Professional Member Snapshot - Devon Barnes - SPELD NSW

Supporting children and adults with specific learning difficulties


Professional Member Snapshot – Devon Barnes

Devon Barnes

Lindfield Speech Pathology and Learning Centre

Devon Barnes, after dedicating over 60 years in speech pathology and more than 20 years in literacy acquisition, has made the well-deserved decision to retire.

Devon started her private speech practice in the 1980s in her garage, in 1997, due to rapid business growth, she moved into an office in Lindfield. More recently her practice relocated to Pymble, where she customised a blank canvas office space into a welcoming centre.

Due to the lack of resources, the early years of practice were challenging. Devon spent many weekends customising home-made resources, scrolling through magazines, searching and cutting out pictures of words starting with a certain sound for use with her clients. As well as excellent therapy, Devon’s philosophy was to always have a client leave a session feeling better than when they entered.

During this time, she has nurtured more than 50 employees, many of whom were undergraduates, providing them with funded training in Spalding and in more recent years Sounds Write.


Time with SPELD NSW

Devon became a professional member of SPELD NSW in the early 2000’s, providing support in both language and literacy difficulties. Whilst a member she joined the SPELD NSW committee and was Committee Chairperson while Max Coltheart was Committee President.

Devon did many presentations for SPELD NSW, her first relating to critical thinking – a new concept at that time, and thus spent many hours researching. Later she presented the language portion of the Teachers Certificate Course. Most recently Devon has presented ‘Dishing the dirt on the Dys’s’ clarifying the myths surrounding Learning Difficulties.

Now in retirement Devon will mostly miss the interaction with her clients but remains passionate about remediating learning difficulties, beside spending her time knitting and visiting grandchildren she intends to write a literacy resource book.

Devon’s final comment is for us all is to be alert to difficulties in the early years, especially those children who have experienced early language and articulation issues. As early intervention is vital, she hopes for more funding to be provided in schools towards supporting children with these difficulties.

Good luck with your future endeavours and thank you for your years of commitment and service.


Vanessa Maher
Information and Referral Officer, SPELD NSW
July 2024


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