Wednesday 15th December 

Welcome to this year’s last member update!

As we draw closer to the end of another year, and in our final Member Update for 2021, the staff and board would like to take this opportunity to thank all of BCA’s members who have contributed to our work this year.

Those who volunteered their time on the National Policy Council, and other committees, our branch leaders, our Peer Connect Group Leaders, trivia hosts, New Horizons and BC News producers and editors, and everyone who provides us with feedback or attends our many events, thank you. Your input, support, ideas, and feedback makes our mission of informing, connecting, and empowering people who are blind or vision impaired possible.

Plans are already well under way for 2022 and we look forward to bringing back some old favourites, and continuing to find creative and innovative ways to engage with our members, government, and businesses.

We will be back with our member update in 2022 on the 19th January.

CEO Update

In this week’s CEO Update, Emma talks about the year that was, some updates from BCA’s NDIS advocacy and BCA’s Christmas Closure. Emma also mentions we are on the lookout for a new General Manager, Projects and Engagements.

You can also view the CEO Update on social media.

View the CEO Update on Facebook

View the CEO Update on YouTube

Read the transcript of the CEO Update.

BCA Christmas Closure

This year, the BCA office will be closing from 5:00pm AEDT on Thursday, 23rd December and re-opening on Monday, 10th January 2022 at 9:00am AEDT. Staff will not be available during this time, and some may be taking some extra leave over the period also.

You can continue to access information through BCA’s phone system at any time.

We will return your emails and phone calls once the office reopens in January, 2022.

What’s Coming Up at BCA?

Happy Hours

Thursday 16th December 7:30pm AEDT – Emma Bennison

This week, our Happy Hour is a special one. Tim Haggis will be interviewing BCA CEO Emma Bennison. They will be discussing her life, education, leadership, music, and anything else that comes up along the way. This will be an extended Happy Hour and will run from 7:30pm – 9:00pm AEDT.

As Emma’s time at BCA begins to draw to a close, we recommend everyone come along and hear from her during our final Happy Hour for 2021.


Saturday 18th December 8:00pm AEDT

Join us for the final Happy Hour of the year! Join host John Danesh Krishnan, as he tests your General Knowledge in this round of trivia!

To join a Happy Hour or Trivia

BCA Updates

We’re Hiring!

We are looking for someone to become our new General Manager Projects and Engagement. This is an exciting leadership opportunity within BCA and will lead a small project team and support them to deliver their objectives.

If you or someone you know is interested you can take a look at the position description for the General Manager Projects and Engagement on our website. Please send in your expression of interest as soon as possible, as the role will start in January 2022.

New Horizons

Fiona Woods, newly elected president of Blind Citizens Australia, joins us to outline her background and her hopes for her time as president. As well, find out which board members will be undertaking which roles within the organisation, and the BCA office closure.

New Horizons will continue to broadcast over the Christmas and New Year period, so check out the website for information on the latest episodes.

Take a listen to the New Horizon’s podcast or find how to tune in live.

Some things to catch up on over the break

You can read BCA’s Year in Review.

BCA’s Director and Financial Report

Are you up to date with all our podcasts? Catch up on episodes you’ve missed!

There is also the Spring edition of Blind Citizens News to read.

If something in the edition sparks your interest, perhaps you may even consider submitting an article for Blind Citizens News?

Have you missed an event lately? You can listen to our event recordings.

Important Numbers / Email links for the Holiday Break

All the below numbers are 24 / 7 services 

Health assessment, advice and referral:

  • Health Direct Australia (all states other than Victoria)– 1800 022 222
  • Nurse on Call Victoria (for Victorian residents only) – 1300 606 024

Counselling Service:

  • Lifeline – 131 114
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636

Useful links

COVID 19 Information – The Australian Government and each state government website has up to date information about COVID infections, restrictions, and changes to borders and vaccine requirements.

What the BCA Team Are Up To Over the Break

BCA staff are reading

All of the below recommendations are available as an audiobook.

BCA staff are watching

All of the below recommendations have audio description available

BCA staff are drinking

  • West Coast Coolers, remember them? Sweet and perfect for Summer
  • Watermelon Mojito
  • Vodka & lime
  • Glenfiddich single malt scotch
  • Skillaglee Reisling (Adelaide Hills)
  • Jameson Whiskey
  • Homemade double cream eggnog with a drab of brandy
  • Darby Norris Distillery Citrus Explosion Gin, frozen and iced.
  • Whiskey Sour
  • Baileys with gingerbread flavoured milk and ice

BCA staff are hoping for

  • A safer and more stable 2022, with reconnection and happiness!
  • Borders to stay open and to spend time with family over Christmas and New Year.
  • Sunny warm weather, 26 degrees on Christmas Day would be nice!
  • A normal uneventful run of the mill 2022
  • Some breathing space, some fine weather, a little camping and hanging out with people I love.

BCA staff are wishing all members

  • A happy holiday, that includes time with friends and family
  • A very merry and safe holiday season, with plenty of time for relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • Opportunities to connect in 2022
  • A 2022 where people are kind and gentle to each other

BCA staff recommend making

News From Outside BCA


Don’t Miss Carols By Candlelight (with Audio description)

Join Carols by Candlelight at 8pm on 24 December broadcast live on Channel 9. You can also access audio described broadcast of the event via Vision Australia’s live stream:

Museum of Australian Democracy Exhibition

The Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra is holding their annual exhibition of political cartoons – Behind the Lines, opening 14 December. This year, the cartoons have audio description – produced by The SubStation – which can be accessed both at the exhibition and online right now at the link below.

This link goes to the introduction page of the Museum’s exhibition. On the left is a list of links to the nine segments of the exhibition. Each page has a list of recorded descriptions with an AD transcript underneath. At the bottom of the page, a ‘Next’ button takes you to the following page of descriptions.


Research Participation Opportunity

Mary Ann Jackson is undertaking a PhD and is members to participate in fieldwork about built environment accessibility at neighbourhood scale. The fieldwork, which will be in and around the suburbs of North/West Melbourne, is timetabled to take place in the first part of next year.

If you are interested in participating in the fieldwork you can email Mary at or call her on 0409 404 941.

Anything to Share?

Our next Member Update will be sent on Wednesday 19th January 2022. If you’ve got something you’d like included in the Member Update that is relevant after this date, please send it to or call us on 1800 033 660.