Underwater Spear Fishers Association NSW
AGM 2023 June 8th

Lee Dalli (NSUC)
Ian Buck (NSUC)
Parry Gryllis (SSD)
Simon Trippe (SSD
Ricardo Casquete (SSD)
Patrick Ireland (PHP)
Alastair Cooke (CCSL) Sam K (SSD)
David Leha (Mulloways)
Stephen Park (Whalers)
Michael Song (Orcas)

Meeting begins 1945

Minutes from previous meeting discussed, no business arising.

President’s Report for USFA AGM 2023
Where do I begin…. The past 15 months have flown since the extraordinary AGM was called, a new committee was ushered in, and overall, the time has seen relative smooth sailing. Much has occurred so I will attempt to keep them brief:
USFA has become better understood by NSW and in particular Sydney spearos are seeing how the USFA assists spearfishing; the NSW government and Fisheries are aware of what we can do, communications have been good and we have been given audiences upon request such as the Fisheries Minister meeting spearos to hear our concerns and proposals on slot sizes, marine parks and Mulloway; the Sydney Kingfish Cup was a resounding success; our new spearfishing club the Mulloways our First Nations Spearfishing club associated with us have held three cultural camps; the AUF finally reciprocated a temporary membership fee for USFA members to enter their events, thank you Tom Sandstrom AUF NSW Secretary for pushing this through; myself and other USFA members have engaged in great discussion with AUF, both State and at National level, and while on the AUF I would like to congratulate Arnold Piccoli on becoming the new National Spearfishing Chairman.
There have been lots of positives over this committee’s tenure.
What lies ahead, hopefully lots more positives. A meeting with the current DPI Minister and DPI director general is planned; a spearfishing only National body has been discussed this could be happening by next year, and I keep my fingers crossed for this, a stand-alone spearfishing body, ASA – Australian Spearfishing Association is one name that has been bandied about. For now, the USFA will continue to work within NSW and assist all spearfishers on education, safety, and accessibility.
On the latter – accessibility to spatial areas we share with other stakeholders: Bongin Bongin at Mona Vale is an all-access area excellent for beginner spearfishers, and well used by rock fishers, being proposed by a swimmer’s group to be the latest no take Aquatic reserve (which is really a sanctuary) labelling the area unique. This community action group seem intent to exclude certain stakeholders read – fishers and spearos from an area that is a well-loved and used safe location for all age groups. We have members on the ground dealing with the local council, and involved in an action group rallying for continued all stakeholder access, common sense should prevail here. Safe access is always going to be on our agenda as we use the same areas as many other user groups, as you are aware we spearfishers are restricted by depth and of course ocean conditions and we should not have access denied because another stakeholder feels their point of view is just. Please, USFA members, if ever you are contacted by your Association to complete a submission, or to attend an action meeting near you, please consider doing so.
Note: The Bongin Bongin issue went to a council meeting and saw what one councillor stated “the largest gathering at a meeting in his time” the room was packed with fishers, USFA members, and representatives from the Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers Party. The Indigenous lands council sent in an email that did not support the proposal for a marine park. Dr Marcus Lincoln-Smith a marine scientist spoke well on spearfishers behalf, and the Liberal councillors also supported fishers, all this support and assistance resulted in a commonsense victory for fishers.
In the coming year ahead, I would like to see our back of house further tidied up – means also increasing some fees; a state-wide, open to all spearfishers, spearfishing event occurring – watch this space; an organised training reference for use by the USFA clubs to assist Juniors and newcomers’ skills and safety development complemented with a sustainable and ethical purpose.
I’ll finish by saying I have enjoyed being in the President’s role and with that its responsibilities, and that wouldn’t be possible without having so many people to lean on, therefore I would like to thank the committee who have supported me this past 15 months, David Leha, Parry Gryllis, Alby Cooke, Ian Buck, Evan Leeson, Lee Dalli, Sam K, and Ricardo Casquete. You have all lent me your ear, given me sage advice and been instrumental in seeing the USFA sailing well. Not to forget the Club delegates and workers such as Steve Park (Whalers), Patrick Ireland, Marty Kieselbach, Tony Couchman, and Gary Baxter (Penguins), Sahil Prasad, Ben Lake, Vita Malukova (Dolphins), Michael Song and Bob McComb (Orcas), Adam Price and Justin Delaney (Sea Hawks), again I will mention David Leha (Mulloways), David you have been inspiring to me to see all that you have done for your community at large and the USFA will endeavour to assist you over the years with your projects; too, Craig Seadog, yes, the Seadog gets a mention, Craig you have been a champion for spearfishing, those who know you know this, thank you. There are many, many others too, think all of you who I have engaged in conversation with, that have helped me along this journey. Thank you.
Yours in safe spearfishing
Simon Trippe

Treasurer’s report
Evan Leeson
• $21,000 in savings account
• $2,400 in “funny money” account pays the small bills without needing multiple signatures.
• Stripe, $9700 since November (1700 a month), covers bills.
• Bills to pay.
o Every month to pay for website service.
• $25 a month
o $220 for RFA membership affiliation (Recreational Fishing Alliance)

o $600 for TidyHQ
• Mailouts, handle payments, memberships
• New rate coming in for TidyHQ of $800
o Insurance
o Policies
• 1. $7,600
• 2. $6,400
• $14,000 to pay as lump sum.
• USFA has no cashflow risk.

o Schedule of fees
• Sam K brought up the schedule of fees that they should be reviewed.
• Orcas pay a token fee.
• Mulloways pay a token fee.
• Before June 30, so July we can release.
• Take note in minutes.

