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A History of Lilydale Bowmen

Lilydale Bowmen was founded in 1977.

Members of Moorabbin Target Archers had been introduced to a new, different form of shooting known as Field Shooting. They were anxious to begin moving over to this style. However, the Victorian Bowhunters Club, who were the only Field club at this time, were not family friendly and had strict joining requirements.

It was apparent that a new club was needed to combine the family group style of Moorabbin with the Field style of Archery that the VBC practiced. The Eastern suburbs needed a new club.

Meetings began to be held above an archery supply store in Malvern. From here they looked for interested people and worked with the local council to find suitable grounds. These meetings soon outgrew the small room above the shop. They were moved to the Mooroolbark Public Hall, much closer to the new grounds that the council had granted them.

A year passed with meetings being held at the public hall as members worked together to mark out shooting lanes and paths, working around the dense tea tree forest that made up the area. Permission was eventually granted to erect a small building on the grounds, which is now our kitchen area. Meetings finally moved to the grounds, with membership growing larger as time passed. From ’92 to ’93, bathroom facilities and a water tank were added.

We then hosted two national events: one for the Australian Bowhunters Association and one for the International Field Archery Association. This proved that the club could and should expand more. During 1995 the plans for the indoor range and the meeting hall we use now were made and approved.

With these changes, we could now easily host large multi-day events. This caused our reputation to jump up across the country.

Lilydale Bowmen is still a respected name across Australia. Members across our 40+ year history can and should be proud of our part in the Australian Archery Community.

History of the ABA

The Australian Bowhunters Association Inc. evolved from its founding organisation, The Trophy Bowhunters of Australia, in the late 1970s following a merging of the political and practising wings of organised bowhunting in Australia. Today, the Association is recognised as the national body representing bowhunters throughout Australia and, through its Sport Division, Field Archery Australia, is recognised as the body responsible for the development of the sport of field archery at all levels.

The Australian Bowhunters Association Inc. is affiliated with the International Field Archery Association (IFAA). It is through the organisation of the Association that bowhunting legislation is sponsored, competition ranges are standardised, consistent rules of the games are established, news and information is disseminated, and all phases of the Sport are co-ordinated.

Lilydale Bowmen has a long history in Victoria and is proudly one of the oldest field archery clubs in Australia.