Why have you started this organisation?
There is a void in representative services for all Australian Radio Amateurs. We aim to more thoroughly investigate and pursue regulatory matters related to the hobby of Amateur Radio.
We intend to represent the 70% of Australian amateurs who are not currently members of any representative organisation, but of course any Australian Amateur Radio Operator is welcome to join.
We will invite both individuals and Clubs to put forward their ideas for the future of Amateur radio, test these ideas for
broad consensus and viability and make serious representations on behalf of all Amateurs in a timely way.
Above all, we want your feedback.
Why do we need a second National Body?
Response to the launch of the Radio Amateur Society of Australia has been quite extraordinary, with large numbers of new subscriptions arriving daily, including some very well-known and influential amateurs.
Some people have questioned why we need a second national representative group for Amateur Radio in this country.
Effective and inclusive representation is an important component of any group that represents its members; especially where government regulation is involved.
Sometimes, when there is only one representative group (a monopoly) there is no real accountability to deliver the best possible outcomes for members.
There is no real competitive benchmark to ensure members are getting the best possible outcomes.
When considering what effective representation means, we should all think about things like:
- What real world results are being achieved for members?
- How are members engaged and how is consultation performed. Are members being heard?
- How often does it communicate and is the communication meaningful? Or is it more like an ivory tower communicating what it wants, rather than addressing the needs and concerns of its members?
- When you send comments, complaints or questions, does your representative body respond in a timely and helpful manner?
We see examples of poor representation in areas like Local Government, national hobby groups and some professional representative groups.
Closer to our own hearts, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) received some healthy competition about 20 years ago. This lead to a great improvement in accountability and member services.
RASA was formed with the specific purpose of improving representation, awareness and education.
We believe that a complimentary national body can only be good for the hobby. Our business model uses the latest technology, enabling us to offer services at a very low cost to members.
We will conduct surveys and will listen to your concerns and interests.
Our representation to the federal regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), will be thoroughly researched and results focused.
There are no restrictions on whom government regulators deal with. Any representative or lobby group can approach the regulator and discuss their member’s interests and concerns.
Indeed, two founding members of RASA have already met with ACMA.
One of our members offered a very useful insight on our Facebook page:
I have witnessed – several times now – national representative societies challenged by a second society. In all cases there has been a positive outcome.
It would appear that when a hobby (any hobby) has one national society it is only a matter of time before the leaders realise that the only thing they need from members in order to conduct their business is their money.
Competition and intelligent criticism from a second organisation can only do good. One of my hobby interests (not radio) in one of the countries I visit regularly (not Australia) has four national representative societies.
And it is the friendliest, healthiest and most honestly run hobby in any location I know. I know RASA members will be written off as whinging malcontents, as that is always the first defense against a legitimate threat to monopoly, but that will pass.
Based on the initial responses to our calls for membership, we believe our goals are resonating very well with fellow Australian Amateur Radio enthusiasts.
We encourage you to give us a go. For the first 12 months there will be no membership fee, and no obligation to renew membership after that.
If you don’t think we deserve your money in the second year, don’t give us any….
We’ll publish our budget during the first year. Annual fees will be $8.
Effective representation is vital for the future of our hobby. We hope that every Australian Amateur Radio enthusiast will support RASA.
What is your structure?
From its commencement in 2017, RASA created a very basic form of organisation to get started. Our first promise was that within 6 months we would have a transparent system of management, comprehensive rules and we would become an Incorporated not-for-profit Association.
We have now done this.
In April/May 2018, RASA became an Incorporated Association in Victoria, and a National Registered Body with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
RASA Inc. is now officially a National Association with legal standing in all states of Australia.
Our ABN is 646 872 274 46
Why are you offering services for free?
We are a modern, internet based volunteer organisation with very low running costs. For our first year of operation we intend to provide these services free of charge.
During the first year of operation we will publish our budget. We aim to keep the fee as low as possible for the second and subsequent years – $8 per year.
RASA is a not-for-profit group and its management team will receive no financial reward for their work. Indeed, all the costs incurred so far have been funded entirely by your management team. This has included the cost of air fares across Australia for important meetings and formal contact with the ACMA.
Any revenue collected by RASA will be used solely to further the listed aims of the organisation, namely the representation and promotion of Amateur Radio in Australia.
What issues will you be addressing in your first year of operation?
We aim to strengthen the relationship between all Australian Radio Amateurs and the regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
We will be publishing a series of educational and informative news articles to help Radio Amateurs better understand the regulatory environment.
We are liaising on a number of outstanding matters with the ACMA and we will lobby for real improvements to privileges.
Doesn't the WIA provide these services?
The WIA does not offer the in-depth investigative or representative services we provide.
We are results focused and conduct considerable research relating to the administration, management and regulation of the hobby.
Is RASA only for well established Amateur Operators?
Whether you are just thinking about becoming an Amateur operator, have recently become one or have been in the hobby for many years, RASA
wants to listen to your story and provide you with quality representation.
As much of the legislation involving the hobby is directed to entry level licensing and conditions, it makes sense to join RASA early in order to learn more details about the hobby and to have an opportunity to be heard..
How will you communicate?
We will communicate by this website, email and Facebook. We anticipate also issuing News Releases from time to time which will be made available to various news services and clubs.
I don't use Facebook!
Fair enough - lots of people don't use Facebook (and you can often see why...).
Website and Facebook activity will run in parallel - non-Facebook users will have access to all information and discussions, etc.