Welcome to Blind Citizens Australia

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) is the united voice of Australians who are blind or vision impaired.

Our mission is to achieve equity and equality by our empowerment, by promoting positive community attitudes, and by striving for high quality and accessible services which meet our needs.

Whether you are blind, have a vision impairment yourself, or are the family member or friend of a person who is blind or vision impaired, BCA is here to assist you. We provide information, peer support, individual and systemic advocacy, and consultancy services. Our Branches act as local lobby groups and provide opportunities for social interaction for members.

Explore our site. Learn about us. Listen to SoundAbout for profiles of people who are blind or vision impaired and those working with our community. If you are interested in audio-described TV, cinema and DVD content check out It’s Our Turn. Set your dial and tune in to our weekly radio program New Horizons. For the issues and policies that affect you, plus useful information and tips, turn to the pages of BC News or Parent News.

Welcome to BCA, the national organisation of people who are blind or vision impaired.

contact BCA:

Toll Free:
1800 033 660

Phone:
(03) 9654 1400

Email: Blind Citizens Australia

Donate to Blind Citizens Australia




Blind Citizens Australia Annual General Meeting 2014

Notice to BCA members

Annual General Meeting

11.00am on Saturday 4 October 2014

Introduction

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) will hold its 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Melbourne, at the Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens Hotel, 13 Spring Street, Melbourne on Saturday 4 October 2014 at 11.00am. This meeting will be streamed live over the internet.

The AGM will be held in conjunction with the BCA Victorian State Convention which commences at 9.00am and concludes after the Conference Dinner at the same venue.

The BCA 2014 AGM agenda for the AGM includes conformation of the 2013 AGM Minutes a presentation and discussion of the Annual Report and Financial Statements as well as the announcement of the election of Directors. The special business for the meeting will relate to consideration of the proposed Revised Constitution and notice of the 2015 National Convention.

All Full Members are entitled to one vote each in relation to any resolutions put forward at the AGM. If Full Members are unable to attend this meeting, they may appoint the chairperson, or another Full Member as a proxy. Information about Proxy Voting is available from the National Office.

It is important to note that no election will take place at the AGM. The method used to elect Directors is by postal vote. All eligible full members of BCA will have the opportunity to vote via a postal ballot should an election be necessary.

Board Elections

Call for Nominations for Directors of Blind Citizens Australia

This year there are five vacancies for Directors of BCA. Four of these vacancies are for a three-year term and the fifth is for a one-year term as it is currently been filled as a casual vacancy.

Directors whose term of office ceases this year, listed in alphabetical order, are:

  • Anna Briggs;
  • Barry Chapman;
  • Bruce Ind;
  • Michael Sadhu; and
  • Tony Starkey.

All are eligible for re-election.

This position description for Director is also available from the National Office on request.

Members wishing to nominate for the position of “BCA Director” are required to complete and sign a nomination form The nomination form can also be obtained by contacting the National Office.

Valid nomination forms must include a nominator and seconder who are Full Members of BCA as at 30 June 2014.

Please contact me, Rosemary Boyd on 03 9654 1400, to discuss alternate methods of submitting a valid nomination form.

All nominations should be accompanied by a written statement in support of the nomination by, or on behalf of, the nominee which should be submitted in electronic form to the Company Secretary, rosemary.boyd@bca.org.au Nominee’s statements are required to be less than 500 words.

Nominations for BCA Directors must reach Rosemary Boyd, the Company Secretary, at the National Office by 5.00pm Tuesday 26 August 2014.

Ballot Papers

Only Full Members of Blind Citizens Australia as at 30 June 2014 may cast a postal vote.

  • If there are four or less nominees for Directors at the close of the nomination period, those members nominated will be declared elected and there will not be a ballot.
  • If there are more than four nominees for Directors at the close of the nomination period, a ballot will be held. At the close of the poll, the nominees will be ranked in order of the number of votes received with the nominee with the most votes ranked as number one, and so on. The four nominees ranked 1 to 4 will be declared elected for a three-year term and the nominee ranked fifth will be declared elected for a one-year term.
  • In the event that there are exactly five nominees for Directors, where one nominee has indicated a preference to be appointed for one year only, there will not be a ballot.
  • If a ballot is required, ballot papers, along with the details of all nominees and their supporting statements, will be mailed to all Full Members on Wednesday 10 September 2014. Completed ballot papers must be returned to the Company Secretary at the National Office no later than Friday 26 September 2014. Any ballot papers received after this date will not be counted.

    The Company Secretary will declare the results of the poll at the AGM on 4 October 2014.

