Hidden Meanings Behind Australian Callsigns

This article was originally aired over Adventist World Radio’s “Wavescan” program and now forms part of the Radio Heritage Collection ©. All rights reserved to Ragusa Media Group, PO Box 14339, Wellington, New Zealand. This material is licenced on a non-exclusive basis to the South Pacific DX Resource hosted on www.radiodx.com for a period of 5 years from December 1 2003. Author: Adrian Peterson

As the whole story behind Australian radio callsigns unfolds, it becomes abundantly clear that the most popular choice of callsign identifies in some way the actual location of the station. As far as the identification of lthe location is concerned, we look at a few of these interesting callsigns and we keep in mind that the initial number in the callsign identifies the state.

The callsign 2CA identifies Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, 4CA identifies Cairns in Queensland, and 6CA identifies Carnarvon in Western Australia. The callsigns 2BA & 2BE identify Bega (BEE-ga) in New South Wales, one an ABC government station and the other a commercial station.

Three very similar callsigns identify three cities, but also a liltle more. Station 2AD is in Armidale, New South Wales. Station 5AD is in Adelaide and this callsign identifies the city and also the “Advertiser” newspaper which owned the station. The station in the island state of Tasmania with a similar callsign is 7AD, and this stands for Advertising Devonport, the station’s home city.

The callsigns 2AY, 4AY & 6AY identify Albury (ALL-b’-ree), Ayr (AIR) and Albany. The callsigns 7DN & 8DN identify Devonport in Tasmania and Darwin in the Northern Territory, but the similar callsign 5DN in Adelaide is a mystery. No one seems to know the reason why this 1925 callsign was chosen.

The next most popular form of callsign for Australian radio stations identifies the owners of the station. For example, 3AK in Melbourne identifies the original owners, Akron Broadcasting Service; the call 3AR, also in Melbourne, identifies Associated Radio; and the call 2BL in Sydney identifies Broadcasters Limited.

At one stage, it was popular to choose double letters for the callsign of a radio station, and in various areas of Australia you will find for example, 2XX 2JJ 3GG 4CC 5AA & 6MM. The station in Port Moresby, Papua, with double letters was 9AA and this call did have a real meaning; the double letters stood for Australian Army.

Stations with a double meaning that included a time reference are 2AM in Sydney, 4AM in Queensland and 6AM in Western Australia. Interestingly, station 6AM also had its counterpart in the state capital, Perth, with the callsign 6PM.

There are many stations in networks throughout Australia that all carry the same callsign. For example, the stations in the ABC network “Radio National” all carry the same callsign, such as 2RN Sydney, 2RN Newcastle and 2RN Canberra.

Another government radio network is the PB network, and all of these stations have been allotted a callsign in the PB range. The PB stands for Parliamentary Broadcast and when Federal parliament is not in session, this network is on the air with a news format.

Another network is commercially owned and this is the Eazy Listening music network. All of these stations have been alloted callsigns in the EL range, such as 2EL 3EL, etc.

Two stations with unusual callsigns are 2OO (Two OH OH) in Wollongong (WOOL-on-gong) in New South Wales and 4IO (Four Eye OH) in Ipswich Queenland. The callsign 2OO (Two OH OH) could often be pronounced alternatively as 200 (Two hundred), and the callsign 4IO (Four Eye OH) was often pronounced as 410 (Four-ten).

The first mediumwave station in Australia with a three letter call is station 2WEB in Bourke (BERK), New South Wales. These letters probably stand for Western and Bourke. However, of interest is the fact that this three letter call was granted by mistake, and so the station has retained its.
unique callsign.

There are these days a few other stations that have been granted three letter callsigns, though most of these have come over from the regular three letter calls used by radio stations in the standard FM band in Australia.

Feedback File:

Re: 2UW

I was OTTO SANDELS son-in-law until he died. He always said that he chose the name 2UW because it sounded good. He made a list of the available call signs and chose that one. He had a great bunch of stories about how he set up his radio towers on the tall buildings — BY HIMSELF. He was crawling aroung hundreds of feet above the buildings, wife cheering on from the side and helping. Gunnar Kennedy

