Wednesday 20th September

Dear members,

Join us this Saturday for our Connect on Policy event! We extend a warm invitation to all of you to participate in this exceptional day so please make sure you register your attendance as soon as possible. During the event, we will highlight BCA’s latest developments, exchange ideas, and honour recipients of the David Blyth Award, and BCA Certificate of Appreciation. For additional event information and for registration details, please find details below. We look forward to sharing the day with you!

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 September 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 or call 1800 033 660.


Saturday, ​23rd September ​at 8:00pm AEST. Test your general knowledge with this week’s trivia presented by ​Annette Leishman​.

BCA Connect on Policy

Saturday, 23rd September from 10:00am to 3:30pm AEST.

BCA Connect on Policy is not far away!

If you haven’t already, you can register to attend using the online registration form or by calling 1800 033 660.

On the day, we’ll be hearing from BCA’s Policy and Advocacy Team as well as our National Policy Council. During the program, we will discuss your ideas on the Tell Us What You Think sessions, and everyone will have the chance to share their thoughts and vote on what they think BCA should act on. You can find more information on submitting your ideas by visiting BCA’s website or calling 1800 033 660.

Finally, we’ll also be presenting the David Blyth Award and the BCA Certificate of Appreciation. Join us in acknowledging and celebrating member contributions that have helped to improve the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired and strengthened our organisation.

Approaching Job Applications with Confidence – Eye to the Future Job Ready Workshop

Wednesday, 27th September at 10:00am AEST.

An Eye to the Future team warmly invites you to join their next workshop which will cover Approaching Job Applications with Confidence!

In this workshop, we discuss considerations and tips for writing a successful resume/cover letter and how to approach the job application process with confidence. We will begin the workshop by hearing form our guest speaker who talks from an employer’s perspective about the selection and shortlisting process at the application stage. This will lead us into the topics of identifying transferable skills that employers look for in a resume, the process of preparing to apply for a role, and how to address the key selection criteria in a cover letter.

This is the second workshop in a series of three. For those of you who missed our first workshop on Disclosing with Confidence, or if you would like to listen again, a recording is available.

Please register for the workshop. We look forward to seeing you there!

Special General Meeting: BCA Constitution Update

Thursday, 28th September at 7:30pm to 9:00pm AEST.

The board of BCA has undertaken a review of the current Constitution and proposes a revised Constitution to BCA members. As a result, a special general meeting will be held to allow members to consider and vote on adopting the proposed revised Constitution.

To find out more, you can visit our website, which has documents available listing all the proposed changes.

To register please visit the BCA Special General Meeting Humanitix event page.

If you would like further explanation or have any questions about these changes, please email or call 1800 033 660.

BCA Inform: Voice to Parliament Referendum

Tuesday, 3rd October from 7:15pm to 9:00pm AEDT.

Are you curious about how to make your voice heard and would you like to learn how the voting process has been made accessible for people who are blind or vision impaired? Would you like to understand why BCA has endorsed a ‘Yes’ vote?

Join us in October for an engaging BCA Inform session on the Referendum on a Voice to Parliament!

With the referendum fast approaching on Saturday, 14th October, in this session our speakers will guide you through the intricacies of the referendum process, offering valuable insights on how to ensure you can cast your vote. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a meaningful discussion.

Please register to join October’s BCA Inform.

If you are unable to attend BCA Inform, you can send written feedback to or call us on 1800 033 660.

Launch of a New Peer Connect Group – Travel Club

Tuesday, 10th October at 1:00pm AEDT.

We are very excited to announce the launch of our new Travel Club, which will be led by Adrian Watson and will be meeting on the second Tuesday of every month at 1:00pm. If you’re eager to gain invaluable insights into traveling confidently, whether it’s exploring your local surroundings or journeying to far-flung destinations both nationally and internationally, this group is your perfect travel companion. Learn tips and tricks on how to travel with confidence and don’t miss out on the opportunity to elevate your travel game!

With a wealth of lived experience in traveling join Adrian in discussions that will be both informative and enjoyable, arming you with the essential knowledge and tools necessary to embark on thrilling adventures.

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. 

Acquired Sight Loss Group

Monday, ​25th ​September​ at 7:30pm AEST.

Hosted by BCA Advocacy Officer, Martin Stewart, this welcoming and friendly group is a forum for members to meet and talk with others with acquired sight loss.

Music Group

Tuesday, ​26th ​September​ at 7:30pm AEST.

Hosted by Jen Parry and Tim Haggis, the Music Group welcomes musicians of all levels to talk about music, create collaborative pieces, and share personal experiences as performers. It’s a fun and friendly place to meet and hang out with fellow musicians.

Gardening Group

Wednesday, ​27th September ​at 7:00pm AEST.

