The sport of archery was introduced to Australia by the European settlers in the 18th and 19th Centuries and is known to have been a flourishing social and competition activity during the mid-1800s. From records held at the Australian National Library, officers of the First Fleet practised archery at Sydney Cove in 1789, making archery the oldest organised sport practised in Australia.
However, it wasn't until the late 1930s that organised archery on an Australia-wide basis was first proposed by Dudley Preston, a leading archer in Western Australia.
After an enforced interruption due to the Second World War, his proposal came to fruition at a conference of State delegates held in Sydney on 17-18 January, 1948. After the normal preliminaries, the first major item on the agenda was the motion that:
"The Archery Association of Australia be and is hereby formed."
This motion was carried and therefore has to be regarded as the official date of birth of the Association. The meeting went on to consider matters of national and international associations and competitions, including a resolution to affiliate with World Archery (FITA), the international archery federation.
The first Annual General Meeting of the Association was held in Sydney on the same weekend as the first National Championships over 3,4 & 5 October, 1948.
In 1993, the Archery Association of Australia changed its name to Archery Australia Inc.
At that time, the Association was governed by a Board comprising eight societies (Archery Society of NSW, Archery ACT, Archery Victoria, Archery Society of Tasmania, ARCHERY South Australia, Archery Society of Western Australia, North Queensland Archery Association and the South Queensland Archery Society). The day-to-day affairs of the Association were managed by an Executive Committee.
In 2001, the Board dramatically changed the structure of Archery Australia. The Constitution was amended, allowing for a more streamlined modern structure following best practice governance principles. The Archery Board now comprises four elected and up to three appointed, Board Members. The day-to-day affairs of the Association are managed by a full-time Chief Executive Officer and National Office.
Annually, Archery Australia conducts National Championships (Target, Field and Clout), Youth National Championships (Target, Field, Matchplay and Clout), Australian Open Championships (Matchplay & Field) and Indoor National Championships. The sport also caters for a wide variety of disciplines and equipment styles during National Championships.
Australia first entered international competition at the FITA World Target Championships in 1965 and its first international medals were won by Graeme Telford and Hans Wright OAM in 1969 (Bronze Medals in the Target and Field Championships respectively).
Australia was represented when Archery re-entered the Olympics in Munich in 1972 and has been represented at each Olympic Games since, with Simon Fairweather OAM winning the Gold Medal in 2000 and Tim Cuddihy, the Bronze Medal, in 2004.
In 1977, Australia hosted the 29th FITA Target World Championships in Canberra and again in 1987, this time in Adelaide at the 34th FITA World Target Championships.
In Adelaide, the Grand FITA event was introduced, which was the first attempt at a progressive elimination competition and the forerunner of the current Matchplay event conducted at World Championships and Olympic Games. In 2002, the FITA Field Championships came to Australia, hosted by Canberra Archery Club.
What Is Archery Australia?
Archery Australia is a not-for-profit community and membership-based organisation recognised by government at all levels as the National controlling body for the sport of archery in Australia.
Archery Australia comprises of three levels of management: the Archery Australia Office and Board, State-based Recognised Governing Bodies (RGBs) and local Clubs. The National level of the sport provides standardised rules and regulations, policies and procedures, awards and classifications while delivering open and fair events and equity, as well as participation at all levels of the sport. The National level also represents the interests of it members to government, other sporting organisations and the international archery federation (World Archery).
Archery Australia, as well as Recognised Governing Bodies and Clubs, are committed to the development and growth of the sport in all disciplines.
Archery Australia is committed to the provision of the highest standard of instruction, coaching, officiating and sports management for all levels of the sport; Youth, Senior, Master, Veteran and elite levels.
Archery Australia, through Recognised Governing Bodies and Clubs, will develop, foster and promote Archery as a recreation and competitive sport for all.
Archery Australia achieves this through the Board and National Office. It
- is the recognised governing body for the sport in Australia
- is an integrated sport federation with State associations and an extensive Club network in all facets of the sport
- maintains a status as the National Governing Body of the sport by Federal, State and Local Government
- maintains a status as the recognised governing body of the sport of Archery with the Australian Sports Commission and AIS
- is a Member of World Archery, Member of the Oceania Archery Federation and Asian Archery Federation
- is the governing body for Archery with the World Masters Games Association and Australian Masters Games
- is a founding and active member of the Archery Alliance of Australia
- is a member of the Australian Olympic Committee, Australian Paralympic Committee, Australian Commonwealth Games Association, Australian University Sports, Outdoor Recreation Industry Council
- maintains a full-time National Office providing a visible presence for the sport
- acts as an effective communications channel with International Federations
- acts as an effective communications channel with Federal, State and local governments
- provides administrative support for RGBs and Clubs, including when they are applying for grants
- is responsible for selection and support of National Teams to World Archery Championships, World Games, Para Championships, Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games
- is the voice of archery at the national level in the Media
- maintains a National Member Database to provide improved member management and communications at all levels
- maintains policies and procedures, which provide consistency and transparency to all
- provides clear and consistent Rules and Regulations by and under which the sport operates in Australia.
Nationally & through RGBs and Clubs, Archery Australia provides or facilitates:
- event registration and recognition
- National Archery Championships
- registration of events with World Archery
- National and Australian Records
- National Rankings, some RGBs also provide State Ranking
- standardised rules, regulations, policies and procedures
- Australian-based Performance Awards and Classifications
- international Performance Awards
- ability to compete on the world stage in archery and represent Australia at World Championships, World Cups, World Games and Olympic Games (recurve)
- insurance policy including Public Liability, Personal Accident, Professional Indemnity and Association Liability
- ability to visit and shoot on a reciprocal basis at over 130 Clubs within Australia
- ability to shoot in events and at Clubs in over 150 World Archery member countries
- ability to shoot at Archery Alliance Clubs and compete at Archery Alliance events
- training and accreditation for Judges' Training and accreditation for instructors and coaches.
How is Archery Australia Funded?
Archery Australia is funded from individual subscriptions, paid annually. These funds are used to manage the day-to-day operation of the sport. With that income, the sport can operate and archery and the interests of its members can be represented to government and the sporting industry.
The High Performance Program is partly funded from annual subscriptions, although the majority of funding comes from the sponsorship of the Australian Sports Commission.
Archery Australia offers promotional materials for use by Clubs and RGBs. This material can be downloaded HERE or contact the Archery Australia Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 9772 299502 9772 2995 for information on obtaining larger quantities of this material.