The following is an edited version of the SSAA National Executive report to the 56th AGM, 2018
In retrospect, the past year has been another of solid growth and consolidation for SSAA. We have continued our steady climb towards 200,000 members through a focussed commitment to members and every sector of our Association.
The challenges we have faced are often dealt with in a ‘business as usual’ manner. In saying that, the enormity of our achievements in the face of consistent and seemingly coordinated attacks from a negative and biased media sector, some ignorant and self-serving politicians, bureaucrats and commentators – and even from the radical elements of the shooting fraternity – cannot be understated.
We have remained positive, grown and prospered and a philosophy of strength in numbers will stand us in good stead for the future.
The Association’s activity throughout the year shows that as the Association is growing, we are constantly moving towards being a more efficient and professional body. If we are to operate effectively and be recognised as a peak body and fairly represent the interests of our broader membership, this progression is essential along with the development of the SSAA member states and territories and their branches and clubs.
During this year all our departmental operations have been reviewed, updated, modified or restructured as required, or restructuring is in progress as we speak. We intend to be well positioned to meet the inevitable challenges ahead.
We have been able to reinforce our position as the most credible representative shooting organisation in Australia by our constant public presence through heightened community interaction, social media, active formal media interaction, increased political lobbying and, of course, our highly and increasingly successful SSAA SHOT Expos.
The fact that SSAA has, on numerous occasions, been singled out as the target of many (mostly unsuccessful) critical attacks, is in itself recognition by our opponents and detractors of our increasing success and effectiveness. Our SSAA-LA department, with detailed research and considered and timely responses, has proven to be immensely effective in countering many if not all of these attacks, allowing us to maintain our integrity.
Through responsible and tight financial management, our position is as strong as it has ever been with the flow-on effect benefiting all states and territories. This fact has not escaped the attention of our opponents who, understanding the benefit of financial strength and independence, have tried to decry and misrepresent our position. We should take that as a compliment.
In closing, most times the efforts of the National Executive go unnoticed but they do deserve real thanks along with the efforts of the National Board, Subcommittee Chairpersons and National Discipline Chairpersons. Our CEO, SSAA National staff and SSAA Insurance Brokers staff have all made a supreme contribution to SSAA, and together we have formed a great team and made the past year an unqualified success.