WIA talk at the Westlakes well received
The Wireless Institute of Australia gave an insight on its operation and the busy agenda, in an address to the Westlakes Amateur Radio Club at Newcastle, New South Wales. WIA President Phil Wait VK2ASD explained the structure and challenges ahead to about 50 who had gathered at the club rooms in Teralba on Saturday, January 30.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
He talked mostly about the big-picture items, such as how the current WIA operates, and the need for Amateur Radio to show it has public value, and therefore better justify its continued access to spectrum. Covered was the WIA response to the Spectrum Review and why it is important for the future of Amateur Radio, and the WIA’s suggested changes to the Foundation, Standard and Advanced licences. Phil VK2ASD also emphasised that there was enormous pressure on the spectrum from the new generation of mobile devices and the Internet of Things – all set to grow in coming years.
The WIA Board in all that it does, both in membership services and the time-consuming often hard advocacy, had as its first priority, the advancement of Amateur Radio. After the presentation the WIA answered about a dozen questions from the floor. These included the cost of WIA membership, with a general idea that halving the subscription rate could more than double the member number. Phil VK2ASD explained that the idea was not new, however it was a pretty dangerous exercise if it didn't work. The potential of a membership fee reduction for a no-paper Amateur Radio magazine was also discussed, but the saving to the individual by introducing such a measure was not large.
There was a question about the choice of Norfolk Island for the WIA annual general meeting in May. Phil VK2ASD replied that it ticked all the boxes, was a majority WIA Board decision, but agreed that some perceived that there could be a problem with the choice.
A positive suggestion arising out of the question and answer session, which the WIA will consider, was a reader feedback form in Amateur Radio each year to gauge what people want in the publication. Another was the possible re-introduction of the Conference of Clubs in New South Wales that existed some years ago.
At the end of the afternoon session, which ran about two hours, Phil VK2ASD was thanked for providing the sort of big-picture information that affects all, and mostly not known to the audience previously.
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