Who is the peak Amateur Radio Group in Australia?

TopicWho is the peak Amateur Radio Group in Australia?
SubtopicWhat are the current groups or organisations involved in Australia Amateur Radio
quipment RequiredNone
CostsMembership if you so desire
Document last reviewed and updated (reviewed each year)12th January 2024 – updated for currency

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA)

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) (www.wia.org.au) is the National Society of Radio Amateurs in Australia. It was originally established in 1910 and is recognised by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) as the sole Australian Amateur Radio peak body representing Australian Amateur operators both nationally and internationally.

The WIA, many years ago, also used to perform the role that the AMC (see below) did until recently, on behalf of the ACMA.

It also produces a long running magazine called Amateur Radio (AR) Magazine which is a good read.

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

Known literally as The ACMA https://www.acma.gov.au/. ACMA was formed from a merger of Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) and the Australian Communications Authority (ACA). The ACMA is an important part of Amateur radio as they implement the relevant ITU Radio Regulations, allocate spectrum for Amateur Radio, make the regulations that place technical and operational conditions on Amateur Stations and issuing and renewing amateur licences. If you have heard of the name before, that is because ACMA are involved in almost anything involving the regulation communications and its content in Australia. These can include (but not limited to)

  • Phone services
  • TV Broadcast Services
  • Radio Broadcast Services
  • Mobile Phone services (including Spectrum Allocation and Auctions)
  • Internet Services
  • Equipment Compliance
  • Amateur Radio
  • Creation and Administering Legislative instruments relating to communications

Australian Maritime College (AMC)

They were primarily responsible for the adminstration of exams (Foundation / Standard / Advanced) and the allocation of callsigns. NOTE : as of mid February 2024, the roles relating to Amateur Radio such as Exam preparation & Management, call sign database, and call sign recommendations, previously performed on on behalf of ACMA, will be taken back by ACMA as part of a conversion from Apparatus Licences to Class Licences to assist in reducing costs and administration. This organisation has been included here to provide some immediate history. From Mid February 2024, they should have no further part in Amateur Radio administration.

Any document you find on the Internet / Web sites after February 2024, that refer to AMC for basically anything to do with Amateur Radio will be and old link.


It would be unfair not to recognise that there is another group that claims to represent and promote Amateur Radio in Australia. This group is The Radio Amateur Society of Australia inc. (www.vkradioamateurs.org). This group was setup by some long time Amateurs that felt that something was lacking from the WIA.

Also they put out quarterly magazine which contains some technical articles as well as regulations and proposed changes to regulations which is worth a look. Personally I think that we are better off with one body, and the effort put into that one body, especially when you see the mud slinging over who has done what for the Amateur Radio operators. One thing that will drive operators away is in-fighting. It sounded like a good idea, especially if it was followed through, but it appears to be nothing more than a website mouth piece

I actually joined out of interest, but have not seen an email from them since. Supposedly they have an AGM in September (or at least once a year), and have seen no request for nominations or notice of AGM. Again, I think more effort into assisting one body is a much better way to go. Yes, I have heard of the history of various factions within the WIA, but sometimes we need to put these things aside and move forward.


With the ACMA taking things back, it is a major change for Amateur Radio, not so much in terms of Amateur operators rights and privileges, but in administration and management of exam services and we can only hope speed improvements in getting results and licences completed. One of the benefits of the ACMA is that they have a culture of stakeholder consultation (not just in Amateur Radio related areas) which has allowed for feedback on intended changes, so its case of seeing how this plays out, but so far, the licence cost removal and simplification of the administration appears to make sense.

The WIA, is probably an organisation joining as a member, especially when you throw in the magazine. In fact if you compare the ARRL membership and their magazine cost (QST), the WIA magazine offers far better value in terms of technical articles, whereas QST has just become a advertising vehicle with a few technical articles thrown in to break up the advertising.

In fact, I will probably restart my WIA membership again this year, and start pushing on some immediate issues like

  • Updating their payment methods to offer more secure payments (and no I am not talking CryptoCurrency). Clubs are doing it already to make it easier for members to pay.
  • Updating almost all their Website articles with many woefully out of date
  • Update the website design – it is now showing its age.
  • Make a serious call for volunteers to assist (not just web related, but many of the functions..

If you are capable in terms of costs, I would seriously recommend you look at the WIA as you representative body.


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