , deaf awareness and information and advocacy workshops / kits.

The success of VCOD is due to dedication, commitment and hard work of many Victorian deaf people. They are mostly volunteers and they have given countless hours of their time and energy to ensure that we have an organisation to advocate for the deaf community.

VCOD is run by deaf people for the deaf people.

Download a copy of VCOD History

Board / Staff Profile

The Board of Directors is elected annually by VCOD members. Only individual members can nominate to the Board of Directors and the directors are elected for two year terms. The Board meets on a monthly basis.

Our current Board members for 2010 - 2011:

James Blyth

Irene Holub
Vice President

Sue Westhead

Simon Glass

Dylan Beasley

Kylie Beasley

Pam Dethridge

Anthony Young

If you are interested in being a member of our Board of Directors please email the Manager here.

VCOD Staff

Our current staff members currently managing the office at VCOD are as followed:

Melissa Lowrie
Information Services Manager

Medina Sumovic

Jennifer Blyth
Advocacy Officer

Dennis Colbeck
Website Assistant

Download Forms

Below we have our annual reports, and other important information for VCOD members and general public. If you have any questions, please contact us in the contact section.


Become a VCOD / Deaf Australia member

When you become a member, you will receive newsletters and information about events, from both Deaf Australia and VCOD.

Download the Deaf Australia Membership Form here.

Become a Deaf Australia Supporter, click here for more information,

Download the Deaf Australia Supporter Application Form here.

Types of Membership

Ordinary Members - person or organisation who is deaf. Only Ordinary Members can vote on VCOD and/or Deaf Australia business.

Associate Members – person or organisation who is not deaf. Associate Members receive same benefits as Ordinary Members except for voting rights.

Individual Members – person joins Deaf Australia as an individual member, automatically becomes a member of the Association or Council of the Deaf in the state where the person resides. In this case, it is VCOD. Deaf Australia will forward VCOD membership details and a share of the membership fee.

Note: VCOD / Deaf Australia Membership is due by 30th June each year, following the financial year 1st July – 30th June. For more information on the types of membership including Corporate Members, Ordinary National Corporate Members, Associate National Corporate Member – please go to website.