ARCIA update: welcome to 2024

Australian Radio Communications Industry Association

By Hamish Duff, President
Friday, 26 January, 2024

ARCIA update: welcome to 2024

Welcome to 2024 — we hope all our members have managed to recharge their batteries for another year ahead.

ARCIA has an extensive event plan for 2024, including one-day conferences and networking dinner events. Key events are 14 March (Perth), 30 May (Sydney), 25 July (Brisbane), 11 September (Adelaide), and the big one in Melbourne on 16 October. Make sure you check out for all the events and training sessions.

To make the most of these events, ARCIA is working on new content and subjects that many in our industry will find interesting. We would encourage you read the details of your local event to see if there are topics of interest to you or your team. Of course, we are always on the lookout for new and interesting content about the people, places and projects that our industry works on every day.

A consistent theme from ARCIA and likeminded associations around the world, such as RFUANZ and the FCS, is hiring and training technical staff for our industry. The challenge has only been exacerbated by COVID as every industry is struggling to find staff. On the ARCIA website you will find planned training sessions for 2024, and the association will continue to expand training content and courses through the year. Make sure you check this out and take full advantage of what is available.

In the latest edition of Critical Comms there is an article concerning the federal government’s work on considering communications systems as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. This is a long overdue decision and something ARCIA has been advocating for. However, we need to also acknowledge the huge effort that Geoff Spring and The University of Melbourne have put into this work.

Given all the new technology options coming to the public safety market with hybrid devices, new satellite connectivity options and MCPTT services, it is pleasing to hear about the considerable investment that state governments are making in critical communications around the country. Over 2023 we had many user presentations on this theme and we expect to see more in 2024. It’s amazing to see how far communications technology has advanced in the last 10 years. While we all know the basics of LMR have not changed, all these new options are providing great solutions to extend the effectiveness of communications for many important user groups.

As always, our Industry Gala Dinner in Melbourne is a significant event, and last year it gave me great pleasure to confer life membership on two individuals who have been committed supporters of ARCIA for many years. David Cox was one of the founding members of ARCIA and a driving force in raising the profile of the industry dinner; serving as Treasurer for ARCIA for several years, he has been a tireless worker for our association and our industry for many years. The second life membership was awarded to Steve Jacques, who recently retired from RFI. Steve has been a strong supporter and mentor for the ARCIA committee for many years; his wise words and experience in many markets helped ARCIA develop to the powerful organisation it is today. Life membership is the highest accolade that ARCIA can offer, and these two gentlemen are very worthy recipients; we thank them for their ongoing support.

Finally, the first committee will be gathering in Melbourne for our annual planning day in February to set the agenda for the year. We are very fortunate that committee members can make time available to participate in this important day.

Hamish Duff, President, Australian Radio Communications Industry Association.

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