The Dear Dyslexic Foundation launched it’s national self-portrait competition to find the Faces of Dyslexia from around Australia. Meet our panel judges:

Travis Cloke

Travis Cloke is a former professional AFL player who played with Collingwood for 10 years and Western Bulldogs for one year. He’s one of five children, and he and his two brothers are all dyslexic. Travis was diagnosed as dyslexic while at Yarra Valley Grammar, a school Travis says provided a lot of support to students with learning disabilities. It was there Travis was able to indulge his passion in art and he held the office of Arts Captain. In 2004, Travis made the Draft and went to play for Collingwood, leaving his budding art career on hold. Travis trained with the Magpies and completed his VCE, something he said was very challenging, but worthwhile. He retired from professional playing in 2017and returned to Collingwood where he has a role in development where he develops the code in the younger years 12 – 20, in particular with players from migrant and indigenous communities. This year Travis competed on Dancing With The Stars, where he is very proud to have mastered such dances as the Viennese Waltz, Cha-cha-cha, Pasadoble, Samba, and was eliminated for his Quick Step. Travis is married to Rebecca, they have one child and are expecting their second child in September.

What I’ve discovered with my job with Collingwood in developing Aussie Rules in migrant and Indigenous communities is we are all so different anyway – how we look, our backgrounds and so on. Dyslexia is just another difference.


Ben Franklin MLC 

Ben is the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts and Energy. Mr Franklin, a National MLC who’s notional electorate is Northern New South Wales, has a long interest in the arts, and welcomed the chance to help find the Faces of Dyslexia.

Serving as the Party’s State Director from 2008 to 2015, he presided over one of the most successful periods in our history and helped usher a new generation into our ranks.

Ben grew up at Barham on the Murray River, where his parents were teachers. At school, he was a keen debater and won a scholarship to complete his Higher School Certificate in Sydney. Prior to joining The Nationals as State Director in 2008, he held the role of Communications Director for UNICEF Australia.

COVID-19 restrictions have hit charities hard and it’s good to see the Dear Dyslexic Foundation thinking laterally to find ways to raise funds at this time. I’ll encourage local galleries to get their local groups behind the idea so we can see a range of self-portraits from regional New South Wales. It’s a positive and creative way to raise awareness of dyslexia.

Trevor Watts MP For Toowoomba

Trevor Watts brings a common-sense approach and the experience of a small business owner to his role representing the people of Toowoomba North. Like countless other residents across Toowoomba, Trevor’s life before politics was focused on running his successful local business whilst juggling the demands of an active family and community life on the Darling Downs.

Trevor said he was pleased to help DDF with the Faces of Dyslexia Self-Portrait Competition, both because he knows there is a need to increase awareness in the community of dyslexia, but also to help DDF raise funds to provide support to people with dyslexia.

Learning more about Trevor's story through our Dear Dyslexic Podcast Series

Every day tasks often present mammoth personal challenges, which can diminish a person’s confidence, lead them to feel stupid and cause them to disengage. Working in such an information-heavy environment, I understand that better than most.

I wanted to share my story to help others struggling with dyslexia because I truly believe that dyslexia isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity to harness a person’s unique potential to learn and think about the world differently.

Jarrod Rawlins Senior Curator at the Museum of Old and New Art, Mona 

Jarrod Rawlins is Senior Curator at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) and for the Dark Mofo festival in Hobart, Tasmania. Since his appointment in 2013, he has worked on exhibitions, performances and commissions with many artists, including Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Daniel Boyd, Christoph Büchel, Mat Collishaw, Simon Denny, Marco Fusinato, Gilbert & George, Alfredo Jaar, Anthony McCall, Hermann Nitsch, Mike Parr and united Visual Artists. Before moving to Tasmania, Rawlins was the owner and co-founder of Uplands Gallery in Melbourne (2000–10), then director of KalimanRawlins (now Station Gallery). He is a graduate of the Art History program at the University of Melbourne, where he was also a tutor and part-time lecturer in art history and theory.

My daughter was recently diagnosed with dyslexia, as a result this has become a prominent topic of discussion in our household. So when I was invited by Dear Dyslexia to be part of the judging panel for this portrait prize, I saw it as a great opportunity to use my professional expertise to help advocate for further awareness around an issue that will be an important part of our family life for years to come.