Hidden Meanings Behind Australian Radio Callsigns


State In Out Meaning Observations
5AA Adelaide SA 1976 Cont Adelaide Double letters
7AA Hobart Tas 1924 —— Impact letters Considered for 7ZL
9AA Pt Moresby Papua 1944 1945 Australian Army 9PA 9AA 9PA
3AB Wodonga Vic 1984 1991 Albury, became 3RN City name
2AD Armidale NSW 1936 Cont Armidale City name
5AD Adelaide SA 1930 1994 Adelaide Advertiser, then FM City & newspaper
7AD Devonport Tas 1940 Cont Advertising Devonport Slogan
4AF Atherton Q 1939 —– Atherton Farmers ? Projected call for 4AT
7AG Kelso Tas 1935 1935 On air tests as 7AG Jul 1935 Became 7NT
2AH Sydney NSW 1926 —— Projected call 2GB
3AK Melbourne Vic 1931 Cont Akron Broadcasting Service Company name
4AK Oakey Q 1935 Cont Oakey (4BK Brisbane) City name
5AL Alice Springs NT 1948 1960 Alice Springs City name, later 8AL
6AL Albany WA 1956 Cont Albany City name
8AL Alice Springs NT 1960 Cont Prefix change City name, was 5AL
2AM Sydney NSW 1920s —— AM, morning Projected station
4AM Atherton Q 1967 Cont Atherton-Mareeba, morning City name time of day
4AM Pt Douglas Q Cont 4AM translator City name
6AM Northam WA 1934 Con Northam, AM morning (6PM) City name time of day
2AN Armidale NSW 1962 Armidale National (2RN) City & ABC network
5AN Adelaide SA 1937 Cont Adelaide National ABC station
3AR Melbourne Vic 1924 1929 Associated Radio Company name
3AR Melbourne Vic 1929 1991 Call retained Taken over by ABC
6AR WA Cont
7AR Hobart Tas 1924 —— Similar to 3AR Became 7ZL
4AT Atherton Q 1939 1941 Atherton Tabelands Coverage area
4AT Atherton Q 1941 Cont Callsign taken over Taken over by ABC
5AU Pt Augusta SA 1938 1941 Augusta City name
5AU Pt Augusta SA 1943 Cont Callsign taken over Methodist Church
4AVA Gold Coast Q 1991 1 watt
3AW Melbourne Vic 1932 Cont AWA Allans Williamsons Age Companies & paper
2AY Albury NSW 1930 Cont Albury City name
4AY Ayr Q 1934 Ayr City name
4AY Innisfail Q Cont
6AY Albany WA Cont Albany City name

2BA Bega NSW 1955 Cont Bega City name
3BA Ballarat Vic 1930 Ballarat Advertiser City & newspaper
4BC Brisbane Q 1930 Cont Brisbane Chandlers City & company
2BE Sydney NSW 1924 1929 Bergin Electric Company name
2BE Bega NSW 1937 Bega City name
2BE Broulee NSW 1978 2BE translator City name
6BE Broome WA 1967 Broome City name
2BH Broken Hill NSW 1934 Cont Broken Hill City name
4BH Brisbane Q 1932 Cont Bald Hills Suburban name
4BI Brisbane Q Cont
4BK Brisbane Q 1930 Brisbane King House City name
2BL Sydney NSW 1924 1929 Broadcasters Ltd Company name
2BL Sydney NSW 1929 Cont Callsign taken over Taken over by ABC
3BM Melbourne Vic Cont
3BN Bendigo Vic 1961 —— Bendigo National Projected only, ABC
7BN Launceston Tas 1926 1927 Dealer licence Developed into 7LA
3BO Bendigo Vic 1931 Bendigo City name
4BR Brisbane Q 1938 1938 Brisbane Radio Original call for 4QR
6BR Bridgetown WA 1982 Cont Bridgetown City name
2BS Bathurst NSW 1937 Cont Bathurst station City name
2BS 2BS translator
6BS Busselton WA 1969 Cont Busselton City name
3BT Cardigan Vic Cont Ballarat City name
4BU Bundaberg Q 1935 Cont Bundaberg City name
7BU Burnie Tas 1935 Cont Burnie City name
2BY Byrock NSW 1972 Cont Byrock City name
6BY Bunbury WA 1933 1935 Bunbury City name
6BY Bridgetown WA 1953 Cont Bridgetown – Yornup City names
2BX Bathurst NSW 1937 —— Projected call for 2BS

2CA Canberra ACT 1931 Cont Canberra City name
4CA Cairns Q 1936 Cairns City name
4CA Cooktown Q 4CA translator City name
4CA Gordonvale Q 1982 4CA translator City name
6CA Carnarvon WA 1964 Cont Carnarvon City name
2CC Canberra ACT 1975 Cont Canberra Double letters
4CC Biloela Q Cont 4CC translator Double letters
4CC Gladstone Q Cont 4CC translator Double letters
4CC Rockhampton Q Cont 4CC translator Double letters
5CC Pt Lincoln SA Cont Double letters
4CD Gladstone Q 1970
4CD Biloela Q 1978 Relay 4CD Translator
2CH Sydney NSW 1932 Cont Council of Churches Company name
4CH Charleville Q 1930 —— Charleville – became 4VL Licence lapsed
4CH Charleville Q Charleville City name
6CI Collie WA 1948 Collie City name
2CK Cessnock NSW 1939 1954 Cessnock City name
5CK Crystal Brook SA 1932 Cont Central, Crystal Brook City name, ABC
5CL Adelaide SA 1924 1929 Central Broadcasters Ltd Company name
5CL Adelaide SA 1929 1991 Callsign retained, then 5RN Taken over by ABC
4CM Brisbane Q 1926 —— Projected only
2CN Canberra ACT 1953 Cont Canberra National ABC station
2CO Corowa NSW 1931 Cont Corowa City name
2CP Cooma NSW 1966 Cont C = ABC NSW P another letter
2CR Cumnock NSW 1937 Cont C = ABC NSW Central Regional
3CR Melbourne Vic 1976 Cont Community Radio Purpose
3CS Colac Vic 1939 Cont Mr. C. Sellwood Owner’s initials
5CS Crystal Brook SA 1987 Cont Central State Location
2CT Campbellton NSW 1981 Campbelltown City name
3CW Geelong Vic Unofficial call 3V130
3CV Charlton Vic 1938 Central Victoria Coverage area
2CY Canberra ACT 1938 1991 C = NSW, then 3RN Y another letter
6CX Carnarvon WA 1983 Carnarvon-Exmouth Projected call for 6CA
6CX Exmouth WA 1983 Carnarvon-Exmouth Repeater for 6CX
2CZ Lismore NSW 1930 1930 Amateur sequential call Became 2XN 2LM
2CZ Cessnock NSW 1939 —— Cessnock Projected call for 2CK

