Our People

Our Committee

Deirdre Hardy


Heidi Gregory

Vice President

Heidi is well known to many as the Founder of Dyslexia Victoria Support, a parent support group with thousands of members across Victoria. A passionate advocate for social justice, evidence-based literacy instruction and intervention for all, including those with dyslexia. Heidi is living the parenting journey with dyslexia, has a background in library and records management, and currently works as an Information Specialist.

Peter Fitzgerald


Peter McCoy


Peter joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1983 where he was involved with the creation of the Concert Music Division of the ABC. He subsequently left ABC and embarked on a successful and long career in finance with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) where he played a key role in the corporatization of the organisation, implementing crucial financial systems and corporate structure. He left the MSO in 2008 and became the Financial Director for the Melbourne Theatre Company for a year. In 2010, he took the position as Director Corporate Services for the recently constructed Melbourne Recital Centre. After leaving MRC in 2011, Peter began working as a financial consultant for clients such as Australia Council, National Theatre and Orchestra Victoria. In 2015 he accepted a year’s position as the Financial Controller for the Glen Eira Kindergarten association. In 2017 he was appointed to the position of CEO of the National Theatre in St Kilda which he held until retirement in 2020. Peter has had a long history of volunteering for not-for-profit boards, he held the board treasurer position with Lucy Guerin Pty Ltd for 9 years and is currently the Treasurer of Speak Percussion Pty Ltd and SPELD Victoria.

Jennifer Ward

Committee Member

Jenny is a retired educator where she spent 19 years as an Assistant Principal at Ringwood Secondary College. She was a faculty member with the Faculty of Education at Deakin University for 4 years and has been a board member with SPELD Victoria since 2014. She was also a Youth Group leader for 3 years and is Secretary & President of a local Probus Group. In her free time, she coaches VCE students to excel in their studies. “I am very passionate about individual recognition for differing abilities, equity of opportunity and resilience. Motivated young folk are the future and diversity of talent is to be respected.”

Amanda Craig

Committee Member

Amanda is a registered psychologist who has extensive experience working in the fields of education and mental health. While working in schools, Amanda has taken an active role on leadership teams to initiate and champion change. With this passion for evidence based best practices Amanda had led the implementation of whole school approaches to literacy and wellbeing. To complement her psychology training, and to reflect her ongoing interest in education, Amanda is currently studying a Master of Secondary teaching, with a specialisation in learning enhancement.

Alison Clarke

Committee Member

Alison has been a Speech Pathologist since 1988, and also holds a Masters in Applied Linguistics and an ESL teaching certificate. She has worked for the Victorian Education Department, Yooralla, SCOPE, a University in Mexico, a hospital in London, RMIT, the Royal Children’s Hospital and Lewis and Lewis. She started a private practice in 2000, and now employs several others at Spelfabet Pty Ltd in North Fitzroy, a practice focussing on reading and spelling difficulties. She set up the Spelfabet website in 2012, to encourage early literacy teaching and intervention that reflects scientific reading research. Alison was 2015-16 Vice President of Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA), and has also worked as an administrator and been a Yarra City Councillor and Mayor. She received LDA’s 2018 Mona Tobias Award, and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2022.


Professor Keith Houghton

Chair of Research committee Prior to his retirement Keith Houghton was Professor of Business Administration at the Australian National University. He is now an Emeritus Professor of the University. Professor Houghton holds degrees from the University of Western Australia, the University of Melbourne and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and the Institute of Accountants in Australia. For eight years Professor Houghton served as Dean of the University’s College of Business and Economics and its antecedent bodies.


Ashraf Samsudin

Specialist Education Consultant

Ashraf is the Specialist Education Consultant at SPELD Victoria where he provides, coordinates and develops the organisation’s Educational Services. Based in Melbourne, Ashraf presents a wide variety of workshops where his presentation style has been described as clear, engaging and fun. He enjoys facilitating sessions where knowledge, experiences and good practice can be shared amongst those that he trains. Previously, Ashraf spent the last 14 years teaching and coaching students with learning difficulties in Singapore at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. His last role as the Director of Specialised Education Services has seen him taking the lead in various curriculum development projects; teacher training initiatives; presenting in numerous local and international workshops; and collaborating with educators to implement initiatives in schools to promote inclusivity for students with learning difficulties. He is a strong advocate for the disadvantaged and has been very active in spreading the awareness of learning difficulties around the world. Ashraf holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Educational Leadership from Monash University; and a Double Diploma Dyslexia and Teaching & Training from the University of Cambridge, UK. When Ashraf isn’t presenting, he is listening to classical music, enjoying chocolate and chai lattes, and exploring his new home in Melbourne with his family.

Mim Davidson

Educational Specialist (Infoline - 1800 051 533)

Mim Davidson, N.T. Carysfort Training College, Dublin; Diploma of Teaching of the Deaf, University College Dublin; Graduate Diploma in Special Education, University of Melbourne. Mim has been involved with SPELD Victoria since 1970. Her tireless work has enabled SPELD Vic to work with families, teachers and individuals in Victoria as well as making links within Australia and around the world building our knowledge of dyslexia and learning difficulties in children and adults of all ages. Qualified as a Primary Teacher and a Teacher of the Deaf in Ireland, Mim also has postgraduate qualifications in the area of specific learning difficulties from the University of Melbourne. Currently, Mim is also a consultant with Learning Difficulties Australia. She has worked across higher education, primary and secondary schooling to see children and adults achieve their educational goals.

Theodore A. Falconer

Information Services and Advisory Officer

Jessica M. Jackson

Family & Admin Support Officer

Rupinder Kaur

IT Business Analyst

Phebe Shields

Family & Admin Support Officer


Brooke McIntyre


Emilia Gencic

Clinical Psychologist

Emily Kirsh

Educational & Developmental Psychologist

Janette Phelan