    Annual Report

    If you would like a personal copy of the 2013-2014 BCA Annual Report, please call the National Office on 03 9654 1400 or 1800 033 660 to lodge this request. This Report will be available in large print, Braille, or by email only. As soon as the Report is available it will be sent to you in your preferred format. The Report will also be published on the BCA Website.

    Revised Constitution

    This year the Board members have been looking very closely at all of the BCA Governance documents with a view to ensure that they are up-to-date with current practices and with recent legislative changes. The BCA Constitution was last revised in 2007; consequently the Board have prepared a Revised Constitution which they are seeking approval from the members to implement.

    This document takes into account the changes to the Charities Act as well as the recommendations from members to reduce the “red tape” where possible.

    Copies of the revised constitution, along with a summary outlining the differences between the 2007 Constitution (Word doc) and this 2014 Revised Constitution (Word doc) are also available from the National Office by request.

    If you have any questions relating to the proposed changes, please do not hesitate to contact any of the Directors, or the Executive Officer, Rosemary Boyd.

    State Conventions

    Information regarding each State Convention is available via the links below, in the August SoundAbout and will also be presented on New Horizons programs leading up to the AGM.

    below you will find links to program overviews, downloadable and links to on-line registration forms for the Victorian, NSW/ACT and Queensland State Conventions. There is no State Convention in South Australia this year.

    Information and on-line registration forms are also available using the links below.

    You can also register for each State Convention over the phone, by email or regular mail. Please take note of the closing date for registration for each State Convention.

    Summary

    On behalf of the Board and staff of BCA, I do hope you can join us at our Annual General Meeting or at one of the State Conventions. I encourage you to consider nominating for a position as a Director of BCA. As an organisation of and for people who are blind or vision impaired, it is important that we acknowledge and support each other to enhance the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired.

    Rosemary Boyd
    Company Secretary

2014 BCA National Policy and Development Council Elections

Election of National Polocy and Development Council representatives 2014

This year there will be vacancies for the Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) National Policy and Development Council (NPDC) representatives for New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

Nominations are now being called for. NPDC Representatives must be Full Members of BCA.

All eligible Full Members are entitled to nominate and vote for the NPDC Representative in their relevant state.

It is important to note that no elections will take place at the AGM or at any of the State Conventions or Forums. The method used to elect the NPDC representatives is by postal vote, with separate elections held within each state.

The term of office for an NPDC representative is two years. this NPDC Position description is also available from the National Office on request.

Members wishing to nominate for these positions are required to complete and sign a nomination form. Downloadable nomination forms are available below, or can be obtained by contacting the National Office.

Valid nomination forms must include a nominator and seconder who are Full Members of BCA as at 30 June 2014.

Please contact the Company Secretary to discuss alternate methods of submitting a valid nomination form.

All nominations should be accompanied by a written statement in support of the nomination by, or on behalf of, the nominee, which should be submitted to the Company Secretary, rosemary.boyd@bca.org.au. Nominee’s statements should be no longer than 500 words.

Nominations for NPDC representatives must reach Rosemary Boyd, the Company Secretary, at the National Office by 5.00pm Tuesday 26 August 2014.

New Horizons program 360

This week on program 360 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Rosemary Boyd, Executive Officer of Blind Citizens Australia, about the upcoming Annual General Meeting, and with Lisa Hayes about the Women’s Branch sessions at the upcoming State Forums.

The direct link to listen is Listen to program 360 and to download is Download program 360

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio program. It can be heard on RPH and community radio stations throughout Australia. Broadcast times and stations are at http://wp.me/P4cPvC-1K

New Horizons can also be heard over the Internet from the Blind Citizens Australia web site at http://www.bca.org.au

And on the Global Voice at http://theglobalvoice.info.

New Horizons is produced at the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne. Blind Citizens Australia thanks Vision Australia for their technical Support and for the use of their resources. You can visit Vision Australia on the web at http://www.visionaustralia.org

New Horizons program 359

This week on program 359 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon of PINwise and with Liz Jeffrey of Vision Australia, regarding the transition from signature to PIN when using credit and debit cards.

The direct link to listen is Listen to Program 359 and to download is Download Program 359

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio program. It can be heard on RPH and community radio stations throughout Australia. Broadcast times and stations are at http://wp.me/P4cPvC-1K

New Horizons can also be heard over the Internet from the Blind Citizens Australia web site at http://www.bca.org.au

And on the Global Voice at http://theglobalvoice.info.

New Horizons is produced at the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne. Blind Citizens Australia thanks Vision Australia for their technical Support and for the use of their resources. You can visit Vision Australia on the web at http://www.visionaustralia.org