Let’s communicate

By Dean Mighell

I was delighted to receive a call from SSAA Sydney Branch President James Walsh reinforcing the urgent need for improved communications within the SSAA. James has 30,000 members and would love to save his branch the huge costs involved in mailing out hardcopy correspondence. He rightly points out that money could be better spent on ranges and improved facilities. Please make sure you update your email address when you renew your membership or do so through our website at membership.ssaa.org.au

SSAA NSW now does its state newsletter in email form and it’s a great publication, with good savings to the SSAA as well. It’s something that SSAA National must consider, along with a Facebook page and better use of social media. All will be looked at by the new National Communications Committee.

We have been in touch with the NRA in the United States and I am very keen to build on our links with them and learn all about their communications and political campaigning techniques. They are a machine and whether you agree with them or not on all issues, you know they pack a formidable political punch, as we must if we are to reach our potential. Online campaigning is an essential tool in 2014 and we need to get involved. Prepare for war, hope for peace they say.

Thanks to the members who have emailed or phoned me since the publishing of my email address. We’ve had some great suggestions and it’s been great to talk to you. Some issues were state based and I’ve passed them on. Every other email has had good suggestions on improving the SSAA. Thanks!

Assisting farmers in 2014 and beyond

The SSAA Farmer Assist program has been active in Queensland since late 2013, and plans are underway for its rollout into other states. Western Australia and Tasmania have put their hands up to be the next states to go online. We will promote the program to members in those states and start the process of building member registrations. This enables us to build a resource base that can cover the initial and ongoing needs of farmers.

Building close ties with farming organisations to develop working relationships is essential. They are a good way to directly promote our program to their individual members and advocate our program in the community.

The pilot program in Queensland has shown that farmers in need and under stress are the first to try out the program. Those battling the effects of drought in the western regions of the state have requested help with managing wildlife that is damaging the limited food sources they have for their stock, and of course managing predators such as wild dogs.

The Farmer Assist program in these particular areas has provided an example of the true Aussie spirit: people helping out those who are doing it tough. We have received calls from farmers, saying the idea of the program was fantastic and that having someone taking on the job of shooting problem wildlife is one less thing that they need to worry about.

For more information about the SSAA Farmer Assist program in your area, visit www.farmerassist.com.au

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