This year, the Waverley Amateur Radio Society celebrates its 90th anniversary as a WIA affiliated club. Fittingly, the club welcomed WIA President Phil Wait VK2ASD as guest speaker at the club’s monthly meeting on 16 March 2016.
After joining members for dinner in the Rose Bay RSL Club, Phil spoke about three broad areas in a wide ranging presentation. Phil began with a review of the role of the WIA and its range of members services, such as Amateur Radio magazine, the QSL bureau, as well as its roles in advocacy with government, international liaison and coordination, and its role in amateur radio education, licensing and callsign administration. Phil provided a snapshot of the WIA today, reviewing the state of membership and financial health, as well as addressing some of the criticisms leveled at the WIA, including a review of recent operational challenges and responses (more on these issues can be found in the April 2016 issue of Amateur Radio).
Finally Phil discussed the WIA’s strategic directions for the future, with a range of objectives such as improving member’s services, improving amateur license conditions with the forthcoming changes to the regulatory framework (eg. increased power for all levels of licenses, access to digital modes and computer control for foundation licenses, full access to 6m for standard licenses). A major WIA strategic objective is to promote the growth of amateur radio by promoting its relevance in the 21st century at a fundamental level, by promoting the public value of amateur radio. Phil spoke about addressing these objectives on two levels – through youth involvement, particularly via the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths) initiative in school curriculum development, and through technology involvement via DIY and maker activities.
Phil took a wide range of questions from the floor and engaged in some thoughtful discussion to feedback, to end a useful and mutually informative presentation and dialogue. – Waverley ARS