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2021 Magazines

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July - August 2021

May - June 2021


      WIA Member Digital Edition Download

WIA President's Comment

WIA Presidents Comment

This is Greg VK2GPK, WIA President.

Lockdowns – rinse and repeat: As I am writing, about 12 million people in Australia – almost half the total population - are in pandemic related lockdowns following a series of outbreaks of the virulent “Delta” variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There are now signs of lockdown fatigue leading to compliance complacency as well as an uptick in unhelpful public feuding between the State Premiers and the Federal Government, especially over delays in the vaccination rollout. It is a pity that in the original procurement process of the various types of vaccines, the Federal Government seems not to have had a grasp on the concept of “game theory”. Game theory is readily applied to procurement1 in competitive situations that involve conflicts of interest. Increased on-air activity that was a feature of the lockdowns last year seems to have largely dissipated, despite the important mental health benefits that almost certainly ensued. I issue a challenge to the WIA Affiliated Clubs - see if you can get a few members on air on a regular schedule each week - HF or repeater – and make it a permanent feature of your club’s weekly calendar. And don’t forget 160 metres as an option as it is so accessible to the younger members (or potential members!) of your club via a five minute tweak to a basic AM radio.

ACMA April 2021 Consultation: The Australian Communications & Media Authority has advised that they received over 800 submissions to their consultation on unassigned licence classes where ACMA proposed a change to a class licence as their preferred option. ACMA also advised that an outcome on this matter is still work-in-progress. No changes were made to Overseas Class Licences re EME. The WIA wishes to thank all members who responded to our “Call to Action” to write to the ACMA supporting the WIA submission.

WIA AGM: The WIA again conducted a virtual AGM this year– although we had to wait until March 29 this year to find out if ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) would allow public companies2 to hold virtual meetings. The AGM was held on Saturday June 26, with a good turnout with over 90 members directly participating via videoconference and over 150 members viewing the YouTube livestream. The AGM proceeded with the highlight that the surplus posted during FY2020 fully offsets the deficit posted last year3 (FY2019). A Special Resolution to reference a Code of Conduct in the WIA constitution was withdrawn by the chairperson, to be re-introduced at a later General Meeting. Peer organisations in other jurisdictions have Codes of Conduct, such as the RSGB4 (Radio Society of Great Britain). Membership numbers continue to be an area of concern though the membership roll-off which started in 2016 appears to have plateaued in late FY2020. [And with the implementation of the WIA membership benefits card, which offers discounts from participating suppliers that can easily more than offset your cost of membership, we are hoping to see this contribute to an upturn in new members during FY2021.]

Time to pass the baton: I advised at the AGM that it is my intention not to (re-)nominate for the role of president. This is to focus on personal endeavours as I am in the process of repairing infrastructure and building a new house on my rural property, which was extensively damaged in the bushfires last year. The roles of president and vice-president are voted on at the first board meeting held after an AGM.
Retrospective: I have now served two terms of two years as a director, including one year as Vice-President and two years as President. When I first joined the WIA board in mid-2017 it followed a period of toxic destabilisation of the organisation precipitated by a few estranged directors that resulted in the prior entire board standing down in the best interests of the WIA. Many of the assertions made by the estranged directors in 2016 and early 2017 about the prior board were quite serious accusations of alleged malfeasance or alleged mismanagement. The new board, which consisted of 6 new and one prior director, adopted an open-minded approach to the situation we had inherited. The board engaged external auditors to conduct an audit review of the prior year accounts. The auditors found nothing material to corroborate the unhelpful allegations, mis-information and assertions. The loss of the examination and callsign deed in 2019 to an organisation that has no-affiliation with amateur community has had severe – and compounding - impacts on the future of amateur radio. This is due to an almost 50% drop in new licence qualifications, particularly foundation licences. I believe that the regulator cannot continue to ignore this issue or abdicate it’s responsibility. The loss of the deed is almost certainly largely due to WIA brand damage inflicted by what is now a splinter group. The moral of the story is that “knocking the WIA” may be seen as sport by some, but it always unhelpful and has serious potential consequences to the WIA brand that affects ALL amateurs, not just members – maybe not immediately but definitely over time.

Observations: A personal wish list based on the past four years’ experience as a director:
i) Increase board size to 9 directors – this will improve board cohesion and stability. (Note: same number as ARNSW, prior WIA NSW Division).
ii) Move to a 3 year term in conjunction with i) above – this will improve organisational memory and director contribution as the first 6 -12 months is a “ramp-up” period.
iii) Include more material in the magazine targeting Foundation Licensees and YOTA
iv) Introduce pro-active policies to encourage female board representation.
v) Create a framework to allow 160 WIA Affiliated clubs to participate in a regional representation model, similar to RSGB
vi) Limit directors from any one state or territory to 3 board positions – for obvious reasons.
vii) Introduce a Secretariat for board secretary and company secretary roles. Eliminate single point exposures.

The Future: I firmly believe the WIA, now 111 years young, will be able to continue to re-invent itself as it has done over many decades – but only if the membership understand that it is their WIA. The WIA needs the goodwill and continued support of its members to survive. The WIA is a democratic organisation that needs volunteers passionate about a bright future for amateur radio. The WIA has a vital role to play in the future of amateur radio, but it can not do that without you!
73
Greg VK2GPK

Table Of Contents

Technical
Unravelling the mysteries of connecting radios to antennas - Part 2
Brian Clarke,VK2GCE

Streaming Video over Internet Protocol for Amateur Radio
Murray Green, K3BEQ

How does the Tandem Match / Stockton Bridge work?
J S Tregellis, VK5JST

The VK3AQZ HF antenna tuner project - Part 1
Luigi Destefano VK3AQZ

Brisbane VHF Group mixes it up
Peter Schrader VK4EA / KQ4PS

General
Bill Roper OAM VK3BR
Bruce Bathols VK3UV

MayHam 2021
Glenn, VK2GEM and Philip, VK2WPC

Central Coast Field Day
Ray Robinson, VK2NO

WIA Spectrum Committee News
Grant Willis, VK5GR

Silos on the air (SiOTA)
Marc Hillman, VK3OHM and Megan Woods, VK3TIN

 


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