Study grants encourage fresh minds to recreational shooting research

Students studying law, media and animal studies with a focus on topics related to recreational shooting have received a helping hand in their studies from a new grants program.

The ongoing $10,000 per annum bursary program has provided its first batch of students with the funds to continue their research into areas such as the Australian media’s reporting of firearms and hunting, and the effectiveness of aerial hunting as a control method.

Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) Media Officer Rachael Andrews said applications came from a wide range of study areas for the SSAA Academic Bursary Program, showing the potential for further development in a number of study areas.

“The SSAA has strong connections with this country’s academic community and is keen to support up and coming students through their studies,” said Rachael.

“There is a gap in Australia’s studies into areas such as recreational shooting, game management, ecology and media reporting of certain issues.

“We are passionate about supporting Australia’s academic community to allow credible, non-biased study into aspects of our sport and recreation with a fresh-minded approach.”

The four recipients of the SSAA Bursary Program for 2014 are:

Matthew Amos - University of Queensland
Matthew is completing his PhD at The University of Queensland in Animal Studies, particularly in relation to survey methods for red deer.

Daniel Baillie - The University of Queensland
Daniel is undertaking a graduate research project entitled ‘Ground truthing helicopter surveys, the relationship between habitat type and accuracy for a range of large vertebrate species’ as part of his Masters in Agricultural Studies at The University of Queensland.

Christopher Budd - Australian National University
Christopher is undertaking a Masters of Legal Studies at Australian National University and is currently completing a major study into law concerning firearms trafficking, particularly with regard to overseas-sourced firearms becoming available in Australian black markets and possible changes to prevent this from occurring.

Alexander Leroianni - University of New South Wales
Alexander is undertaking a Double Degree of Law and Media at the University of New South Wales. He intends to study and analyse Commonwealth and New South Wales firearms legislation and media portrayal ‘from the perspective of protecting gun owners’.

The SSAA has always supported evidence-based policy and legislation and continues to work with bodies such as the Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian Customs, media outlets and the United Nations.

As Australia’s leading hunting and sports shooting association, the SSAA already has a strong relationship with the academic and conservation communities. The Association actively works with The University of Queensland on its Red Deer Research Project and has assisted various academics to produce research publications on quail and waterfowl.

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