In 1961, there were only five Opportunity Deaf Classes in NSW, four in Sydney and one in Wollongong.
Brian Brecht, of Burwood OD Parent Group, called a meeting of parents and under his Presidency, the Federation of Junior Deaf Education (FJDE) was formed in 1961 with the aim of demanding improved opportunities for deaf students. Meetings were held regularly in school halls around Sydney and Wollongong. More classes were opened and as the Federation membership grew, meetings moved further afield although finances were a constant concern. At one meeting Mr Kevin Summerell, the Treasurer, reported the Federation had sixpence in the bank.
In 1980, the Federation received its first major government subsidy from the Department of Youth and Community Affairs. 1982 saw the organisation registered as a charity and on 15 September 1989, Parent Council for Deaf Education became incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act, 1984.
For 45 years, PCDE has been addressing the needs of families with deaf and hearing impaired children. This has been achieved by providing families with support and information and advocating on their behalf for improved services and opportunities for children with a hearing loss.
We look forward to carrying on this proud tradition of parents who have gone before us and continue to work with families, teachers, other organisations and Government departments as we celebrate our 50th anniversary and a new name (Parents of Deaf Children) and logo.
From the archives
A message from the late Mr. Brian Brecht, delivered in March 2002.
Excuse me...could you tell me about deafness?
A delightful book drawn and written by Bill Gannon from 1980-1982 and published by the Federation for Junior Deaf Education.