The Australian Maritime College (AMC) manages the Australian Amateur Radio callsign block under delegation from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Callsigns are a unique combination of letters and numbers allocated to a radiocommunications user to identify a station. Callsigns are allocated in accordance with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations. The regulations define callsign prefixes for each country.

Australia is issued with the callsign blocks AXA-AXZ, VHA-VNZ and VZA-VZZ.

Callsigns must be used for all on-air communications including testing.

Australian Amateur callsign structure

Prefix

VK$, where $ is the State/Territory Indicator. This is a number from 0-9
indicating the State or Territory in which the station is operating:

0 = Antarctic
1 = Australian Capital Territory
2 = New South Wales
3 = Victoria
4 = Queensland
5 = South Australia
6 = Western Australia
7 = Tasmania
8 = Northern Territory
9 = Australian External Territories

Note: State/Territory indicators ($) are used to indicate a station’s licensed location on initial callsign issue.

Suffix

Suffix of one, two or three letters. See below for template details.

Callsign templates

Licence typeTemplate
AdvancedVK$aa, *VJ$a, *VK$a, *VL$a
Advanced, Standard or FoundationVK$aaa-VK$zzz
Repeater or Beacon#VK$Raa-VK$Rzz

Notes:

*These callsigns are to be used for contest operation only and are limited to one per licencee (individual or club).

# There are some legacy Advanced licences issued from the Raa-Rzz block.  No new Advanced licences will be issued from this block.

Operating portable

You can operate your amateur radio station portable in another State or Territory for a maximum of 4 months without informing ACMA.

When operating portable, you should add the numeral of the State/Territory you are operating in onto the end of your callsign.

For example, if your callsign is VK3KK and you are visiting Tasmania, you would use the following procedure:

When using voice:

VK3KK, portable 7 (or VK7)

When using data modes or Morse:

VK3KK/7

Relocating interstate

If you move interstate permanently, ACMA does not require you to change your callsign numeral to that of the new State/Territory.

So, in theory, VK6ZZZ could move to Sydney and retain his/her callsign.

The choice is yours.  However, bear in mind that, for the last 100 years, the callsign numeral has traditionally indicated the State/Territory where your station is located. 

The majority of amateurs want the connection between location and callsign numeral to remain.

The AX prefix

The licensee of an amateur station (other than an amateur beacon station or amateur repeater station) may, on the following days, substitute the prefix letters VK in the call sign of the station with the prefix letters AX:

                (a)    26 January;

               (b)    25 April;

                (c)    17 May.

Example If the call sign specified in the licensee’s licence is VK1ZZZ, the licensee may use the call sign AX1ZZZ on the days mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c) above.

Note          17 May is World Telecommunication Day.