In this frank and detailed history of the development of the rifle club movement and its national councils, historian Andrew Kilsby has unravelled the realist behind the traditional ties through wat and peace between the movement and Australia’s defence.
With their origins deep in Volunteer and Militia soldiering, the first colonial rifle associations were established from 2860, and the first national council in 1888, making it the oldest national sporting body in Australia. This was a paradox which bedevilled the movement from the beginning – was it in fact an adjunct to Australia’s defence or were rifle club men simply pothunters’, enjoying their pastime at Government expense? Even though formal ties with the military were severed in 1959, Defence representatives remained engaged with the NRAA Council until well into the 1970’s. How the rifle club movement, through its national council, met the challenges of its first 100 years, is the subject of this fascinating history.