50 Years of Learning Links

In 2022 we celebrate a key milestone

2022 marks Learning Links’ 50th anniversary, a key milestone that everyone involved with the organisation, both past and present, is extremely proud of. We have never been more passionate about our mission of providing children and young people with the skills, services and family support to enable them to reach their full potential.

How it all began

Learning Links started its journey in August 1972 with a group of parents concerned about the lack of appropriate education and support services to meet their children’s needs. Originally called the Association for Children with Aphasic and Perceptual Difficulties, this name was soon changed to the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities (ACLD).

The early years of the ACLD were funded by donations and member contributions, and were dedicated to driving awareness and learning more about the specific needs of children with learning disabilities. Annual camps became the first way to directly help and understand these children and in December 1972, 30 children and 10 counsellors embarked on what went on to be an annual event for many years.

It soon became evident that the best way to help children with learning disabilities was through multi-disciplinary centres, allowing collaboration between specialists to provide each child with the best possible learning outcome.

How far we have come

50 years on, Learning Links now operates five Learning Centres across Sydney with outreach across communities NSW and practical evidence-informed professional learning delivered across Australia via digital channels. Our vision is a community where difficulties learning are no longer a barrier to a fulfilling life. As well as working with children in our centres, we work in collaboration with schools, early childhood settings, teachers, allied health professionals and families to help children with learning difficulties and disabilities to learn and live life to their full potential.

In the 2020/21 financial year, Learning Links provided therapy, education and support services to almost 5,000 children and over 3,000 families. Our inclusive preschool in Peakhurst ran at 100% occupancy with a growing waitlist and consistent demand from families. We provided over 2,500 school, allied health and other professionals with specialist knowledge and skills in children’s learning, development and family support. We also focused on developing and growing our webinar and workshop offering because we know the importance of professional development in increasing our impact and reach to more children and families across Australia and overseas.

We thank our supporters

We continue to be supported by dedicated funders, community partners and volunteers. Without the generous donations of time and money offered by these groups, we would not be able to change the lives of anywhere near the number of children that we do. We are eternally grateful to all our supporters over the last 50 years.

Moving into the future

As we look forward to another 50 years of working with children and their families we are excited for what awaits Learning Links. We will continue to work tirelessly with the children who need our help, to advocate on their behalf, and to educate and inspire other professionals who can assist us to empower children to learn and live a life unlimited by circumstance.

Our impact, stories & milestones

Join our celebrations throughout 2022

Our vision and plans for the future

CEO Birgitte Maibom shares with us what exciting future she foresees for Learning Links.