MultiLit Research Unit announces Leadership Transition

MultiLit co-founder and chairman, Emeritus Professor Kevin Wheldall AM, has announced his retirement as Director of the MultiLit Research Unit (MRU).

Dr Robyn Wheldall, who has been Deputy Director of the MRU since its inception when the MultiLit company was spun off from Macquarie University in 2006, will step into the Director’s role.

The change, which is effective from the beginning of 2024 marks a new chapter for the MRU, which conducts vital research into the acquisition of literacy and the effectiveness of literacy programs in the classroom.

Emeritus Professor Wheldall, who was recently honoured with the 2023 Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties’ Eminent Researcher Award, will continue as a member of the MRU, conducting research focused on the measurement of reading and language skills.

He remains Chairman of MultiLit.

“As a key division of MultiLit, the MRU has played an important role in bridging the divide between education research and effective practice and I’m proud of all we have achieved when it comes to improving reading instruction across Australia, particularly for vulnerable children,” he said.

Emeritus Professor Kevin Wheldall AM and Dr Robyn Wheldall

“A recent highlight of that work was co-editing the Australian-first textbook, Effective Instruction in Reading and Spelling – a practical and accessible guide on evidence-informed practice that is proving so popular with teachers and student teachers that it’s already on its second print run.

“I look forward to continuing my research with my colleagues in the MRU.”

Dr Wheldall has worked in the areas of learning difficulties, special education, behaviour management and literacy instruction and interventions for struggling readers for more than 30 years.

She was the Research and Development Manager at Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC) during the formative years of MultiLit and is a founding director of MultiLit.

Dr Wheldall has also recently been appointed Chair of the Industry Advisory Board for Speech Pathology in the Graduate School of Health at the University of Technology, Sydney.

“We celebrate Kevin’s research career of more than 50 years and thank him for his distinguished leadership,” Dr Wheldall said.

“2024 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the MRU, with our talented research team engaged in multiple projects and trials that will enhance literacy teaching and literacy outcomes for Australian children.”

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