Gardening can be therapeutic and bring joy when plants are growing and thriving. Join Silvana and other gardening enthusiasts and share your knowledge, tips and techniques for a flourishing home garden. All welcome.

BCA Updates

Update from the CEO

There is a lot happening in the broader disability sector at the moment; with final reports from both the Disability Royal Commission and the NDIS Review in progress, submissions being called for on the Disability Strategy and Inclusion Bill, and work continuing on the Australian Disability Strategy. We are keeping involved in all of these spaces and look forward to providing you with a full update at BCA Inform in November. In the meantime, if you have specific questions, please reach out to us.

I am looking forward to meeting with many of you at BCA Connect on Policy this Saturday. It will be a great opportunity to discuss the work of our NPC, the creation of BCA’s Policy and Advocacy Hub, announce the recipients of the David Blyth Award, BCA Certificate of Appreciation, and the Diana Braun Aspirations Award. We’ll also be discussing the recommendations that have been received as part of the ‘Tell us what you think’ session. If you’d like to come along it’s not too late to register, you can register online by completing the online registration form.

Update from the Board – Fiona Woods, BCA President

Since Sally Karandrews announced her resignation as Chief Executive Officer, the board has been working to find the next person to lead BCA.  Thanks to each of you who showed an interest in this exciting opportunity. We have now reached the interview process and hope to make an announcement in coming weeks. In the meantime, we have been working with Sally to finalise some priority projects. Sally has generously agreed to stay on, at reduced hours, to allow for a smooth transition. I am pleased to share that the board has appointed Angela Jaeschke, BCA’s General Manager of Operations, as a Company Secretary of BCA. This appointment will allow Angela to undertake many of the functions required for our Special General Meeting and Annual General Meeting. In the meantime, you will have noticed that BCA’s work goes on at its usual high standard and fast pace, thanks to Sally and her staff team. The board looks forward to an informative Saturday at BCA Connect on Policy.

We are also pleased that our work on the BCA Constitution will culminate at the Special General Meeting to consider its adoption on Thursday, 28th September. Preparations are well underway for the presentation to members of our year’s work at the Annual General Meeting. This will be held on Thursday, 14th December.  In reading the reports from your directors and branch leaders about their activities throughout the year, I am sure many of you share with me my admiration for the effort, ingenuity and camaraderie they reflect. We have high expectations of people who volunteer for BCA, which they frequently exceed. These contributions deserve recognition and are highly valued. To each of you who finds time and energy in your life, no matter what else is happening for you, to help BCA fulfil its purpose of informing, connecting and empowering people – thank you!

Around the Branches

Casino / Richmond Valley Branch

Tuesday, 26th September at 10:00am AEST.

Cecil Hotel at 100 Centre Street, Casino, NSW, 2470

Come along and enjoy morning tea with friends. Cost is $10. Please RSVP to Val on 0416 077 359 before Thursday, 21st September. 

New Horizons

Jackson Reynolds-Ryan joins us this week to talk about the BCA Connect happening this Saturday. If you want to understand more about BCA’s policy environment, the work of the National Policy Council and see first-hand who the recipients of the Certificates of Appreciation, and the David Blyth Award are, then register for BCA Connect. You can check the BCA website or contact staff on 1800 033 660 for further information.

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 

News From Outside BCA


Disability and Australian Society: How Well Are We Doing? – La Trobe University’s Ideas and Society

Thursday, 5th October at 5:00pm AEDT.

In September, the findings of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will be published. In late October, the Independent Review into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will report to Bill Shorten, the responsible Minister. In addition, to mark the tenth anniversary of the creation of the NDIS, The Quarterly Essay (from Black Inc., the partner of La Trobe University Press) has published Lifeboat: Disability, Humanity and the NDIS. To hear from experts on these topics and more join this event. The following is the list of guests:

Host: Professor Christine Bigby, Director, Living with a Disability Research Centre, La Trobe University

Welcome:  Professor John Dewar AO, Vice-Chancellor

Speakers: Micheline Lee, Author ‘The Healing Party’, Quarterly Essay contributor and Dr Rhonda Galbally AC, Disability Royal Commissioner

To register for this free online session please visit the event page.

Creating Inclusive Workplaces – Accessible Arts

Tuesday, 10th October from 10:00am to 11:30am AEDT.

Accessible Arts invites you to a series of upcoming online workshops with its next one on Creating Inclusive Workplaces. Working with people with disability requires understanding of varying access requirements and reasonable adjustments. This training session will cover legislation, access riders, reasonable adjustments, funding, access responsibilities and recruitment processes.

Cost: $99 (+ GST + BF) per person. 10% discount for online bookings of 3 or more! Discount applies automatically when you select Group Tickets when booking online.

To book for this workshop visit the Creating Inclusive Workplaces Humanitix event page

For a full list of upcoming workshops visit Training Services – Accessible Arts (

Free Webinar: Decision making in Deafblind Communication – DeafBlind Information Australia

Wednesday, 18th October from 3:30pm to 5:00pm AEDT.

