Name Position Telephone Email
Dr. Tanya Serry Co-Director, SOLAR Lab 03 9479 1858
Professor Pamela Snow Co-Director, SOLAR Lab 03 5444 7793
Emily Greaves Research Administration Officer
Anne Southall Lecturer, Special Ed Trauma 03 5444 7907


Name Position Telephone Email
Emina McLean Adjunct Lecturer
Annie Unger Casual Academic
Tessa Weadman Casual Academic


Dr Lisa Furlong

Dr Lisa Furlong is a senior lecturer and researcher with the UC Child Well-being Research Institute at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Professor Linda Graham

Professor Linda Graham is Director of The Centre for Inclusive Education (C4IE) at the Queensland University of Technology

Associate Professor Lorraine Hammond AM

Dr Lorraine Hammond AM is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Edith Cowan University, in Western Australia.   Lorraine has worked and researched in the area of early literacy, high impact instructional strategies, including explicit teaching and learning difficulties since 1990. Lorraine completed her Masters and PhD on the prevention of reading and spelling difficulties and in 2002 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship.  In 2016, Lorraine was recognized by the Australian Government with a University Teaching Award for outstanding tertiary teaching and in 2017 the Australian Council for Educational Leadership recognized her work in schools promoting high impact instruction.   Presently, Lorraine is the President of Learning Difficulties Australia and the Chair, Deputy Chair and Board Member of three high performing WA schools. Since 2017, Lorraine has developed and presented professional learning on evidence-based literacy strategies for the Kimberley Schools Project in the north of WA in remote community schools. In 2021, she commenced work in a similar project with Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn. In 2019, Lorraine received an Order of Australia (AM) for her significant contribution to tertiary education and the community.

Associate Professor Kym Simoncini

Dr Kym Simoncini is Asscoiate Professor of Early Childhood and Teacher Education and Program Director (Primary) at the University of Canberra


Mr Adam Bright

Adam is the Founding Principal of Docklands Primary School. Docklands Primary School opened its doors in 2021. Docklands Primary School is committed to an evidence informed approach that is underpinned by the Science of Learning. Their approach to reading instruction is informed by the 5 keys to reading embedded in a knowledge rich curriculum.

Dr Jennifer Buckingham

Dr Jennifer Buckingham is the director of strategy and senior research fellow at MultiLit. She is also the director and founder of the five from five reading project. Jennifer has been a board member of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership since 2015. Her research interests are evidence-based instruction and intervention and she has been a long term advocate for reform of school policies and practices in order to reduce the number of students who struggle with reading. Jennifer writes frequently in media and consults with government and non-government school systems on literacy.

Mr Steven Capp

Steven Capp is the Principal of Bentleigh West Primary School in Melbourne, which has become recognised for its adoption of evidence-based teaching practices, particularly in the area of reading and mathematics. He has worked across the primary and secondary school sectors as an educational leader for the past 15 years. He has a Masters of School Leadership from Melbourne University.  He served on the expert advisory panel to the Federal Government for Year 1 Literacy and Numeracy Checks in 2017.  Steven believes bridging the gap from research to practice to give students the best possible chance of success is an important aspect of the work of an educational leader. The SOLAR Lab provides an opportunity to collaborate with researchers, teachers and educational leaders to improve understanding of what works in education and to better support teachers to improve their ability to teach in the classroom.

Ms Alison Clarke

Alison Clarke is the Director of Spelfabet.  She has been a Speech Pathologist since 1988, and also holds a Masters in Applied Linguistics and a Cambridge RSA English-teaching qualification. She works full-time in her private practice in North Fitzroy, and runs the Spelfabet website. Alison was 2015-16 Vice President of Learning Difficulties Australia, received LDA’s 2018 Mona Tobias Award, and has also been a Yarra City Councillor and Mayor.

Ms Sue Knight

Sue Knight is the Principal of Canadian Lead Primary School in Ballarat. She has been a principal for ten years. She is currently undertaking a Masters of Inclusion and Diversity at La Trobe University Bendigo. Sue believes that the core business of primary schools is to develop strong foundational literacy and numeracy skills in all students and that research and evidence must inform all curriculum and pedagogical decisions. Undertaking the introductory SOLAR lab course with several of her teaching colleagues in 2020 significantly impacted her school’s work. She is a founding member of Read Ballarat, a local organisation offering professional learning events for educators in the Ballarat area each term. Sue is passionate about connecting with other teachers and leaders on the same path of implementing evidence-informed instructional practices to improve student learning outcomes.

Mr James Lyra

James Lyra is a registered early childhood teacher and paediatric occupational therapist. He has held roles as a classroom teacher, an occupational therapist and as literacy specialist at a large secondary school. James has also led the establishment of two early learning centres.

Raised in Perth, Western Australia, James now lives in Canberra, ACT where he is the Director of Rise Literacy. Rise Literacy provides specialist literacy intervention services in the Canberra region to students aged 4 to 13 years utilising a parent coaching model, tailored sessions for small groups and one-on-one tutoring sessions. James is committed to providing evidence-informed high impact intervention services.

Ms Mandy Nayton OAM

Mandy Nayton is the Chief Executive Officer of The Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation (DSF Literacy and Clinical Services) and President of AUSPELD (the Australian federation of SPELD Associations). She is an educational and developmental psychologist and qualified teacher with extensive experience in the field of literacy education and learning disabilities. Mandy is an ardent advocate of research-informed evidence-based practice and has supported the research activities of numerous universities and academic researchers over many years. She has contributed to 22 peer-reviewed written publications in recent years and was the lead author of a chapter on ‘Evidence-based assessment and intervention for problems with reading’ in a 2017 Handbook of Australian School Psychology. Mandy is an Adjunct Research Fellow at Curtin University’s School of Psychology and Speech Pathology and was an appointed member of the Dyslexia Working Party, the Federal Government’s Schools’ Disability Advisory Council and the Federal Government’s National Year 1 literacy and numeracy check expert advisory panel. She was awarded the LDA 2014 Mona Tobias Award for her contribution to the field of learning difficulties and an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2017 for services to the fields of education and learning difficulties.

Ms Maureen Pollard

Maureen Pollard is a passionate advocate of developing children’s skills in learning to read, write and spell. She is the founder of Melbourne-based Little Learners Love Literacy® - an evidence-informed systematic synthetic phonics program for explicitly teaching reading and writing to all children. Little Learners Love Literacy® offers teaching resources, decodable books and professional learning for educators, speech pathologists and parents. In 2012 Maureen received the Bruce Wicking Award - in recognition of her outstanding work in developing programs for the support of children with learning difficulties, particularly in the area of literacy.  Maureen is thrilled that Pamela, Tanya and La Trobe University have established the SOLAR Lab to support student and practising teachers to integrate an evidence-informed structured literacy approach into their classrooms - an approach she has championed for many years in her own classrooms in Australia, England, Spain and South Africa.

Dr Nathaniel Swain

Dr Nathaniel Swain is researcher, speech-language pathologist, and aspiring teacher. He works in the Primary School sector supporting schools to embark on their Science of Learning journey. Nathaniel’s mission is for all students to develop “life-changing” language and literacy skills, through effective and engaging teaching. To this end, Nathaniel founded Think Forward Educators, a national community of educators who see “literacy for all” as a means to social equity.