As the SSAA family continues to expand, with our proud organisation recently surpassing 191,000 members, our role as promoters and protectors of sports shooting and recreational hunting remains an integral part of our mantra. As part of our promotional activities and ongoing ‘Join Us’ campaign, we will be airing a series of television advertisements to showcase our recreation to the general public. Regional members can catch our ads on 7mate this month along with WinTV for the next two months.
One of the ads offers viewers a glimpse of the safe, fun and all-abilities sport of shooting, while the other promotes the conservation and sustainable use side of our organisation. Both will be available to view on our SSAA-TV YouTube channel and reposted on our Facebook pages.
As we march towards 200,000 members I encourage you to watch and share the short clips to help educate and inform others about your chosen pastime. As by far the largest organisation of licensed firearm owners in the country, your SSAA is well and truly recognised as the national leader in shooting.
Along with our continued growth we are also ramping up our member services. For the first time in 20 years the SSAA will be introducing a coaching accreditation scheme, creating nationally accredited coaches within our clubs and ranges. This in turn will help raise the standard of shooting generally and assist our clubs and ranges at the coalface.
As a solution-based organisation we continue to make our mark through tangible conservation initiatives. Our role in assisting the western quoll return to its native environment in the South Australian Flinders Ranges is now on display for all to see, with a sign boasting our logo and efforts on show for visitors to the popular Wilpena Pound. SSAA National was proud to assist the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME) in this important project.
It’s always great to see our Conservation and Wildlife Management branches (CWM) recognised for the vital work they do, along with individual members who volunteer their time and resources to protect our native species. I again congratulate SSAA (SA) CWM member Kaz Herbst for his Order of Australia accolade, which was presented earlier this year in recognition of almost a lifetime of commitment to the cause.
To demonstrate that we are fair dinkum about being a solutions-based organisation, we recently hosted representatives from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) at our National Board meeting. This gave us the chance to hear firsthand from a government agency that deals with firearms issues.
Another area in which your Association is active is our political arm. Rest assured we’ve been keeping abreast of the ever-changing federal political landscape so we can lobby the relevant ministers and decision-makers on your behalf. Representing our case to elected politicians, bureaucrats and advisors is an important part of promoting and protecting firearm owners’ interests.
Although the state of play changes, our political activities remain focused and ongoing. With state elections due in Victoria next month, New South Wales early next year and a federal election on the horizon, it’s important to recognise that our growing Association has notable political weight, now more than ever. While SSAA National remains active on a federal level, it’s important we all play a part in protecting our sport. Together, we can make a difference.