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Learning Difficulties Australia makes an annual award known as the Mona Tobias Award. Each year, an Award Committee of three council members considers all nominations and makes recommendations to council, who makes the final decision as to the award’s recipient.

The Mona Tobias Award recognises a person who has made an outstanding contribution to Australian education of people with learning difficulties, perhaps leadership, research, practice, teacher and community education, and is given in memory of Mona Tobias, who was a great teacher and pioneer in helping children and adults with learning disabilities.

2020 Recipient: Dr Bartek Rajkowski

Bartek is a speech & language pathologist with extensive experience in the assessment, identification and remediation of reading and spelling difficulties. He is the director of Adelaide Speech Pathology Services where he has led a team of like-minded clinicians since 2001.

Following his doctoral research investigating the relationship between phonological processing, orthographic processing and reading difficulties, Bartek developed a passion for helping teachers improve their knowledge of the structure of the English language, reading research and reading difficulties. He regularly presents his workshops to audiences around Australia and to speech & language pathology students as a casual lecturer at Flinders University. You can view one of his recent presentations on LDA’s Youtube Channel by clicking here.

Bartek has been a member of LDA’s governing council since 2016. He is a prominent advocate for students with learning difficulties and has been involved with various lobby groups, including the team that helped persuade the Australian Government to implement the Year 1 Phonics Check. Bartek is also the creator of Reading Doctor, a popular suite of evidence-based, interactive teaching tools designed to improve literacy skills in students who are learning to read.

Previous Recipients

  • 2019 Dr Jennifer Buckingham
  • 2018 Alison Clark
  • 2017 Professor Pamela Snow
  • 2016 Dr Roslyn Neilson
  • 2015 Emeritus Professor Brian Byrne
  • 2014 Mandy Nayton
  • 2013 Dr Rhonda Farkota
  • 2012 Dr Molly de Lemos
  • 2011 Angela Weeks
  • 2010 Dr Lorraine Hammond
  • 2009 Dr Ken Rowe (Posthumous Award)



  • 2008 Professor Kevin Wheldall
  • 2007 Professor Max Coltheart
  • 2006 Dr Kerry Hempenstall
  • 2005 Daryl Greaves
  • 2004 Wendy Scott
  • 2003 Christina van Kraayenoord
  • 2002 Mike Stock
  • 2000 Elizabeth Love & Sue Reilly
  • 1999 Nick Thurbon
  • 1998 Dr. Peter Westwood
  • 1997 Professor John Elkins
  • 1996 Professor Margot Prior

  • 1993 Professor Lorna K.S. Chan
  • 1992 Dr.Frank Oberklaid
  • 1991 Dr Stewart Sykes
  • 1990 Ian Macmillan
  • 1989 Professor Gordon Stanley
  • 1987 Dr Mildred Green
  • 1986 Bruce Wicking
  • 1985 Kevin Stone
  • 1984 Professor Marie Neale
  • 1983 Professor John McLeod
  • 1982 Alwyn Samuel
  • 1981 Ann Keir