Victorian Railways Institute

The VRI, originally part of Victorian Railways, commenced in 1910 with the objective of promoting the intellectual, social and physical well-being of the members. Today our mission remains the same, and we strive to grow and improve membership benefits and services while ensuring the longevity and financial stability of the VRI.

THE VRI  The Victorian Railways Institute (VRI) Incorporated is a not for profit, volunteer, member-based association, servicing the needs of members and the communities in which we operate.

The VRI was originally part of the Victoria Railways and commenced in 1910 with the objective of promoting the intellectual, social and physical well-being of the members (rail employees and their families). Today our mission remains the same, and although open to all community members, we continuously strive to grow and improve benefits and services for our members.

VRI History At its maximum the Institute had 30,000 members, along with their families. Members were based not only at Flinders Street Station but in District Centres across the Victoria.

Ballarat was the earliest established in 1916, and centres went on to include Geelong, Bendigo, Seymour, Lilydale, Dimboola and Sunshine in 1962.

During the 1970s the railway industry was challenged with a great change from within and also from the community in general. Modern technologies, computerisation, along with the closure of unprofitable services saw a decrease in railway staff numbers.

During the 1980s there was a lot of change in how the Victorian railway system was managed. The metropolitan system was separated from the country system, and a policy of a more business-like operation saw the rail industry being operated as a State Owned Enterprise.

The flow-on effect of this new approach saw the traditional funding of the Institute challenged. The Victorian Railways had traditionally funded the Institute from their finances. With the privatisation of the Victorian rail industry in 1999, the Institute had to become a stand- alone, self-funded not for profit body.

Although our operation has changed greatly from those early days in 1910, the VRI has remained true to the original objective and continues to provide for the intellectual, health, and well-being of members.

The VRI purpose is to provide value for money, recreational and discount services, which promote and encourage healthy lifestyles, enjoyment of the arts and personal development.


Value for money

We continuously provide a trusted source of discount offers for members, ensuring members can live a full life without the price tag! We further search for services relevant to members through various stages of life and are always willing to action member requests.


Recreational services

We understand that becoming part of a sporting community is much more than a physical enjoyment. We provide opportunities for members to become involved with various sporting clubs of varying activities throughout the state of Victoria.


Promote healthy lifestyles

We intend to support members to create a healthy lifestyle through becoming part of communities, being active physically and intellectually and enjoying what their city or regional centre has to offer with the chance to fit in a holiday in along the way!

VRI  Board

David Matthews


Jarrod Young

Vice President

Eddie Mennen


David Angelino

Board Member

Andrew Evans

Board Member

Ian Strahan

Board Member

VRI  Staff

Katherine Jackson

General Manager

Charlotte Karaka

Member Services

Join the club

Be with like minded people I'd never played bowls before but I'm so happy I gave it a go. I've met so many new people and had a lot of laughs along the way - Pam Graham VRI Member