To form your A N.S.A. club, we suggest a minimum of six members. Australia-wide, the average club has over forty members, which seems to be an ideal number for social and fishing reasons. Membership in the Association is open to all clubs and members who agree to abide by the rules and standards of the Association.
Branch Executives are elected by delegates from the clubs within each State. Branches do much of the regional work in processing record claims and Master certificates, advising on contests and representing their clubs in various ways. Clubs benefit from active contact with their respective Branches.
A National Executive is in turn elected by Branches, at a three-yearly meeting which also fine-tunes the rules and administration of the Association as a whole. National publishes the A.N.S.A. Rule book and record charts. supplies the Branches with A.N.S.A. - ware and represents the Association nationally and on other occasions as necessary.
USING THE A.N.S.A. SYSTEM
Well established clubs run very smoothly, however there may be times when State Branch or National are needed. First step is at club level, where the majority of locally relevant decisions are taken. It is difficult for Branches to move on an issue unless its voted on by that Branch's member clubs. A couple of useful points, all of us have to accept a majority vote. Most times we agree, but when we differ. decision is by voting and results have to be accepted with good grace. Secondly, because the A.N.S.A. system is democratic and relies on discussion and voting, it's pointless to approach an executive member and ask him to change the rules or investigate something. Voting is what counts. On rare occasions, instant action may be vital. Typical case, a member discovers a fish kill in a local stream. There's no need to hold a meeting before reporting it. Keep cool, make no wild statements, stay factual. but get the media in and apply pressure in as many ways as possible. The golden rule is to remain polite. Few people are more impressive than a public spirited citizen with a strong case. A final tip on any issue, you may not win a instant victory, so be prepared to make a campaign of it, over a period. Persistence and a good case are hard to beat.
Jurisdiction over fishing issues rests mainly with State Governments, so Branches play a vital role in representing clubs and members. Most A.N.S.A. Branches are actively represented on State level amateur fishing councils. These representatives should be an active member of the Branch Executive team, or liaise closely with it. Their responsibility is to represent their A.N.S.A. membership by Voting all exerting influence according to the policy of the Branch.
National Council is likewise represented on the Australian Recreational and Sport Fishing Confederation a federally funded Canberra based organisation composed of national fishing groups. Our representatives are required to vote according to established A.N.S.A. policy and to report regularly to the Association.
Remember, Branches and National function to help clubs and members. If you need advice, have a case to put up or just want to know what's going on, use the system. It is designed to be used.