SSAA Brisbane Branch Inc
Queensland Club Profile
The beginning of the SSAA Brisbane branch dates back to 1957. The minutes of a November 16, 1959 meeting state, “Belmont Range facilities are at last complete”. At that time the facility included ten shaded positions at a range of 300 yards.
The Brisbane branch incorporated as a company in 1974 and the range was slowly developed. The facilities, a roofed-over area and the newly establishment pistol range, were basic, until the early ’70s when a range shop was established. The original clubhouse was then built and range hours were extended. An extension to the clubhouse was added in 1974 and within 12 months the range was operating seven days a week. The following years saw major improvements in facilities and equipment for the members. Today, the range, which was named Madden Range in the ’70s after benchrest stalwart Harry Madden, includes a 500-metre range, 34 benches, an indoor air range, a 200m pistol range and double shotgun layouts. Improvements continue as funds are available.
The club has always had an active competition calendar. It has hosted numerous benchrest nationals and Australia’s first world benchrest championship. For ten years, the Black Powder ‘Old Colonial Weekend’, which began as a simple competition, was the ‘social event of the year’.
The changes to the Queensland Weapons Act in January 1997 caused a major membership increase in Queensland and at the Brisbane branch. Meeting the needs of the weapons safety courses provided by the club meant an upgrade in facilities was necessary. A dormitory for competitors, a safety training facility and additional section rooms are now a part of the Madden complex.
The branch’s community involvement has been strong for more than 20 years. Some of the activities involve the PA Spinal Unit through Sporting Wheelies, various schools and vacation care programs. Real Adventure Women (RAW) and Growing Old Living Dangerously (GOLD) groups also attend the range regularly and enjoy a varied program of shooting. The branch also currently provides activities for the University of Queensland and many recreational activities for social and private groups. These activities are made possible through the tireless efforts of the branch’s volunteer workers.
The warm and friendly atmosphere generated by staff has kept this branch on a very personal level and continues to make it unique in every way.
For contact information check the SSAA Queensland state branch list.
This club profile was originally published in Australian Shooter April 2003.