The hobby of amateur radio has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world since the early 1900's. Unlike other radio users, such as citizen band, amateur radio operators are required to have a technical understanding of radio theory, operating procedure and safety. The ability to use morse code is no longer required for an amateur radio operator.

Amateur radio operators are regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). There are three levels of amateur radio licence in Australia, Advanced, Standard and Foundation.

The Foundation Licence was introduced in 2005, as an entry level amateur radio licence. The Foundation Licence Manual has been produced to provide information to assist in studying for the foundation licence, and is now in it's 2nd edition.

Some amateur radio clubs, such as The St George Amateur Radio Society (SGARS) also provide training and assessment weekends. On line training is also available from the Radio and Electronics School. The operating conditions for an amateur radio licence are set out by the ACMA in the Licence Conditions Determination (LCD).

The foundation licence assessment consists of 25 questions about basic radio theory and operating regulations, and practical hands on radio operating assessment.The cost of the assessment is $35 (for under 18 yo) plus a small administration charge.

After successfully completing the assessment, an application can be made to the ACMA to receive a Certificate of Proficiency and a Foundation Amateur Radio Licence and call sign. Currently the cost to apply for an amateur radio licence is $75.00 for 12 months, followed by a $51.00 yearly renewal fee.

Amateur radio Call Signs in Australia, start with VK followed by a number corresponding to the state or territory where the operator resides, e.g. VK2 = NSW, VK3 = VIC, etc, similar to post code prefixes. The number is followed by either 2, 3 or 4 letters which identifies the individual operator, e.g. VK2LE.

Scouts who hold an amateur radio licence are eligible for the Scout Amateur Radio Operator Badge.

For more information, obtain a copy of the Foundation Licence Manual or attend a training and assessment weekend, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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