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 - 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 and in 2017 as Treasurer. She returns to be President of the SADA in 2019. 

Vice President (Administration) - Tyson Leung 

Tyson joined the SADA Executive as a Zone Steward in 2016 and served as Co-Coach of the State Team in 2017 and 2018. During secondary school, she was a member of the State Team. 

Vice-President (Development) - Maddie McNeil 

Maddie joined the executive in 2018, having been a member of the State Team for several years. 

Treasurer - Alexandra Lowe

Alex joined the SADA executive in 2016 as a Zone Steward and was the Schools' Chief Administrator in 2017. During secondary school she was a member of the State Team in 2015, after being a reserve in 2014.

Secretary - Laura Hanlon 

Laura joined the Executive in 2018 as a Zone Steward, having previously been a member of the State Team. 

Schools' Chief Administrators - Joanna Brookman and Raelene Schar 

Joanna joins the Executive in 2019 after being a SADA adjudicator for several years. Raelene joins the Executive in 2019 after being an experienced school debating co-ordinator. 

IPSHA Competition Administrator - Nidhi Venkatesan 

Nidhi joins the SADA in 2019 after being an adjudicator with the SADA for several years. 

Education Officer - Helena Karapetis 

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

State Team Coach & 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 was Adjudicator Manager and a Co-Coach of the State Team in 2018.