February has been an extremely busy and successful month for SSAA NSW, Branches and Clubs. With good weather and no travel restrictions, our ranges all over the State have been opened, hosting great events and welcoming people. We have heard of many members out and about in the field undertaking hunting and important conservation work.
SSAA NSW Board Strategic Planning Day
Our hard working Board led by Lance Miller just this weekend past, held a Board Strategic Planning Day working to the vision for the Association over the next ten years. This is an important piece of work for any large organisation, identifying priorities and having discussion as to how to fund new ideas.
This is the first part of developing the long term strategic plan, with a survey to all members being emailed soon and followed up by a Branch Strategic Planning Day with current and emerging leaders. We are very excited by this work, as, together we set the path for increased services to members and place SSAA NSW in a strong position for the next decade and beyond.
SSAA NSW State Discipline Chair Meeting
The weekend prior to that, saw the State Disciplines Chairs’ meeting being held. The meeting was led by our Junior SSAA NSW Vice President and NSW Discipline Coordinator Scott Wagner who conducted a survey of our disciplines chairs as to their needs and provided a detailed presentation as to how we can support them even further.
Disciplines are an important part of what we do, run by our dedicated volunteers. SSAA NSW is keen to further support the disciplines and give our 62,000 members a better understanding of the various disciplines available and the opportunities to shoot them.
It is a very busy time with mandatory attendances due by the end of March for Longarms, Hunting and Collecting. Our members have been attending ranges and a big thank you must go to all our Branches, and Clubs who run ranges to allow people to enjoy the sport and of course meet their legal obligations.
SSAA NSW has been sending out reminder notices for the past couple of months, so you are aware of the 31st March deadline. We have had a small number of people contacting the office to indicate that the information we had was in error as they have completed their attendances.
I thought I would take the opportunity to explain why this may be the case with SSAA NSW sending someone a notice saying that they hadn’t completed their attendances when they had.
One reason is that when someone joins themselves and someone else (usually a partner or family member), sometimes they put in the same address for both. So even if you have completed your attendances but your partner or family member hasn’t and has the same email address as you; the email address registered with SSAA National will be sent a reminder. In the future, we will make sure that we state who the email is intended for even if one email is shared across multiple individuals. This has only been a problem in a small number of cases.
The other main reason is that some members let us know they do not have to do an attendance for a category, as it is not on their licence. This is correct, however the confusion is that although a person, has for example one category on their actual firearms licence, when the person first joined SSAA NSW, they ticked multiple categories. Unless you update categories to match your actual firearms licence; our records indicate that you need to complete attendances for that particular category.
The good news is that our friendly staff are here to help and have been assisting members to update records with SSAA National. Although, you can update your records on line on the SSAA National website, to make it easier for our members, we have been taking the information and ensuring the updates are done, for you.
Thank you for your understanding during this busy time.
Apart from working with Branches with range upgrades and other projects, we have great news regarding our Dubbo range project. Initial civil works has commenced and we can’t wait to be shooting at the range later this year.
In a future edition, we will provide you with a detailed update on the project but hope you are as just as excited as we are. Covid restrictions, torrential rain and regulatory red tape slowed the project down but it is great to see the project underway.
There are a number of other projects we are working on both the short and long term and we look forward to updating you on these details soon. Although we do not have a endless supply of funds, however with strategic vision and working collaboratively with branch leadership, we are achieving more than we ever have. This must continue to be able to build even more ranges.
The NSW State Election is less than a month away, being held on 25th March. Although SSAA NSW has a strong advocacy program throughout the year and every year, we continue to engage with Government, Opposition and the Cross Bench at this time about what is important to protect the shooting sports, recreational activities, our members and all legal firearms owners.
Next month we will be publishing responses from various political parties on their views to a number of important questions we have put to them, so you can see where they stand on issues relating to the shooting sports.
St Marys Indoor Shooting Centre
For those of you in the Sydney and greater Sydney region, St Marys Indoor Shooting Centre, owned and operated by SSAA NSW and SSAA Sydney Branch, is a fantastic place to shoot and hosts many tens of thousands of members each and every year, as well as many resident clubs.Over the next 12 months and beyond we are undertaking a transformation of the centre, offering more services, increasing retail offerings, implementing online try shooting bookings and will shortly have an online shop with member discounts. If you are passing by or travelling from afar, I encourage you to come visit the centre, have a shoot and provide us with feedback on what else we can do to make the customer experience even better.
Being opened 7 days a week until 10pm on 6 of those days it is a convenient place to shoot even if you have to work during the day. With so much to offer, if you haven’t been there a while; we would love to see you.
As always, we look forward to seeing you at the range or out in the field.
CEO / Executive Director
SSAA NSW Limited