The History of TADA
The idea of a uniquely West Australian training and development association originated within the School of Education, Edith Cowan University in late 1998 through Dr John Woods and Dr Bryan Smith. The concept was born out of a need to maintain friendships, networking and professional development opportunities amongst those who had graduated from Edith Cowan's Training and Development degree program.

It gained momentum in early 1999 when Dr Bryan Smith enlisted the help of Alexandra Wilde and Neil Hooley [recent graduates] to take on the challenge of researching the need for such a group, and reporting back to the university. This was achieved by surveying all training & development graduates. The findings of the survey reinforced Dr's Woods and Smith's original thoughts.

Following the survey report, Alexandra and Neil were commissioned to 'set up' what was to become TADA, the Training and Development Association of Western Australia. While Neil and Alexandra worked busily to frame the structure and constitution of the association, they also enlisted the help of fellow graduates [Mike Jakins, Richard Heslop, Kathy Bain, Sandy Dodge, Dawn Davis, Paula Taylor, and Rhonda Stacy] to form the very first interim committee of TADA.

To launch and promote the association, the interim committee organised its very first event, a Christmas party in 1999 (view Xmas photos and original invitation). The night turned out to be a great success, with over 60 people attending. What followed was a frantic year of putting a face to the association, by coming up with a suitable name [which was the Training and Development Association of WA] and acronym [the very first acronym was T&D Ass., that was quickly superseded by TADA], setting out the constitution, and officially forming our first committee [listed below]. Neil designed the first TADA logo (after much input from the committee and still in use today), and thanks to the efforts of Richard Heslop, TADA became incorporated in 2001.

Other milestones along our journey have been the continued development of the TADA Web site, which had been masterfully crafted by Mike Jakins initially and then later revamped by two TAFE students as part of their studies in 2004 (with help from Mike and Jenni Parker). Our membership process was refined and automated by Jenni Parker, and again we made a leap forward in the way we did things.

In the early days the events were generally organised by individuals who had a particular topic they were passionate about. Today, with the increasing workloads of our volunteer Committee, it is generally the Events Committee which oversees all the events that occur, and that creates the annual Events Calendar.

And we can't forget Dr's Woods and Smith, who were there at the initial meetings to provide moral support, provide us with a venue [Edith Cowan University in Mt Lawley], and act as sounding boards for our ideas. Something a lot of people don't realise, is that TADA started out as an association exclusively for Edith Cowan's Training and Development graduates, but the committee soon realised that this was not the future or purpose of TADA, and it was agreed to open up membership to one and all. This was the best decision TADA could have made, as we now have committee members like Matt Trott who have not only given up his own time [as all committee members do], but also offered his family's training premises (Training Services Australia in Mt Lawley) as a new home for the TADA Committee once Edith Cowan became unworkable.

Only a few of the committee members names appear above, though there are many more who came and went along the way (but all contributed in some way), and many thanks to all of them for helping create something really special - a uniquely Western Australian Training and Development Association.

At a Christmas function in 1999 the group launched TADA to a crowd of enthusiastic practitioners. The mood of that night started an exciting beginning and journey for TADA.

View past committee members
View original TADA newsletter

History details kindly provided by Neil Hooley and Alexandra Wilde, edited by Mike Jakins ©2008