The Austine Henry Award 

Awarded to the YL (“young lady”) Single Operator entrant from outside Oceania with the highest combined score in the Phone and CW sections An Australian lady amateur who became well known world wide, was Austine Henry (nee Marshall) VK3YL.  She was born, Mary Austine, on 11th June 1913, in Brighton, Victoria.  Austine received her first radio (a crystal set) as a small child, and promptly pulled it apart to see how it worked!  She later graduated to building valve sets. Tutored by her then boyfriend, later husband, Bill Henry, Austine passed her experimental licence exam and was issued with an Amateur Operator’s Certificate of Proficiency number 619, dated May 14th 1930, and the callsign VK3YL.  Only the third woman to obtain an amateur licence in Australia at that time, she became a very active VK3 operator and a great ambassador for amateur radio world-wide. Austine continued to build much of her own equipment, including a very large, high-power, crystal controlled transmitter, which won first prize in its class at the Victorian Wireless Institute of Australia’s public display in the Melbourne Lower Town Hall in 1933. On September 6th 1933 Austine became the first woman admitted to the Royal Australian Air force Wireless Reserve and was enrolled as No.R.20  A.C.2  Marshall M.A. in the Wireless Section. She was very upset that they would not send her to the war zone as a radio operator, just because she was a woman!   Despite her official commitments during WWII, she spent a lot of her spare time at the WIA, … Continue reading The Austine Henry Award