Background of the BSSA

Established May 20, 1948, the Budgerigar Society of South Australia (BSSA) is South Australia’s first budgerigar organisation. The BSSA is a founding member of the Australian National Budgerigar Council (ANBC). During the 1950s, the BSSA had a time of tremendous expansion and prosperity.  The new club obtained support from fanciers from all over the state. New members were also recruited from mixed bird clubs in the years after the club’s formation. These members and organisations had the foresight and motivation to create a specialised budgerigar club. Moreover, the BSSA thrives more than seven decades later based on its specialist nature.

BSSA Members, circa 1963

Grand Champion circa 1963Reflecting back to the club’s earliest minutes and records, therein lies some interesting reading. Within a decade, the Club was built from the ground up to over 370 registered members. Additionally, in 1952 the Club would welcome female members. In 1953, a tram strike forced many members to miss the monthly meeting. Furthermore, cigarettes were the most popular raffle prizes in 1952. An official motion in February 1955 saw tea and biscuits served as a light supper at each meeting.

The Formative Years

As with any new Society or Club, the early years are fraught with administrative and logistical difficulties. Average monthly attendances increased from 15 in 1951 to 140 by the end of 1958. Four distinct meeting locations became necessary over time. Consequently, the Society relocated to the Poultry Association Hall in Adelaide in 1954, where it would stay until the 1980s.

Membership expanded considerably, including 42 new members in July 1957. Naturally, the Annual Show drew an increasing number of entries over this decade. From 328 entries in 1953, when the Society was just 5 years old, to 1207 entries in 1958. Likewise, the number of entries continued to exceed the capacity of the current venue year on year. Since its founding in 1948, the BSSA has sponsored an Annual Exhibition every year. During the 1950s, the show was a two-day affair.

BSSA Development of The Standard & Show Cage

Australia lacked a National Entity or a central administrative body, therefore each state was “on its own.” Consequently, in April 1954, the BSSA connected with the Budgerigar Society of England. Thus resulting in members gaining access to a standard of excellence to strive towards. In 1955, the BSSA published its own Standard of Perfection, which was closely based on the English standard. In addition, the BSSA maintained a tight relationship with the BSE until the adoption of the Australian National Standard in the 1980s.

The Society approving a Show Cage design in May 1954. This facilitates all exhibits to Show in a standard cage. Furthermore, in October 1955, the white inside and black outside colours came to agreement. By August 1957, the Society’s inaugural judges’ class was the subject of debate. Previously, judges were recognised by the Cage Bird or Aviculture Societies. Therefore, it was a significant step for the hobby to have its own qualified and devoted judges. After that, in September 1957, the Port Pirie Budgerigar Society was discussed at a BSSA conference. Consequently, in January 1958, the President of Port Pirie, Mr. Threadgold was elected. Naturally, the BSSA thanked him for its assistance in the formation of the Society.

BSSA Monthly Meetings Back in Day


Monthly meetings conducted, and the entertainment scheduled. Teachings centred on educating members about breeding, display requirements, and distinguishing budgerigar kinds. Speakers recruited mostly from the club’s founding members. Likely, the audience of predominantly colony breeders were in awe of their expertise and the “small” budgerigar’s potential. Most club meetings featured a raffle of a pair of birds or similar item. Birds donated by speakers disseminated among club members to improve varieties. “Mr. Hancock and Mr. Kin handled the French moult issue for us, and their discussion was amusing and educational”.

Numerous members who joined before 1960 continued in the pastime for many years. Consequently, these members underpinned the BSSA’s success and forward-thinking nature. Bob Hancock, Lal Logan, Stan Watson, Geoff Smith, Graham Hogg, Doug Barlow, and Mrs. Ethel Dobie were among those.

In 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984, and 1986, the BSSA won the Australian National Budgerigar Championships.

BSSA Monthly Meetings Today

BSSAMonthly meetings are on the first Tuesday of the month. These typically commence at 7.30pm. Venue is the Unley Community Centre, 18 Arthur Street, Unley. A link to the BSSA Membership form can be found under the Forms and Documents Page of this website. For more information on the BSSA, check out their website.