Who am I?  I am what some would call an ‘old’ lady (some people seem to think that anything over 50 is old!)  who travels around the world with a little red backpack that is my office and encourage people to do continuous learning, step out of the box, take risks and REACH NEW LEVELS personally and professionally!

I have never won a fancy title, ridden a fancy car or lived in a fancy house,  but what I do have is years of experience and learning and was fortunately born with the gift of being able to speak and work with people.    Teaching and helping people grow is my passion and I think Sir Richard Branson says it all:


For those of  you who want the nitty gritty:

I started my career in the secretarial and administrative industry in 1979 and have worked in various positions, from Receptionist to Office Manager/PA at large corporations within South Africa.  This included the supervision of a call centre with 30 agents as well as working  in an IT Department not only in a admin role but in training systems and software in-house.

In 2006, together with a colleague we took over the management of the Institute for Certified Administrative Professionals (ICAP) in order to uplift the Secretarial and Administrative industry through continuous learning.

Out of all the positions I have held, I found that my passion was in teaching skills to others in order for them to step ‘out of the box’ and be confident enough to move forward in both their personal and career lives.  ICAP gave me the opportunity to:

  • Facilitate the pre-examination workshop for the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) examination and administered the examinations of behalf of the International Association for Administrative Professionals (IAAP) in South Africa from 2006-2012)
  • Partner with Dictum Publishers from 2006-2011 for the PA of the Year Award and facilitate the round table workshops at the annual PA Summit
  • Speak on various topics as guest speaker at conferences and workshops

In 2013, I decided to start Reach New Levels in order to encourage not only PAs and Secretaries but  other Administrative Assistants/Professionals i.e. switchboard operators, receptionists, clerks and administrators throughout Africa to further themselves through continuous learning and build on to their knowledge and skills.  To encourage them to start moving up ‘the ladder’ and to REACH NEW LEVELS!

I currently facilitate master classes for Administrative Assistants / Professionals in Africa and the East. I speak on a range of topics including:

  • Communication
  • Managing your career (personal development)
  • Organisational Skills
  • Records Management
  • Global Business Protocol and etiquette
  • Networking
  • Skills affecting the career of those in the secretarial and administrative industry.


  • Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) with specialty exam Organisational Management (OM) – IAAP (International Association for Administrative Professional)
  • Master Instructor for Microsoft Office – Microsoft
  • Master in Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word – MicroSoft
  • Principles of Project Management – George Washington University
  • Basics of Management – Liberty Life
  • Train the Trainer – Options in Training
  • Internet Marketing – University of Cape Town
  • Internet and the Law – University of Cape Town
  • Basic Business Finance – UNISA
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language – certified through Accreditat with speciality in Business English
  • NLP Practioner Certification (intermediate to advanced)
  • Founding member of the IAAP Johannesburg Chapter At Large
  • Served on the Community of Expert Practitioners (CEP) at Services Seta (Sector for Education and Training Authority) in South Africa for the Secretarial and Administrative industry
  • Director at OPSA (Office Professionals South Africa)
  • Written articles on the secretarial / administrative industry for various publications.


You can learn more and connect with Dawn on LinkedIn at za.linkedin/in/dawnwilliams3