When it comes to being treasurer of a deer hunting association there are two boxes that must be ticked – the ability to manage the finances and an undiluted passion for all things deer. Sean Kilkenny has more than a decade of experience in financial services under his belt and a lifelong love of sambar, making him an ideal candidate.
Sean has held the position of treasurer for the Australian Deer Association since 2018.
“Over the last 10 years I have been working in the banking services industry ranging from funds management to cash trading and my current role is analytical, working with data and modelling,” he said.
“2018 was a year of great highs and lows for me personally; I lost a good mate from high school to cancer – we used to hunt and fish together regularly – and my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world and began our family.
“So, later that year when the call for expressions of interest presented, I knew I had to give it a go, no matter what.”
Fortunately, from there Sean has been able to help contribute to building a bigger and brighter future for the next generation of deer hunter to benefit from. He also encourages every hunter to be a part of that future.
“With other hunters, my first question is always, `are you a member of the ADA?’ Followed by, `why not?’ if needs be,” Sean said.
“I have found with most people you talk to – hunters and non-hunters – once you take the time to explain to them what you do and why, and the end results, they are more than understanding of what you do.”
In Sean’s words, his role as treasurer essentially boils down to the budget, but the devil is in the detail.
“We produce budgets using previous years’ data combined with the current climate and knowledge to then forecast our expectations of both the upcoming year and the years proceeding,” Sean said.
“With this we have a working blueprint to chart the course of the association and deal with any issues and opportunities we have identified.
“I then also have the responsibility of working closely with our bookkeepers and the branches to ensure we are reporting all our activity and comply with the relevant government legislation.’’
One of these opportunities is our ability to educate and communicate with stakeholders of sustainable hunting – both hunters and antis.
“Sustainable hunting has been demonstrated to sustain life here for over 60,000 years,” Sean said.
“There is so much we can learn and implement from this in our management of animals and habitat.’’
A good starting point, Sean said, was acknowledging that hunters and non-hunters shared a lot in common — everything from environment concerns to animal welfare.
“Ultimately, we may never agree, we will always want to hunt and they may be opposed to the concept; however, when we genuinely articulate our values and approach to hunting we will find the vast majority of meat eaters would have no objection to our passion, and even support us.
“Particularly, if they are able to eat some of it.
“It doesn’t mean it will be something they will do, but they know their protein comes from a farm, whereas yours has come from the hard work on the side of a very cold and wet hill a long way from home.”