Our voice will be heard

This year is quickly coming to an end, but by no means is the SSAA slowing down. We were proud to be the major supporters and assist in organising a significant international wildlife conference held in Brisbane last month, 22 years on from the first gathering of its kind. Today’s conservation challenges and how we can sustain our current use of wildlife was the focus of the three-day event.

As we all know, hunting and conservation go together hand in glove. There are many examples of SSAA members involved in pest and feral animal management, such as the SSAA Farmer Assist program and various SSAA Conservation & Wildlife Management branches, who make real contributions towards protecting our native wildlife and farmland alike. The conference was also a fantastic opportunity to meet with likeminded associations from Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Our media team will be sure to bring you further stories from the event in coming editions, but also keep an eye on our website for timely updates.

I am proud that this edition sees SSAA member and Olympic gold medallist Catherine Skinner grace the front cover. Catherine shot to glory at the recent Rio Olympic Games after an outstanding performance in the women’s Trap event.

While we all thought that Catherine’s win would be our only shooting medal, it was a welcome surprise to see Modern Pentathlon competitor Chloe Esposito take out the gold in the event, thanks to her sharp shooting skills. Shooting was one of five challenges among fencing, a 200m freestyle swim, show jumping and a final combined event of laser pistol shooting and a 3200m cross-country run. Chloe started the final event in seventh place, but her shooting ability under enormous pressure saw her set an Olympic record and carry off the coveted gold medal. Although the SSAA is not an advocate of the laser pistols which are used in the event, we warmly applaud Chloe’s fantastic achievement. It just goes to show that shooting requires concentration and discipline: two qualities that Chloe had to master in order to secure the gold for Australia.

The 2016 Rio Paralympic Games has just kicked off with a strong Australian shooting contingent representing our country. As always, I will be cheering on our shooters in what truly is an all-abilities sport.

Back home, the SSAA is preparing to host the 6th Pacific Regional Shooting Championships at the SSAA ACT Shooting Complex from November 2 to 12. There is still time to nominate to represent Australia, with various shooting competitions to be hotly contested. Remember to nominate and put your shooting skills to the test.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that the SSAA continues to fight the good fight as the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) review looks set to return to the political agenda. The SSAA state and territory branches are also involved in lobbying at a local level, with good news coming out of Tasmania this month after efforts to further restrict firearms based purely on their appearance, rather than functionality, withdrawn at this stage.

Make sure you are subscribed to our SSAA Legislative Action (SSAA-LA) email alerts for the latest political information and calls to action. With more than 180,000 members, our voice will be heard.

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