About the TDP

The Talent Development Project Foundation (TDP) was established in 1991 as a means of cultivating the extraordinary talent being unearthed at the annual Schools Spectacular. It is now one of the most successful youth training and development programs in the music and entertainment industry in Australia.

The Core Program

Every year up to 50 public school students from around New South Wales are selected to take part in this unique program. Throughout the year, monthly master class workshops are held, conducted by industry experts. Over these workshops, the number of participants is reduced until only those deemed ready to begin a career in show business remain to become Graduates of the Talent Development Project.

These Graduates are launched into the Entertainment and Music Industry each year, with the support of a star-studded lineup, at the TDP Graduation Concert at the Qantas Credit Union Arena (formally Sydney Entertainment Centre). They perform in front of an audience packed with industry heavyweights, as well as the general public.

High Profile Support

The TDP is offered free to NSW Public Schools students and provides these young performers with regular access to some of the biggest names in the Australian music industry. These professionals, together with TDP Artistic and Curriculum Director Mary Lopez AM, use their experience to help young performers develop the skills they need to break into show business.

Expert consultants come from all over the entertainment industry, including record companies, A&R, artist management, law, business, and PR. Consultants include Les Gock (Producer), Jackie Love (Cabaret), Stuart Wagstaff (Theatre), Keith Urban (Country/Singer Songwriter), Wes Carr (Contemporary), Jessica Mauboy (Contemporary/Pop), Marty Rhone (Rock ‘n Roll), John Williamson (Country), Sharon Millerchip (Musical Theatre), Simon Moore (Sony Publishing) and Prue McSween (Entertainment Media) to mention but a few.

From Bourke to Broadway

TDP auditions are open to all NSW public school students regardless of their location or their circumstances. The TDP targets students equally from the smallest country towns to the city. All students need is talent and a passion to develop a future in the industry.

The TDP team is determined to level the playing field for all Australians and is working hard to increase the Indigenous presence among graduates. A number of Indigenous performers have graduated from the program to date and all are finding success in the entertainment world.

The TDP, with the help of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), also awards an annual ‘Bound for Broadway Scholarship’ to two or more musical theatre graduates. These graduates are sent to New York for intensive training. They are also given the opportunity to perform in one of the city’s most respected entertainment venues.

Success Stories

The many TDP success stories are testimony to the success of the project and its goal of opening doors for young Australian performers, starting off in the entertainment industry. Past TDP graduates include Human Nature, Paulini, John Foreman, Emma Pask, Felicity Urquhart, The McClymonts and Angus & Julia Stone.

  • Dawn Fraser AO

    "Mary's given more young Australian performers a chance to shine than any other Australian I know"


    "Mary Lopez is a wonderful Australian and a generous giver"
  • John Williamson, Country Singer

    "Mary loves Australia and this love shines through in everything she does"

  • Father Chris Riley

    "In the words of Batchelor Girl – Mary encourages and gives our kids ‘permission to shine’"

  • Human Nature

    “Mary believed in us … she nurtured us, developed our talent. She’s always there for us and we’ll always be there for her.”

  • Contact Details

    Mary Lopez AM

    Entertainment and Talent Director
    TDP Artistic Director and CEO
    Emeritus Director Schools Spectacular

    p: +61 (0)2 9954 5540



    "Mary Lopez is one of the most professional, dynamic, dedicated and enthusiastic people I have ever met"
  • Bound For Broadway Documentary

  • 2011 TDP Graduation Screening on Aurora TV

    2011 Talent Development Project Graduation Spectacular

    Premiere Screening 6pm on September 24th

    Aurora TV, Channel 183 on Foxtel and Austar

    Aurora TV is the proud Broadcast Partner of the TDP