NSW Shooter December 2017

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2 Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW) Inc. President's Message WELCOME TO MY FIRST PRESIDENT'S REPORT I have had two months in the job now since Paul resigned, and it has been a busy time. The topics I would like to address are: • Law-abiding firearms owners (LAFOs) working together, • Communication, • Publicity and public awareness of the good work done by SSAA NSW, and • Negative behaviour directed at volunteers and / or staff. At our SSAA NSW AGM this year I was up for election and my election speech covered topics about the difficulty some shooter groups have working together with other shooters and there were some proposed models to overcome the lack of cohesion. Not only are we a minority, we are a fractured minority. If we work together we will achieve a real united front with the attendant power of our 58,000 members in NSW, plus SSAA members in the other states, plus the non-SSAA members who are LAFOs belonging to other clubs and also the independents such as farmers who use firearms. That is a lot of investment in our sport that could be harnessed to protect the sport. To achieve the unity necessary, we need to make some simple changes. Firstly, we need to communicate. I am pleased to report that the new Communication Platform that I presented at the AGM this year has already been rolled out to eight trial Branches. It has been a great exercise to visit these Branches, along with Di, to do the training and to have a small forum where the Branch committees have the ear of both the President and the Executive Director of the NSW SSAA Association on their home turf. I thank the committees of Illawarra, Goulburn, Coffs Harbour, Northern Rivers, Tweed & Districts, Port Macquarie, Taree- Wingham and Fairlight for their welcome, their direct questions and their enthusiasm in making this project come to life. We have already used this Communication Platform to host our first Branch President's meeting with the trial Branches, this was accomplished via Skype and yes – the young and the not so young Presidents managed the technology easily. This meeting is a first step in the full engagement of two-way communication between the Branches and your SSAA NSW Board. These meetings will occur about three weeks prior to Board meetings with issues and ideas raised by the Branch Presidents added to the Board agenda. The Communication Platform has a simple portal with all information that the Branch committee needs to know and access in one place. It has a direct news feed for absolute currency on any and all topics that interest us, as well as information silo's that the Branch owns for all information pertinent to managing your Branches. It includes a Branch email, Skype communication and will deliver information to Branch silo's quickly and efficiently. Our desired outcome from this project is for all LAFOs to be able to enjoy the following advantages, while our organisation becomes stronger and a more unified lobby force for our sport. Good communication should facilitate the sharing of information, build strong relationships, encourage team work, build trust, facilitate problem solving, engender transparency and share our strategic vision. If we want to be a real force in the politics of protecting our sport this is a genuine step towards success. The next thing we need to do is publicise our successes. This is neither difficult nor expensive and we already have some notable successes in this arena. One example was the appearance on Q&A by Diana and Mitch. It was a tough call to put ourselves out there when Q&A contacted our office, we knew it would be strongly biased, but the opportunity to ask the question that clearly discriminates between criminals with firearms and the LAFOs that are by definition law-abiding people such as you and I was too important to miss. Diana did an amazing job asking that question and then following it up with facts when the panel pushed back. Senator Bridget Mackenzie was on the panel and also did great work in a hostile space. Any firearms owner watching would have had a few cringe moments at the way the panel behaved, and I believe all of us were glad we didn't have to face what Diana & Mitch managed so professionally on live national TV. The outcome of that appearance has been surprising – people are asking about the question that the panel refused to answer. This gets our question greater traction outside of the shooting fraternity. Another way to use PR is to achieve change through better practices and then publicise the success. In this way we achieve recognition through achievement rather than vilification through ignorance. An example of this occurred last week when we attended the Devil Ark annual dinner. Not everyone is on side with this conservation initiative of SSAA NSW, but hopefully this story will resonate with all members. This event is much larger than the fairly simple model that is Devil Ark (which is now expanding with Aussie Ark) and the who's who of conservation were in attendance along with international conservationists, all excited by how Devil Ark performs. The keynote speech for this function was delivered by the Australian Commissioner for Threatened Species. In a room full of over 300 attendees representing many conservation groups and specialist scientists the man at the top of

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