Our Conservation & Wildlife Management program which pioneers hunters as true conservationists able to assist in all manner of land management duties began in South Australia 30 years ago this month and during the past three decades the program has expanded across the country to allow CWM branches to carry on this work and become a vital part of Australia’s wildlife management efforts.
CWM is now a true ‘feather in the cap’ of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia’s state and territory branches, with the achievements of members making a genuine difference to our natural landscapes. CWM grew from the hard work of SSAA (SA) members in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges in 1992, after they were brought in to combat feral goats which were decimating the environment and their work expanded into the formal Operation Bounceback program involving the state government and other relevant groups.
The work of countless volunteers through Operation Bounceback has facilitated the resurgence of flora and fauna including the western quoll and yellow-footed rock-wallaby, so this truly is an anniversary where the efforts of members past and present should be congratulated. Australian Shooter will further celebrate the achievements our CWM program in more detail in a forthcoming edition of the magazine.
Also this month Australia’s 47th Parliament will be preparing to begin its term and regardless of which political persuasion forms government, SSAA National will continue its efforts to represent our 209,000-plus members in the political arena. In the lead-up to the election, SSAA National called for the reinstatement of a formal firearms consultation committee with the new government and we look forward to following this up in coming months.
Work is under way in Western Australia as SSAA (WA) acts in the interests of law-abiding firearm owners in the face of legislative changes and the controversial release of a map detailing location of licensed firearms in Perth and the South West. SSAA (WA) has joined forces in an industry partnership with the WA Firearm Traders Association to form a united front from industry and firearm owners as they represent common goals. SSAA National aids state and territory branches on local issues as requested and on Page 83 of this edition, WA President Paul Fitzgerald has provided an update on what’s happening and how WA members can help the cause.
On a final note, SSAA’s Academic Bursary Program is now open to 2022 applicants where tertiary students with a keen interest in areas such as law, game management and conservation could receive a funding boost to support their studies.
The SSAA Academic Bursary Program is a $10,000 annual initiative open to all tertiary students with an interest in furthering the wider community’s understanding of areas relevant to the SSAA’s goals and philosophies. The initiative began in 2014 and has so far helped young people studying a variety of subjects such as journalism, veterinary science, criminology and biodiversity.