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Thursday, 5 December 2013
Page: 1784

Mrs ANDREWS (McPherson) (13:49): I wish to speak to a petition signed by more than 8,300 parents and teachers, from 14 dyslexia support groups around Australia who are affiliated with the Australian Dyslexia Association. They are concerned about the lack of recognition and assistance provided to students with dyslexia. This petition will be submitted to the petitions committee this afternoon.

Dyslexia is widespread in society and is often considered the forgotten learning disability in education. Many Australians are affected by dyslexia and struggle daily with its implications. In September this year, I met with Tanya Forbes, the founder of the Gold Coast Dyslexia Support Group and the principal petitioner. The focus of this group is to increase awareness, share information and provide support to parents, teachers, students and schools. At our meeting we discussed a number of issues, including research, early identification and effective literacy intervention for children identified 'at risk'.

In 2012, the Gold Coast Dyslexia Support Group established Robina State School, in my electorate of McPherson, as a pilot-friendly school for dyslexia, and it has been achieving wonderful results through a variety of accredited initiatives. It is hoped that in the future the Robina State School pilot can be used as a model for other schools. It is my understanding that the Minister for Education is committed to working in this area, and I will work closely with the minister to deliver a good outcome for people affected by dyslexia.