Wednesday 12th May

Last night, Hon. Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer, delivered the Federal budget for 2021-2022. It is unclear at present what this will mean for disability support and services, however pre-emptive analysis by media earmarks a $13.2 billion increase in Commonwealth’s contribution to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) between now and 2023-24. There has been discussion about sustainability and cost of the NDIS, however this is not new information, with the same projected costs identified by the Productivity Commission report in 2017. Further, in the aftermath of the Final Report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, we have received a response to the recommendations, and the announcement of at least $10 billion in extra funding to the sector.

BCA will closely examine the budget and post-budget analysis, and we will bring you an update as we learn more about it.

CEO Update

In this week’s CEO update, Sally gives an overview of some of the topics you can expect to be covered at our upcoming BCA Connect. We also hear about a second Education Happy Hour which is taking place this Thursday, 13th May at 7:30PM AEST – if you missed the first one this is a great opportunity to directly inform BCA’s education policy work. Lastly, another employment opportunity with BCA. Click here to view the video transcript.

Save the Date

We have our regular Happy Hours and Trivia coming up this week. Details on these can be found under the login information below.

To join Happy Hours and Trivia

BCA Happy Hour – Education Policy part 2

Thursday 13th May, 7:30pm AEST

Join us for continuing discussion about BCA’s Education Policy update.

BCA continues to seek a range of opinions about what works best for people who are blind or vision impaired participating in education. We hope to hear from people who are blind or vision impaired who are current students, or people who have studied in the last few years, their families and, educators.

BCA Happy Hour – BCA Connect Zoom practice

Thursday 20th May, 7:30pm AEST or

Wednesday 26th May, 3pm AEST

Would you like to test out Zoom before our BCA Connect event on Saturday 29th May? This is your chance! This Zoom session will explore the features of Zoom, to make sure you have an optimum experience during BCA Connect. For information about BCA Connect, keep reading.

BCA Trivia Night

Saturday 15th May, 8pm AEST

Join us for a fun night, with Peter and Kathy delivering their special brand of music trivia.

BCA Connect

Saturday 29th May 2021, 10am – 5pm AEST

On Saturday 29th May, 2021, join us for a day of presentations and discussions, and opportunities to connect with peers and friends. We have a fabulous keynote speaker, and a series of panel discussions lined up. Registrations are now open. To find out more about BCA Connect and to register for the event, visit the BCA Connect event page.

BCA Inform: Partners Showcase

Tuesday 1st June, 7:30pm AEST

BCA enjoys productive and supportive partnership relationships with service provider organisations that have a lot to offer the BCA membership. This session will showcase the work and offerings of Vision Australia, Royal Society of the Blind, VisAbility and Guide Dogs Australia.

The panel will include:

  • Elizabeth Barnes, CEO, VisAbility
  • Damian Papps, CEO at Royal Society of the Blind
  • Karen Knight GM Client Services, Vision Australia
  • Shelley Pannier, Client Services Manager, Guide Dogs Victoria (representing Guide Dogs Australia)

You can find out more at the BCA Connect 2021 page on the BCA website, and register via the Humanitix website page for BCA Connect.

BCA Updates

World Blindness Summit

BCA members can attend the World Blindness Summit (WBU General Assembly and ICEVI Conference) as observers. If you would like to attend, we ask that you do two things

  1. Register via the official registration at this link.
  2. Please inform BCA of your registration by emailing us at or phone us on 1800 033 660.

New Horizons

This week Steve Richardson, regular contributor to the programme, brings you a special episode. Steve recently joined a group of people who took part in a very exciting activity in the skies over the Gold Coast. Hear from Kim Pilic, who organised the activity, and several of the contributors. Check out Kim’s website. And, a big thank you to Steve Richardson for putting the programme together.

Catch up on this and other episodes here:

National / International News and Events

Guide Dogs Australia Client Survey

Time is running out to win $500!

The strategic research agency 10 Thousand Feet are conducting a survey on behalf of their client, Guide Dogs Australia, who is a provider of vision impairment support services in Victoria, NSW and the ACT.

They would like to invite those of you living in Victoria, NSW or the ACT to take their survey so that their client can get to know you better, learn about the vision impairment support services that you use and improve services offered to the community.

This survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. As a thank you for your feedback, you will go into the draw to win a $500 Visa gift card. The survey closes on closes Sunday 16th May at 5pm and the winner of the prize draw will be notified on Monday 19th May.

Your individual answers are completely confidential and will only be reported on in an aggregated form. Please complete the survey at this webpage.

If you have any queries or difficulty accessing the survey, please contact

Intopia / Meld Studios Research

Intopia is supporting Meld Studios with research about the use of tactile markers in train stations. Meld has prepared a short 3-minute survey and would like anyone who is blind or vision impaired to help gather information and experiences. They would love people who rely on tactile markers to complete this anonymous survey and contribute to the research project.

Access the Meld tactile markers survey.

Australian Volunteers Program Online Event: Kurt Fearnley AO

Monday 31st May, 3pm AEST

The Australian Volunteers Program is pleased to invite you to a special online event with Kurt Fearnley AO, gold medallist athlete, author, and podcast and ABC television host.

Kurt will share his experiences and insights on disability inclusion, as an advocate and a person with lived experience. It is a unique opportunity to reflect on the role we all play in clearing the road for people with a disability.

Kurt is a three-time Paralympic gold medalist, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist, and has won over 40 marathons spanning more than 20 years. He also crawled the Kokoda track in Papua New Guinea to raise awareness of men’s health, and was a member of the winning Sydney to Hobart yacht crew.

Kurt will be welcomed by Ben Clare, a returned Australian volunteer who has worked in the disability sector for 15 years, and is a valued member of the program’s Disability Inclusion Working Group.

Register to attend the event.

ACT Blind Cricket: Come and Try Blind Cricket with the Australian Blind Cricket Team

Sunday 30th May, 11:30am for start at 12pm AEST

Come and try Blind Cricket with the Australian Blind Cricket Team. This day is open to all people who are blind or vision impaired.

The event will be held at the Tuggeranong Valley Cricket Club, Proctor Street, Chishom, ACT.

If you would like more information, contact Dave Brown by phone 0420 530 009 or email

Job Opportunities

BCA Communications Coordinator role

Do you have communication skills, that are second to none?

In this 30 hour per week role, you will lead Blind Citizens Australia’s communications. If you are interested, find out more at the Communications Coordinator page on the BCA website. Applications close on Monday 17th May C.O.B.

Description Victoria Job Opportunity

Description Victoria is seeking a detail-oriented arts administrator with an interest in access and inclusion for people who are blind or low vision for a part-time role. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated and able to work with minimal supervision.

The Service Coordinator is an all-rounder, working directly with clients to book and quote jobs, contracting freelance describers, managing budgets and forecasts, preparing board reports, contributing to the development of funding applications, and collaborating with the Lead Describer to advocate for best practice audio description in service to the blind and low vision community.

The Service Coordinator is a 0.5FTE part-time role with a flexible schedule.

Applications close on Monday 24th May at 5pm AEST. For more information, please visit the Service Coordinator role information on Ethical Jobs.

Vision Australia Job Opportunities

Vision Australia are currently seeking several new staff including:

  • Occupational Therapist, Robina QLD
  • Community Support Worker, Coorparoo QLD
  • Orientation & Mobility Specialist, Canberra ACT

For more information about these roles or to apply, visit the Vision Australia Careers page or call them on 1300 847 466.

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.

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