The Southern Highlands Amateur Radio Club was formed in April, 2008 to help establish a base for Amateur Radio enthusiasts in the area. Our group is small but active and members can usually be found on the clubs repeaters.

What is Amateur radio?

Amateur radio is a hobby (also known as HAM radio), where people use radio equipment to send and receive signals on dedicated frequencies to communicate with people both close to home and overseas. Worldwide amateur radio is a licensed hobby, meaning the government controls the use of equipment used on the airwaves. There are strict rules on the use of equipment and there is also a code of conduct.

In Australia, the organisation that takes care of that licencing is the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) and the WIA (Wireless Institute of Australia) runs courses and conducts testing for those people wanting to apply for a radio license. There are three levels of licensing in Australia, Foundation, Standard and Advanced. The length and depth of the associated courses and testing varies between each level. Check the WIA website for details of courses or contact us and we will point you in the right direction. An annual fee is charged for an Amateur License, and each licensed amateur is allocated a callsign, the callsigns are also allocated in a set format depending on the level of license and the state in which the applicant resides. All Australian callsigns begin with VK, followed by a number indicating the state, eg. NSW is 2., followed by a sequence of letters 2,3 or 4 characters long.

Amateur radio is a very interesting and rewarding hobby. You will have the opportunity to make many friends, learn about radio frequencies and antenna setups etc. Many clubs have competitions in which you can participate, and there many field days held where you can share your interest in radio communications with others. If you are interested, we encourage you to become a licensed amateur and enjoy this wonderful hobby. If you would like more information about becoming an amateur radio operator you can contact the WIA or a member of our club would be happy to give you some information to get you started.

Please note - amateur radio is not used for commercial purposes and our club is NOT a radio station!