3DB Melbourne Vic 1927 Druleigh Business College Company name
4DB Dalby Q Cont Dalby City name
6DB Derby WA 1967 Cont Derby City name
6DL Dalwallinu WA 1963 Cont Dalwallinu, city name Also car licence plate
5DN Adelaide SA 1925 Cont Not known
7DN Devonport Tas 1938 —— Devonport Became 7AD
8DN Darwin NT 1960 Darwin City name
8DN Katherine NT 1983 8DN translator City name
5DR Darwin NT 1945 1946 Darwin Radio Army station
5DR Darwin NT 1947 1960 Callsign taken over Established by ABC
8DR Darwin NT 1960 1991 Prefix change, then 8RN City name, was 5DR
2DU Dubbo NSW 1936 Cont Dubbo City name
2DU Cobar NSW 1982 Cont 2DU translator City name
7DY Derby Tas 1938 1954 Derby City name

2EA Sydney NSW 1975 Ethnic Australia Language services
2EA Newcastle NSW 1979 Ethnic Australia 2EA translator
2EA Wollomgong NSW 1979 Ethnic Australia 2EA translator
3EA Melbourbe Vic 1975 Cont Ethnic Australia Language services
4EB Brisbane Q 1979 Ethnic Brisbane Location
2EC Bega NSW Cont East Coast Coverage area
2EC Narooma NSW Cont Translator Parent name
6ED Esperance WA 1966 Cont Esperance District Coverage area
3EE Melbourne Vic 1992 Cont Double letters Greek programming
3EF Melbourne Vic 1931
2EL Orange NSW Cont Easy Listening Format
3EL Maryborough Vic Easy Listening Format
4EL Cairns Q Cont Easy Listening Format
4EL Gordonvale Q Cont Easy Listening Format
6EL Bunbury WA Cont Easy Listening Format name
3EO Mildura Vic 1926 ——
5EP Pt Lincoln SA Eyre Peninsula Coverage area
2EU Sydney NSW 1925 —— Electrical Utilities Considered for 2UE
3EX Melbourne Vic 1930 1930 Melbourne Exhibition Location & event
7EX Launceston Tas 1938 Examiner Newspaper

2FC Sydney NSW 1923 1929 Farmer & Company Company name
2FC Sydney NSW 1929 1991 Callsign retained, then 2RN Taken over by ABC
3FC Melbourne Vic 1924 —— Farmer & Company Became 3LO
4FC Maryborough Q Cont
7FG Fingal Tas 1977 Cont Fingal City name
2FL Sydney NSW 1926 —— Farmer & Co Ltd Projected only
3FL Melbourne Vic 1926 —— Farmer & Co Ltd Projected only

2GB Sydney NSW 1926 Con Giodini Bruno Italian philosopher
3GB Melbourne Vic Cont
4GC Charters Towers Q 1976 Cont
4GC Hughenden Q Cont 4GC translator
6GE Geraldton WA 1937 Geraldton City name
2GF Grafton NSW 1933 Cont Grafton City name
6GF Kalgoorlie WA 1936 Cont Goldfields Coverage area
3GG Warragul Vic 1990 Cont Coloquial name for horse Was 3UL
4GG Gold Coast Q 1967 Coloquial name for horse 1st with double letters
3GI Sale Vic 1935 Cont Gippsland Service area
2GL Glen Innes NSW 1957 Cont Glen Innes City name
3GL Geelong Vic 1930 Geelong City name
6GL Perth WA 1988 1995 Eagle, reverted to 6IX Format name
4GM Gympie Q 1951 Gympie City name
2GN Goulburn NSW 1931 Cont Goulburn City name
6GN Geraldton WA 1927 —— Geraldton Became 6GE
6GN Geraldton WA 1945 Cont Geraldton City name
2GO Gosford NSW 1971 Gosford City name
8GO Gove NT 1974 Cont Gove City name
4GR Toowoomba Q 1925 Cont Gold Radio Company name
6GS Wagin WA Cont
9GR Goroka PNG 1971 Goroka City name
4GT Dalby Q 2001
6GT Geraldton WA 1935 —— Geraldton Projected only
2GU Goulburn NSW 1987 1991 Goulburn, then 2RN City name
4GY Gympie Q 1941 Cont Gympie City name
2GX Orange NSW 1935 —— Became 2GZ
2GZ Orange NSW 1935 Graziers Farming areas

