Board of Management

Paul Hoadley

Paul Hoadley (Chairman)

Paul was a successful secondary school debater in the 1980s, and went on to debate in The University of Adelaide’s competition. Paul was part of the team that assisted Sonja Lowen in setting up the Schools Debating Union, which later became Debating SA, in 1991. He adjudicated frequently in the early years of the competition, and has lately appeared as an occasional guest adjudicator for Debating SA’s grand finals and celebrity debates.

Paul has degrees in medicine, surgery, philosophy, computer science and pure mathematics, and currently runs a software development business in Adelaide.


Jenny Boroughs (Treasurer)

Jenny is responsible for overseeing the Association’s finances, ensuring that we are using our school members’ money for the benefit of schools and students.

Debating SA’s accounts are audited on a yearly basis to ensure that we are complying with best accounting practices.

Jenny joined Debating SA as an adjudicator in 2016 and is a Chartered Accountant, having worked as an auditor in accounting firms and as an accountant within the aged care industry She also has an Associate Diploma in piano performance and plays both the piano and the violin.

Jenny was involved in debating in her school years from Years 5 to 11 and is enjoying now being able to use this experience as an adjudicator and Board Member.


Sonja Lowen (Training and Resources Officer)

Sonja has been the Training and Development Officer with Debating SA since 2006. In this role Sonja is responsible for creating and delivering training programmes for our adjudicators, students, teachers, parents and members of the wider community. She was a debater during her university days, and was the founding Executive Officer of the Schools Debating Union, which later became Debating SA, in 1991.

Sonja brings with her an incredible depth of knowledge and experience of debating, teaching methodology and working with schools.

James Tran

James Tran (Administrative Officer)

James has been the Administrative Officer of Debating SA since 2005.

As Administrative Officer, James is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation, liaising with schools, debaters and members of the wider community, as well as maintaining our website, finances and schools’ competition draw. He is often the friendly face behind the Information Desk at debating nights as well.

Many of the innovative features you see on our website are James’ own creation as well.

In his professional life James is the Innovation and ICT Services Coordinator and Teacher at Nazareth Catholic College. He also volunteers with the Japanese Language Teachers’ Association.

Michele Southam Cropped

Michele Southam (Board Member)

Michele has been with Debating SA since 2001, and has served as the Association’s treasurer for much of that time. Michele is an accountant by profession.

David Morton.jpg

David Morton (Media Liaison Officer)

David has been a member of our team since 2014 and a Board Member since 2015 and has become a valued team member. David joined our Board in an advisory capacity helping us to ensure that we remain committed to supporting students, schools and the wider community to discover the benefits of debating. In his professional life he is a Sales Manager and is heavily involved the wider Adelaide community.


Blake Wadlow (Board Member)

Blake Wadlow joins our Board in 2019, after having been an adjudicator with Debating SA for many years. Blake works as a lawyer at a local Adelaide law firm.


Lachlan Hemsley (Board Member)

Lachlan was first involved with Debating SA as a Secondary School student and has become a valued member of our team having been an adjudicator since 2006. Lachlan is a dedicated and conscientious volunteer who joins the Board in an advisory capacity ensuring that we continue deliver best practice in supporting our volunteers.

Sean Jolly

Sean Jolly (Board Member)

A debater at Secondary School, Sean has been on the Debating SA Board since 2005 and is one of our Senior Adjudicators. Sean’s role on the Board is in an advisory capacity, ensuring that our Association continues to be innovative in meeting the needs of our programme participants. In his professional life Sean is a Medical Practitioner.


Stephanie Forde

Stephanie’s path to Debating SA was not the usual one. She did not debate in Secondary School, although she did debate back in Primary School. Stephanie spotted an ad calling for adjudicators in the Community CPS Credit Union newsletter (Debating SA’s then sponsor). That was back in 2006 and she has been adjudicating ever since. Stephanie works as a lawyer with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in the Financial Service Enforcement team. This involves working on investigations into misconduct in the financial sector, such as fraudulent investment schemes and poor advice from financial advisors.

What has kept Stephanie coming back to Debating SA (despite commencing full time employment and then having two babies!) is the positive energy present on a debating night and in all the work that Debating SA does. Stephanie believes that debating builds confidence, critical and analytical thinking and communication skills. She gets a lot out of seeing students build these skills and to assist them in this process by providing meaningful feedback in her adjudications.

Stephanie loves to travel and have enjoyed many fantastic experiences including a high school exchange, a gap-year in Canada/ the UK and a university exchange program to Leicester University. She also loves reading (or listening to an audio book) crime thrillers, creating and consuming baked goods (esp biscuits), visiting theme parks and riding VERY fast roller coasters and attending musical theatre.