What have the Romans (or the WIA) done for us?

This is a question often asked in recent times. The WIA Reform Group decided to investigate this question from the members’ perspective.

 

Have the Romans (WIA) been managing the money and business successfully?

Year Profit/loss
2011 $4,727
2012 -$20,986
2013 -$10,835
2014 $9,482
2015 How Big?

A cumulative loss over 4 years of $17,612.

Members were informed in the President’s Comment column in the May issue of Amateur Radio magazine that 2015 will result in a loss as well. How big will the overall loss be once the 2015 loss is known?

With the current Board spending our money in record fashion how big will the loss be this year and then next year?   The current Board has spent more of our money in 2015 than ever before on propping up their decisions and now the WIA and the hobby are in a worse condition than when they started.

This Board has continually proven it is unable to manage member’s funds to return a solid profit.  A profit allows money to be directed into positive activities to promote, grow and protect our hobby.  A profit might mean that your fees don’t have to go up. A profit might mean clubs get more support.

Every reader will understand the need to keep spending in line with income.  You can’t spend more than you earn for an extended period without major problems.  The current Board doesn’t seem to realise this.

Spending other people’s money must be easy for them.  Tens of thousands paid to a director, thousands of dollars being paid to an accountant plus a trip to a Pacific Island for staff and Board members.  When will it stop?

In the last 12 months the Board has illustrated that it is incapable of managing the business or operating as a team. Serious allegations of conflict of interest have been raised. Since the middle of 2015, a Director, two Treasurers and one assistant Treasurer have resigned along with numerous committee volunteers. Ethical and professional concerns have been raised over the manner in which the Board has been managing our WIA.

Why do Treasurers keep resigning?  For the first time in the history of the National WIA (since 2004), the Board is paying a professional accountant to repair the Institute’s accounting system (MYOB) and act as Treasurer.

All this after paying a Director tens of thousands of dollars of OUR funds to manage the office for 7 months. How much is this costing members now?

Can this Board manage the WIA’s business? Can we afford to continue to allow them to?

 

Our hobby is in decline.

Year
Ending
June
Australian
Amateur Licenses
Growth vs.
Previous Yr
Notes
2015  
2014 14,040 -125
2013 14,165 -209
2012 14,374 -167
2011 14,541 -1085
2010 15,626 -194
2009 15,432 154
2008 15,278 269
2007 15,009 534 ACMA issued 1,155 amateur operator certificates of proficiency during the reporting year: 896 Foundation, 168 Standard and 91 Advanced certificates.
2006 14,475 434
2005 14,041 6 Sep 2005 – Foundation license created.
2004 14,047 -316 Jan 2004 – Amateurs w/o Morse endorsements gain full HF allocations.
2003 14,363 -173
2002 14,536 -481
2001 15,017 -643
2000 15,660 -4
1999 15,664 –533
1998 16,197 -536
1997 16,733  
  • Data from http://ah0a.org/Australia/VK-Stations.html

Our hobby is in slow decline as the numbers above illustrate. Unless positive actions are taken to reverse the trend, keep the hobbyists we have already and attract more people to the hobby, the future of Amateur Radio in Australia is uncertain.

Does the Board have a plan to arrest the decline? We haven’t seen one….

 

Member Services – what do you get?

  • QSL Bureau – serviced by volunteers. Has been running for years.
  • Library & historical QSL Card Collection
  • Email forwarding service (yourcall@wia.org.au)
  • Amateur Radio Magazine
  • Award Certificates (DXCC Awards)
  • Book Shop (Member prices)

 

Public Services (no need to be a member)

  • Examination Services
  • Callsign Management & Recommendations
  • WIA Bookshop
  • ACMA licencing for repeaters
  • Amateur Radio Magazine (available in Newsagents)
  • News Broadcasts
  • Contests & Awards

 

No Improvements to Privileges for Members.

In spite of Board and committee members attending numerous conferences both domestically and internationally, and lobbying the ACMA a number of times, Australian amateurs have received no improvements in privileges in recent years directly through the efforts of the WIA.

The last material change to privileges was the introduction of the Foundation Licence in 2005. Despite the spin from the Board, their efforts have proven to be totally ineffective.

Separate to this, many will recall the 1 kW trial in 2012/2013 which was unsuccessful. Here we are in 2016 and the Board has recently (April 2016) delivered yet another submission to the ACMA. This submission is fundamentally the same as one presented two years ago without result. Read about it here.

 

Benefits for WIA Affiliated Clubs

What benefits do some WIA affiliated clubs enjoy?

  • Shared public liability insurance scheme
  • WIA Clubs Grants Scheme: In 2014 $2,500 (just 0.5% of WIA’s turnover) was donated to affiliated clubs through the Clubs Grants scheme.
  • In 2013, $0, in 2012 $4,993 and in 2011 $10,015.

Compare these woeful efforts to support the hobby by the WIA board with those of ARNSW who have been pictured in Amateur Radio handing over generous cheques worth thousands of dollars to clubs all over VK2 in the last year or so.

 

The facts in this paper have all been obtained from publically available sources.

 

How is our Board performing?

You be the judge.