SSAA NSW Outgoing CEO – Jai Rowell Message

G’day Members,

This is my last report as your CEO of SSAA NSW as I finish up in the role mid January.

From the outset, this role has been a privilege and honour to serve in, working alongside our dedicated Board led by our President Lance Miller, our fantastic staff, and of course, working to support our 65,000 members.

I would like to firstly thank SSAA NSW President Lance Miller, the executive Rob Austin and Scott Wagner, along with the entire Board; Danae Jenkins, Stephen Bowler, Alison Worldon, Adam Ryan, Peter Thomson, and Phil Clarke for your support, mentorship, and leadership during my 5 years in the role. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with a talented team working extremely hard to increase advocacy, services to members, governance, and creating additional places to shoot. During my term, there have been other Directors who have been on the Board at different points in time, and I thank them too, for their commitment and support.

The entire Board is very hard-working and SSAA NSW would simply not work without them. Our President Lance Miller volunteers his time and works tirelessly for all 65,000 members every day. Working with Lance daily means I know how ambitious he is for all our members and the shooting sports and know the personal and financial impact volunteering to that extent has on him and his family. I take this opportunity to thank his lovely wife Marie for sharing him with us. We are in a very strong position under Lance’s and the Board’s leadership. Our friendship will last beyond work.

I also take this opportunity to thank our staff, who do a great job in supporting our Members. Although we have a small team, they certainly deliver and have the equivalent workload of a very large one. This is only possible due to their passion and commitment to the shooting sports, our Members, and striving to achieve the best possible service that can be delivered.

Although the CEO is the public face from a staff point of view, I can assure you that without our staff, I wouldn’t be able to do a quarter of what we do. They interact with our members every day providing great support. I am proud of them all.

SSAA NSW, its 65,000 Members, Branches, and Affiliate Clubs are the reason that the Board, Staff and I enjoy serving in our roles. We have a fantastic organisation, made up of the most amazing people. I take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers across the entire State who week in and week out serve and donate their time, so everyone can participate in our great sport. If you were to add up the hours that SSAA NSW volunteers give each year, it would be in the many millions.

From the very first day, I started in the role just prior to Christmas 5 years ago, you made me feel very welcomed and have worked hand in hand with me. I’m proud of the role that Branches play in being partners in the leadership of SSAA NSW and as such this has resulted in great outcomes. Traveling to our Branches and ranges during my term has reinforced how much progress has occurred within the organisation and how important our volunteers are.

Personally, I have loved every minute of the role, and it has been the honour of a lifetime to serve as your CEO. I leave on very good terms knowing that the place is in a very sound position and that there is a strong Board, a strong staffing team, and a fantastic membership. I would like to think that along with the Board, Staff, and Members I have played a small part in that success.

There have been many wins over the 5 years that together we have been successful on including:

*Ensured the highest levels of governance for SSAA NSW,

*Led the conversion from being an incorporated Association to a Company Limited by Guarantee,

*Strong advocacy, ensuring that SSAA NSW is known positively across Government, Opposition, and the Crossbench to the point that SSAA NSW is regularly contacted for advice by Government and its agencies,

*Ensured that SSAA NSW has stopped unintended consequences on proposed legislative changes,

*Stabilised our financial base so more funds can be spent on Member benefits,

*Secured record amounts of funding for range improvements,

*Secured new ranges,

*Improved the performance of various units within the organisation,

*Introduced improved systems within SSAA NSW, and

*many more.

Outside of my role as CEO / Executive Director of SSAA NSW, I have held other positions including:

*Company Secretary – SSAA NSW,

*Founding Director of SSAA Mutual Pty Ltd – (The discretionary Mutual fund that has already seen 80,000 customers in its first 12 months operation),

*Director of SSAA National,

*Member SSAA National Finance Committee,

*Member SSAA National Legal Oversight Committee,

*Member SSAA National Legislative Action Committee,

*Member SSAA National Disciplines Committee,

*Director of SSAA Insurance Brokerage Pty Ltd,

*General Manager – St Marys Indoor Shooting Centre,

*Company Secretary – SSAA Pty Ltd,

*General Manager – SSAA NSW Auburn Shooting Centre,

*Board Member – NSW Game and Pest Board – DPI – NSW Government,

*Regularly appointed to ad-hoc groups within Government agencies to assist the shooting sports, hunting and game and pest management, and

*other roles.

Whilst this seems a lot of roles, they have all had one thing in common; to advance the shooting sports and support our members. I have enjoyed the various roles and thank the SSAA NSW Board and staff for assisting during the transition taking on various positions so it is business as usual and members continue to be supported.

Whilst, I am stepping down in a paid capacity, I will continue my membership of SSAA NSW, the shooting sports, and like so many other people within our organisation, volunteer. I am looking forward to this and excited to continue in the sport and catching up with you at a range or out in the field.

I would also like to thank the many members who have taken the time to write to me extending your warm wishes for the future. It has been a team effort but it has been really nice to hear your kind words. It has meant a lot to me at this time.

I believe the best days of SSAA NSW is ahead of us and I am confident that whoever is selected as the next CEO, that you will support them to the great extent that you have with myself.

I take this opportunity to wish you, your family, and friends a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year!

Jai Rowell

CEO / Executive Director – SSAA NSW