The Managing Director

Phil Wait

Phil Wait has held a passion for electronics from early primary school. His interests broadened while at Sydney Grammar School to include various volatile chemicals and explosives (legally obtainable by youngsters at that time), off-road vehicles and his father’s ’37 Oldsmobile – the usual, along with expanding his interests in radio and electronics. The latter led to Phil gaining his Amateur Radio licence in 1968, a hobby which set the course of his later career.

Along the way he discovered the delights of sailing. The sport’s attractions remain irresistible.

Phil’s professional career began as a trainee with the Australian Government’s Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC), obtaining an Electronics & Communications Engineering Certificate at North Sydney TAFE. While at OTC, Phil accumulated significant experience in satellite and terrestrial telecommunications, radio communications and switching systems; knowledge and experience which would prove useful in later years in the medical alarm industry. (OTC later merged with Telecom Australia, privatized as Telstra, but Phil was long gone).

Leaving OTC to broaden his career, in 1974 Phil joined the Department of Physiology at Sydney University, designing and building specialized equipment for various academic research projects, later transferring to the Electrical Engineering faculty. This exposed him to the intricacies of PCs (programmable calculators, printed circuits, popular chicks etc), printed circuit manufacture, physiological instrumentation design and low power wireless technologies.

Phil was lured from academia in 1978 to the world of publishing to become staff engineer at Electronics Today International magazine (ETI), developing and describing do-it-yourself electronic projects for the popular monthly magazine. Among the wide variety of projects he developed was a popular hi-fi amplifier featuring performance rivaling expensive brand-name equipment of the era and a metal detector that sold in the thousands as kits offered by many electronics retailers.

Three months in a yacht race from Jakarta to Rotterdam in 1980 gave Phil lots of time to contemplate his future. Phil later left publishing’s rough and tumble and, with a business partner, acquired the fledgling VitalCall from Ciba-Geigy in 1982, a business which subsequently became very significant in the personal medical alarm industry. Phil instigated manufacturing his company’s medical alarms in Australia and introduced many technological developments, including high performance two-way voice communications and a range of revolutionary low-cost wireless nurse call systems. After building VitalCall into a major manufacturer and supplier of personal medical alarm systems and services, Phil sold the VitalCall business in 1999 but retained the intellectual property to the technology along with the Australian manufacturing business. That retained business became VC International Pty Ltd.

Phil Wait’s depth and breadth of experience in the personal medical alarm industry is unmatched. The knowledge and expertise he gained over the broad sweep of his early career and 17 years in the medical alarm service industry to 1999, has underpinned the technological development of VCi’s products to date, so that they meet the unique conditions and challenges faced in the Australasian marketplace.

Ever a man to keep the big picture in mind, Phil is involved as an active member on the Executive of the Personal Emergency Response Association (PERSA), serves on the Standards Australia Committee that sets standards for personal medical alarms, and represents the interests of radio communications users on Standards Australia’s Broadband over Powerline Working Group. Phil is also a director of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), advocating the interests of Australia’s 16,000 radio amateurs.