Learning Difficulties Australia


LDA is an association of teachers and other professionals dedicated to assisting students with learning difficulties through effective teaching practices based on scientific research.


LDA AGM and Awards Ceremony

All LDA members are invited to the 2019 AGM

26 October from 1pm

Treacy Centre, Parkville, MELBOURNE

After the AGM, the AJLD and LDA awards recipients listed below will each give a brief presentation.

We hope you will join us for the meeting and awards ceremony, followed by afternoon tea.

LDA and AJLD Annual Awards – 2019

LDA is very pleased to announce the recipient of the 2019 AJLD Eminent Researcher Award is Professor William Tunmer, the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, who served on the  Faculty of Education at the University of Western Australia, and from 1988 to 2016 held the position of Professor of Educational Psychology at Massey University, where he served as Dean of the Faculty of Education. Professor Tunmer is a most worthy recipient, making a huge research contribution to literacy development, literacy learning difficulties, and reading intervention. Professor Tunmer will receive his award and give a presentation at LDA’s Annual General Meeting, 26 October 2019. 

2019 AJLD Early Researcher Award and three LDA Awards

LDA is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual awards, which recognise outstanding work and dedication in the field of learning difficulties.

Mona Tonias Award: Dr Jennifer Buckinghan

Bruce Wicking Award: Steven Capp

Rosemary Carter Award: Jan Roberts. 

The awards will be presented at a special ceremony after the LDA Annual General Meeting, 26 October 2019. Each of the recipients will make a brief presentation. Members are encouraged to attend and acknowledge the awards recipients. 

Click here for general information about these awards.  

Update on LDA Publications

The most recent issues of the LDA Bulletin (Volume  51, No 1, Autumn 2019) and the Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties (Volume 24, No 1, May 2019), have now been released.  Print versions of these publications will be distributed to members of LDA shortly.  Copies of the LDA Bulletin can be download here while members of LDA can access copies of the online version  of the Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties via their LDA member  login here .  A listing of the Contents of each issue the Journal with links to the abstracts of each article are available here

2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours Awards

Dr Lorraine Hammond AM, Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University in WA and President of Learning Difficulties Australia, has been appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (General Division) for significant service to higher education, and to the community.

Lorraine works with schools across Australia taking up Explicit Instruction and regularly travels to the north of Western Australia delivering professional learning for the Kimberley Schools Project. The Australian Government recognised Lorraine with an Excellence in University Teaching Award in 2016, and in 2017 the Australian Council of Educational Leadership acknowledged her work in schools on high-impact instruction with a Leadership Award.

LDA congratulates Lorraine on receiving this prestigious award, with appreciation for her invaluable commitment to supporting students with learning difficulties and those who teach them.

Publications Announcement:

LDA publishes the Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties. Editor: Dr Tanya Serry, La Trobe University. Members of LDA have free access to previous, current and upcoming issues and articles of the Journal, as well as receiving a print copy of each issue in the mail.


Current Issues


Reading and writing are essential skills that our children will need throughout their lives and they deserve to be taught using the best evidence-based methods.

Dyslexia Victoria Support (DVS) and Code Read Dyslexia Network Australia Ltd (Code Read) and Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA) and AUSPELD (inclusive of all State SPELD entities) call upon the Minister for Education, for the sake of our children, to remove programs such as Reading Recovery and Leveled Literacy Intervention from Victorian public schools.

You can also click here to read and then to sign the petition.

Ending the Reading Wars: Reading Acquistion From Novice to Expert

Continuing public interest questioning how children learn to read and a
review of reading science research, and a look at how the research makes its
way into classrooms is the topic of the recently published and acclaimed
article written by former LDA President Anne Castles, Kathleen Rastle and Kate
Nation; 'Ending the Reading Wars: Reading Acquisition From Novice to
Expert'.  There remains a wide gap between the state of research knowledge
about learning to read and the state of public understanding, which has
resulted in decades of the “reading wars”. The aim of this article is to
fill this gap.This is a must read for all. Free download here.

