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Learning Difficulties Australia began life some 50 years ago when a small group of remedial teachers in Melbourne began meeting for informal discussions over coffee. Like most classroom teachers, the members of this group were no strangers to children who were significantly underachieving, especially in reading and mathematics, despite an apparently ‘normal’ level of intelligence. The learning difficulties of these children were, however, rarely officially acknowledged and there were few opportunities for teachers to receive the specialised training needed to understand and deal with their problems.

Learning Difficulties Australia was established in 1965 as the Diagnostic and Remedial Teachers’ Association of Victoria.  In 1987 it became an Incorporated Association under the name of the Australian Remedial Education Association, and in 1994 the Association was renamed the Australian Resource Educators’ Association.  There was a further change of name in 2001, when it adopted the current name of Learning Difficulties Australia. 

LDA’s  current Journal, the Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, was first established in May 1969 under the name Remedial Education (1969 to 1972), and then the Australian Journal of Remedial Education (1973 to March 1996). It was renamed the Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities in June 1996. In 2008 publication of the Journal was taken over by Taylor and Francis, a leading publisher of academic Journals, when it adopted its current name of the Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties.

In June 2005 LDA commissioned Dr Jo Jenkinson to write a history of Learning Difficulties Australia. The history was published as a six part series in the Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities over the period March 2006 to March 2007 (Volume 11, No 1, 2006 to Volume 12, No 1, 2007).

Part one – the beginning
Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2006, pp. 45-53


Part two – a national identity
Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, Volume 11, Issue 2, 2006, pp. 63-71


Part three – the Journal
Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, Volume 11, Issue 2, 2006, pp. 73-81


Part four – managing change
Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, Volume 11, Issue 4, 2006, pp. 175-184


Part five – the journal (continued)
Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, Volume 11, Issue 4, 2006, pp. 185-196


Part six – looking ahead
Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, Volume 12, Issue 1, 2007. pp. 31-41

Click to download a history of the Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties