2017 CDAA National Conference
17 - 19 May 2017 • Pullman Brisbane King George Square, Queensland
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Invitation to Attend

The 27th Annual National Conference of the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), is to be held at the Pullman Brisbane King George Square from 17 - 19 May, 2017.  It will be my great pleasure to welcome presenters and delegates to a city which is increasingly focussed on its national and global position; but also retains its “overgrown country town” feeling, through its focus on the cultural life of the city, and the well-being of its residents.

It is this kind of dichotomy we wish to highlight in this Conference. The work of Career Development is at its heart focussed on personal and individual well-being. At the same time, we know that global issues shape the challenges faced by the people we work with. In Brisbane, we want to challenge delegates to recognise, acknowledge and celebrate the global impact of their work: without losing the personal touch.

The title for the CDAA 2017 National Conference is: Inspiring excellence in career development: Responding locally to global challenges. Positioning key question: How can we individually and as a profession contribute to meeting the challenges of our communities?

We have chosen some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as our themes, to focus our attention on the bigger picture that surrounds the work of career practitioners everywhere: a picture that includes the quest for a healthy life; the pursuit of equity; access to education and training; and access to sustainable work opportunities.

We know these issues are not just about building capacity in developing nations: they are a factor in the Australian landscape too. Many of our adult clients daily tackle a work culture where stress and overwork are badges of honour. Our young clients still face a world where not everyone gets access to the same opportunities to explore and create sustainable career pathways through education. Our clients of all ages encounter a work culture that perpetuates discrimination with respect to opportunity and rates of pay. And the rewards of economic growth continue to be unevenly distributed.

This Conference aims to celebrate the steps taken by Career Development Practitioners to address these issues: from the small, local steps to the grand, global ones.

More than this, the Conference aims to be both for practitioners and by practitioners: a sharing of knowledge and expertise. We challenge our presenters to bring ideas and strategies that are “real and ready” for application in all of the varied sectors our delegates work in.

The Strategic Goals for the 2017 Conference are:

  • To showcase excellence in career development, and promote the professional capabilities of our members by utilising members and current practitioners as speakers and presenters wherever possible.
  • To inspire delegates to think both globally and locally about the impact of their work.
  • To respond to continuous improvement feedback from previous conferences, in particular in relation to:
    • Content that is specific to the career development profession, which includes interaction and activities for skill development and practical application for career practitioners and includes streams or sessions of relevance to all the various sectors within the career development community,
    • Speakers that are career development experts as well as expert speakers,
    • Showcasing the Excellence Awards program,
    • Value for money.
  • To provide delegates with the opportunity to connect and enjoy a memorable “Brisbane” experience.
  • To forge greater links with and between industry, government and business, and to generate publicity for the CDAA.
  • To promote gender equity through majority (at least 60%) of female keynote speakers.
  • To attract national interest in attendance, achieving at least 320 delegates.

We want every delegate to leave Brisbane with ideas, tools and strategies they can use with their clients and communities. And we want every delegate to know the bigger picture impact that work will have.

I know you will enjoy your time in Brisbane. But then I’m biased – it’s my hometown.

Wanda Hayes
Acting National President
Career Development Association of Australia

Conference Secretariat


For all Conference enquiries, please contact
GEMS Event Management Australia
on +61 2 9744 5252.