I’m Paul Anslow VK2APA. My wife, Heather VK2FHLA and I reside in the village of Largs in the Lower Hunter Valley, having relocated from Western Sydney.
As a child I was fascinated with radio and became a short wave listener. My introduction to Amateur Radio was at a hobby exhibition when I was 12. I was fortunate to meet Reg VK7KK and Rob VK7RH who were operating a HF portable station. I was handed the mic, spoke with a Soviet amateur and instantly became hooked.
Making radio communications my profession and other distractions meant that it took until 2012 before I returned to amateur radio and became licenced. I support national representation and rejoined the WIA and my then local club, Amateur Radio NSW (ARNSW).
In 2012 I was elected to the ARNSW council and took on the role of Education Officer from Terry VK2UX (SK) until relocating to the Lower Hunter in mid 2018. During this time I introduced ARNSW to social media by establishing a Facebook page. Introducing people to the hobby is a passion of mine, so my role of Instructor and coordinator of foundation training and assessment and running Monday night standard and advanced upgrade classes, was extremely satisfying.
I retired professionally in May 2019 from a career in Naval communications and electronics, having worked in both the government and private sectors. My roles and experience included technician, in-service support engineer, instructor, logistician, contract establishment and management, compliance, change management, liaison and lead auditor of; quality management systems, occupational health and safety management systems and environmental management systems.
My current interests in the hobby are HF data modes, DX chasing, responding to WWFF stations, improving my CW, and building of equipment. My shack is always under construction. Our hobby provides much to explore and I plan to add other activities, such as satellites and a permanent WSPR Beacon to my growing list. I still listen to Shortwave Broadcast and Utility stations and still experience the excitement I felt as a child.
Coming back to the hobby in 2012 after an absence of 40 odd years was a surprise and a shock!
My old Yaesu FT7B transceiver looked very basic in comparison to the equipment available now. I’m impressed with the great technical advancements in the hobby. It was disappointing to see that the numbers of active amateurs has declined and some are unhappy with the way things are. I noted that very little had changed with the WIA and sadly noted that there is now a significant disconnect between our national body, the members it represents and the regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). With my government contract experience, I was not at all surprised that the Australian Maritime College was successful in their bid for assessment services on behalf of the ACMA.
Whilst some of our local clubs are doing well, some are doing it tough, some are fragmented and some only serve the personal desires of their management. I noted as ARNSW Education Officer that new licensees have little support from a club or national level and as a result some have become disenchanted and drift away.
Our hobby needs to evolve, become inclusive, supportive, modern and relevant, if we are to retain our existing amateurs and attract the next generation. A number of overseas clubs are actively addressing these issues so why not us?
I became a member and then became the General Secretary of the Radio Amateur Society of Australia (RASA) in 2019 and in 2021 hold the position of President.
I see RASA’s role is to engage with the amateur radio community, listen, respond, represent and support. Early in 2021 I suggested that RASA needed to conduct a Strategy Planning Session which is now underway. 2021 has seen significant change, which in turn has prompted the board to reflect on RASA’s future roles in supporting VK Amateur Radio.
I am looking forward continuing to work with everyone and drawing on my background to the benefit of amateur radio. I believe that the amateur radio has a lot to offer in this new technology age and with the correct approach and support can grow and continue being a great hobby of the 21st Century.
RASA is not the enemy—what will ruin Amateur Radio is apathy, attitude and inaction.
73 Paul VK2APA