By Amila Dedovic

Listen to the audio

In 2025, Blind Citizens Australia stands on the cusp of a remarkable milestone: half a century of informing, empowering, advocating for, and championing the rights of people who are blind or vision impaired across the country. As we prepare to celebrate this momentous occasion, it is not just a commemoration of the past but a testament to the enduring spirit and ongoing mission of our organisation.

Founded in 1975, BCA emerged as an organisation to help Australians who are blind or vision impaired live their lives in the way they choose. To ensure they are respected and recognised, and their rights are protected within society.

Over the last five decades, we have witnessed tremendous strides in accessibility, technology, and societal perceptions regarding blindness and vision impairment. Through it all, BCA has been at the forefront, tirelessly working to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and foster inclusivity.

Reflecting on our journey, it becomes evident that our success is deeply rooted in the dedication and passion of our members, supporters, and leaders. And speaking of leadership, we are excited to welcome our new CEO, Deb Deshayes, who has expertly stepped into her role, bringing with her a wealth of experience, vision, and commitment to our purpose.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Deb’s leadership style is defined by empathy, inclusivity, and a genuine commitment to serving others. Under her guidance, BCA has continued to strengthen its culture of collaboration, transparency, and accountability, empowering staff and volunteers to contribute their unique talents and perspectives towards our shared cause.

In this issue of BC News, Deb Deshayes discusses what the past six months as CEO have been like for her, covering the challenges of the role and what qualities she believes make a good leader for any organisation. As we look ahead to the next 50 years, we are inspired by the legacy of resilience and determination that defines Blind Citizens Australia. Our journey has been marked by challenges and triumphs, but through it all, one thing remains constant: our unwavering commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, let us not only reflect on our past achievements but also recommit ourselves to the values and principles that have guided us thus far. Our National Convention, to be held in mid-2025 in Melbourne, will give us the opportunity to come together and celebrate our rich history and achievements.

We are confident that Blind Citizens Australia will continue to be a driving force for positive change, empowering individuals to live their lives with dignity, independence, and purpose.

Read on to hear Lynne Davis highlight BCA’s 50-year anniversary and the importance of the upcoming National Convention in 2025. Ramona Mandy shares the outcomes of a research project that was investigating 3D printing as a way to access graphical material by people who are blind or vision impaired, as well as her reflections as a BCA Trivia Host. Martin Stewart, BCA National Advocacy Officer, outlines the history of BCA’s Acquired Sight Loss Peer Group, encouraging members to join the conversation. We also hear from Kaz Wellington, who shares the story of Yan Kit Chan – a person who is blind and plays backgammon, a popular board game that originated from Persia more than 5,000 years ago. And finally, we learn about Akran Yousef, a 65-year-old Iraqi refugee who shares his inspiring story of how he continues to pursue higher education in Australia after fleeing Iraq and navigating the world with his acquired sight loss.

Next Article

Back to BC News main page