The SADA

Founded in 1965, the SADA is South Australia’s largest, longest running and most recognised debating association, running a successful schools competition since 1966. For over 50 years the SADA has focused on providing inclusive debating programs with a strong educational focus, allowing all students to develop and to enjoy debating.

The SADA provides South Australia’s most comprehensive debating program, which includes:

  • competitions for primary, secondary and tertiary students;
  • education programs designed to suit the needs of individual schools and clubs;
  • adjudicator training and accreditation in line with national standards; and
  • providing students with opportunities to debate at national and international competitions.

The SADA aims to:

  • engage students and improve their confidence and public speaking;
  • improve students’ analytical skills and the ability to develop persuasive arguments;
  • expand participants’ knowledge on a range of social, political, scientific and moral issues;
  • instill an appreciation of different perspectives and new ideas; and
  • foster teamwork, research skills and discipline.

The SADA is South Australia’s sole affiliate of the Australian Debating Federation. National affiliation recognises the quality of the SADA’s debating program and rigorous adjudicator accreditation process. This affiliation affords the SADA access to the latest developments in debating both Australia-wide and internationally, ensuring that the SADA continues to run an engaging program which benefits students’ personal and academic development.

Executive Committee

President - Charlotte Thomas

Charlotte assumed the SADA Presidency in 2015. She has previously served as the Secretary and Treasurer (2014 and 2015), Convenor of the National Schools’ Debating Championships (2015), Schools' Chief Administrator (2012 and 2013), and Zone Steward (2011). Charlotte was a State Team reserve in 2008, captained the team in 2009 and 2010, and made the Australian Schools' Debating Team in 2009 and 2010.

Vice President Administration - Soraya Pradhan

Soraya joined the Executive in 2014 as a Zone Steward, was the IPSHA Competition Administrator and Assistant State Team Coach in 2015 and the State Team Coach in 2016. During secondary school she was a member of the State Team for two years. She was selected as a reserve for the Australian Schools' Debating Team in 2012 and was selected on that team in 2013.

Vice President Development - Alyssa Pradhan

Alyssa joined the Executive in 2012 as a Zone Steward, was the Adjudicator Manager in 2013 and Vice President Administration in 2014. As a school student, Alyssa was on the State Team as a reserve in 2010 and then as a speaker and captain in 2011.

Treasurer - Emily Denbigh

Emily joined the Executive in 2013 as a Zone Steward after becoming an adjudicator in 2012. In 2015 and 2016 she served as the Vice President Development. Emily debated throughout secondary school and made the finals on four consecutive occasions. Emily has also previously coached a junior debating team.

Secretary - Ben Bishop

Ben has been the Secretary since 2015.  Prior to this he was Vice President Administration and Nationals Co-Conveor in 2015, a general member in 2013 and IPSHA Competition Administrator in 2011 and 2012. As a school debater Ben made a number of grand finals and was a State Team reserve in 2009 and 2010.

Schools' Chief Administrator - Alex Lowe

Alex joined the SADA executive in 2016 as a Zone Steward. During secondary school she was a member of the State Team in 2015, after being a reserve in 2014.

Education Officer - Jacqueline Jacobs

For over a decade Jacqueline co-ordinated the most successful debating program in a South Australian school and was a highly respected English teacher. She joined the SADA Executive in 2012 to manage the SADA’s education program and to foster debating in schools experiencing difficulties starting up or maintaining their debating program.

IPSHA Competition Administrator & State Team Co-Coach - Helena Karapetis

Helena joined the Executive in 2016 as the IPSHA Competition Administrator. In 2017 she also took on the role of Co-Coaching the State Team. During secondary school she was a Reserve on the State Team in 2014 and a member of the team in 2015.

Development Officer - Hamish Richardson

Hamish joined the SADA executive in 2015 as a Zone Steward and was the Schools' Chief Administrator in 2016. He was a successful Schools' Competition participant for many years. He was a Reserve on the State Team in 2013 and Captain of the team in 2014.

Adelaide University Debating Society (AUDS) Representative - William Thomas

William was a member of the State Team in 2015, received an Honourable Mention at the 2015 National Schools’ Debating Championships, and was that year’s recipient of the Todd Golding Medal for his contribution to the Team. He joined the SADA Executive in 2016 as a Zone Steward and is currently the President of AUDS.

State Team Co-Coaches - Charlie Bruce & Tyson Leung

Charlie rejoins the Executive in 2017 after having served as Education Officer in 2011. He was a member of the State Team in 2009 and 2010 and was selected on the the Australian Team in 2010.

Tyson joined the SADA Executive as a Zone Steward in 2016. She was previously a State Team reserve in 2013 and a member of the team from 2014-15.

Zone Stewards - Alexander Lai De Oliveira & Alexei Economou

Alexander and Alexei join the SADA Executive in 2017. They were both State Team reserves in 2015 and debated on the team in 2016 (Alexei as Captain).

General Member - Lloyd Wicks

Lloyd was the SADA President between 2011 and 2013 and IPSHA Competition Administrator from 2009-10. He adjudicated at the National Schools’ Debating Championships from 2010-2012 and coached the State Team from 2013-15. As a school debater Lloyd was on the State Team from 2006-08 (Captain in 07) and won the Fran Conroy Medal twice. In 2007 he was a member of the winning A Grade Team.

Immediate Past President - Warwick Ambrose

Warwick was SADA President in 2014 and 2015. Prior to that role, he was State Team Coach for four years and the Vice President in 2012. As a school student Warwick was on the State Team for three years. In 2012 he was made a SADA life member.