SSAA NSW President Lance Miller’s Message

Hello SSAA NSW Members, and welcome to our new monthly member update managed by our new Communications and Projects Officer, Kadeja Assaad.

We have three new staff members, Kadeja, Dorothy and Peter Szaak, all of whom have roles that are focused on members and branches. Jai will go into detail about their roles and skills, but I wish to welcome them to our excellent team and congratulate Jai for bringing in desperately needed staff with the high skillsets, the experience, and the understanding of our organisation to make a significant difference to our ongoing support for our members.

I wish to offer a special thank you to the staff that performed over and above during the time when we were very short of staff and had most staff working from home during Covid and as our new office was outfitted. George, Tracey, Katie and Kate delivered exceptional outcomes under very difficult working conditions. If you are talking to them, please thank them; they are a wonderful team, and you are one of the 62,000 members that work with them to make up team SSAA NSW.

COMMUNICATION is a key strength in our new SSAA NSW. This newsletter is a part of a larger strategy to keep Branch executives and members better informed.

We recently completed another round of branch executive zoom meetings that helps keep the elected committee of your branch informed of developments and strategy as well as having each of the branch presidents present their thoughts on the things that we are getting right as well as issues that need further attention. This is incredibly useful two-way communication.

We expect that this newsletter will keep more members appraised of our strategies and the political activities of the NSW Board and management.

A STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING is being put in place in the first half of next year. This meeting is designed to achieve more than a plan for the future for SSAA NSW and will also actively seek our future leaders while working with our current branch leadership. I have asked your branch leadership on the last branch zoom meeting to identify a current branch leader to attend as well as an engaged and active member of your branch that is under 40 years old. What is the point of a future plan that doesn’t include the future leaders?

If this potential participation appeals to you as an engaged and under 40 year old member, then please let your branch know. Each branch can provide 2 delegates and at least one should be under 40.

We have used the research project of 2017 to provide member based input which has informed how the Board in restructuring our organisation. This coupled with the branch leadership meetings has proven to be a positive journey.

It is now time for the members via their branch delegates to directly input into our future and how we achieve the desired outcome.
There will be more on the member engagement strategic planning meeting early next year.

We have trialled a NATIONAL TRY SHOOTING program in NSW recently. The program was run by Gemma Dunn – the national coaching manager, Alison Worldon – a NSW Board director and on our membership committee, and Kadeja Assaad – now our Communications and Projects Officer.

There have been write ups and memos about the success of this event and the capabilities of this program so I won’t go into detail. Bottom line, it significantly exceeded my expectations and I commend it to all branches to use the professionality of the program and the leaders mentioned above to test your local market yourselves.

Our REGISTERED TRAINING ORGANISATION is now registered and operational. A special thanks to John Ball and Danae Jenkins who have shepherded this project from “this is so difficult” to “success and registration”. John is a volunteer member who accepted the unpaid role of executive director and with his skillsets in managing bureaucracy led us to success, ably supported by Danae Jenkins – a NSW board director with similar skills.

The RTO makes us leaders in safety and training, and this is a powerful tool in modern shooting which opens many more doors to us as the responsible leaders in the shooting sports.

Above all I am focusing on our future, but current and past work is driving us forward at an increasing rate.
St MARYS INDOOR SHOOTING CENTER is undergoing a strategic upgrade now as we look to its future post Covid. Jai Rowell is leading that upgrade while he continues to operate as our CEO. Sydney branch as co owner is working hand in glove with SSAA NSW in this project and the Sydney directors of SSAA Pty Ltd, Peter Thomson and Adam Ryan, are positive leaders in this upgrade along with Rob Austin and myself as the NSW SSAA directors.

NSW FIREARMS REGRISTRY and the FIREARMS CCONSULTATIVE COUNCIL are considering changes that we have represented to both bodies. We hope to report on important changes in the near future.

Our POLITICAL ADVOCACY has delivered some great outcomes for law abiding firearms owners in NSW. Some of those outcomes required strong representation while most require collaborative engagement where everyone gets a win and common sense prevails.

GOVERNMENT COMMUNITY GRANT FUNDING is another ongoing success story managed by Jai and George. We have achieved a large number of grants this year. Grant funding was a commitment from this Board and management 4 years ago and it has been successful every year since.

The BOARD AND MANAGEMENT continue to focus on three core objectives: Sound financial management, supporting current ranges while planning new ranges, and increasing membership.

SSAA NSW is currently the fastest growing state with more new members that any other state or territory.
Our ranges program is utilising our grant funding program to finance existing ranges into sound compliance positions and the inclusion of Peter Szaak as a specialist staff member is accelerating that program already. New ranges are coming, and future ranges are being planned.

Our Budget is tight but our austerity program, our grants program and sound management from our CEO Jai ensures we remain secure.
We manage members money and maintain that in everything we must be is spent in support of delegates and members; this is the reason for the proposed strategic planning meeting where your input will contribute to decisions on what we do to be more successful for the future, and how we fund these plans.

To conclude I want to thank the MEMBERS AND THE VOLUNTEERS. Without you and the members engagement we would be in a very different position now. The Criminal Use Bill that 28,000 of you petitioned against would have seen negative changes to civil liberties for all NSW citizens.
No sporting organisation can exist without volunteers, your board and volunteers, your branch committees are volunteers, your range officers and your trainers are volunteers. There are many more but be grateful to them because of the wonderful jobs they do and because your membership would more than double without their selfless efforts.

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Lance Miller
President – SSAA NSW