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Amateur Radio Licenses

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the federal authority that manages radio licenses, frequency spectrum allocation and related items Australia and its territories.

The ACMA, subject to examination or equivalent acceptable qualifications, issue licenses as set out in the current Amateur License Information Paper. Each grade of license allows specific privileges for use of the electronic spectrum regarding frequencies and power limitations. There are no minimum age requirements.

The latest qualifications and conditions can be found at the ACMA web site.

In 2004, the ACMA conducted a review of the Amateur Service in Australia. There is no longer a Morse Code requirement for any Amateur License in Australia. Which effectively means that there are now two license classes: Novice, and Unrestricted. The difference is the amount of technical knowledge required to pass the examination.

Amateur Foundation License

In 2005, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) introduced an Amateur Radio Foundation license, targetted at a younger and less technical audience. The examination format for this license is typically a two day seminar, followed by a multiple choice test and practical examination.

The foundation license has a lower power limit than the Novice and Unrestricted licenses, and also limits the frequencies which can be used. However, it is generally accepted as an excellent starting point for youger operators or those who have limited technical knowledge.

Considering that some people study for years to obtain a Novice license, the foundation license can be obtained in a single weekend after attending a structured class.

The Wireless Institute of Australia website gives a lot more information, including a downloadable syllabus.

This will be the perfect license for Scouts and Guides to get started in Amateur Radio. A basic overview is also available from the Scouts Australia web site.

The Manly-Warringah Radio Society runs a one day Theory, Regulations and Practical assessment for the Foundation license. See their Training and Exams page for more details, schedules, costs, etc.