3HA Hamilton Vic 1931 Cont Hamilton City name
8HA Alice Springs NT 1971 Cont Heart of Australia Locale
2HC Coff’s Harbour NSW Cont Coff’s Harbour Initials reversed
2HD Newcastle NSW 1925 1941 Mr. H. Douglas Owner’s initials
2HD Newcastle NSW 1943 Cont Callsign taken over Station re-activated
2HH Newcastle NSW Cont Hunter double letters River name
4HI Emerald Q 1981 Cont Heart of the Inland Location
4HI Dysart Q 1982 Cont 4HI translator Location
4HI Moranbah Q 1982 Cont 4HI translator Location
6HI Dampier WA Hammersley Iron Company name
7HN Hobart Tas 1938 —— Hobart National Considered for 7ZR
7HO Hobart Tas 1930 Hobart, Hobart’s Original Also Mr Ron Hope
8HOT Katherine NT Cont FM call in Darwin
2HR Maitland NSW 1937 1954 Hunter River became 2NX Locale
2HRN Newcastle NSW Cont FM call in Newcastle
3HS Horsham Vic 1933 1936 Horsham Shire Replaced by 3LK
7HT Hobart Tas 1937 Hobart City name
4HU Hughenden Q 1971 Hughenden City name

2IN Narrabri NSW 1937 —— Inverell – Narrabri Became 2NZ Inverell
4IO Brisbane Q 1978 1989 4 Ten Former 4IP
4IP Ipswich Q 1935 1978 Ipswich City name
4IP Brisbane Q 1989 Ipswich Return to former call
6IX Perth WA 1933 1988 Six Also Roman numbers
6IX Perth WA 1995 Cont Reverted back to original 6IX Was 6GL
2IY Sydney NSW 1923 —— Experimental call for 2UE

8JB Jabiru NT 1980 Cont Jabiru Settlement name
2JJ Sydney NSW 1980/1 Double letters Moved to FM
4JK Juila Creek Q 1973 Cont Julia Creek City name

2KA Katoomba NSW 1935 Katoomba City name
2KA Emu Plains NSW 1978 2KA translator City name
5KA Adelaide SA 1927 1941 Kintore Avenue Original location
5KA Adelaide SA 1943 Callsign taken over Methodist Church
6KA Karratha WA 1978 Cont Karutha City name
6KA Paraburdoo WA 1980 Cont 6KA translator City name
6KA Mt Tom Price WA 1980 Cont 6KA translator City name
6KG Kalgoorlie WA 1931 Cont Kalgoorlie Goldfields Coverage area
2KM Kempsey NSW 1937 1982 Kempsey City name later 2MC
2KM Sydney NSW Cont
8KN Katherine NT 1960 Katherine National City name
2KO Newcastle NSW 1931 Knock Out Impact
2KP Smithton NSW 1954 Cont Kempsey City of coverage
6KP Karratha WA Cont Karratha P sequential letter
4KQ Brisbane Q 1947 Cont K = Labor Party Q = Queensland
2KS Kiama NSW 1959 —— Kiama South Coast Became 2WN
6KW Kununurra WA 1974 Kununurra WA City name
2KY Sydney NSW 1925 Cont K became Labor Party Maybe Y in Sydney
6KY Perth WA 1941 Labor Party in WA Similar to 2KY
3KZ Melbourne Vic 1930 1990 Impact letters Random choice
4KZ Innisfail Q 1967 Cont
4KZ Tully Q 1985 4KZ translator

