The Dyslexia Association of Hong Kong is made up of a committee of volunteers from various backgrounds including education, speech and language, and psychology.

If you are interested in helping the association in any way please contact us.

We are also happy to field questions and will do our best to respond to you as soon as possible.  Our email address is:  Because we are all volunteers we may take a day or two to get back to you.


Co-chair:Alison McMillian, Early Years Teacher, Educational evaluator

Alison is from Scotland and has lived and worked in Hong Kong since 1989. She originally studied music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She discovered her love of teaching pre-school children during her years of teaching ESL at both the Japanese and the Korean schools in Hong Kong.  She holds specialist dyslexia teaching qualifications in teaching children with Dyslexia from New York University and has a Diploma in Dyslexia and Literacy studies from Dyslexia Action in the UK.  She is a Specialist Educational Assessor and is a registered practitioner with the British Psychological Society. She is a trained Orton-Gillingham and a Handwriting Without Tears practitioner.  Alison has been running her own early literacy program specialising in teaching 4 to 8-year-olds since 1999.  She works on a one-to-one basis with dyslexic learners between the ages of 7 to 11. When Alison is not teaching she plays the cello with the SAR Philharmonic Orchestra.

Alison has been a committee member since 2008, Treasurer since 2011 and co-chair since 2017

Co-chair: Rick Smith, Ed.D., Educational Specialist, Specializing in Adolescents


Rick Smith is from the USA. He holds a B.Ed, Masters (USA), and Doctorate of Education (Bath, UK), and specialist certificates in gifted education and reading. He has taught students with special needs, including gifted and talented, since 2001. Rick has worked in US public schools, top IB world schools in Eastern Europe, and with ESF in Hong Kong. He conducts parent and teacher workshops devoted to improving emotional intelligence in young people. He also offers workshops in partnership with the Gifted Alliance of Hong Kong. Rick currently works in private practice in Hong Kong, providing underachieving adolescents 1-1 instruction in learning skills, such as time management, organization, and effective study habits.

Rick has been a member of the committee since 2016 and co-chair since 2017

Vice-Chair: Barbara Owens, Special Needs Teacher, Educational evaluator

Barbara has been working as a teacher since 1976 after qualifying with an honours degree in Education at the University of Sheffield, UK. She earned an MA in Applied Linguistics (TESOL) from the University of Surrey in 1996 and a postgraduate certificate in SpLD (Dyslexia) from the Hornsby International Dyslexia Centre in 2002. She completed a certificate course in Psychometric Testing and Assessment and Access Arrangements with Dyslexia Action UK in 2010 and in 2013 obtained certificates in Orton-Gillingham training. Barbara worked in England and Malawi before moving to Hong Kong in 1991 to take up a position as a Native English-speaking Teacher in a local secondary school. She has been working with children with Dyslexia since 2002, providing assessments and after-school tuition for both primary and secondary school students.

Barbara has been a member of the committee since 2005.


Treasurer : Lian Jones, Early Years Teacher


Lian  was born and began her schooling in Hong Kong, before moving to the UK in order to receive support for her own SpLD. After completing a degree in Early Years Education at Edge Hill University, she returned to Hong Kong to take up a post as an Early Years Teacher in an international school. To further her understanding of SpLDs, she began attending workshops and presentations with the DAHK and was subsequently asked to join the DAHK Committee in 2016. In her role as an Early Years Teacher, she hopes to support children with SpLD at the earliest stages. She also plans to undertake further studies in order to further support children with SENs specifically those with Dyslexia. Outside of education, she enjoys travelling and recreational sailing.

Secretary: Melinda Sturges, Speech and Language Pathologist

Melinda is a UK trained Speech and Language Therapist who has been working in Hong Kong for over 25 years. She obtained her academic and professional qualifications at University College London, and completed an MEd in Special Educational Needs from Newcastle University, UK. The research for her dissertation which was conducted in a local primary school was on the early identification of reading difficulties in young children. Her professional work in Hong Kong has been in two main areas: private practice and in the education and training of speech and language therapists. She has taught for many years as Assistant Professor in the Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Hong Kong. Melinda’s major clinical interests are in the evaluation and diagnosis of developmental communication disorders in young children, language-based specific learning difficulties in school-age children, and fluency disorders in adults and children.

Melinda has been Secretary of the committee since 2009.

Committee Member: Gail Wright, Teacher, Head of Individual Needs

Committee Member: Ffiona Wilkinson


Committee member: Jill Walgren