The year marks 75 years since the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) was born, the prestigious milestone having come about through the collective work and contributions of countless members past and present. Some 100 shooters initially gathered in 1948 to create what has grown to become 212,000-plus members of the SSAA’s state and territory associations, proof if needed that strength grows with numbers.
Over time the SSAA expanded from its New South Wales roots to include Victoria (1951), Queensland (1957), South Australia (1964), Northern Territory (1965-66), the ACT (1965), Western Australia (1967) and Tasmania (1969). During this period the overarching family of SSAA National was formed with the intention of bringing together the state and territory associations under one banner with representatives from each group being involved.
Queensland’s John Bradbury became the inaugural SSAA National President and was keen to see the Association become the well-known and respected group it is today. The modern version of the SSAA is bigger than it has ever been and our state and territory branch members now enjoy a vast range of benefits.
Since Bradbury there have been 17 presidents and SSAA National has expanded to work in the political, conservation, recreational hunting and competitive shooting spaces to become Australia’s premier body for firearm owners. The national publications arm of the Association was a natural evolution of the organisation, starting with a quarterly printed newsletter entitled The Report in 1959 which developed into the Australian Shooters’ Journal in 1963 and finally Australian Shooter which began in 1999.
Over the years our publications stable has expanded to include Australian Hunter, Australian & New Zealand Handgun, Australian Women’s Shooter, Australian Junior Shooter and e-newsletters. The SSAA has also created several mainstream publications and vehicles to share concepts of land management and food for the table which fit with our ethos.
To mark the 75th year of the Association we have some exciting things planned, including special merchandise launches via the SSAA Online Shop. Be sure to keep an eye on Australian Shooter and sign up to our newsletters via the national website to receive the latest updates. Thank you for being an important part of the 212,000-strong membership of the state and territory branches which make up the SSAA. Happy 75th birthday SSAA – here’s to us!