7LA Launceston Tas 1930 Cont Launceston City name
9LA Lae PNG 1971 Lae City name
2LC Sydney NSW 1925 —— Labor Council Projected call for 2KY
5LC Leigh Creek SA 1971 Leigh Creek City name
5LC Leigh Creek S SA Cont Callsign retained Removed to LCS
2LE Meadow Flat NSW 1933 —— Between Bathurst & Lithgow Projected only
2LF Young NSW 1938 Cont Lambing Flat Original location
2LG Lithgow NSW 1949 Cont Lithgow City name
4LG Longreach Q 1936 Cont Longreach City name
2LH Lord Howe Is NSW 1959 Lord Howe Island Unofficial callsign
3LK Lubeck Vic 1936 Lubeck City name
2LM Lismore NSW 1936 Cont Lismore City name
4LM Mt Isa Q 1961 Cont Longreach – Mt Isa? City names
4LM Cloncurry Q 1984 Cont 4LM translator City names
5LN Pt Lincoln SA 1950 Pt Lincoln City name
6LN Carnarvon WA 1983 Cont Formerly 6CA
6LN Exmouth WA 1983 Cont 6LN translator
6LP Perth WA 1941 Labor Party Became 6KY
2LO Sydney NSW 1923 —— 2LO London Hello Became 2FC
3LO Melbourne Vic 1924 Cont From 2LO London LO = Hello
2LT Lithgow NSW 1939 Cont Lithgow City name
2LV Inverell NSW 1936 1937 Random call? Replaced by 2NZ
3MA Mildura Vic 1933 Mildura City name
5MA Adelaide SA 1926 ——- Millswood Auto Projected only
6MA Moora WA 1948 —— Moora, replaced by 6DL City name, projected
3MB Birchup Vic 1935 1938 Mallee Broadcasters Replaced by 3CV
4MB Brisbane Q 1926 —— R. Manufacturers Brisbane Projected only
4MB Maryborough Q 1932 Maryborough City name
2MC Kempsey NSW 1982 Mid Coast was 2KM Service area
5MC Adelaide SA 1925 —— Marshall & Co Projected only
6MD Merredin WA 1941 Cont Merredin City name
9MD Madang PNG 1871 Madang City name
2ME Sydney NSW Cont
3ME Melbourne Vic Cont Official call VMV317
2MG Mudgee NSW 1938 Cont Mudgee City name
5MG Mt Gambier SA 1955 Cont Mt Gambier City name
4MI Mt Isa Q 1960 Mt Isa City name
6MJ Manjimup WA 1983 Cont Manjimup City name
2MK Bathurst NSW 1925 1930 Mockler Bros Owner’s name
4MK Mackay Q 1931 Cont Mackay City name
2ML Murwillumbah Q 1954 Cont Murwillumbah City name
3ML Mildura Vic Cont Mildura City name
6ML Perth WA 1930 1943 Musgrove’s Ltd Company name
2MM Sydney NSW Cont
3MM Williamstown Vic Unoffical call for VMS264
6MM Mandurah WA Cont Mandurah double letters Suburban name
6MN Mt Newman WA 1977 Cont Mt Newman City name
2MO Gunnedah NSW 1931 Cont Mr. M. Oliver Owner’s initials
3MP Frankston Vic 1976 Cont Mornington Peninsula Service area
5MR Renmark SA 1957 —— Murray River Became 5MV
4MS Mossman Q 1973 Cont Mossman City name
3MT Omeo Vic 1976 Cont
5MU Murray Bridge SA 1934 Cont Murray Bridge & River City name
2MV Moss Vale NSW 1930 1931 Moss Vale City name
5MV Renmark SA 1957 Cont Murray Valley Locale
2MW Murwillumbah NSW 1937 Cont Murwillumbah City name
4MW Thursday Is Q Cont

2NA Newcastle NSW 1943 National NSW 1st letter in sequence
4NA Nambour Q 1964 1984 Nambour, became 4SS City name
6NA Narrogin WA 1925 —— Narrogin, move for old 6BY City name, projected
6NA Narrogin WA 1951 Cont Narrogin City name
6NAN Narrogin WA Cont FM call
2NB Broken Hill NSW 1948 Cont National NSW Broken Hill ABC station
2NC Newcastle NSW 1930 Cont Newcastle City name
3NE Wangaratta Vic 1954 Cont North East Victoria Coverage area
2NM Musswellbrook NSW 1954 Cont Newcastle- Musswellbrook 2NX Newcastle
6NM Northam WA 1955 Cont Northam City name
2NR Grafton NSW 1936 Cont Northern Rivers Coverage area
6NR Perth WA 1976 Cont N Radio
2NS Narooma NSW 1955 —— Narooma South Coast Became 2BA Bega
2NT Nowra NSW 1991 Nowra, then 2RN T letter in sequence
7NT Kelso Tas 1935 Cont Northern Tasmania Coverage area
2NTC Armadale NSW Cont FM call
2NTC Tamworth NSW Cont FM call
2NTC Sydney NSW Cont FM call
2NU Manilla NSW 1948 Cont National NSW U letter in sequence
6NW Pt Hedland WA 1977 Cont North West Service area
2NX Newcastle NSW 1954 1992 Abbreviation for Newcastle Was 2HR, tehn FM
2NZ Inverell NSW 1937 Cont Northern Graziers Farming areas

2OO Wollongong NSW 1979 Double letters Replaced 2WL FM
4IO Brisbane Q 1982 Sounded as Four-Ten Formerly 4IP

