Group marks 100 years on the air

June 13, 2023 BY

Making contact: Ballarat Amateur Radio Club member Kim Daniel has her own ham radio set-up at home. Photo: SUPPLIED

IN June of 1923, the Ballarat Amateur Radio Club held its first ever meeting.

A century later, and now known as the Ballarat Amateur Radio Group, members are celebrating the organisation’s 100th anniversary.

President, Ben Daniel, said the centenary is a chance to highlight ham radio and its place in the city.

“BARG is sponsoring a month-long on-air event to commemorate 100 years of known amateur radio activity in Ballarat by offering an electronic certificate to any amateur radio station who makes at least one on-air radio contact with any Ballarat based Amateur Radio station during the month of June,” he said.

“The certificate is also available to short wave listeners who make a report.”

The hobby is not only historic, but a popular pastime in Ballarat, that’s united people and their electronics.

“Amateur radio activity was the first social media, long before twitter, YouTube and Facebook,” Mr Daniel said.

“Our modern digital world is reliant on very reliable infrastructure which can be overloaded or fail, however Amateur radio can still get the message through as it does not rely on physical wires.

“The hobby is for all ages, be it a youngster just starting out on a career in technology or someone looking for new learning opportunities, broadening their horizons or just to making good friends.

“It is an excellent hobby for those recently retired or wanting to have the possibility of communication for safety whilst caravanning around Australia.”

Mr Daniel said some members of BARG have kept their set-ups simple, while others “push the digital age to its limits” with their amateur radio skills.

“Bouncing a radio signal off the moon, or off an orbiting satellite, having a quick listen or even a chat with astronauts in the space station, establishing a contact with someone on a push bike in the UK whilst you are in a car in the middle of Australia; it’s all exciting and very possible with amateur radio,” he said.

“It’s fun, social, educational, and a great foundation for a career in all forms of communications as well as the catalyst for lifelong friendships.

“Amateur radio, and the magic of wireless, is alive and well and even more accessible than ever.” Visit barg.org.au for more information.