For the first anniversary of the 2009 February fires the Yarra Valley Amateur Radio Group used a special call sign in recognition of the services radio operators provided during and after the fires.
VI3KIAH operated at Kinglake, one of the most significantly damaged areas, today. ‘Kiah’ is an Australian Aboriginal word meaning “beautiful place”.
I was fortunate enough to have worked VI3KIAH on 2m simplex about 30 minutes after they started.
173 “From the Black” QSL cards numbered and dated, will be provided to the first 173 contacts with VI3KIAH. 173 is significant as it reminds us of the number of people who lost their lives due to these horrific fires.
I don’t know if there are plans to do this every year but given the enormity of the loss I would not be surprised to see some annual event to recognise those amateurs who gave freely of their time and experience to assist during and after these fires, as well as to remember those that died.