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2010 News Releases




ACMA praises WIA on its Centenary

Date : 03 / 06 / 2010
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

Australian Communications and Media Authority Chairman, Chris Chapman has given strong recognition to the 100 years of service provided by the Wireless Institute of Australia to the amateur radio community. Speaking at the WIA Centenary Dinner, Mr Chapman commented that it was not often anyone gets to talk at a centenary celebration, let alone one where the celebration covers almost the entire history of the use of the radio frequency spectrum in Australia. The ACMA had a role in helping maintain the nation’s economic competitiveness, truly making communications, including amateur communications, work in Australia’s public and national interest. Mr Chapman said, "Making amateur communications work well, involves a good working relationship with its stakeholders. In the case of the amateurs, mostly through excellent representation by the WIA."

"I mentioned that there are 15,000 amateurs in Australia. And that this number is steadily increasing, is I suspect mostly due to the indefatigable efforts of the WIA." He referred to the changes made at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2003 that included an end to the mandatory Morse code requirement for amateur licences, and the Australian Communications Authority’s review of the amateur service regulation. That was followed by a new amateur certification and licensing arrangement. Mr Chapman said, “The success of those new arrangements is a testimony to the significant ongoing contribution of the WIA. "Initially this contribution importantly included the shaping of the nature of the new entry level Foundation Licence, developing syllabi for the three qualification levels, and providing input to the extensive revision of the legislative instruments that regulate amateur operation. "In an on-going sense, the WIA’s professional approach to its activities has consolidated the gains made by the introduction of the new licensing arrangements."

In addition to the long held roles of training and examination candidates, under a ground-breaking Deed of Agreement with the ACMA, the WIA now manages the issue of amateur certificates of proficiency, and the issue of callsigns, on behalf of the ACMA. "I also know that the WIA activities don’t stop there," said Mr Chapman. Through its magazine Amateur Radio, its regular broadcasts and information, and its affiliated clubs, "the WIA continues to encourage interest in the pleasures and sciences of radio communications".

"Now all this just does not happen. It takes an enormous effort by large groups of people, volunteers in clubs across the country who run training courses and conduct the examinations." Volunteers who put the broadcast together and contribute to the magazine. And volunteers who through JOTA (Jamboree on the Air) assist scouts and guides to experience the wonder of amateur radio. "Additionally I know many amateurs provide communications expertise to the community in times of emergency, through WICEN (Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network). "Grassroot Australians, one to the other, reflective of the finest manifestations of the concept of citizen," said the ACMA Chairman to the WIA Centenary dinner attend by 200 people including international guests representing the IARU and overseas national radio societies.

Mr Chapman said, "As the voice of amateur radio in Australia, the WIA's contribution does not stop with making representations to the ACMA. The WIA also represents Australian amateurs to the International Amateur Radio Union, and joins with the ACMA to make representation on the international stage. "In particular at the World Radiocommunications Conferences. So that is I have to say that is quite some CV (curriculum vitae) the WIA has built up."

The ACMA Chairman was one of a number of ACMA representatives attending the dinner. "On behalf of my colleagues within the ACMA, let me extend our congratulations to the WIA on the achievements over the past 100 years of service to the amateur community in Australia.

"The ACMA looks forward to working with the WIA to make amateur radio in Australia all it can be," said Mr Chapman.

Pictured above : ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman

Related Files

ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman - WIA Centenary Dinner Speech (audio)

ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman - WIA Centenary Dinner Speech (text)


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