As supplied by Clive Hammet

Immediate Past President

A Brief History of East Gippsland Branch SSAA V19 till 2013

First AGM June 27th 1996 held in Main Hotel, Bairnsdale.

Members from this meeting involved for some years – John Peters, Max Dyer (Dec), Jim Neville (Dec) and Murray Mitchell. John Peters is the only remaining member from that initial meeting.

Chris Walker, Dave Weston and Clive Hammet became involved in the next few months.

Meeting Places: Main Hotel Bairnsdale, Bairnsdale Pistol Club, Ellisville Hall, Bairnsdale Fire Station.

Property searches – much time, investigation and proposals were submitted to SSAA Vic.

Approximate dates

  • Towii – Munro, 2003 – 2004
  • Initial Clydebank, 2006
  • Delvine – Billabong, 2007 - 2008
  • Anderson’s Lane, Bairnsdale 2007 - 2008
  • Clydebank 2010

Various rifle ranges were investigated.

Approaches were made to both Bairnsdale Field & Game and Bairnsdale Pistol Club, as well as Buchan VRA to share facilities. Buchan Shooting Range:

2003 – First CPM testing shoot was conducted at Buchan VRA Range.

2004 – First approaches made to DSE by Chris Walker to share the use of Buchan Rifle Range.

Chris Walker and Clive Hammet continued to liaise with VRA, DSE and SSAA Vic for shared use.

John Peters was working with District Firearms Officers on feasibility of range for SSAA use. Allen Jenkins worked with John Peters and DFO’s Lindsay Griffin and Stuart Jones to prepare Range Use Rules.

Margaret McMahon at DSE was liaising with Buchan VRA until negotiations were curtailed at which time she worked with EGB towards a leasing arrangement.

2011 – Tracey West at DSE drew up legal agreement for EGB to have sole use of Buchan Range on an annual lease.

First Buchan Shoot – Summer Shoot – January 2012 following working bee the previous day.

First regular shoot at Buchan – March 2013, combined with Black Powder Shooters.

First regular Shoots:

Monthly Shoots at Bairnsdale Pistol Club from early 2000’s to 2015 for both Juniors and Adults with members coming from as far afield as Orbost, Sale and Omeo.

Junior’s Activities:

  • Trips to shoot with other SSAA Vic Juniors to Bonang, Shepparton and SSAA Springvale.
  • Trip to shoot with other SSAA Australia members to Brisbane.
  • Regular Pistol Shoots with other SSAA Vic Juniors.

2007 SSAA Vic Awards: Presented at Hawthorn Town hall to East Gippsland Branch members.

  • Teagan Johnston of Bairnsdale won Junior Shooter of the year.
  • Jamie Houghton won Parks Vic Award.
  • Clive and Jenni Hammet won Volunteer Administrator’s Award.

Some of the other activities carried out by East Gippsland Branch SSAA in the first 20 years.

  • Take Your Shot – combined with Bairnsdale Field & Game, Bairnsdale Pistol Club, and Bairnsdale Clay target Club across all venues for an Open Day to highlight shooting sports to non-shooters.
  • 2005 – Come & Try Day: was sponsored by East Gippsland Shire Council for people to try a variety of sports conducted within the Shire.
  • Gippsport has involved us with Activity Days for Special Schools within East Gippsland and Wellington Shires. Services:
  • Providing Venue and Range Officers for firearms testing for Government Agencies and for the Deer Hunter’s Association {ADA}.

2008 – Victorian Teachers Games in Bairnsdale: EGB SSAA conducted a shooting event at Bairnsdale Pistol Club. East Gippsland Field Days: displaying activities, venues and work done by EGB to the general public as well as encouraging new memberships. These ran for at least 9 years until 2015.

CPM Activities

Parks Vic

  • Mitchell River National Park 2004 - 2005
  • Gippsland Lakes National Parks 2006 >
  • Snowy River National Park 2007 >
  • Providence Ponds State Game Reserve recent years
  • Trust for Nature:
  • Constant work between Sale and Orbost on Private Properties pre 2010

Grants from Various Organisations

some multiple grants over a period of years for equipment, member’s health, Clydebank and Buchan

  • East Gippsland Shire
  • Victorian Health Department
  • Department of Justice
  • Wellington Shire
  • Parks Vic

History of Rifle Ranges in the Buchan area

As supplied by Mrs Leona Lavell

Local Historian

History of Rifle Ranges at Buchan as supplied by Mrs Leona Lavell

Official Opening Day Speech by President

East Gippsland Branch SSAA Vic

Good afternoon SSAA members, guests and visitors and a particular welcome to Mr Jeff Bourman MP MLC for Eastern Gippsland, Mr Tim Bull MP MLA member for Gippsland East, Councillor Dick Ellis, East Gippsland Shire and of course Mr Jack Wegman Chief Executive Officer of SSAA Victoria.

Just a quick bit of background. There has been a rifle Range in Buchan since 1898 over 118 years. This particular range was originally set up in September 1955 and taken over by the SSAA in 2011. The land is owned by DELWP and we are fortunate to have been granted a 10 year license.

The East Gippsland Branch of the SSAA was set up in 1996 and the first President John Peters is still an active member of the club, Chief Range Officer and Vice President and the only remaining member from the original group.

The Branch spent many years trying to find a home or range. Many sites were looked at and Clydebank was purchased but for various reasons it was not to be. We were fortunate that for many years the Bairnsdale Pistol Club allowed us to use their range for small bore shooting until they required the use of the facilities we had been using.

I want to acknowledge Clive Hammet, our immediate past President and Jenny for their work and dedication in keeping the branch going during those years in the wilderness.

The previous committee under Clive had the foresight to organise a license from DELWP to use this previously established range in case other plans did not come to fruition.

With the demise of our ability to use the Bairnsdale Pistol Club and no prospect of another site for a range on the horizon the current committee decided to go all out in developing the Buchan Range. Approval was sought from DELWP and granted to carry out major development work. The results you can see today. What we or I at least call a "boutique range for the discerning shooter"

SSAA Vic supported us in this endeavour with substantial cash grants and donations of goods. Many thanks to SSAA Vic. without whose financial backing this would not have been possible.

Many people have contributed time and effort to getting the range to where it is. Writing up range orders, building targets, shooting benches, attending working bees, donating goods and materials, painting our buildings, thank you Julian, donating the use of their equipment and time for earth works, it goes on and on. It has truly been a team effort and if I started to mention names I would be bound to leave some one out. You know who you are and thankyou.

However I will pay particular credit to members of the current committee who have gone above and beyond in developing the range. Garry Proudlock our secretary,who has organised today and Annie and Alan Norman where we get two committee members for the price of one, who have organised the catering for the day and prepared the range Also our treasurer Brian Kerry who can account for everything down to the last cent, which is quite frightening and given his approval for the expenditures.

l also need to thank our black powder crews for coming today and putting on a display, it will probably convert all of us to black powder shooting. Thanks also to the EGB members who are helping out today and the chefs working the BBQ. Thank you all.

Again thank you all for coming and I will hand over to Jack Wegman CEO of SSAA Vic.