Our 212,00-plus membership has taken comfort this year in returning to the things they love most – target shooting and hunting. Yet lingering memories of the pandemic forcing state and territory branches to shut down our ranges, suspending international competition and wreaking havoc in terms of supply chains is still fresh in our minds but thankfully the SSAA flag is once again flying nationwide and our hunters are able to resume their important role in conservation and management without restrictions.
And on the subject of hunting and conservation, this year marked the 30-year anniversary of the SSAA’s Conservation & Wildlife Management Program. Our hunters have pioneered the importance of pest animal management through hunting and underlined their passion for all manner of crucial conservation and land management duties in the public arena. The 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 our members making a real difference to the country’s natural landscapes.
Accolades continued to flow for SSAA National’s print output this year with the highly-acclaimed Great Australian Outdoors magazine and Field to Fork – Second Helpings cookbook further cementing the respective positions these publications hold in education and entertainment Australia-wide. Most recently both were announced as finalists in the 2021/22 Real Media Awards in recognition of their effectiveness, creativity and innovation in print. Field to Fork – Second Helpings was also celebrated as one of the Best in World meat cookbook titles at the 27th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards earlier this year.
In the advocacy and politics arena, SSAA National was happy to throw its considerable support behind Shooting Australia’s bid to have target shooting included in the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games. SSAA’s 212,000-plus state and territory members across Australia form a significant portion of the target shooting community in this country, with a number of notable elite shooters such as Laetisha Scanlan, James Willett, Katarina Kowplos and Dan Repacholi hailing from our ranks. The campaign proved successful with shooting to be included in the 2026 showpiece so we can now look forward to the action being right on our doorstep.
SSAA National Wildlife Programs leader Matthew Godson has spearheaded ground-breaking research which helped secure a quail hunting season for South Australia and provide a scientifically supported research case for sustainable hunting for the rest of the nation. He was also able to take the discussion of sustainable harvesting of duck and quail into the global arena by sharing research to the World Forum on Shooting Activities annual conference of more than 44 hunting, shooting and industry associations.
So in summary we can look back on 2022 as a year of both change and achievement. Here’s wishing all our members, readers and advertisers a safe and enjoyable holiday period and we look forward to seeing you at the range or in the field in 2023. Happy Christmas!