The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) represents Amateur Radio at the international level. When World governments gather to discuss issues that might impact Hams the IARU is there to argue our case. IARU members are the national Amateur Radio organizations in each country. This makes the IARU something like the United Nations of Ham Radio.
The IARU is broken up into three regions of the world. These correspond with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Zones. Region 3 roughly covers East Asia and Oceania. The IARU Region 3 organization offers an award for working Hams in a certain number of countries of their area.
The definition of countries here differs from the common use of the term when it comes to Amateur Radio awards. Unlike the DXCC country entity, the IARU Region 3 countries are based on nation states (mostly) who are members of the IARU. For example, there two Malaysian countries when it comes to DXCC (east and west) but only one when considering this award.
The award is only delivered in PDF format. This helps keep award management costs low and aids in quick turnaround.
The Region 3 Award comes in a wide variety of forms, which ultimately means multiple awards could be obtained. A given award may be presented at one level, one mode (or mixed-mode) and band (or multi-band).
First, the award is quite approachable in that it is offered in three classes, depending upon how many IARU countries you work. The three classes offered are:
Five countries is an easy entry point to get started. Secondly, pick one of the following modes:
Then pick one of the following bands:
Theoretically one could chase 30+ versions of this award if one was so inclined.
Requirements And Cost
Right up front is one of the most appealing feature of the award, it’s absolutely free! Because the award is distributed in PDF form there are no costs to speak of that need to be covered.
There are no requirements to submit QSLs or to have third parties verify your QSLs. This is handled via the honor system, so be on your best behavior!
All contacts must be made from the same country. This is a common requirement. One difference is that all contacts must be made with the same callsign. So you cannot use contacts made with callsigns you previously held.
IARU Region 1 (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and Region 2 (North and South America) offer similar awards for working countries within their respective areas. Once you’ve earned this award give the others a look as well.