There are many communication options available to people with deafblindness. An important part of exploring communication is how this is supported. Also, how language foundations are developed. This webinar will cover:

  • factors shaping decisions on which communication method to use
  • steps to language for someone with congenital deafblindness
  • what to think about when sending messages through hearing, vision and touch

There will be an opportunity at the end of the presentation for audience members to ask questions.

To register please visit the Deafbilind Information Australia Zoom Registration Form.

Mid-Term Regional General Assembly (MRGA) – World Blind Union Asia Pacific (WBUAP)

Monday, 27th November to Wednesday 29th November 2023.

As some of you may have heard, there is an exciting event coming up this year. It is the Mid-Term Regional General Assembly (MRGA) of the Asia Pacific Region of the World Blind Union. The theme is Connecting Community, Information and Life. Highlight Topics are: Smart Cities; Digital Literacy; Assistive Technology; Transportation; Organization Development; and more! The official language of the MRGA is English. The opening plenary session will start with “Smart Cities” on the first day on Monday 27th November.

For details on the program visit the World Blind Union website.

The venue where you will stay and attend the MRGA is Duangjitt Resort and Spa, Phuket, Thailand. It is a peaceful, natural environment that is safe for everyone. On Thursday, 30th November, optional tourist visits are planned. More details are on the registration form and further information will follow soon.

Please register and make your payment by Saturday, 30th September. You can register by visiting the World Blind Union’s event info page.

Supports and services for Blind and Vision Impaired Voters, Referendum 2023 – Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)

The AEC provides a range of information and services for people who are blind or vision impaired. Please find some information from the AEC listed below, and please don’t forget to join BCA Inform on Tuesday, 3rd October for an informative session on the topic.

Information on the process of a referendum and how to correctly complete a ballot paper in accessible formats:

  • Accessible versions of the referendum booklet are available in eBraille, large print and audio format. The referendum booklet contains the Yes/No pamphlet as well as the official guide, which provides information on when and where to vote and what happens at the polling place.
  • Hard copy versions of the referendum booklet in Braille and large print can be requested by calling 13 23 26.
  • Audio advertising will run on the Radio Reading network. This will cover information on enrolment, about referendums, voter services and how to correctly complete a ballot paper.
  • The AEC website is fully accessible and has a range of information.

For information on secure telephone voting visit the AEC website.


Guided Farm Experience – Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria

Monday, 25th September from 1:00pm to 4:00pm AEST.

If you are blind or vision impaired and love animals, then it’s time for you to put your farmer hat on and make your way to Melbourne’s beloved working community farm this September school holidays! After an optional BYO picnic lunch, a knowledgeable guide will take you on a sensory tour of the gardens and a hands-on meet-the-animals (guinea pigs, goats & sheep) session, then get involved and pick up the tools for a surprise farm job. Age range: 6 to 17 years. Siblings welcome to attend.

Places are strictly limited. To join in please contact Miriam on 98228876 or email

Tree Planting & Conservation Outing – Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria

Friday, 6th October from 10:00am to 2:00pm AEDT.

Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria invite adults who are blind or vision impaired to join a volunteer group, Friends of Coburg Lake, as they plant trees and shrubs at ‘Grevillea Corner’ near Coburg Lake Reserve. You will have the wonderful opportunity to learn about their tireless conservation work whilst enjoying the sweet sounds and smells of the Merri Creek. After this activity, we will head to Mela Patisserie in Pentridge Shopping Centre for a hot drink, hand-made savory pastry and a social catch-up.

BYO closed shoes, gardening gloves and money for lunch.

To join, please RSVP by Monday, 2nd of October to Miriam on or you can call (03) 9822 8876.

Hope in Sight Community Forum World Sight Day – Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA)

Thursday, 12th October from 6:30pm to 8:00pm AEDT.

State Library Victoria Entrance 3, 179 La Trobe Street, Melbourne.

Join experts to discuss the latest in inherited retinal eye disease research. The event will happen on World Sight Day. Join this special twilight Community Forum at the historic State Library Victoria. Hear from an expert panel about inherited retinal diseases (IRD), how you can play a pivotal role in saving sight for future generations and the rapidly evolving field of gene therapy treatments. A light supper will be provided at the conclusion of the event. Stay up to date, be informed and help create a future free from vision loss.

For more information, please visit the Centre for Eye Research’s event page.

Register for the event via Humanitix.

Audio Described and Tactile Tour Events – Vitae Veritas

Vitae Veritas invites you to a list of accessible shows and events for the performing and visual arts in metro and regional Victoria, both in-person and online. Please find a list below:

If you have any queries or require assistance, you can contact or call on 03 94623820.

Have you got something to contribute?

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