Wednesday 24 February

You may recall late last year we launched our Executive Leadership Program, a skill development program for existing leaders with a demonstrated commitment to BCA. The selection panel was extremely impressed with the quality of applications received and 7 participants have been chosen to complete the program. They are Helen Freris, Fiona Woods, Linda Agnew, Prue Watt, Rikki Chaplin, Jane Britt and Sally Aurisch. These leaders will commence their training in April and complete a series of workshops, discussion groups, presentations, assignments and coaching sessions. You will be hearing more from our leaders over the coming months and into the future as they continue to develop their skills and experience in this area.

At the BCA Board meeting last week, a proposal for a QLD Branch was unanimously supported. The branch will hold it’s AGM later in March where office bearers will be elected. All QLD-based members will be contacted in the coming weeks to provide them with additional details of the AGM. The details are also contained later in this update. Our sincere thanks to BCA members Julee-Anne Bell, Mark Muscat and Joyce Jones for all of their hard work in bringing this proposal to fruition.

CEO Update

Emma chats about BCA’s new Peer Connect program (which you can also learn more about via this website link: This week the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine commences – please get in touch with us should you find any accessibility issues as we are consulting with government on this. Finally, we’d love to hear from you if you have been involved in the NDIS independent assessment pilots or would like to contribute to our submission to the Royal Commission around violence in the home setting. Click here to view the transcript for this video.

Save the Date

BCA Happy Hour

Thursday, 25th February 2021. 7:30pm AEDT

Our “How Did You Get That Job?” series returns and this week, we’re talking to Rikki Chaplin and learning about the path he took that has led him to the role of Policy and Advocacy Team Leader at BCA.

BCA Trivia

Saturday, 28th February 2021. 8:00pm AEDT

Tim is back this week so be prepared for anything as he puts your general knowledge to the test.

BCA Inform: BCA’s International Engagement

Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021. 7:15pm AEDT

Have you ever wondered what BCA does on the international scene? Join us as BCA’s International Engagement Working Group discusses their involvement with organisations like the World Blind Union, South Pacific Educators of the Vision Impaired, the Pacific Disability Forum and much more.

You can register online at the link below or call 1800 033 660 to do so over the phone:

BCA Happy Hour

Thursday, 4th March 2021. 7:30pm AEDT

Have you heard about BCA’s Peer Connect Network? This is your chance to come along and ask Naomi Barber, Project Officer with responsibility for establishing the Network, any questions you might have.

New Member Welcome Forum

Wednesday, 10th March, 2021. 2:30 – 4:00pm AEDT

Have you joined BCA recently? Or, would you just like to learn some more about what we are up to? Join us for our New Member Welcome Forum where we will discuss what the organisation does and how you can get involved.

Register here:

Peer Connect Network Applications Close

Monday, 15th March 2021

Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to be a leader of our new Peer Connect Groups. You’ll find all the information you need on our website: Peer Connect Network – Blind Citizens Australia (

BCA Connect

Saturday, 29th May 2021

More details coming soon.

New Horizons

We feature the second part of the conversation between Julee-Anne Bell, Jonathan Craig and Fiona Woods, on ableism as it affects blind or vision impaired people. Why is it not often talked about, and why may we react in the way we do when faced with it, are just some of this week’s topics.

Catch up on this and other episodes here: New Horizons (

Branch News

QLD Branch

Join the newly established Queensland Branch for their inaugural AGM on Saturday, 20th March 2021 at 3:00pm AEST. During the meeting office bearer elections will take place. For more information about what is involved in being an office bearer you can review the Branch By Laws on the BCA Website: or call BCA on 1800 033 660.

  • To join the meeting from your computer, laptop or tablet, select this link:
  • To join from a smart device, select this link: +61871501149,,94240188326#,,,,,,0#,,068347#
  • To join from a landline telephone, dial 07 3185 3730 and enter the Meeting ID: 942 4018 8326
  • The Passcode for the meeting is: 068347

National Women’s Branch

The National Women’s Branch are continuing their phone-based activities in 2021 and would love you to join in. Activities include:

  • A chat about gardening on the 1st Monday of the month at 3:15pm AEDT
  • A general chat on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Mondays of the month at 3:15pm AEDT
  • Word Wednesday – a fun game / quiz type activity every Wednesday at 3:00pm AEDT
  • Chats for grandparents on Thursday afternoons commencing at 3:15pm AEDT
  • Four virtual birthday parties to celebrate summer, autumn, winter and spring birthdays of our members – exact dates and times will be provided closer to the date
  • Five Womentalks focusing on a specific topic on the evenings of the 3rd Wednesdays in March, May, July, September and November
  • Regular evening book club meetings on the last Wednesdays of February to November
  • The Diana Braun Award will be presented in 2021 on a date to be advised
  • Our AGM will be taking place in November – more details will be provided closer to the event

If you would like to join in on any of these events, please contact the National Women’s Branch via or call 1800 033 660

Australian Government – Covid-19 Vaccination Website for People with Disability

The Department of Health has published a dedicated web page for people with disability. This page contains information about the Covid-19 vaccine and will be regularly updated as more details are confirmed.

To access the website, select this link:

BCA, through the National Policy Council, is looking at developing some further information for members on the Covid vaccine, and its rollout, in collaboration with the Department of Health.

Survey on Emergency Preparedness

The University of Sydney is carrying out a project supporting people with disability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency event such as pandemic, bushfire, flood etc. The researchers are keen to know how prepared you are for an emergency, what you can do for yourself and what supports you need in an emergency. Complete an online survey here. If you prefer a telephone survey, please email your name and contact number to

Positions Vacant

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

AFDO are currently seeking a National Manager and a Coordinator for one of their funded projects. For more information and details on how to apply, visit their website:

Have you got something to contribute?

If you’ve got something you’d like included in the Member Update please send it to or call us on 1800 033 660.

Items received by 12:00pm Monday will be published in the Wednesday update.

List of Links

BCA – Member Update & CEO Video: Member Update – Blind Citizens Australia (

BCA – Happy Hour / Trivia:

BCA – Skills Exchange:

BCA – New Horizons:

BCA – Branch By-Laws:

Covid-19 Vaccination Website:

Emergency Preparedness Survey: Emergency Preparedness Survey of People with Disability (

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations – Positions Vacant:

Contact BCA

Phone:1800 033 660




Twitter:  @au_BCA

Text: 0436 446 780