5PA Penola SA 1956 Penola City name
5PA Naracoorte SA Cont Callsign retained Station transferred
9PA Pt Moresby Papua 1944 1944 Papua, became 9AA Territory coverage
9PA Pt Moresby Papua 1946 Papua, taken over by ABC Territory coverage
2PB Canberra ACT Cont Parliamentary Broadcasts Re-activated old unit
2PB Sydney (2JJ) NSW Cont Parliamentary Broadcasts Spare transmitter use
2PB Newcastle NSW Cont Parliamentary Broadcasts Spare transmitter use
3PB Melbourne 3ZZ Vic Cont Parliamentary Broadcasts Spare transmitter use
4PB Brisbane Q Cont Parliamentary Broadcasts Spare transmitter use
5PB Adelaide SA Cont Parliamentary Broadcasts Spare transmitter use
6PB Perth WA 1983 Cont Parliamentary Broadcasts Spare transmitter use
7PB Hobart Tas Cont Parliamentary Broadcasts Spare transmitter use
6PH Perth WA 1938 —— Perth Projected call 6WN
6PH Pt Hedland WA 1968 Cont Pt Hedland City name
1PHR Canberra ACT Print Handicapped Radio Audience
5PI Pt Pirie SA 1932 1934 Pt Pirie City name
5PI Crystal Brook SA 1934 1987 Callsign retained Transmitter relocated
2PK Parkes NSW 1937 Cont Parkes City name
2PM Pt Macquarie NSW Cont Pt Macquarie City name
4PM Pt Moresby Papua 1935 1941 Pt Moresby City name
6PM Perth WA 1937 PM, time 6AM – 6PM
9PM Pt Moresby Papua 1945 1945 Pt Moresby City name
6PN Pannawonica WA 1981 Cont Pannawonica City name
6PR Perth WA 1931 Cont Perth Radio City name
6PU Paraburdoo WA 1980 Cont Paraburdoo City name

4QA Mackay Q 1951 Q = ABC Mackay A rhymes Mackay
4QB Pialba Q 1948 Cont Q = ABC Pialba B letter in sequence
4QD Emerald Q 1966 Q = ABC Emerald D letter in sequence
4QF Darling Downs Q 1939 —— Q = ABC Projected call 4QS
4QG Brisbane Q 1925 1929 Queensland Government Original owners
4QG Brisbane Q 1929 1991 Callsign retained, then 4RN Transferred to ABC
4QL Longreach Q 1947 Cont Q = ABC Longreach City name
2QN Deniliquin NSW 1935 Cont Deniliquin, Queen City name
4QN Townsville Q 1936 Cont Q = ABC North N letter in sequence
7QN Queenstown Tas 1954 Queenstown City name
4QO Eidsvold Q 1965 Cont Q = ABC Eidsvold O letter in sequence
4QR Brisbane Q 1938 Cont Queensland Radio ABC HQ Queensland
4QS Dalby Q 1939 Cont Q = ABC, South S letter in sequence
7QT Queenstown Tas 1937 1988 Queenstown City name
4QW St George Q 1966 Cont Q = ABC W letter in sequence
4QY Cairns Q 1950 Cont Q = ABC Yorke Peninsula Y letter in sequence

9RB Rabaul PNG 1962 Rabaul City name
2RE Taree NSW 1953 2RE rhymes with Taree Commercial station
1RF Canberra ACT Cont Italian
2RF Sydney NSW Cont
2RF Albury NSW
2RF Gosford NSW Cont
2RF Griffith NSW
2RF Wollongong NSW Cont
3RF Melbourne Vic
3RF Cobram Vic
3RF Shepparton Vic Cont
3RF Swan Hill Vic
4RF Brisbane Q Cont
5RF Adelaide SA Cont
6RF Perth WA
2RG Griffith NSW 1936 Cont Radio Griffith irrigation City name & area
3RG Melbourne Vic Cont Italian
2RI Albury NSW 1930 —— Mr. George Rice, owner Projected call for 2AY
4RK Rockhampton Q 1931 Cont Rockhampton City name
5RM Renmark SA 1935 Cont Renmark City name
2RN Canberra ACT Cont Radio National Network callsign
2RN Sydney NSW 1991 Cont Radio National, was 2FC Network callsign
2RN Armadale NSW Cont Radio National, was 2AN Network callsign
2RN Goulburn NSW 1991 Cont Radio National, was 2GU Network callsign
2RN Nowra NSW Cont Radio National Network callsign
2RN Wilcannia NSW Cont Radio National Network callsign
2RN Wollongong NSW 1991 Cont Radio National, was 2WN Network callsign
3RN Melbourne Vic 1991 Cont Radio National, was 3AR Network callsign
3RN Wangaratta Vic 1991 Cont Radio National, was 3WA Network callsign
3RN Wodonga Vic 1991 Cont Radio National, was 3AB Network callsign
4RN Brisbane Q 1991 Cont Radio National, was 4QG Network callsign
4RN Rockhampton Q 1931 —— Rockhampton Licence lapsed, 4RK
5RN Adelaide NSW Cont Radio National Network callsign
5RN Renmark SA Cont Radio National Network callsign
6RN Perth WA 1991 Cont Radio National, was 6WN Network callsign
6RN Dalwallinu WA Cont Radio National, was 6DL Network callsign
6RN Busselton WA Cont Radio National Network callsign
6RN Manjimup WA Cont Radio National Network callsign
6RN Wagin WA Cont Radio National Network callsign
7RN Hobart Tas 1991 Cont Radio National, was 7ZL Network callsign
7RN Queenstown Tas Cont Radio National Network callsign
8RN Darwin NT 1991 Cont Radio National, was 8DR Network callsign
8RN Katherine NT Cont Radio National Network callsign
8RN Tennant Creek NT 1991 Cont Radio National, was 8TC Network callsign
4RO Rockhampton Q 1932 Cont Rockhampton City name
4RO Gladstone Q Cont 4RO translator City name
1RPH Canberra ACT Cont Radio Print Handicapped Audience
2RPH Sydney NSW Cont Radio Print Handicapped Audience
3RPH Melbourne Vic 1982 Cont Radio Print Handicapped Audience, was 3KZ
4RPH Brisbane Q Cont Radio Print Handicapped Audience
5RPH Adelaide SA Cont Radio Print Handicapped Audience
6RPH Perth WA Cont Radio Print Handicapped Audience
7RPH Hobart Tas Cont Radio Print Handicapped Audience

