One of the great privileges of being involved with the SSAA for as long as I have is getting to witness first-hand the substantial growth in our sport over the years. A shining example of just how much our recreation has increased in popularity was on display in late August, when the SSAA SHOT Expo was hosted in my home state of Queensland.
The event saw an impressive 25 per cent increase in attendees, compared to the inaugural 2015 Brisbane event. Building on the success of previous Expos, the consistent growth in the number of Expo-goers and high-quality exhibitors clearly shows that your SSAA is doing something right in promoting and growing the shooting sports. SSAA National is proud to put on an event as professional and substantial as the SSAA SHOT Expo and will continue to do so, for the enjoyment of all shooters.
It was pleasing to see a notable increase in women, children and families at the Brisbane event. Of course, we strive to make sure our sport remains an all-abilities and all-encompassing sport, which is reflected in the family-friendly nature of the SSAA SHOT Expo.
The Junior Shooter insert accompanying this edition also demonstrates our considerable efforts in this space. Promoting our up-and-coming juniors is just one way we can preserve the future of our sport and teach the next generation of shooters and hunters about this great Australian tradition. Our ‘Sponsor a Junior’ initiative is a great option available to SSAA members who want to play an active part in securing the future of our sport. While the SSAA will continue to promote our sport to juniors, it is important that our clubs and ranges also engage at the grassroots level. After all, juniors are the lifeblood of our sport.
As we continue to protect and grow our sport, we also remain key players in the important conservation space. The SSAA has been a key supporter of the Conservation and Wildlife Research Trust since its inception, providing a dollar from every sale of the Australian Hunter magazine into the Public Fund, to fund endeavours in protecting Australia’s wildlife. Reflecting further growth, the Trust is looking for new projects to support and also now enjoys tax-deductibility status, offering another avenue for you to support such an important initiative.
Among the vast projects we are involved in across Australia, your SSAA is also extremely active on the world stage. SSAA representatives will be attending the upcoming World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA) Executive Meeting at the end of this month, hosted by our neighbours in New Zealand. We are also actively involved in ongoing United Nations discussions about arms treaties, working closely with our international counterparts to oppose any oppressive laws or ideas that would be detrimental to our recreation.
Back home, I am pleased to have been invited to attend the Annual General Meetings of both the SSAA Queensland and SSAA Victoria Associations. It is great to see our state and territory branches also growing from strength to strength, as we all play our role in securing and delivering the future of our safe, fun and all-inclusive sport.
From a grassroots level to the international stage, your SSAA is proud to play a vital role in protecting and promoting firearm owners’ interests, as we have done since 1948.