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.


President: Marilyn Day, teacher, previous Head of Learning Support, Bradbury Primary


Marilyn Day is an experienced teacher and former Head of Learning Support at one of Hong Kong’s largest international schools and has Bed (Hons) and Master’s degrees in Special Educational Needs, focusing on SpLD. During her 30 year career, she has worked in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. Marilyn has spent the past 20 years identifying and studying the progress made nationally and internationally in learning differences. In doing so, she has also contributed to the development of Individual Needs resources throughout Hong Kong by her involvement in a wide variety of conferences, workshops and insets.

Marilyn has chaired the DAHK since 2010.


Vice-President: 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 : 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 and the Treasurer since 2011.


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: 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.


Committee Member: John Shanahan, Psychologist, Specializing in Children and Adolescents

John is a registered psychologist in Hong Kong and trained as a developmental and educational psychologist in Australia, specialising in children and adolescents.  He is also a qualified special education teacher.  John currently works with a group of private medical practices in Hong Kong as a diagnostician, administers psycho-educational evaluations for children and adolescents, and provides therapy for children, adolescents, and families. John also works closely with international schools in Hong Kong and around Asia offering professional development opportunities to parents and teachers, educational consulting, crisis management, educational planning, and social-emotional planning. In addition to his private work, John is the Vice-President of the Psychotherapy Society of Hong Kong and an Advisor to the Hawn Foundation. He provides consultation services for Kids4Kids, and sits on the committee of the Special Education Network In Asia (HK). He is also the Psychologist on the Safety Committee of Outward Bound Hong Kong.

John has been a member of the committee since 2009.


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