3SA St Kilda Vic 1967 St Kilda cable radio station City name
2SB Sydney NSW 1923 1924 Sydney Broadcasters – 2BL Company name
4SB Kingaroy Q 1938 Cont South Burnett Service area
7SD Scottsdale Tas 1954 Cont Scottsdale City name
5SE Mt Gambier SA 1937 Cont South East Area name
6SE Esperance WA 1982 Cont South East Coverage area
3SH Swan Hill Vic 1931 Cont Swan Hill City name
7SH St Helens Tas 1977 Cont St Helens City name
4SJ Ipswich Q Scout Jamboree
2SM Sydney NSW 1931 Cont St Marys Cathedral
4SO Southport Q 1952 Southport City name
3SR Shepparton Vic 1936 Cont Shepparton Radio, was 3WR City name
4SS Nambour Q 1984 Double letters Previously 4NA
2ST Nowra NSW 1972 Cont South Coast Area name
2ST Bowral NSW 1979 2ST translator Area name
5SY Streaky Bay SA 1971 Cont Streaky Bay City name

2TAB Canberra ACT Cont
4TAB Townsville Q Cont
4TAB Brisbane Q Cont
5TAB Adelaide SA Cont
6TAB Perth WA Cont
7TAB Launceston Tas Cont
7TAB Hobart Tas Cont
8TAB Darwin NT Cont
8TC Tennant Creek NT 1960 1991 Tennant Creek, then 8RN City name
2TF Tenterfield NSW 1948 —— Tenterfield Projected only, ABC
2TG Tomerong NSW Tomerong ABC
4TI Thursday Is Q 1979 Cont Thursday Island Territory name
2TM Tamworth NSW 1935 Cont Tamworth City name
4TO Townsville Q 1931 Townsville City name
4TOO Townsville Q Cont FM call
6TP Mt Tom Price WA 1980 Cont Mt Tom Price City name
2TR Taree NSW 1948 Cont Taree City name
3TR Trafalgar Vic 1930 1932 Trafalgar, Traralgon City names
3TR Sale Vic 1932 Cont Callsign retained Moved to Sale
3TT 1026 kHz Vic 1990 Double letters Was 3DB
6TZ Dardanup WA 1930 Cont Random sequence Unknown origin
6TZ Collie WA Cont Translator Unknown origin

2UE Sydney NSW 1925 Cont Electric Utilities Letters reversed
2UH Musswellbrook NSW 1964 Cont Upper Hunter River area
3UL Warragul Vic 1937 1990 Warragul, then 3GG City name
2UNE Armadale NSW University Location callisgn
5UV Adelaide SA 1972 2001 University; then FM Owners
7UV Ulverstone Tas 1932 1940 Ulverstone City name
2UW Sydney NSW 1925 Sequential call
2UX Wagga NSW 1927 —— Otto Sandel of 2UW Projected only
3UZ Melbourne Vic 1925 Cont Sequential call?
3UZ Bendigo Vic Cont 3UZ translator

6VA Albany WA 1956 Cont Voice of Albany City name
4VL Charleville Q 1936 Cont Charleville 1st call 4CH lapsed
4VL Cunnamulla Q 1983 Cont 4VL translator City name
2VM Moree NSW 1957 Cont Voice of Moree City name