Professor Maggie Snowling - Dyslexia, Language and Learning to Read

Professor Maggie Snowling, President of St John's College Oxford and Professor of Psychology at the University of Oxford, recently visited Australia and spoke at the Australian National University on ‘Dyslexia, Language and Learning to Read’ on 25th July, 2017, to a sold out crowd. LDA is very grateful to Professor Snowling, and the ANU, for granting permission to provide an audio of this event for LDA.

National Year 1 Phonics Screen

LDA strongly supports this proposed federal initiative as an opportunity for early identification and lifting the performance of struggling beginner readers.
Click here to read more about the Phonics Screen and phonics research resources.

Effective Teaching

The Centre for Independent Studies published Read About It: Scientific Evidence for Effective Teaching of Reading by Kerry Hempenstall, edited by Jennifer Buckingham, focusing on the large and rigorous body of scientific evidence from the 1960’s to 2015, identifying the key elements of high quality reading instruction and demonstrating that explicit instruction methods are the most effective way of teaching reading, especially for novice readers and children at-risk of reading failure.

FIVE from FIVE - The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), FIVE from FIVE project is a resource for teachers, principals, parents and policy makers with up-to-date credible evidence-based information. It aims to improve literacy levels by bridging the gap between evidence-based research on reading instruction, policy, and practice. LDA has joined the FIVE from FIVE Alliance to help every child receive the most effective reading instruction from their first day at school. 

Is Reading Recovery failing the New Zealand Literacy Strategy - what is the evidence?

Click here for the recently published NSW evaluation of Reading Recovery and relevant Reading Recovery resources. Click here for an interview on Radio National with Professor James Chapman: "Is Reading Recovery Working?" To hear LDA’s President Dr Lorraine Hammond’s interview on Radio National in relation to teaching reading systematically and effectively, Click here


Recent Publications

 The Bulletin

 The Journal


Bulletin Autumn 2019

Volume 51,

No 1, Autumn 2019


Volume 24,

No 1, 2019

Subscribe to our monthly LDA e-News   

Current & past issues  Past issues   

NOTE: LDA Members can access complete back issues of these publications and pre-publication Journal articles when logged into the LDA Members Only section, via the latest articles item in the Taylor & Francis main menu.

 Members Only Section


Professional Learning

Conferences & Seminars:

August 2019 – Dr David Kilpatrick National Tour

Recent Advances in Understanding Word-Level Reading Problems:  Assessment and Highly Effective Intervention

David presented full-day sessions in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne Cairns and Sydney with 1,139 in attendance, focusing on how children learn to read words and why some struggle. Understanding word level reading development and its problems will guide both assessment and intervention. Once we understand how reading works and why some children struggle, the reasons why some commonly used intervention approaches provide limited benefits while others can yield very large gains for such students becomes clear, and then the focus is on establishing the best instructional and intervention practices.

LDA Members can access Dr Kilpatrick’s Tour presentation notes by logging into the Member’s Area of the LDA website


Books and instructional materials relating to literacy, numeracy, response-to-intervention approaches and support for students with special educational needs are available at the LDA Bookshop.

Special Offer on David Kilpatrick resources! Workshop attendees and their colleagues can save now on David's two highly regarded books. Have a look here. 

Online Professional Learning and Courses

The Center for Effective Reading Instruction and the International Dyslexia Association have developed a self-paced online course on reading instruction, with nine pre and post tested modules to teach the critical skills for proficient reading, writing and assessment, and best practices that support students’ acquisition of these skills. This free online course, and option to attain certification, is offered on the Reading Rockets 101 website

A Free Online CourseSupporting Children with Difficulties in Reading and Writing Click here for details.

A new online course in teaching systematic synthetic phonics & its integration with wider reading, spelling and writing.
Click here for details.

Post Graduate Course Information

MOTIf: An assessment resource for researchers and professionals

LDA Members can access presentation notes from Past Conferences and Seminars in The Members Area when logged in at: https://www.ldaustralia.org/members-only.html