I am Andrew VK6AS. I live in Bull Creek which is an urban suburb south of the CBD in Perth, Western Australia. Presently I am the Administrative Secretary of RASA.
I have been an almost lifelong Short Wave Listener, but didn’t achieve an Amateur licence until 5 years ago, as I found time whilst easing into early retirement. The stimulus for my interest was my father who was an airborne wireless operator during WW2 and whose love of radio and communications passed onto me.
I passed through the grades of licences within a year and went on to become an assessor for examinations.
Despite the fact that the purists rant against it, my favourite mode is FT8. Why? Because noise at my QTH and antenna limitations make SSB Dx very difficult.
My current rig for digital stuff is an Icom 7300 that I find excellent. I have recently invested in a Flexradio SDR machine and have really enjoyed learning to drive a beautifully engineered piece of equipment.
I got into radio to do SSB Dx an ambition not yet realised, however I really enjoy all aspects of actually getting on air. I am a black box operator and although I would love to gain skills in homebrew and like CW I suspect that I won’t be going down those paths.
I am the current President of W.A. Amateur Radio News Inc. the club that produces the weekly NewsWest programme. I am also the enrolments officer for Ham College a club that is principally involved in education and training over here in the West. We run regular training courses and depending on the future of amateur assessment we hope to maintain a busy assessment programme.
My motivation for involvement with RASA is simple. It followed my experience as a Director of the other National Representative body, after I considered that it had some faults that it did not seem to be willing to address. I therefore felt that another organisation with fresh views and ideas would be a good idea. I am not interested in competition or rivalry between two groups but just in providing a service to all radio amateurs for the betterment of our wonderful hobby.
My past career was as a jaw and face surgeon but in academic practice. At the end of my time I was running a mixed academic and public health organisation with a multi-million dollar annual budget. I had to introduce change not just academically but fiscally and was very closely involved as a leader in the development of competency based learning into medicine and dentistry over the last 25 years. I hope to apply these skills and experience at RASA.
I am surprised at how quickly RASA has grown and developed. I feel that the executive group has exciting ideas that are truly representative for all amateurs. This group is however realistic in what is possible to achieve within a time frame and collectively we have a good body of experience in negotiation with and management of statutory bodies and other groups. We have built a sound foundation, already, for the future.
There are multiple challenges all of which are important but with my educational background I have concerns that restrictive and expensive pathways into the hobby are our greatest threat whilst the variety of skill sets of current amateurs is our greatest strength.
I would like to see the numbers of Hams increase exponentially as we show leadership in development of communication technologies.
To anyone thinking about becoming involved with the hobby of Amateur Radio, I say Go on, join us, but beware it is addictive! You know being heard is important!