Distinguished Talent – Sport Fishing


In Bain 071351220 [2008] MRTA 364 (2.5.08), the MRT considered an expert in sport fishing to be of distinguished talent:


55.              The visa applicant claimed to be at the forefront of Bass tournament fishing and programs encompassing conservation and development. The evidence set out in detail above indicates that the applicant was instrumental in establishing the Bass fishing as a competitive sport in Zimbabwe & Sth Africa through the Rhodesian & the Zimbabwe BASS Chapter Federation & the Sth African BASS Chapter Federation. In Zimbabwe the.. applicant was also involved in the development of hatcheries for the largemouth black Bass as well as breeding and conservation. He has competed for Zimbabwe & Sth Africa and was instrumental in establishing the ‘catch & release’ policy Mr Ray Scott, the President & Founder of Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) the largest fishing organisation in the world with 600,000 members, who the [MRT] accepts is ‘Mr Bass’, stated.. it would be impossible to find another person with the.. applicant’s skills and experience anywhere in the world and.. the.. applicant is well known.. in Sth Africa & Zimbabwe but also the USA &.. SpainItalyPortugal & Canada. Mr S referred to the.. applicant establishing 12 BASS clubs in Zimbabwe as well as the Zimbabwe BASS Chapter Federation. He also referred to the.. applicant establishing 40 BASS clubs in Sth Africa  [&]the Sth African BASS Chapter Federation. On 29.1.05, the.. applicant was awarded the Conservation Award by the International Game Fish Assn in Florida USA (IGFA).

56.              The applicant’s record of exceptional and outstanding achievement is not in just in competition but in his administration of the sport of Bass Angling as all of his referees attested to. Mr S also referred to his efforts having greatly influenced the popularity of Bass fishing in Sth Africa from.. a minor presence and a small turnover in fishing tackle, boat and recreation vehicle market to a multi-billon rand market…, Mr S stated ..through the.. applicant’s promotional efforts Triton Boats from the USA claim.. Sth Africa is now the biggest consumer of Bass boats outside of the USA.

57.              the  [MRT] finds.. the.. applicant does have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in the area of Bass Angling and.. the.. applicant is still prominent in his field of Bass Angling. .. the [MRT] also finds.. the.. applicant does meet the criteria.. 124.211(2)(a) & (b).

The MRT also referred to the leading case on the distinguished talent visa::

In.. Gaffer v MIMA [2002] FCA 293 (15.3. 2000) French J makes the following statement:

“The requirement of an exceptional standard of achievement in an occupation, profession or activity is to be applied across a variety of occupations, professions and activities. Some will require far greater levels of knowledge and skill than others in order to rise above the ordinary and merely competent. And while the applicant for such a visa is required to be an ‘asset to the Australian community’ it is not required that he or she be a ‘national living treasure’ The [MRT]..has taken an unduly restrictive approach to the criterion of ‘exceptional record of achievement’ The criterion requires a demonstrated excellence in the relevant occupation which is out of the ordinary.”

Barbara Davidson