2WA Wilcannia NSW 1975 Wilcannia City name
3WA Wangaratta Vic 1991 Wangaratta, then 3RN City name
6WA Wagin WA 1036 Cont Wagin Western Australia W = ABC WA calls
6WB Katanning WA 1936 Cont Western Australia B letter in sequence
7WB Burnie Tas 1935 —— Wilson St, Burnie Projected call for 7BU
2WEB Bourke NSW 1978 Cont West NSW Bourke 3 letter call, mistake
6WF Perth WA 1924 Cont Westralian Farmers Commercial company
2WG Wagga Wagga NSW 1932 Cont Wagga City name
6WH Wyndham WA 1974 Cont Wyndham City name
4WK Warwick Q 1935 Cont Warwick City name
4WK Toowoomba Q Cont 4WK translator City name
9WK Wewak PNG Wewak City name
2WL Wollongong NSW 1931 Wollongong City name
3WL Warrnambool Vic 1954 Cont Warrnambool City name
3WM Williamstown Vic Williamstown Cable radio
3WM Horsham Vic 1982 Cont Wimmera-Mallee was 3LK Service area
5WM Woomera SA 1953 Cont Woomera City name
2WN Wollongong NSW 1959 1991 Wollongong National, 2RN City name
6WN Perth WA 1938 1991 Waneroo WA National, 6RN Car licence plate
2WO Tamworth NSW 1938 —— Owner’s initials? Projected call for 2TM
4WP Weipa Q 1975 Cont Weipa City name
3WR Wangaratta Vic 1924 1925 Wangaratta Radio City name
3WR Wangaratta Vic 1931 1934 Wangaratta Radio Moved became 3SR
3WR Shepparton Vic 1934 1936 Wangaratta Radio Moved became 3SR
3WR Wangaratta Vic 1954 —— Wangaratta Radio Became 3NE
6WR Kununurra WA Cont Western Radio ? Area name
2WS Blacktown NSW 1978 Western Suburbs Service area
3WV Dooen Vic 1937 Cont Western Victoria Area coverage

2XL Broken Hill NSW 1931 1932 Excellent XL Rhyming callsign
2XL Cooma NSW 1937 Cont Excellent XL Rhyming callsign
2XN Lismore NSW 1930 1936 Mr G. Exton Owner, became 2LM
6XM Exmouth WA 1974 Cont Exmouth City name
7XS Queenstown Tas 1988 Cont Excess Play on words
2XT Country NSW 1925 1926 Exhibition Train Toured NSW
2XX Canberra ACT 1976 Impact double letters
3XY Melbourne Vic 1935 Cont Impact letters
6XY Perth WA 1927 —— Impact letters Projected only

3YB Country Vic 1931 1932 Young Brothers Mobile in vans
3YB Country Vic 1932 1935 Young Brothers In railway carriage
3YB Warrnambool Vic 1936 Cont Young Brothers Fixed land station
2YC Sydney NSW

3ZL Melbourne Vic 1925 —— Became 3UZ
7ZL Hobart Tas 1924 1929 Not known Z became ABC Tas
7ZL Hobart Tas 1929 1991 Not known, became 7RN Z became ABC Tas
4ZR Roma Q 1937 Cont Z Radio
7ZR Hobart Tas 1938 Cont Z = ABC Tasmania Radio
2ZW Wollongong NSW Cont
3ZZ Melbourne Vic 1975 1977 Double letters

RHR Hutt River WA Radio Hutt River Tourist station
TTY Perth WA 1966 1966 Technical Training Year Exhibition station
VHQ Mobile WA 1935 1935 International call Tests for 6WA & 6GF
VH1KF Kaleen ACT 1985 Kallen High School
VKW Cocos Island CI 1961 Cont International callsign External territory
VLU2 Christmas Is CI 1966 Cont International callsign External territory
VL2NI Norfolk Island NI 1981 Cont Norfolk Island international callsign
VL2UV Concord West NSW University Location
VL2UVKensington NSW University Location
VL5UV Adelaide SA University Location
VMS264 Williamstown Vic Official call for 3MM 1629 kHz

5xx Mannum SA 1948 —— Murray River area Projected only, ABC
Wxxx N W Cape WA —— AFRS station Projected only

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Comments: 3

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  1. On March 12, 2021, Bruce Carty commented:

    Have just read “Hidden Meanings Behind Australian Callsigns”. It mentions that 2UW Sydney was started by Otto Sandell but the callsign origin was unknown. Otto also owned a radio receiver manufacturing company called “United Wireless”, hence the callsign. It also mentions that the origin of the callsign 5DN Adelaide is unknown. 5DN came from their manager Don Neilson.

    Keep up the good work. Cheers etc.

  2. Hi, I am from perth. I have some answers for you. 6GS Wagin Great Southern. 6NR Perth New Radio. 6WB Katanning Western Broadcasters. Hope this will help Cheers Silvano.

  3. Wallace Wall from Colac, Victoria, comments on the 3CS Colac entry:

    You have the ‘hidden meaning’ of the CS in radio station 3CS, Colac, as standing for its original owner C. Sellwood. I contacted the Colac Historical Society for verification of that claim. Its version, backed up by newspaper, and other, reports of the opening in 1939 is that the original owner was the Colac Broadcasting Company whose chairman of directors was Colac Mayor at the time, Walter Selwood. The Wikipedia entry for 3CS Colac History has the same information. There is an implication that the CS stands for Colac and South-West Victoria.

    Wallace is probably correct. We suspect that at some stage “Cr. Walter Selwood” has had his “Councillor” title confused for a name.

    As to the real meaning of “CS” there appear to be several options, all lurking in the depths of time!