Who we are – A Brief overview

We are a well-established Association of Sales Professionals and business leaders, who enjoy “Business Networking” and social events, which enable members to mix and meet with other people in the business and community world, and thus offer a range of benefits to our members and guests. We invite sales and business people from all sectors of South Australian business and commerce to attend our events and join our association.

The CTA of South Australia was first established in this state in 1864 and in 1874 became incorporated.

We were the first CTA in Australia, and latter spread to all other states, including Tasmania.

History of SABDA

In Adelaide in 1864 a group of Commercial Travellers (now known as Sales people, Sales consultants or Customer Service Representatives and Managers), met to discuss how to overcome the various difficulties they were experiencing in conducting their business, especially the poor quality of country road sand hotel accommodation.

TThis was the first association or formal group of Commercial travellers in Australia.
In 1874 the CTA was incorporated, being the first in Australia.

Until 1891 they met in well-known local HOTELS and CLUBS in Adelaide.

The founding members of the Association were prominent business leaders in South Australian Business, Sales and commerce.

The first President was a Mr. W Thurston.

Famous and well known South Australian Philanthropist Sir Edwin T Smith owner of the Kent Town Brewery was an early member, as were owners and Managers of many of Adelaide and South Australian Companies.

By 1890 a club was formed for members and in 1891, the first clubrooms were opened in the Mutual Life Chambers in Grenfell Street. In 1897, they moved to larger premises in the old Exchange building in Pirie Street.

In 1895 the United CTA of Australia was founded in South Australia to affiliate interstate associations and clubs. In 1905 the U C T A was re-registered under the present name of The Commercial Representatives and Agents Association of Australia Ltd. and later by 1930 came under Royal Patronage.

In 1903 the CTA raised money to purchase a block of land on the corner of North Terrace and Bank Street, opposite the Adelaide railway Station. Note County and suburban travellers quite often travelled by train.

In 1904 a 3 story building was erected and officially opened in 1905, with a usual foundation stone laying ceremony.

This was a prestigious building for Adelaide city, opposite the railway station and the then Parliament house (now the Legislative Council building).

Subsequently the CTA also operated showrooms in Tavistock Street (now Frome road) for the promotion and display of member’s products and samples.

In 1915/17 the association Created Scholarships at the University of Adelaide and in 1919 promoted the first mail plane flight bring mail to Adelaide and Gawler. The CTA also donated a scholarship to the St Peters Boys College.

Also regular donation of beds and cots were made to Royal Adelaide and Children‘s Hospitals, and in 1944 a donation to endow in perpetuity a 3rd cot at the Adelaide Children’s hospital.

On Christmas eve 1944 the first Adelaide “Carols by candlelight’, jointly organised by the CTA of S A and the Advertiser Radio Station (5AD) was held at Elder Park, attracting a crowd of about 30,000. Proceeds from the event were donated to several Adelaide charities. That tradition of community service and patronage of the event by the CTA has continued up recent years.

The North Terrace premises were used up until 1981, when the building was sold and the association and the S A Club moved to premises in Wakefield Street next door to the Adelaide Fire Brigade Station.

Mr. W (Bill) Fullerton was elected President in 1996. Mr Wally Williams joined the committee in the same year, Many functions, member meetings and social events were held in the modern clubrooms with many grand dinners and luncheons being held there until it was necessary to close the club rooms in 1998, when the Association and Club activities were moved to The Police Club at 27 Carrington Street, the office was moved to 64 Carrington street.

The North Terrace building after operating partly as shops and a motel, was demolished in 2009.

Meetings and Social events were then held at the Police Club until 2002 and office moved to the Cnr. of Wakefield and Hutt Street. It was then decided to hold functions at various HOTELS and CLUBS in and around Adelaide (exactly as had been done during the early years of the association.)

By 2004 the office was moved into premises at 14 Union Street Dulwich, later to be known as the Dulwich Community Centre, and is still operating their today.

Many and varied program of business and social events and functions were then held in various venue as per previously, and are still held at these venues today.

In April 2010 Mr Bill Fullerton retired as President and Mr. Wally Williams was elected as President.

The Current President Mr Tim Jordan joined the Committee in 1998 and was elected President in April 2015.

In 2017 members decided to change the operating name of the association and after long deliberation, came up with the new name of “Sales and Business Development Association SA” (SABDA)

Membership has increased since 2005 and continues to attract new professional and young business executives and sales people.

Having a long and proud history. SABDA. Previously the CTA of South Australia continues to give excellent service to its members and the South Australian business community.