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November - December 2024

November - December 2024

WIA President's Comment

Say ‘NO’ to divisive practices, but say ‘YES’ to truth

We seem to live in a time where even well-placed words can be mistaken for a divisive call-to-arms. How did the title to this article make you feel? I was treading close to the line, but do you see how easy it can be?
Rapid growth of media fighting for your valuable attention has led to a continuous, sensational news cycle. We are no longer presented with facts and allowed to form our own opinion; instead, opinions are presented and we need to seek out the truth.
Everything is drama. Everything is sculpted to elicit the maximum emotional response. We are not built to cope with this onslaught of noise. It’s apparent, particularly in recent years, that we need to take our psychological health just as seriously as our physical.

As many of you are aware, I joined the WIA Board of directors this May. No one really knew me. I hadn’t previously been involved with the WIA and I didn’t play any significant role in the amateur radio community. But I do read a lot.
My profession has trained me to be critical of everything I read. Amateur Radio in Australia has had its controversies in recent years and like any modern consumer of media, I was sceptical while I tried to tease truth from the noise. This ultimately led to my volunteering to join the WIA board of directors.

Pursuing truth
In the pursuit of truth, but also my willingness to contribute towards bettering things as required, I’ve spent the last six months doing a lot of listening, and will continue to do so. So, please always feel free to reach out to me and tell me what issues or thoughts you may have. My email address can be found on the WIA website.
I’m slow to form opinions; again, probably a result of my scientific background. A good scientist will try to remain open minded, drawing from all available sources of information. Distilling down, eliminating falsehoods. And in this crucible, the truth will always eventually emerge.
From my privileged position within the WIA board, I can tell you some truths that I’ve drawn.
My fellow board members are a wide-ranging collection of the most genuine gentlemen I’ve ever met. They contribute great swathes of their most valuable resource – time – to the betterment of Amateur Radio in Australia for all amateurs.
Like any good board, we don’t always agree on issues (after all, we are drawn from a sample to be as representative of the community as we can). But, we discuss issues in a productive and respectful manner and the actions are always focused on what’s best for the WIA members.
I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised. Some of the noise (if it were to be believed) would suggest that the Board doesn’t agree on courses of action or perhaps doesn’t support the chair. I can honestly tell you, from first-hand experience, that this couldn’t be further from the truth. And you know, this revelation has invigorated and inspired me. There may be problems, but I can assure you, they’re certainly not going unaddressed.

Our foundation – volunteers
As a volunteer-based organisation, the rate of change may not be as fast as some of you (and even I) hoped. But the volunteers we do have are amazing, hence my ongoing praise and respect.
So, why am I telling you all this? After all, I just told you not to believe what you read! My message to all readers is to be critical of what you’re told – in all forums. Never trust a single source. Exercise your freedom to make up your own mind. But I encourage you to draw on as many sources as possible and try to eliminate historical or internal biases as you do so.

I’m going to end by telling you about something rare and special to me. The amateur radio service and hobby has always been, and will always be, a stable place to explore science, build friendships and build community. Apolitical and free of religion.
We must always be vigilant in preserving this precious space. From the way we treat each other to the type of language we use. Sure, there will always be those negative opinions and influences. But we’ll deal with negativity as we always have. Don’t feed the trolls.


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