SSAA NSW CEO Jai Rowell’s Message

G’day SSAA NSW Members,

The year has gone so quick with 2022 almost complete.

Can I first take this opportunity to thank you the members and volunteers who have worked so hard post covid restrictions ensuring ranges are open, activities are held and the promotion of our sport and recreation recommenced.

SSAA NSW has been extremely busy this year and with your assistance has achieved so many wins.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION
On the legislative front our strong advocacy has ensured that:

• the Criminal Use Bill in its current format that had unintended consequences for legal firearms owners did not proceed,
• the proposed animal welfare Bill did not lead to the banning of legal hunting activities,
• that noise regulations on ranges were changed in a way that would not impact on existing activities,
• stopping that change of reducing the amount of powder a legal firearm owner could have from 12kgs per person to per household,
• working with regulatory authorities to support a permanent firearms amnesty,
• a review of the NSW Firearms Registry looking at Government investing in more resources so there are system improvements including reducing waiting times for processing of various applications,
• SSAA NSW had a representative (President Lance Miller) on the first Firearms Consultative Council,
• And so much more.

RANGE DEVELOPENT AND GRANTS

SSAA NSW has worked had coming out of covid working on existing range development projects and of course exploring new and exciting opportunities across the state for new ones. I would like to thank Tim Barry and George Greiss who have worked hard this year on many of our project.

SSAA NSW continues to be successful in obtaining grants and just recently secured grants for another 8 branches. We will continue to work even harder on this in 2023 and encourage your branch to send us through information on shovel ready projects and wish lists. In this space a big thank you to Tracey Defina who has worked tirelessly in assisting branches with grant applications as well as ensuring projects are acquitted when completed.

FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY AND GOVERNANCE

SSAA NSW has worked hard to live within its financial means and ensuring that every dollar is spent on members. Whilst austerity measures have been working to balance the books and better, we are now at a point in our Association’s history that we must together collectively look at where we want to be in 5 years, 10 years and beyond.

We all know that individually that it is very hard to accumulate funds to build ranges. Together and revisiting our financial model can change this scenario. With urban encroachment and other challenges impeding on keeping existing ranges open, it is important that we look at investing in ranges that can have a full template and are indoors.

Now is the time to start thinking on those strategies we need to secure new ranges. We look forward in talking to you further about this via surveys and via the branch strategic planning day that our President Lance will address in his report.

I am pleased to report that the SSAA NSW Board and management recently undertook further training in financial management and governance specifically targeted to our the not for profit sector.

Although skillsets are extremely high, with the transition of converting from an Incorporated Association to a Company Limited by Guarantee it was important to undertake further training and education. SSAA NSW values best practice governance and will always work hard in the financial management of the Association.

EMPLOYMENT OF DEDICATED STAFF

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful staff George, Tracey, Katie and Kate for working with our members, our Board and myself in serving 62,000 members and promoting the shooting sports. It certainly has been busy with a very small but dedicated team.

As membership has increased and most importantly member services, I was fortunate to be able to welcome three new professional staff to our team that will continue of journey of positively transforming the Association.

Peter Szaak – Firearms Regulatory and Compliance Manager

Peter who many of who you would know as his time as the Manager of Firearms Industry and Regulation at the NSW Firearms Registry joins our ranks.

With over 27 years of policing experience, the last five spent working with Peak Associations assisting in range, club, dealers, and permit compliance; Peter is very well credentialled and has hit the ground running assisting branches in range and club compliance matters in readiness for inspections by NSW Firearms Registry. Peter will also oversee education and training across NSW.

Peter is focused on future proofing existing ranges, working with the Board and management on new ranges, enhancing regulatory compliance and navigate bureaucracy.

This is a strategic recruitment for the future. Peter will be in touch with all branches over the coming few months.

Kadeja Assaad – Communications and Project Officer

Kadeja is an avid hunter and conservationist. She has experience in communications and her appointed role enhances our communication with members and external stakeholders.

Kadeja will update our website, ensure regular communications of what the Board and team are doing and also create an environment for branches and individuals to tell their local stories. Kadeja will be reaching out to all branches to get your input.

Kadeja is very active in promoting our sport and created in 2018, the SSAA Sydney Ladies Shooting Program which is still going today. Part of Kadeja’s role is to oversee events, promote the sport and ensure that you know what your Association is doing as well as provide opportunities for you to contribute.

Dorothy Yon – Receptionist and Administration Officer

Dorothy brings a significant amount of office and administration experience having worked in various organizations over many years. She manages our reception desk and is more than happy to assist in answering any of your enquiries.
Dorothy, like Peter and Kadeja has hit the ground running allowing Katie Millen and Kate Heynis to further focus on membership services and disciplines.

We have an excellent team and through focused recruitment we have been able to enhance member services, prove the member journey and work with the Board and management on a strategic focus for the future.

SSAA NSW BOARD

Although there is so much that could be put in this report (I won’t and will ensure future reports have updates) the one constant that makes our projects a success is the leadership of our Board.

President Lance Miller who as a volunteer works so hard putting a ridiculous number of hours into the management of the Association is steadfast in his vision to transform the organization for future generations of members.

Our Vice Presidents Rob Austin and Scott Wagner also put in the hard yards and work on a multitude of projects throughout year and provide strategic input.

Our other six directors, Danae Jenkins, Alison Worldon, Stephen Bowler, Adam Ryan, Chris Sainsbury and Phil Clarke also work extremely hard working on various projects and providing guidance.

It is an honor working with these people and coupled with our fantastic branch leadership and 62,000 members, being your CEO whilst challenging at times is extremely rewarding. We have come a long way in the four years that I have been in the role and I look forward to our exciting future together.

I take this opportunity to wish and your families and friends, a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year. I also look forward to seeing you at the range and of course out in the field.

I’d like to welcome you to our new and exciting newsletter which we are launching for Christmas and will continue in the new year. This issue is our first to end 2022 and start 2023 with a fresh look and a monthly update on try shoots, events and stories from our members.
It will consist of a monthly update on SSAA NSW activities, branch news, member stories, events and so much more.
We are really excited on the new format and looking forward to making it interactive. If you have an idea or a story or would like to profile a branch/individual or highlight an event, please email us on
media@nsw.ssaa.org.au

Jai Rowell
CEO – SSAA NSW