SSAA NSW President Lance Miller’s Message October

G’day members,

The last couple of months have been an excellent time of development for SSAA NSW, and to be a member of SSAA NSW.

In that time, we have completed our strategic plan. We have also completed a comprehensive member survey with a huge response of over 6,300 members responding in less than 9 days, and on top of that, we have assisted 2,000 member attendees from the hunters and collectors longarm categories of NSW firearms licencing to achieve their mandatory attendances with online training and communication.

Strategic Plan

Our strategic plan was developed by the Board with the intent of including as many members and branches as possible to provide input to achieve a strategic plan that supported all levels of SSAA NSW. This includes the individual member, through our branch and affiliate club structure, the NSW board, and the governance of our association.

To achieve this outcome, we started with a board strategic planning day in late 2022. This was followed up by the membership survey which was sent to every member’s email address which resulted in the spectacular result of over 10% of members responding to a 20-minute survey in less than 9 days. Most surveys of this type only achieve a 2% response.

Finally, we assembled our branch delegates for a face-to-face meeting to go over the board outcome, the member survey outcome, and the branch delegate input to deliver our final and very consultative strategic plan. A special thanks to the branch delegates for their input and the positive way they contributed.

The net result is a strategic plan that over 6,500 people have directly contributed toward. My buzzword on the day when we held the strategic plan with the branch delegates was “engaged”. The engagement of the SSAANSW membership is the reason we have such a strong advocacy position and is the reason we can achieve such a consultative strategic plan.

I am very pleased and proud of the engagement that has got us to this point, and I hope that you feel the same way about the strategic plan that has been produced. The short version of the strategic plan will be presented to your branch executive very soon.

The importance of this strategic plan is the direction it gives your board, and the strategic plan is the core of how we develop the business plan and the budget for SSAA NSW in the future.

Member Survey

As mentioned above, the member survey was conducted to support input to the strategic plan and to gain knowledge of the member’s satisfaction, what they would change, and how they thought SSAA National was performing on their behalf.

Our previous research was quite an extensive piece of research conducted six years ago and there are some similarities, but there are obvious places where improvement has been made.

The research was broken into sections, one section to find out what members like or dislike about what we’re doing currently, and a second section to find out what members are prepared to pay for.

We were pleased with the very high satisfaction level with the services that SSAA National provides for its members. When it comes to what the members are prepared to pay for, there were three stand-out winners.

  1. Ranges & places to shoot,
  2. Advocacy – both political and other Shooting entities,
  3. Insurance, all rate very highly in the research as what the members believe they would pay for.

A very pleasing statistic that was high on our surveys six years ago and which has dropped significantly on the current survey is the social licence question. Previously over 90% of members felt that the community did not support their sport, and members felt uncomfortable about participating, whereas now just under 50% are still concerned.

I believe this has come about through our communications and the promotion of the law-abiding firearms owner to the government, police, and the media. Criminals are a problem, with or without firearms, whereas law-abiding firearms owners are not a risk to society.

Mandatory Attendance Support

Toward the end of our last mandatory attendance compliance period that concluded on the 30th of June 2023, we conducted online meetings for over 2000 of our members that provided training on hunting as well as hosting two collecting meetings. The result of these meetings means that people who were struggling in the post-COVID environment to complete their attendances were able to complete their attendances. I thank Warren Brown, Tim Barry, and Lance Mitchell for their excellent training and presentations. SSAA NSW staff put these meetings together with short notice and I also thank them for the input and support to our membership.

Membership & Membership Fees

Our membership in New South Wales continues to grow at an excellent rate, achieving 12% growth over the last three years.

Very soon the membership fees will change after no changes for the last four years. One of the changes means you will need to decide if you want a printed Australian Shooter magazine or an electronic Australian Shooter magazine.

If you choose the electronic version, it will be emailed directly to you, and if we do not have your email, it will be sent as a link on SMS. You will also receive the magazine electronically if you choose to get the printed magazine as well.

Choosing to receive a printed magazine will increase the adult membership fee by $15.00 over the adult membership fee for only receiving an electronic Australian Shooter magazine.

The adult membership will become $100.00 with the electronic Australian Shooter magazine and the adult membership will become $115.00 if you choose to receive a printed Australian Shooter magazine.

This is by far the cheapest full-service membership fee for a peak body that provides safe ranges to shoot, genuine reason for firearms ownership, Disciplines to compete in, and hunting opportunities.

Range Officers

I would like to close this message with a special thank you to our Range Officers. These people are volunteers who give up their time to ensure that we have a safe and comfortable place to shoot on our ranges.

The membership survey indicates that virtually 100% of members believe our ranges are safe. Not only that but the Insurers of our Liability Insurance also agree that our ranges are safe. This is a credit to our Range Officers, the range management, and the people who provide the training for our Range Officers.

Please also be just as safe when you are not on the range, your safety with a firearm is always your responsibility.

Thank you for your support and your engagement.

Lance Miller
SSAA NSW President