Wednesday 12th June

Dear Members,

As some of you may be aware, BCA will experience a significant decrease in government funding in the coming financial year. Our budget will decrease from $2 million to $1 million.

We have been forced to undertake a reorganisation of the staffing structure to ensure BCA continues into the future in a sustainable way. We have needed to change the way we operate and to redistribute staff responsibilities. We will be saying goodbye to Bettina Twyman, Claire Dorling, Corey Crawford, Madison Braim and Natasha Brake. The recently vacant Advocacy Projects Officer, and NSW/ACT Advocacy Projects Officer positions will not be replaced. We thank each dedicated, caring and passionate member of staff for everything they have contributed to BCA.

As of 1 July 2024, the BCA team will be:

Chief Executive Officer – Deb Deshayes

General Manager Operations – Angela Jaeschke

Executive Assistant – Christina Micallef

Communications Coordinator – Amila Dedovic

Administration and Information Officer – Samantha Marsh

National Advocacy Officer – Martin Stewart

Senior Policy Officer – Jackson Reynolds-Ryan

Engagement and Consultation Officer – Layal Hage

These employee positions will be supported by contractors who cover Finance, IT Support and Fundraising. We are committed to increasing our fundraising efforts and will further embrace existing and new partnerships.

We have prepared a Q&A document that gives more detail and answers the many questions members and supporters may have. To access the information, visit our website.

We will also be holding a BCA Conversation on Thursday, 20th June where BCA’s leadership team and board will answer your questions.

Update from the CEO and President

A reminder, you can read the Member Update on BCA’s website.

What’s Coming Up at BCA?

Plan ahead using our monthly calendar – the events calendar for June is available on our website, or you can access the calendar via audio by phoning 1800 033 660 and following the prompts.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please feel free to contact us on events@bca.org.au or call 1800 033 660.

Trivia

Saturday, ​15th June at​​​ 8:00pm AEST.

Are you interested in expanding your general knowledge in an easy going and fun atmosphere? If so, join this week’s trivia presented by Ramona Mandy for an enjoyable night of team competition.

Please be aware that, to ensure the smooth operation of the game, Trivia will be limited to 25 players. To give everyone an opportunity, the Zoom waiting room will open to admit people who sign in from 7:45pm Sydney time and close at 8.00pm.

BCA Conversations – Reorganisation Q&A

Thursday, 20th June from 7:30pm to 9:00pm AEST.

Join us for an informative Q&A event where we will explore our recently announced reorganisation, what it means for our members and the future of BCA. Your questions will be answered by the BCA Board, as well as Deb Deshayes, CEO, and Angela Jaeschke, General Manager Operations. To learn more you can access a general Q&A, so please visit our website.

We also encourage any questions to be sent to ceo@bca.org.au in the lead up to the event. Please keep in mind that any questions sent to the CEO inbox will be reviewed and answered during the live session, so we kindly thank you for your patience.

Register for the event

If you have any questions, or if you require assistance registering, please feel free to contact us at events@bca.org.au or call 1800 033 660.

Peer Connect Groups

The Peer Connect groups meeting in the next week are listed below. You can also find out more about all our peer connect groups, including session times and other details on the BCA Website.

Guitar Group

Saturday, ​15th ​June at 2:00pm AEST.

The guitar group offers a welcoming space for players of all levels, from beginners to advanced, to come together to share tips and techniques. This group is an open platform for guitar enthusiasts where you can find support and share resources to help you along your musical journey.

Assistive Technology Group

Monday, ​17th ​​June​ at 8:00pm AEST.

Assistive Technology is useful and increasingly necessary in our daily lives. However, not everything is easy to navigate, and new technologies develop every day. Join Adam and others to learn more about assistive technology and how to get the best from it.

BCA Updates

Employment Opportunity – Fundraising Manager

BCA is looking for a Fundraising Manager (contractor) to lead fundraising opportunities that will benefit the organisation and the Jeffrey Blyth Foundation’s growth and sustainability.

Position Purpose

The Fundraising Manager is responsible for activities that increase the fundraising capacity of Blind Citizens Australia and the Jeffrey Blyth Foundation.

The role leads and develops operational strategy that generate untied income, including strengthening BCA’s donations, bequests and wills, sponsorships and access to philanthropic funds.

Applications close Sunday, 23rd June 2024.

For details on how to apply, please visit the website: https://www.bca.org.au/employment/ or call BCA on 1800 033 660.

New Horizons

Join us this week for a brief update on happenings within BCA. We’re joined by CEO, Deb Deshayes, Fiona Woods, President, and Helen Freris, Vice-President. You can read more in this week’s Member Update.

Take a listen to the New Horizons podcast or find out how to tune in live.

Do you have any ideas for stories, or feedback about the show? Contact us on new.horizons@bca.org.au.

News From Outside BCA

National

PhD Scholarship in Assistive Technology and Disability – Monash University

The Monash Assistive Technology and Society (MATS) Centre is offering two PhD Scholarships. Candidates who identify as having a disability are strongly encouraged to apply. You can learn about the MATS Centre on the Monash University website.

Emerging assistive technologies have the potential to break down many of the barriers that people with disabilities face at school, university, work and in the social sphere. Our work at the MATS Centre is guided by partnerships with the community to ensure we’re addressing real problems faced by real people and creating a lasting impact. Join us as a PhD Candidate and help to create a world that is more inclusive and equitable.

The successful candidate will explore an area of research focus within MATS and the Faculty of Information Technology. The precise details of the PhD project are open to negotiation, but it should be designed with the aim of making a positive difference in the life experience of people with disabilities.

Applications are encouraged from those interested nationwide. The successful candidates will be based in the Faculty of Information Technology of Monash University at the Caulfield or Clayton campuses in Melbourne.

To apply, please visit the Monash University website.

Closing Date: Wednesday, 3rd July 2024

New South Wales

Hand Over Hand Club Newsletter – Deafblind Association NSW

The Hand Over Hand Club is a group of people with both hearing and vision loss. It is an important part of the Deafblind Association (NSW) Inc. The club provides interesting outings, information, and social interaction for its members. The newsletter is produced in Braille, Large Print, Regular size print, as a Word doc, on CD and can be sent by e-mail.

Hand Over Hand outings can’t be conducted until new or former volunteers contact Ros on 0417494237

To put yourself on the mailing list contact Ros on 0417494237 or send an e-mail to enquiries@dbansw.org.au

Queensland

Join the SPORTY Project Steering Committee – Theu University of Queensland

The SPORTY project wants to know what young people with disabilities and their families think researchers need to learn about playing sports with a disability. Last year, some people shared their thoughts in interviews. This year, we want more people to share ideas through surveys to create a list of important questions for researchers.

Since this project focuses on young people with disabilities, we think it’s important to have people with disabilities and their families working with the research team. If you join, you will be part of the SPORTY Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will help the research team make decisions about the project.

We are looking for someone who: has had a disability since childhood or is a parent of someone who has had a disability since childhood, is over 12 years old and is interested in sports. You’ll need to take part in 2-4 hour monthly meetings and you will be paid $45.50 per hour.

If you are interested and have any questions about the research, you can get in touch with Afra Islam by email at afra.islam@uqconnect.edu.au  or call 04 5185 4296.

Have you got something to contribute?

If you have something you would like included in the Member Update, please send it to memberupdate@bca.org.au or call us on 1800 033 660. Items received by 12:00pm Monday be considered for publishing in the Wednesday update.