Operation under a Foundation Amateur Licence is subject to conditions in the:

An Amateur Licence primarily authorises the operation of an Amateur station

  • for self-training in radiocommunications,
  • intercommunications between Amateurs and
  • technical investigations into radiocommunications.

An Amateur Licence only authorises Amateur-to-Amateur communications

  • except in relation to a distress or emergency situation,
  • or where authorised by an Inspector

Handling of third party messages

  • Messages may be passed on behalf of third parties as long as they do not relate to the business or financial affairs of any person.
  • This also applies to sending third party messages via amateurs in other countries unless the foreign government has given notice of its objection to such messages.
  • Radio Amateurs are permitted to send third party messages to other amateurs in Australia on behalf of a third person provided it is not for gain, commercial purpose an advertisement or entertainment or relate to the business or financial affairs of any person.
  • Australian amateurs are permitted to send third party messages via amateurs in other countries unless the foreign government has given notice of its objection to such messages.

Distress and Urgency Signals

  • Distress communications are signalled by the use of “Mayday” and these communications have priority over all other communications
  • Persons hearing a “Mayday” communication are responsible for passing the information on to an appropriate authority
  • Some urgent situations not warranting the use of “Mayday” are signalled by the use of “Pan Pan”
  • These communications should receive priority and should be reported to an appropriate authority

Station Identification

  • Correct station identification is required at the beginning of a transmission, or series of transmissions, and
  • At least every 10 minutes during a series of transmissions
  • Any transmission, even a test transmission, must contain station identification

Amateur Callsigns

Commence with the prefix “VK” in Australia followed by a state identifier:

  • 0 = Antarctic
  • 1 = Australian Capital Territory
  • 2 = New South Wales
  • 3 = Victoria
  • 4 = Queensland
  • 5 = South Australia
  • 6 = Western Australia
  • 7 = Tasmania
  • 8 = Northern Territory
  • 9 = Australian External Territories

Advanced Callsigns

Contain two (2) or three (3) letters following the state identifier.

  • GGA to GGZ is reserved for the Girl Guides Association
  • SAA to SDZ is reserved for the Scouts Association
  • E.g., VK3PH is an advanced callsign issued in the state of Victoria

In 2021, the ACMA allowed advanced amateur operators to apply for 2×1 callsigns to be used during designated contests. These callsigns:

  • Commence with the letters VJ, VK, or VL
  • Have a state designator (0 = Antarctic is not available)
  • Contain a single letter designator (A-Z)

Advanced, Standard & Foundation Callsigns

Contain three (3) letters following the state identifier and are considered a callsign for life. Once you have a callsign, it remains active as long as the ACMA has received the scheduled licence fee. You can upgrade to another licence class and still keep your current callsign. You can move to another state without having to change your state designator.

When changing your address, you must notify the ACMA.

Prior to 2020, Foundation callsigns contained four (4) letters commencing with the letter “F” – these callsigns are still valid however, ACMA will no longer issue them.

  • E.g., VK2FAAA is a Foundation callsign issued in the state of NSW prior to 2020
  • VK7ABC could be an advanced, standard, or foundation callsign issued in the state of Tasmania

Repeater and beacon callsigns

  • Contain the letter “R” following the state designator, followed by two (2) letters to identify the repeater or beacon.
  • E.g., VK3REC is allocated to the EMDRC club repeater (147.175 MHz +600)

Authorised frequency bands and emissions

  • The Foundation Amateur Licence authorises operation on certain frequency bands and the use of certain emission modes
  • Recall what document the bands and modes are specified (Hint: LCD)

Authorised bands and modes for Foundation use are:

  • 80 m band (3.5 – 3.7 MHz any emission mode)
  • 40 m band (7.0 – 7.3 MHz any emission mode)
  • 15 m band (21.0 -21.45 MHz any emission mode)
  • 10 m band (28.0 – 29.7 MHz any emission mode)
  • 2 m band (144.0 – 148.0 MHz any emission mode)
  • 70 cm band (430.0 – 450 MHz any emission mode)

Permitted power output

  • The Foundation Amateur Licence restricts the transmitter output power to a maximum of 10 watts

Encoded Messages

  • Transmission of messages that are encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning is not permitted except for the purposes specified in the Amateur LCD

Entertainment and financial gain

  • The transmission of any form of entertainment is not permitted
  • An amateur station cannot be used for financial gain

Additional conditions

  • A licensee must not operate an Amateur station if operation causes harmful interference to any radiocommunications service
  • ACMA Inspectors have the right to require an Amateur to produce their licence
  • In order to avoid interference, the ACMA has the right to restrict the operation of an Amateur Station
  • An amateur station must not be accessible to unauthorised persons
  • A licensed amateur may allow a non-licensed person to operate their station in accordance with their station licence conditions as long as they are supervised by the licensed amateur

Harmful interference means interference that:

  • endangers the functioning of a radionavigation service or other safety services that are operating in accordance within the Radio Regulations or Spectrum Plan or
  • obstructs, repeatedly interrupts or seriously degrades a radiocommunication service that is operating in accordance within the Radio Regulations or Spectrum Plan