The Voiceless Council, chaired by Dr Gene Sherman AM, was established in August 2009 to assist Voiceless's Managing Directors in ensuring sustainability, growth and development of the organisation into the future.


Deidre Wicks

Deidre Wicks is an academic and author who has been a member of the Voiceless Council since 2010. In 2015, Deidre came on board as a Voiceless Director. She is an Honorary Fellow at Wollongong University and an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Newcastle. She has a PhD from Macquarie University.

After gaining an international readership for her book on the health professions, Nurses and Doctors at Work: Rethinking Professional Boundaries, Deidre published widely on the subject. In the mid-1990’s, an opportunity arose to combine a personal commitment to animal protection with academic work, when Deidre helped develop a Sociology subject which included material on vegetarianism and a critique of meat eating. This was reflected in several publications, including the book chapter ‘Humans, Food and Other Animals: The Vegetarian Option’ in J Germov and L Williams (eds), A Sociology of Food and Nutrition: The Social Appetite (Oxford University Press), 2017.

Deidre has presented papers at conferences such as the international Minding Animal conferences and the Australasian Animal Studies Association’s bi-annual conferences. Her work has focused on the application of the sociology of ‘silence and denial’ to animal suffering, and in that area published ‘Silence and Denial in Everyday life – The Case of Animal Suffering’ in a special edition of the on-line journal Animals. She has also contributed essays on this and related topics to the Voiceless e-bulletin.

More recently Deidre has concentrated her research on the dairy industry and was a contributing author to the major Voiceless report, The Life of the Dairy Cow. In addition to her academic work, she has been a life-long animal advocate in Australia and internationally. In 2018, she published ‘Demystifying Dairy’ in the Animal Studies Journal, (Volume 7, 2). In addition to her academic work, Deidre has been a life-long animal advocate and activist in Australia and in Ireland. Read Deidre’s blog.