19th August 2016. WIA Reform Group – News Letter Number 16

Censorship, Secrecy & Intimidation.

Hello again,

Up until now, we have avoided making a public statement about the issues contained in this newsletter.

All members should be very concerned that the culture of the WIA Board is one of secrecy, intimidation and censorship.

Late last year it was brought to the attention of members that there was a culture of secrecy and intimidation inside the WIA Board.  The Board has continued to operate in this manner and have done nothing to address their deep seated problems.

In spite of their best efforts, Andrew Smith and Paul Simmonds are clearly in a minority and are unable to break through the appalling endemic toxic culture.  These two directors are doing their best.  They both talk with members.  They both want transparency.

Requests to the President to answer member concerns continue to be either ignored or answered with non-specific generalisations and platitudes.  The upcoming issues of AR Magazine are bound to contain further examples….

Why won’t the President simply publish a P&L Statement?

If the Board can’t publish the financials, then they are not fit to hold their positions on the Board and must go.  If they won’t publish the financials, then they are not fit to hold their positions and must go.

Over the course of the last 3 months, our articles and news items have been censored by various news outlets.

Most recently, a request to the VK6 News Broadcast team was rejected, because apparently repeater funding to VK6 from the National WIA may be at risk had they run our item.

There is really only one way to interpret this; intimidation and censorship of the Broadcast team.

And as many have experienced, intimidation can be applied in many different ways. It need not be overt.

A request to place a very simple paid advertisement in Amateur Radio magazine was rejected by the Board. Further censorship. And lost revenue!

We can only assume that the editor of Amateur Radio Magazine is unable to exercise editorial independence for similar reasons as those stated by the VK6 team. We have no doubt Peter Freeman’s own judgement would ensure fair and balanced access to the members’ national journal.

At the AGM, the President Phil Wait advised members that they could inspect Board Meeting Minutes in person at the National Office.

It appears the President has misled members.

One attempt to do this by a WIA member was met with reluctance by Bruce Deefholts and referral to the Company Secretary, Jim Linton. A further attempt resulted in confirmation that any requests to view the Board Minutes must be referred to the Company Secretary for approval.

What does the President and his fellow directors have to hide? Why won’t the office email these minutes to members like the ARRL and RSGB?

With your continuing support, this Board is now on notice. They continue to avoid any attempts to communicate openly and honestly. At best, their performance is sloppy, careless and incompetent. And now they are attempting to hide this from members with censorship and “Yes Minister” style bureaucracy to limit member’s access to records.

Free speech is a hallmark of our society. We have no doubt that the majority of the WIA Board does not like what we have to say and are embarrassed by members being made aware of it. Some members may not be interested. Neither of these are acceptable reasons for news submissions in the member’s national journal to be censored.

Amateur Radio is the journal of our institute.  It is not the personal mouthpiece of the President or the Board to do with as they see fit.

What is the Board of the WIA afraid of?  Why won’t they answer genuine concerns from members?  Why are they censoring what we have to say?


There are still many people who are unaware of the WIA Reform Group. Please forward this email to your local club and friends. Take a copy when you meet local amateurs for a coffee. If they contact Feedback@wiarg.org we can send them a newsletter direct.

Stay up-to-date with news and progress; – visit www.wiarg.org

We’ll continue to support Paul Simmonds and Andrew Smith and challenge this Board to for better results for all Australian Radio Amateurs. A strong WIA is critical to protect our hobby. We encourage every radio amateur in Australia to be a member.


Until next week,

G.C. Dunstan VK4DU, C. Chapman VK3QB, R. Dollar VK8RD