New Expedition Planned: VK5KI Kangaroo Is – ON HOLD

VK5KI is now on hold due to COVID-19. Movement is being limited and the IOTA contest rules have been modified to rule out our ability to enter.

We will reshedule once things start to return to normal.

January 2020 has seen some of the worst bush fires tear across Kangaroo Island in living memory. Over half the island (200,000 hectares or 770 square miles) has been burned, more than 50 homes were destroyed, 2 people lost their lives and tens of thousands of animals were killed. These fires, started by dry lightning storms in early January, have hit the community and the environment on the island hard. Now, as the fire is being brought under control thoughts are turning to recovery and rebuilding shattered lives.


With an event like this, and the fires in the Adelaide Hills this summer only 10km from home, I find the events all to close, all too real. The last time I remember fires anything like this was Ash Wednesday in 1983 when we could see the flames tear across the top of Mt Lofty from all over Adelaide. I was only 11 at the time.

Today, knowing people who have been directly impacted and seeing the devastation of the wilderness areas I love, here in my own state, I have been looking for a meaningful way to give back something to those that have been so badly affected. Inspired by the SA Tourism #BookThemOut campaign, aimed at supporting the tourism operators and residents on Kangaroo Island, I hit upon the idea of staging an IOTA expedition to the island later in the year.

VK5KI – Kangaroo Island – IOTA OC-139 – July 22-28th 2020

Kangaroo Island, the largest island in the OC-139 group, will be activated by a small group of amateurs from Adelaide between 22-28th July 2020. They will operate from a property near Emu Bay on the north coast of the island. This coincides with the IOTA Contest in 2020. The plans at this stage include operating on all bands from 160-10m, including as a Multi-2 station during the contest. Outside of the contest expect to see VK5KI on all HF bands and modes.

A special bi-fold QSL card will also be produced for the activation which will be available via M0OXO’s OQRS service (thanks again Charles). The logs will be available via Clublog IOTA matching and LOTW once the Direct QSL cards have been posted (early LOTW is available for those who request a card).

Extent of Kangaroo Island impacted by the fires

How can you show support?

Recognizing that others may also want to show their support, I have been in contact with the South Australian Premier’s Department bush fire appeal and have been granted permission to publicize their appeal as part of this project. There are many other appeals running currently a well. Here are some to consider.

NOTE: All of the costs of the expedition itself are being met by the team, as a way of us making a contribution back to the community. We are not looking for direct contributions for this project but would rather people contribute to the affected communities directly. If you do support one of these appeals, please let us know by email to People who make donations and let us know will receive from us early LOTW confirmations as a thank you from us for helping our local community in this time of need.

(Click the image to go to the donation website)

(Click the image to go to the donation website)

(Click the image to go to the donation website)


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