Ambassador: Dr Judith Hudson
Dr Judith Hudson and has worked in the field of dyslexia and other developmental disorders (including dyspraxia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders) for four decades. Currently based in the UK, Judith has worked regularly in Australia since 2006.
Judith is a specialist dyslexia teacher, chartered psychologist, assessor, author, advocate, PhD supervisor, lecturer and researcher. She has volunteered as an Associate /Adjunct academic to the University of Tasmania and in 2018 was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for her contribution.
“I joined Square Pegs in 2014, and we held two public forums in Hobart and Launceston. There, we registered the huge task ahead of us. I think we were all overwhelmed by the numbers that attended these events, and we knew we had a lot to do if the needs of children with dyslexia and their families were to be addressed.
A fortunate meeting with Square Pegs founder Amelia and other parents led to my involvement with this organisation, and we began an extensive programme of parent, teacher and school community ‘raising awareness’ workshops around Tasmania. I had retired from teaching in the UK and had moved into Higher Education as a psychologist, to train post-graduate teachers. I have a knowledge and understanding about the needs of students with dyslexia and been a parent advocate in the UK for several years. It seemed then that I had found a niche for my experience and expertise. The people of Tasmania have always made myself and my dyslexic husband feel so welcome; it was good to be able to give something back, work with Square Pegs, and develop/co-teach dyslexia focused courses at UTAS.
We found that awareness of dyslexia in Tasmania was at best ‘patchy’ and at worst, non-existent! Some teachers were in denial, saying dyslexia does not exist; others knew about it, but didn’t know what it looked like or what to do about it. I believe that the work of Square Pegs has changed that considerably, but there is still much more to be done.
Dyslexia should not be an impediment, or something to hide, because once children fall behind many don’t ever catch up - in school, or in life. Square Pegs aims to not only raise awareness and profile, but to also support families and advocate for changes in education and teaching, and to ensure that every child with dyslexia reaches their full potential. Dyslexia must be celebrated and the many strengths that it can bring need to be recognised and appreciated."
Judith is a tireless advocate for children with dyslexia and related learning differences and has given thousands of hours of service both here and at home in the UK. She brings unflagging energy, expertise and fun to everything she does. She is a driving force and inspiration (getting up in the middle of the night to Zoom into our meetings from the other side of the world).
As a result, in November 2022, the Board awarded Judith Honorary Life Membership of Square Pegs. Judith is the inaugural recipient of this Award, which recognises her exceptional, loyal and outstanding contribution to the work of Square Pegs and improving outcomes for children with dyslexia in Tasmania.
The Board believe that Judith's service deserves lasting recognition. So, we are also very pleased to announce the creation of the Judith Hudson Dyslexia Advocate Award. The annual award will recognise the outstanding contribution made by a person in the Tasmanian community to improve awareness, understanding or action for children and young people with dyslexia. The Judith Hudson Dyslexia Advocate Award will be open for nominations in early 2023.