• USFA apology to Sam Clothier
o Sam Clothier contacted USFA President Simon Trippe about incidents occurring with previous USFA president Scott Williams. Legal action against the USFA was discussed.
o After assistance from Adam Price (former USFA Secretary supplying all minutes of all USFA and USFA Sydney Metro Zone minutes from meetings) and numerous conversations, and correspondence with all parties involved by Simon Trippe (current USFA President) it was decided by the now current USFA committee to apologise to Sam Clothier for the behaviour of the former President Scott Williams, who acted on his own behalf in making a decision impacting Sam Clothier. Where it was found, and all minutes shown, there was no consultation, vote, and agreement with other clubs, nor their representatives nor the committee of the USFA at a meeting as was implied by Scott Williams to Sam Clothier that the clubs had made a democratic vote to come to this “decision”.
o It was unanimous by all USFA committee in attendance to apologise to Sam Clothier, the motion also seconded by Lee Dalli. Those in attendance at the AGM expressed their disappointment and were exasperated by Scott Williams behaviours.
o The apology was accepted by Sam Clothier, and we are all moving on. Note: (this apology and acceptance by Sam occurred after this AGM and was given to Sam by Simon Trippe in written form via email)
o It was made note that this was a time consuming and often stressful period over several weeks for the President.

• USFA Committee Positions made vacant.

 President – Simon Trippe previous year, Simon Trippe nominated.
• Seconded Evan
 Vice President – Parry Grylls previous year, Parry Grylls nominated.
• Seconded Lee
 Secretary: Ian Buck previous year, Ian nominated
• Seconded: Simon Trippe
 Treasurer: Evan Leeson previous year, Evan Leeson nominated,
• Seconded: Simon Trippe
 Public officer: Alby Cooke previous year, Alby nominated.
• Seconded: Lee Dali
 Sports Secretary: Pat Ireland (Nominated by Lee)
• Seconded: Evan Leeson
 IT guru: Ricardo Casquete previous year, Ricardo nominated.
• Seconded: Parry Gryllis
 Web Master:
• Sam K previous year, Sam K nominated.
• Seconded: Lee Dali
 Indigenous Liaison Officer: David Leha
• Seconded: Pat Ireland
 Historian
• Mel Brown previous year, Mel Brown nominated.
• Seconded: Simon Trippe

The President thanks the former and now current committee for their efforts towards spearfishing and welcomes Patrick Ireland into the key role of Sports Secretary.

General Business

• Planning for
o USFA 75th Anniversary
o Kingfish cup in November
o Sub committees organised for these two main events.

• Underwater Hockey removed from the Australian Underwater Federation

Club Reports

North Shore Underwater Club – The Seahawks

• NSUC is currently at 55 financial members.
• Monthly Club Meeting attendance is approx. 15-20 people.
• Great training presentations held each month which are well received, particularly by the new members.
• Next Monthly Club Training presentation topic is ‘Reading the Weather for Spearfishing’.
• Coral Sea Trip ’23 (Coral Sea Cowboys) by Bretto Whalan: about thirteen of the spots are currently filled.
• New club members are attending Allimans to get experience and see ‘what it’s all about’.
• Social ‘Chat Group’ started within the club’s FB page.
• Club social events being planned for later in the year, including a club trip to Sealies or Mid-North Coast.
• Previously ‘new divers’ who joined the club in the last 1-3 years have been developing well, becoming good divers, and assisting in the running of the club by taking up active club management positions.


Penguins Committee for the year

  • President – Gary Baxter
  • Vice President – Tony Couchman
  • Treasurer – Glenn Sewell
  • Secretary – Martyn Kieselbach
  • Sports Secretary – David McGowan
  • Social Secretary – Craig Martin
  • AGM is held every December
  • Current total number of financial members = 46
  • The Port Hacking Penguins (PHP) continue to have representation at every Aliman Shield.
  • The PHP regularly have representation at other major competitions.
  • The 2023 PHP Catch of The Year remains in progress.
  • There was PHP club trips to Bawley Point and Montague Island in March, and Coffs Harbour in April.
  • Six Penguin members travelled to New Zealand in February 2023 for a spearfishing tour of the Coromandel region
  • The PHP have an ongoing and up to date presence on social media.
  • The PHP continue to instruct all divers in safety and encourage all divers, across social media, to join a spearfishing club and become involved in the USFA.

Mulloways First Nations Spearfishing

We have held several activities such as:

  • Dive basics
  • Dive equipment
  • Dive safety
  • Cultural stories and knowledge
  • Catch and Cook
  • Ceremony and Protocols e.g. giving thanks and asking permission and for protection
  • Improved networks and connection to support the ongoing cultural healing and sharing.
  • Increased community capacity and capability to the cultural identity, social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people.

We would like to thank those that donated through the donations box at Adreno.
This had enabled many people to experience the underwater world using the donated equipment.

President First Nations Spearfishing Association.

The Dolphins are enjoying the 2023 season.
Club meetings, third Tuesday of the month held at South Sydney Amateur Fishing Association see regular attendance of divers from 30 to 75 members. Talks by our members include Safety; Blue Water spearfishing; correct breathing and proper equalisation for spearfishers; the right speargun for you; and of course – the Master Chef battle, the cook offs have been amazing.
Regular social dives – Coffs Harbour, South West Rocks, Crowdy Head, Seal Rocks, weekend camping at Broughton Island, Currarong and Eden.
The committee and members are anticipating our 70th year celebrations and looking forward to a turnout of over 150 divers from 1953 onwards.
With close to 70 USFA members and over 100 social members the Dolphins are benefitting from their many members’ input, work ethic and skill sets. All are welcome to attend.
Parry Gryllis, delegate.

Next USFA Meeting 21st March 1900 at Adreno Sydney

Meeting finishes 2230.