Canberra Region Amateur Radio Club

The “Community Service” arm of the Canberra Region Amateur Radio Club (Formerly the Wireless Institute of Australia, ACT Division )

Originally formed as the the Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network, WICEN (ACT) is affiliated with WICEN (NSW) Inc, a member Squad of VRA Rescue NSW (Volunteer Rescue Association), and affiliated with the NSW State Emergency Service.

“Trained volunteers linking the community in times of need”

What is WICEN?

WICEN is a group of trained Amateur-Radio (nicknamed “Ham Radio”) operators, accredited to assist in emergency situations, and able to provide emergency and safety communications when normal communications do not exist or are inadequate. Examples in the past include Cyclone Tracy, Orange Bush fires, Newcastle earthquake, the 1993 North-Eastern Victoria Floods, 1994 Sydney & Central Coast Bush fires, storms, and the Thredbo landslip and more recently the 2009 Victorian Bush fires. A number of dual hatted WICEN VK1 / WICEN NSW personnel also deployed in support of the 2019/2020 fires in northern NSW and the Bega area

WICEN members provide their own radio equipment, and freely give up their time to benefit the community. To keep up its training requirements, WICEN takes part in many exercises on behalf of the community, again providing safety communications, such as the Canberra 2 Day Walk, the Rally of Canberra, Fitz’s Challenge Cycling event, the National Capital Rally, the Bungonia Cave Rescue exercise, and many others (additions welcome!).

Although voice radio is still used for passing messages, WICEN frequently uses packet radio (computers linked by radio circuits) for the reliable and speedy handling of long and complex messages.

WICEN (in New South Wales) is an accredited squad within VRA Rescue NSW, and is also affiliated with the New South Wales State Emergency Service. In case you are confused about the references to “New South Wales”, it is because each State is autonomous, although they share common goals and objectives. Similar organisations in other countries include RAYNET (UK) and RACES/ARES (USA).

How to Contact Us

Contact us if you would like to learn more. Perhaps you would like to join WICEN and help us maintain the communications side of public safety in the ACT and surrounding area ?

Check out our Events page for WICEN activities: