Amateur radio, sometimes referred to as 'ham radio' is a hobby which brings people, electronics and communication together. People use amateur radio to make contact with other amateurs around the world by voice, morse code, digital modes, satellites, images, and more.
Amateur radio operators come from all walks of life, backgrounds and abilities. They are of all ages, sexes, income levels and nationalities.
Well known amateurs
There have been a number of well known and 'famous' amateurs over the years. They have included Percy Spencer W1GBE the inventor of the microwave oven, singer and songwriter Jim Croce WN3OQW, actor and singer Burl Ives KA6HVA, Yuri Gagarin the first cosmonaut, King Hussein of Jordan, Akio Morita JP1DPJ the founder of SONY, and TV journalist Walter Kronkite KB2GSD.
Below are some current well known amateurs.
Essexham video on amateur radio
RSGB videos on the hobby
How many amateurs are there in Australia?
There are about 14,000 licenced amateur radio operators in Australia. The exact number is difficult to determine as many amateurs hold multiple call signs. That is about 0.61% of the population.
About 4,500 of those licenced Australian amateurs are members of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA).