Emeritus Professor Kevin Wheldall AM

Chairman and Director, MultiLit Research Unit. BA, PhD, C.Psychol, FASSA, FBOsS, FCollP, FIARLD, MAPS, MCEDP

Prior to his retirement from Macquarie University at the end of 2011, Emeritus Professor Kevin Wheldall AM, served as Professor and Director of Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC) for over 20 years. He continues to serve as Chairman of the Board (and as a director) of MultiLit Pty Ltd, a university spin-off company established in 2006, and is the Director of the MultiLit Research Unit.


A registered psychologist, he is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the College of Preceptors (UK), the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Among other honours, he has also served as Honorary General Secretary of the British Psychological Society and as President of Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA).

Research and Publications 

He has researched and written extensively in the area of learning and behaviour difficulties with particular emphasis on classroom behaviour management and helping low-progress readers. In 1995, he established the MultiLit (Making Up Lost Time In Literacy) Initiative to research and develop intensive literacy interventions for low-progress readers. He is the author of over 300 academic books, chapters, and journal articles in the field of educational psychology and Special Education. He has also produced a number of instructional materials. He jointly founded the international journal Educational Psychology which he edited for over 30 years and continues to edit the Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties. In addition to his academic writing, he also writes for teachers and parents in professional and popular magazines and newspapers and his opinions on matters educational (especially with regard to reading and related literacy skills) are frequently sought by the media. He has acted as an adviser to both state and federal government education bodies and ministers on matters relating to Special Education generally and on behaviour and reading in particular.


In 2005, he was presented with a Macquarie University Community Outreach Award for his work on MultiLit with socially disadvantaged groups. In 2008, Wheldall was awarded the Mona Tobias Award of Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA) “in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the field of learning difficulties in Australia”. In 2009 he was inducted into the Macquarie University Innovators Hall of Fame for his work. On Australia Day 2011, he was appointed a Member (AM) in the Order of Australia “for service to education as an academic and researcher, particularly in the areas of learning and behavioural difficulties, and through the design and implementation of innovative literacy programs”. In September 2014, he was presented with the Inaugural Award of the Australian Association for Special Education (New South Wales) “in recognition of an outstanding contribution to Special Education”. In 2015, he was presented with the Fiftieth Anniversary Special Award by Learning Difficulties Australia for his services to the association (especially its publications) and to the field of learning difficulties generally.

Kevin publishes a personal blog, ‘Notes from Harefield: Reflections by Kevin Wheldall on reading, books, education, family, and life in general’, at www.kevinwheldall.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @KevinWheldall

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