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2013 News Releases




WIA President Christmas Message

Date : 01 / 01 / 2013
Author : Phil Wait - VK2ASD

In this Christmas message it's customary for the WIA President to thank all the staff at the WIA office and the very many volunteers who have done so much work during the year to keep the wheels turning. This has been a particularly difficult year for the WIA with the untimely passing of our late president Michael Owen VK3KI, but with a lot of hard work and dedication from everyone involved we have come through this transitional period in great shape. I would like to recap some of the achievements of this past year, and in the first broadcast next year I will tell you about some new initiatives that we hope to achieve during 2013.

The ITU, the IARU, and the ACMA are where the rubber really hits the road in the WIA’s advocacy role for Amateur Radio. They are difficult, time consuming, and expensive, and often go unnoticed by members, but they are the most important work the WIA does for amateur radio, and all radio amateurs, worldwide, benefit.

ITU Working Group 5 looks after amateur radio issues, and this year Dale Hughes (VK1DSH) attended an important working group meeting in Geneva. Among other things, that working group investigated the feasibility of a new Amateur secondary allocation at 5.3MHz. Dales work was long and arduous, sitting in endless meetings and negotiating with various countries representatives, but he must have made an impression because he has been asked to act as chair of the ITU sub committee looking after the 5.3MHz issue.

Slightly closer to home, Geoff Atkinson (VK3TL) and Peter Young (VK3MV) represented the WIA at the IARU Region 3 Conference in Vietnam. The Region 3 conference is a further opportunity to strengthen relationships between IARU member countries, in particular, this year sharing experiences with emergency communications. What is obvious from this meeting is the burgeoning expansion of amateur radio in some Asian nations, especially China and Indonesia.

Back home, the WIA was successful in its lobbying of the ACMA for a high power trial. To date some 230 radio amateurs have participated in the 1kW trial. The WIA is working very closely with the ACMA on the Assessing the results of the high power trial, with particular emphasis on interference and EMR issues.

By the way, those radio amateurs participating in the high power trial need to listen out carefully for important information to be released shortly.

There many other areas where the WIA is working closely with the ACMA to improve the operating privileges for radio amateurs, for instance the WIA has drafted changes to the Amateur regulations (the LCD) to introduce a new (secondary) band allocation at 472 to 479 kHz, and work continues many other issues.

Particular thanks to Peter Young VK3MV for his work with the ACMA.

For most people Amateur radio is about operating. During 2012 the Awards Group was reformed and there is now a good flow of new Awards applications, and they are all being processed quickly.

The contest group introduced a new format for the RD Contest – a log checker has been created, and that is a great step forward for volunteers as it saves a massive amount of time cross checking logs. In the past only random spot checking was practical however, now, all contacts in a log are properly checked.

The National Inwards QSL Bureau has had another busy year, sorting cards from all corners of the globe, for distribution to the State Bureaus for on forwarding to WIA Members as expeditiously as possible.

Members in NSW will have been watching the tower issue unfold on the WIA website, and in this broadcast. Roger Harrison VK2ZRH has been assisting the WIA to put the strongest possible case to the NSW Government for a relaxation of the quite rigid planning restrictions which apply to antenna masts and towers in that State. This work is continuing and further action is planned for the New Year.

All members would appreciate the improvement in quality of AR magazine. The publications committee has done an excellent job of producing a fine journal, as has the WIA Broadcast group in their tireless effort in putting this WIA broadcast together, week after week.

Earlier this week we announced the results of the 2012 Club Grants Scheme. Congratulations to all those successful applicants, and our thanks go to the Club Grants Committee.

We can’t forget the volunteers that support the training of prospective radio amateurs, and the WIA's RTO Fred Swainston. Without their massive contribution there would be no new radio amateurs to carry the hobby forward.

And I’ve only touched the surface. Volunteers also serve on our technical and advisory committees, our bookshop and our library and archive, the affiliated clubs insurance scheme, not to forget our long suffering webmaster.

So, I have highlighted just a few of the year’s achievements. It's been a busy year but a sad one with the passing of Michael Owen. The Next Year is looking to be even busier. And once again, from your WIA Board, thanks to the WIA office staff and all the volunteers who have achieved so much in the past year.

Lastly, the WIA office will be closed from 4:00pm Friday, 21st December reopening 10:00am, Monday, 14th January, 2013. During this period any urgent enquiries should be directed to the WIA Manager, Mal Brooks VK3FDSL, via email address or, for very urgent matters, via mobile 0413 179 347.

Have a very happy and safe Christmas, look after yourselves - we need you all fit and well and on-air for the New Year.

Phil Wait - VK2ASD


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