First Foundation Licence Issued
Some 16 people qualified at the Foundation Training Course conducted by the Gold Coast Amateur Radio Society over the weekend of 16 and 17 September 2005, involving a group of WIA Assessors, led by Nominated Assessor, Ron Bertrand, VK2DQ, and the first Foundation licences were issued the following Friday, 21 October 2005, after ACMA�s Determination creating the licence came into effect on the previous Wednesday.
Chris Jones - VK2ZDD
The very first licence issued was issued to Amanda Gray.
Amanda, a legal secretary, was encouraged to undertake the training course by her husband, Chris, VK4XWD. They have two children, aged 6 and 3, and so life is very busy!
Amanda says that she was not really convinced about the course before she started it, but she really did enjoy it and became genuinely really interested as a result, so much so that she had been helping Chris erect an antenna.
She had asked for the callsign VK4FRST before she knew that her licence was, in fact, the first Foundation licence issued in Australia, because she thought she had to be a first something, perhaps the first mum to get a Foundation licence, and was a bit embarrassed when she was told that she really was the first.
At a special meeting of the Gold Coast club on Sunday 23 0ctober 2005 to mark the issue of the new licence, WIA President Michael Owen, VK3KI, stressed the importance of the changes to the Australian amateur licence structure, and the responsibility imposed on the WIA and the clubs to make sure that the new assessment system retained credibility while hastening slowly to avoid errors but to meet the real demand for the new licenses as soon as practical.
Michael stressed that the WIA fully supported the new Foundation licence as the entry to amateur radio, saying he believed that the licence would attract many new amateurs, who he hoped would retain their interest and qualify to the higher grades.
On behalf of the WIA and to mark her achievement, Michael presented Amanda with a copy of the just released ARRL handbook, and a WIA satchel.
Doug Hunter, VK4ADC, from Ozgear, Brisbane, presented Amanda with an Icom radio, on behalf of Ozgear and Icom.
Amanda and Chris both became WIA members on the spot.
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