By Katrina Taylor

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Wow, 2021, what a year!

In spite of the lockdowns and ever-changing restrictions, the National Women’s Branch has continued to thrive with a growing feeling of community and energy amongst its members. This is very heartening to see.

Branch members and other BCA members have connected with each other through our afternoon and gardening chats. Our creative muscles have been given a good workout at Word Wednesdays. At our book club, people got to read books that they might not have otherwise chosen. Our Womens-talk workshops generated a lot of enthusiastic discussion and idea sharing, particularly the November workshop on getting the most out of objects and reducing the usage of single use items.

All of these activities are continuing in 2022. The first Monday of the month is a gardening chat hosted by Anne. The other Mondays are general chats and catch ups. Chire, Debra, Karen, Maree and myself, take it in turn to host Word Wednesday. So come along for some word-based fun with a load of laughter. The sessions start at 3pm AEST and are open to all BCA members. Our book club meets on the last Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm AEST. It’s never too late to join.

In March we plan to host a workshop on accessing personal financial information. Then as a follow up in April, we hope to host a workshop in conjunction with Women’s Information Referral Exchange (WIRE), on ways to help women to take more control of their finances. Workshop details will be posted on the branch’s email list and in BCA member update.

At our AGM in late November held via Zoom we had over 20 people attend which was great. The new branch committee was announced, President Katrina Taylor [new], Vice President Debra Simons [new], Secretary Joyce Jones [continuing], Treasurer Maree Fenech [continuing], General Member Chire Fulford [continuing], and General Member Nicola Stowe [new]. Janene Sadhu will remain on the committee for 2022 as Immediate Past President. Carmel Jolley will continue as Aspirations Editor but not as a committee member. The committee would like to thank outgoing general members Lana Thompson and Annette Sims for their contributions. Finally, a huge thank you to both Janene Sadhu our outgoing president and Leonie Barber our outgoing vice president for your leadership over the last six years. With particular note to both your individual and combined work during the last two years. We, the new committee will continue to expand upon your work to support and empower women who are blind and vision impaired.

Currently there is a vacancy for a general member on the branch committee. If you are female, a branch member and interested in joining the committee either leave a message at the BCA office or email Katrina

On behalf of the Women’s Branch, I would like to give a massive thanks to Jenny Dawson for setting up and then moderating our email list for all these years. The list enables branch members regardless of where they live to keep in touch, ask questions and share strategies. We wish Jenny success with her future projects. We welcome Nicola Stowe on board as our new moderator and thank her for her willingness to step into the breach.

Want to be more involved in the Women’s Branch? Got ideas for branch activities? Email us or leave us a message at the BCA office on 1800 033 660.

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