Listen to the audio version of this update here.

Saturday 4th December 2021 at 12pm AEDT

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) will hold its 46th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in a virtual capacity on Saturday 4th December 2021 at 12:00pm AEDT (NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas), which is 9:00am AWST (WA), 10:30am ACST (NT), 11:00am AEST (Qld), 11:30am ACDT (SA).

The AGM will be held via Zoom, and all members can connect via landline phone, smartphone, tablet or computer.

The agenda for the AGM is attached and includes presentation and discussion of the Annual Review and Directors’ Report and Financial Statements; as well as the announcement of the election of President, Directors, National Policy Council (NPC) representatives, and NSW/ACT State Division Committee members. There are no items of special business for consideration at this year’s AGM.

All full members are entitled to one vote each in relation to any resolution put to the AGM.  If full members are unable to attend this meeting in person, they may appoint the chairperson, or another full member as a proxy.  Information about proxy voting is available by contacting BCA and a proxy form is available at the bottom of this page.

It is important to note that no election will take place at the AGM. Instead, telephone, SMS and online voting will be available for this year’s elections. All eligible full members of BCA will have the opportunity to vote via telephone, SMS or online, should an election be necessary.

Register to attend the AGM.

Elections

Call for Nominations for President

Position Description: President

This year the position of President becomes vacant as John Simpson will have completed his three-year term. John has indicated that he will not re-stand.  He will therefore serve on the Board as Immediate Past President up to the 2022 Annual Meeting.

An eligible member may nominate for both the position of President and that of Director. Should there be more than one nomination for President, requiring an election, the results of this ballot will be finalised before counting of votes for the election of Directors is undertaken.

Call for Nominations for Directors

Position Description: Director

This year, there are a minimum of three (3) vacancies for directors of BCA, each for a three-year term. The Directors who have served three-year terms on the BCA board, and are eligible for re-nomination are: Stephen Belbin, and Joanne Chua. Lauren Henley has tendered her resignation from the board, partway through her term, creating a vacancy. In addition, should a current Director be elected as President there will be an additional vacancy to be filled for a three-year term.

Call for Nominations for NPC Representatives

Position Description: NPC

There are vacant positions for National Policy Council Members in Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, and Australian Capital Territory. The term of office for an NPC Member is two years. NPC Members whose terms of office conclude this year are Paul Price (Qld), Sean Tyrell (Vic), David Squirrell (SA), the ACT position is currently vacant. All are eligible for re-election. In order to nominate for a position on the NPC, members must reside in the state or territory they are nominating to represent.

Call for Nominations for NSW/ACT State Division

Position Description: State division committee member

All six (6) NSW committee members and the one (1) ACT committee member positions are up for re-election. Three of the elected NSW and the ACT committee members will hold a 2 year term; three of the elected NSW committee members will hold a 1 year term.

To nominate for NSW state division committee, you must reside in NSW; to nominate for ACT representative, you must reside in the ACT.

How to Nominate

Nominees for all positions must be full members of BCA as at 30 June 2021 and are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the relevant position description and the BCA Code of Conduct. These are available via www.bca.org.au, or by contacting BCA. Eligible members may nominate for more than one position (using the combined nomination form). The ballot for President will be determined first; followed by Directors, then NPC and NSW/ACT State Division Committee positions.

A State Representative to the NPC cannot be a current Director. However, a Director may also hold a position on the NSW/ACT State Division Committee.  For clarity it is recommended that a separate nomination form be completed for nominated position.

People wishing to nominate are required to complete a nomination form which can be obtained from https://www.bca.org.au/2020/09/28/2021agm, or by contacting BCA. Valid nomination forms must include the names and current contact details of a nominator and seconder, both of whom must be full members of BCA as at 30 June 2021. Please note that BCA is strongly committed to ensuring the nomination process is fully accessible to our members. As such, signatures are not required. Instead, Company Secretary, Emma Bennison will take all necessary steps to verify the validity of nominations.

All nominations must be accompanied by a written statement of no more than 300 words in support of the nomination by, or on behalf of the nominee. Nomination forms and nominee statements should be submitted in Microsoft Word or text format. Please contact Emma Bennison, Company Secretary on 0410 553 383, if you need to submit your nomination in another format.

Nominations and accompanying statements must reach Emma Bennison, Company Secretary, at companysecretary@bca.org.au by 5.00pm Monday 25th October 2021.

Voting Process

Only full members of Blind Citizens Australia as at 30 June 2021 may cast a telephone, SMS or online vote. Further instruction on how to vote will be provided if or when an election is required.

Election of President

If there is one valid nomination for election as President at the close of the nomination period, the member nominated will be declared elected and there will not be a ballot. If there are two or more nominations for election as President at the close of the nomination period, a ballot will be held. At the close of the poll, the nominee with the highest number of valid votes received will be declared elected for a three-year term.

Election of Directors

If the number of valid nominations is equal to or less than the number of positions available following election of the President, the members nominated will be declared elected and there will not be a ballot.

If there are more nominations for election as Director than positions available, a ballot will be held. At the close of the poll, the nominees with the highest number of valid votes received will be declared elected for a three-year term.

Election of NPC Representatives

If there is only one valid nominee for election as the State Representative for a State or Territory of the NPC at the close of the nomination period, that member will be declared elected and there will not be a ballot in that State.

If there are two or more nominees for election as the State Representative for a State or Territory of the NPC at the close of the nomination period, a ballot will be held among members resident in that State.  At the close of the poll, the nominee with the highest number of valid votes received will be declared elected for a two-year term.

Election of NSW/ACT State Division Committee

If six (6) or fewer nominations are received for the NSW representatives, that number will be declared elected and there will not be a ballot. If there are seven or more NSW nominees for election at the close of the nomination period, a ballot will be held among members resident in NSW. At the close of the poll, the three nominees with the highest number of valid votes received will be declared elected for a two-year term and the three nominees with the next highest number of valid votes received will be elected for a one-year term. If an election is not required due to there being six or less nominees, those declared elected will, at the first subsequent meeting of the committee, draw lots to determine who shall serve for a one-year term.

If one nomination is received for the ACT representative to the State Division Committee, that person will be declared elected to serve for a two-year period and there will not be a ballot.  If there are two or more ACT nominees for election at the close of the nomination period, a ballot will be held among members resident in the ACT and at the close of the poll, the nominee with the highest number of valid votes received will be declared elected, to serve for a two-year period.

Voting

If a ballot is required for any position, instructions on casting a telephone, SMS, or online vote, along with the details of all nominees and their supporting statements, will be mailed to all eligible full members by Wednesday 10th November 2021. Voting will open on Monday 15 November and will close on Monday 29 November 2021. Any votes received after this date will not be counted.

The Company Secretary will declare the results of all polls at the AGM on 4th December 2021.

Pre-election Information Briefing

BCA is holding a pre-election briefing for potential candidates. This will provide an opportunity to gain information on BCA’s governance and ask questions of current board, NPC members and NSW/ACT State Division Committee members about their roles and responsibilities. The session is designed to assist candidates in making an informed decision before nominating.

The briefing is scheduled for Tuesday 5th October 2021 at 7:15pm AEDT. Please advise if you are attending via the contact details listed below my signature.

Documents:

BCA Contact Details:

Phone: 1800 033 660
SMS: 0436 446 780
E-mail: companysecretary@bca.org.au