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Northern Territory Clubs

Darwin Amateur Radio Club


P.O. Box 41251


The first meeting of the then Darwin Radio Club was held on 7 November 1966. In those days
there were not many resident amateurs in Darwin, so the amateur population consisted of
mainly Government workers from other states here for 2 to 3 years. Some stayed longer than
their initial term are still in Darwin. They were a very enthusiastic and helpful group to their
fellow amateurs and intending amateurs and this attitude was the start of the club, VK8DA.

Membership of the club always seemed to vary between 25 and 50 rarely climbing above this.
Club premises was always a problem and the first meetings were held in private homes. Over
the years the club has met in education institutions, a concrete bunker, an old WWII building at East Point, a tavern until finally in 1983 it applied for and was successful in obtaining a room in a vacant Health Stores building at Fannie Bay.

Early communications around town were simplex. In 1972 a beacon, VK8VF, was built on 6
metres, test and finally put into service.

In 1974, Cyclone Tracey blew away the current
premises and destroyed much of Darwin. The 99th meeting held on 6 January 1975 had to be
cancelled as only one member attended.

From August 1975 the club met in a Civil Defence bunker. This had been built during the
Indonesian confrontation. Whilst it was cyclone-proof it was very damp and musty being
prone to flooding during the wet season as it was below ground level.

In February 1978 Casuarina High School was used as the bunker was being renovated for use
by the emergency services. At about the same time a block of land was offered at Berrimah but despite having good plans it was not viable due to lack of money.

In 1979 the club moved to an old wartime building at East Point. After many working bees it
was habitable but suffered a lot from vandalism due to its remoteness. The beacons were
located here also in an adjacent concrete hut. This location was officially opened by Nick
Dondas one night with the speech going live to air and monitored in Adelaide by WIA. Another problem with this area was that the remote controlled aeroplane club was situated
very near and when we operated on 10 metres, they tended to lose control of their aircraft!

During 1983, the Dept of Health vacated their stores building in Fannie Bay and made it
available to sports and recreation clubs. We were successful in gaining the occupancy of a
room. Once again after several working bees we moved in and remain there to this day. Once
again the Hon Nick Dondas performed the official opening.

The tower was shifted from East Point and erected again in Fannie Bay. The Sunday morning
VK5 broadcast was continued. Since then several novice courses have been conducted.

In 2010 we were given our marching orders and relocated to the Knuckey Lagoon Recreation Reserve which we share with a number of other community clubs.

In 2022 with increasing costs associated with maintaining a permanent station at Knuckey Lagoon Recreation Reserve the club has removed all of its equipment and will continue to operate portable and temporary stations for special events and competitions. We hope to one day setup another club station for the benefit of our club and members.


Meetings on the 1st Wednesday of every month at 7pm (1900Hrs) local.

Darwin's 97 Seven Office Building
44 Dripstone Road
Casuarina NT 0810

Repeater Frequencies
146.950MHz Main DARC Repeater
147.000MHz digital/FM wires-X (Best coverage)

Club Activities & Events

Morning Tea every Thursday 10AM to 12 noon at the 97.7 FM broadcaster, Dripstone Road Casuarina. All welcome.

WIA News Broadcast every Sunday at 9AM on the following frequencies.
14.337Mhz and 146.950MHz
Following the news call backs will be taken by VK8DA starting on 146.950, 147.000, 28.537, 21.237, 14.337, 10.127, 7.193, 3.607Mhz.

DARC nets 7.193MHz most days 11.30am local Darwin time.
147.000Mhz Monday and Thursday nights 8pm local Darwin time.

Darwin Amateur Radio Club Meeting Location

Training Courses And Assessment Information

Club Assessments contact VK8ZWM

Club Contact Details

Darwin Amateur Radio Club
P.O. Box 41251
Phone : 146.950MHz
Email :


Jeff Reece VK8DNT
Phone : 04 9999 1857
Email :

Nigel Hayward VK8NAH
Phone : TBA
Email :

Dominic Schmidt VK8DSZ
Phone : TBA
Email :


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Page Last Updated: Saturday, 20 May 2023 at 15:15 hours by Darc


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A member society of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)