Fremantle to host world leading international conference

3 August 2015

The City of Fremantle will host the 12th International Conference on Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) in 2017 following a successful bid by three Western Australian universities and the Perth Convention Bureau.

In what will be a significant boost for DCD awareness and research in WA, more than 400 delegates from across the world are expected to attend the Conference which is flagged for July that year.

This event was made possible through the joint efforts of a research collaboration called Move.Grow.Engage, comprising DCD researchers from The University Notre Dame of Notre Dame Australia, Curtin University and The University of Western Australia, and the Perth Convention Bureau in formulating the bid proposal.

Some of the organisers attended 11th DCD Conference in Toulouse, France, in July 2015. In addition to networking with researchers across the globe in the field of Developmental Coordination Disorder, they also used the opportunity to promote the 12th DCD Conference in Fremantle.

This conference will enable DCD researchers in Western Australia to share some of the work currently being undertaken in this area, along with showcasing the programs available to support children and adolescents living with this disorder.

Professor Beth Hands, Senior Research Scholar in Notre Dame’s Institute for Health Research, describes DCD as a learning disability that affect a child’s ability to learn and perform simple tasks such as tying shoelaces or buttoning clothes.

“When young, these children were excluded from many playground games as they couldn’t run fast or catch a ball, so nobody wanted them on their team,” Professor Hands said.

“DCD needs to be recognised as a learning disability in the same way as other specific learning disabilities. Many people don’t realise poor coordination is a diagnosable condition but it doesn’t attract any disability allowance or medical rebate for remedial services.”

“We are delighted that the DCD12 Conference will be held in Western Australia and hope that this further highlights the important research being done in this significant area of need.”

Emeritus Professor Jan Piek, from the School of Psychology & Speech Pathology in Curtin University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, says there are many innovative interventions being trialed throughout the world to assist children with DCD.

“This conference will provide an opportunity for researchers and particularly health professionals in Australia to find out about these interventions and have direct contact with those who have developed them,” Emeritus Professor Piek said.

A website to publicise the 12th International Conference on Developmental Coordination Disorder will be launched shortly.


Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;