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How to become a member

The GEM Board has created the GEM CHARTER which governs the way that the organisation functions.  The on-line systems are now in place and the Board have also adopted an IT Development Strategy that will make GEM amongst the most effectively coordinated team in the global emergency communications field.


GEM wants to develop its membership and hardware so that we will always have a facility close to any zone where disaster strikes, to link emergency traffic between those in need and those who can provide assistance.  We need Radio Amateurs who are prepared to give their time and equipment to GEM.  Yes, we need net control, IT and administration skills too – you don’t have to be a Radio Amateur to be welcomed into GEM!  The GEM dream is to build a vast mesh of amateur radio stations that are linked to the Internet, so that communications can flow around the world without being disrupted by poor ionospheric propagation.


Imagine an antenna so huge that it spans the whole earth, like a spider’s web.  With such an antenna, you would be in easy radio range of any part of the planet.  Now consider many hundreds of amateur radio stations, spread all over the world, and join them together using the Internet, linking to a central audio server.  The two concepts give similar capabilities, but only the second can be achieved in reality!  There are Radio Amateurs in virtually every place on the planet.  If you join GEM and volunteer to have your station on stand-by as often as possible, they you may be in just the right location to hear the tiny signals from a fellow ham who has survived a disaster and is trying to reach help.  Through the managed GEM Internet network, that two-way audio circuit can be routed to any other point on the globe where help is waiting.  The more Radio Amateurs we sign up, and the more dedicated they are by always being available, the more effective the GEM network becomes.


If you have a working Radio-Internet gateway, we need you to join us now and we will fast-track you into our membership.  If you have language skills or live in a country not yet covered by our network, we would like to appoint you as one of our Liaison Officers.

If you have a working Radio-Internet gateway, we need you to join us now and we will fast-track you into our membership.  If you have language skills or live in a country not yet covered by our network, we would like to appoint you as one of our Liaison Officers.


The GEM registration process allows us to gather your details to see how you can best be of benefit to the organisation.  Once your registration has been received, you will be directed towards our on-line MYGEM facility where you are requested to give as much detail as possible about the skills, facilities and experience that you have to offer.  This information is held in our secure database so that we may call on those skills if circumstances so dictate.  However, it is important to note that registering with GEM is only the beginning of the application process.  Once registered, you will be contacted by a sponsor – an established member of GEM – who will act as your point of contact and guidance.  There may be a probationary period before a new applicant is accepted for membership.  During this period you are encouraged to demonstrate a good level of interest in GEM.

Before you decide to register with GEM, please take a moment to read about the different classes of membership within the organisation.  The following descriptions are taken from the GEM Charter, which sets out how the organisation is structured and defines what is expected of each member.

SUPPORTER:  When someone goes through our registration process, they become known to the organisation as a casual ‘Supporter’.  By registering, Supporters declare their interest in GEM and emergency communications.  New applicants are directed to our MYGEM facility where they are asked to complete their profile, which tells GEM about their skills, equipment and experience so that they can be called upon when their particular strengths are needed.  Supporters are also encouraged to regularly check in to the GEM Echolink conference.  Because Supporters tend to come and go, there is minimal expectation on both sides of the relationship and thus their access to the critical GEM on-line systems may be limited.  If a Supporter is particularly active over a period of time, or they possess particularly important skills that GEM needs, they can be promoted to full Membership quickly.  Conversely, Supporters that do not appear to be active may find that their access privilege and membership lapses.

MEMBER:  Member status is mainly a recognition of long-term devotion to GEM.  GEM expects Members to support the organisation in word as well as deed.  They will show a more regular presence and a higher degree of dedication than Supporters.  The aspiration to learn in the skill areas required by GEM, such as qualifying as an NCS or learning how to manage the on-line systems as an administrator, would be encouraged at Member level.  Over time, the aim would be for Members to aspire to a Leadership position.  This would be accelerated if the Member was willing to take on some of the many outstanding projects that would help GEM to develop.  Alternatively, outstanding expertise in a discipline required by GEM could also attract promotion.  Members should be willing to share such knowledge with others by providing or assisting with training.  Members are granted access to all of the GEM on-line systems so that they can take the fullest part in emergency support activities.  Members also receive a personal GEM email address for use in all communication on behalf of the organisation.  Members must remain significantly active within GEM- if their presence falls away then, over time, levels of privileged access will cease and they may be returned to Supporter class.

LIAISON OFFICER:  This very special class of membership is reserved for those who are willing to represent whole countries or regions of the world, usually because they are based there.  Liaison Officers must be able to translate from their local language(s) to and from English; they coordinate and represent other GEM Supporters and Members based in their area.  Liaison Officers may need to take charge and direct GEM activities if the focus of an event is on their particular region.  GEM also expects Liaison Officers to make contact and build relationships with professional and governmental bodies in their home countries, using their instinctive knowledge of local protocol.  Liaison Officers also provide the GEM point of contact for radio amateur organisations in their own areas of the world.  Liaison Officers should be well-trained and conversant with all of the GEM on-line systems – they may be granted administrator rights to control such systems in certain circumstances.  The Liaison Officer role is exceptionally important to GEM and therefore their ability to always promote GEM in a good light with their local contacts is paramount.  Even new joiners can expect to be quickly elevated to this position if they live in an area of the world in which GEM lacks good membership numbers or they speak languages that are particularly needed by our organisation.

LEADERSHIP:  Those in the Leadership team have specific responsibilities for key areas that are essential to the effective running of GEM.  Leaders are expected to ‘go the extra mile’ and give a great deal of time and dedication to the organisation, leading, helping and motivating all other Members and Supporters in every way.  Leaders have administrator-level access to all of our systems and thus have executive control over the moment-by-moment activities of GEM.  Any member of the Leadership team is enabled to place GEM on an activation standing by consulting with just one other leader.  Leaders are expected to represent GEM at the highest level with outside contacts, generating and/or contributing to documentation and development in all aspects of the organisation.  They are expected to attend and represent GEM at international meetings should these be held in their region of the world, as well as giving written or verbal presentations to major gatherings of emergency communications specialists.  Leaders must actively seek to bring GEM to the favourable attention of the widest possible audience and are expected to contribute in turn to the minor ongoing costs that keep GEM functioning.  The Leadership team will consist of long-standing and ever-present members of GEM who possess the highest level of skill and experience in their particular fields of expertise in emergency communications.

By registering, you agree to abide by the GEM CHARTER.  You can read the GEM CHARTER by following the link in the GEM TEAM menu.


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