About Us

Our History

The Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA) was established in 1973 under the name the Australian and South Pacific External Studies Association (ASPESA). The association was led by our first president Kevin Smith from the University of New England.

At the time the mission of the new association was to: 

  1. Promote understanding and cooperation among those concerned with the improvement of external studies in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, and other neighbouring countries.

  2. Foster a high standard in the practice and study of external studies at post-secondary level.
  3. Hold forums on various aspects of external studies.
  4. Disseminate information about research and practice in external studies. 

Our timeline:

1973 ASPESA formed
Distance Education: An International Journal was established
1993 ODLAA formed
2002 Journal renamed Distance Education.

ODLAA and its predecessor association ASPESA has had a proud and distinguished history in contributing to the development and transformation of distance education across Australasia. As an association we are committed to facilitating connections and professional development of like-minded individuals who are passionate about open and distance education. 

Find Out More about ODLAA

Who We Are
Past Presidents
Executive Committee