Last week the Australian Deer Association Chairman David Voss stood down after more than seven years at the head of the organisation and over a decade in active National roles.
Under David's watch the ADA has completely modernised its structure and communications platforms and emerged as the most dynamic, trusted and effective voice in Australian hunting and deer management.
David has moved into an operational role with the industry peak body, the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia.
We know that we join all ADA members and supporters in thanking David for his substantial, valuable and longstanding contribution and in wishing him well in his new journey.
As of Monday 14 September, Colin Brumley has been appointed to fill the casual vacancy on the ADA Board and has been appointed as our organisations Chair.
The following profile piece will appear in the September/October edition of Australian Deer Magazine.
New Australian Deer Association Chair Colin Brumley is unapologetic about hunting.
Pulling the trigger is an essential part of hunting, but it is not the end game. Mr Brumley is just as happy doing a cooking demonstration and sharing the art of making venison sausages (see photo on facing page), because at the end of the day it is the experience and the harvesting of food for the table that really counts.
The ADA exists to promote hunting, but also good game management, ethical practices and sustainable opportunity. To narrow the focus to the kill shot is unproductive and does little to educate people about the ethos of deer hunters.
“We don’t hunt for the kill, it’s simply a means of putting food on the table,” Mr Brumley said.
Mr Brumley said the broader public discourse often missed the point because there’s a lack of understanding of what drives hunters.
“Many people in the general public do not understand why we hunt, they think it’s because we like to kill animals,” he said.
“The truth is deer hunters do it for the table and for the enjoyment of the entire journey, being at one with the bush as well as gathering free range meat, the kill is a minor part of what we do.
“Mainstream society often see us as trophy hunters with no care for anything except showing off. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
“The challenge, friendships made, and memories created are lasting and worthwhile and that is what gets us back out there again and again.”
Mr Brumley has a long history with the ADA, joining the Westernport branch more than 15 years ago.
After a few years of membership with the branch he joined the branch committee and became a founding member and the inaugural chair of ADA’s Public Relations Committee.
Mr Brumley served as state president (Victoria) for five years, during this time he also served on the National Executive until the adoption of the associations new constitution, when he transitioned to state co-ordinator.
The next step in Mr Brumley’s journey with the ADA is to fill the shoes of David Voss as the association’s next Chair.
Mr Brumley’s experience in senior roles has taught him the importance of following through.
“I am not 100 per cent sure what my role as chair will involve, I see myself as the type of leader who identifies issues and goals and then organises the resources available to get them solved or completed,” he said.
“In the age of COVID being nimble and adaptable is critical.
“I put my hand up for this position because I believe passionately in what the ADA represents and stands for and I want it to see it continue to move forward.”
He said he sees the role as similar to the state-based roles as far as leading members but with the added issues of various jurisdictions and governance requirements.
“My interaction with our members and other hunters will be mainly through electronic means with some face to face stuff,” Mr Brumley said.
“I intend to develop more communication from the board to our members and branches through regular updates from a specified board member and state co-ordinators.
“In the short term I will see what projects have been started and not finished yet and then prioritise them, probably hunter education followed closely by deer management and communication.
“Long term we need to work on the acceptance of hunting within the community and the consumption of wild food generally.”
Outside of his involvement with ADA Mr Brumley is the managing director of a sheet metal fabrication business in Clayton Victoria, Advanced Sheetmetal.
“I come from a trade background originating in plumbing then moving to welding and steel work,” he said.
“I then got into sales in the roofing products industry which led me to managing a sheet metal business and eventually buying the company.”
Of course, a membership of the ADA goes hand in hand with a passion sustainable hunting.
Mr Brumley himself was raised chasing rabbits and foxes, he came later to deer, but no less keen.
“I have hunted from a very early age originally with my dad then later on my own starting chasing rabbits and progressing to foxes then pigs, goats and later deer,” he said.
“My preferred game to hunt is deer, no doubt about it, but I enjoy all hunting. I still love chasing the bunnies when I get a chance, I guess that’s where I started.”
A driving force behind his passion for deer and the association is the importance he places on game management and the values of sustainable hunting as key to conservation.
“Sustainable hunting is what we always strive for,” Mr Brumley said.
“The ADA is a group of many so some people are very progressive, and some are not, so more work can be done in this area by continuing the conversation.
“If deer are present in an area, they need to be monitored and managed.”