Register for BCA’s 2019 National Convention

We are now accepting registrations for our 2019 National Convention!

This year the event will be held in Hobart, Tasmania, at the Old Woolstore hotel, from 29 March to 1 April.

To register, or for comprehensive details about the program, award nominations, arrangements for first time attendees, and much more, visit our convention page.

Call for Expressions of Interest for National Convention Contributors

 

BCA is seeking expressions of interest from individuals and organisations with an interest in contributing to our national convention program as presenters, session coordinators or access technology exhibitors. The national convention is our organisation’s flagship event and will be held in Hobart in 2019 from 29 March to 1 April.

The convention provides opportunities for people who are blind or vision impaired to socialise with and learn from others who are blind or vision impaired, learn about the latest blindness products and services and to contribute to the future direction of our organisation.

Follow this link to find out more and to register your expression of interest.

The closing date for applications is Thursday 13 December 2018.

 

2019 National Convention

 

“You can do it your way”

 

This year, our National Convention will be held in Tasmania at The Old Woolstore, 1 Macquarie St, Hobart, from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st March 2019, with an additional sight-seeing day on Monday 1st April. Please ensure that you register online or via phone on 1800 033 660 by Friday 15th March.

On this page:

The 2019 National Convention is proudly sponsored by

Vision Australia

Guide Dogs Australia

Department of Social Services

VisAbility

Intopia

Pacific Vision

University of Tasmania

Venue Information

We are excited to be partnering with The Old Woolstore, a historic building in the heart of Hobart, to host the convention proceedings as well as our accommodation. The venue is full of character while also being accessible. It is centrally located, close to cafes, restaurants, shops, entertainment, and other accommodation options. And less than 20 minutes from the airport.

The Old Woolstore has a mixture of accommodation types which you can book at the following rates using the code “BCA” when you call 03 6235 5355:

  • Hotel room – $170 per night
  • 1 bed apartment – $205 per night
  • 2 bed apartment (sleeps 4) – $270 per night

This means there are more options for those who wish to share accommodation or prepare their own meals while attending convention.

All travel and accommodation arrangements must be made and paid for by the individual attending the convention.

Visit The Old Woolstore online at www.oldwoolstore.com.au

The Program

There will be workshops on the Friday afternoon, followed by more formal convention sessions on the Saturday and Sunday. We will also be arranging sight-seeing options on the Monday for those who wish to stay a little longer.

The full program can be viewed here.

Sight Seeing Options

We are excited to announce the sight seeing options that will be available on Monday 1 April in Hobart, following the national convention weekend.

  • Option 1: Half day tour of Lark Distillery
  • Option 2: City bus tour
  • Option 3: MONA – Museum of Old and New Art
  • Option 4: Tour of Print Radio Tasmania

Below are details of each option. Please note that it will probably only be possible for you to attend one of the four options, once travel and the duration of the tours is factored in.

How to book

Register your sight seeing attendance directly with BCA – we will then finalise group bookings with the tourist attractions.

We will take payments for sight seeing activities throughout the convention weekend up to lunch-time on Sunday to help things run smoothly on the day, so please ensure you bring cash or card to convention in order to pay in advance.

To ensure we have adequate volunteer guides available to assist, please secure your place on a tour ASAP by emailing bca@bca.org.au with the subject line “sight seeing” and indicating your preferred tour. Bookings close 5:00PM, Wednesday 27 March.

Option 1: Half Day Tour of Lark Distillery & Bar

Time: Meet in hotel reception at 9:45AM

Price: $80 per person (includes tastings)

Tour Duration: 3 hours – returning to hotel around 2:00PM

(Note: a second tour is available at 1:30PM, however BCA volunteers will not be available to assist and bookings will need to be made directly with Lark.)

Weblink: https://larkdistillery.com/

This is only two short blocks away from the convention venue, and includes a mini bus ride out to the distillery. The distillery’s mini bus only seats 11 people so if you’re keen on this option you should get in quickly.

The bar opens at 12pm and stand alone tastings can be arranged by the individual at the following costs:

Standard: 2 x whiskies + 1 liqueur = $20 per person

Guided tasting: Selection of whiskies, G&T = $32 per person

About Lark Distillery

Bill Lark realised that everything you need for a world-class whisky was in Tasmania – rich fields of barley, an abundance of wonderfully pure soft water, highland peat bogs, and the perfect climate to bring all the ingredients together in a marriage of science, art and passion.

Bill’s wife Lyn, and daughter Kristy, have played an integral part in growing the business. When Kristy joined the team as head distiller, she was one of the world’s youngest female distillers. Women are known for their ability to distinguish flavours and this superior talent in both Lyn and Kristy has given Lark products a notable edge.

Today the Lark Distillery is one of Australia’s leading distilleries, producing high quality, premium spirits using traditional time-honoured methods. The Distillery runs an 1800 litre copper pot still along with a 500 litre spirit still. The range of distilled products includes the flagship Lark Single Malt Whisky and Forty Spotted Rare Tasmanian Gin.

The tour commences at our Cellar Door on Hobart’s Waterfront for a brief welcome (and a whisky) before we travel out to our distillery, just 15 minutes North-East of the city. Once at the distillery we are able to get up close to the entire production process and witness the science, art and passion that goes into making every bottle of Lark Single Malt Whisky.

The tour finishes with a tour-exclusive tasting of Lark whiskies straight from the cask, surrounded by our future releases in our bond store, before returning to the Cellar Door to conclude with a final dram.

Option 2: City Bus Tour

Time: Meet in the hotel reception at 9:30AM

Price: $35 per person ($30 concession), valid for 24 hours

Duration: 1.5 hours – return to hotel around 1:00PM

Weblink: http://www.reddecker.com.au/

The bus departs from the starting point every hour between 9am and 3pm. However, the 10am departure is the only one that will be accompanied by additional audio description and support from BCA. If you wish to start the tour at a different time you will need to organise your own booking with the company.

Once the tour has ended you are welcome to travel the loop again and hop on and off to visit locations as desired.

About Reddecker

Reddecker is a family owned business operating daily tours on a Red Double Decker Bus of Hobart and Tasmania. Reddecker are the first and only company still operating double decker buses, both open and closed toppers, in Tasmania and the only company to provide a city loop, and a tourist hop-on hop-off service in Hobart.

You can Hop on and Hop Off or do the full 90 minute tour. The bus visits locations such as the Brooke Street Pier, Salamanca Place, St Georges Church, Wrest Point Casino, Cascade Brewery, the Female Factory (with rich history about our female convicts), Hobart CBD, Convict Penitentiary and Botanical Gardens just to name a few stops. There is sure to be something for everyone.

Option 3: MONA – Museum of Old and New Art

Times: If travelling by taxi you will need to arrange your own taxi and ensure you are in the Mona foyer by 10:15AM. The trip takes approximately 30 minutes.

If travelling by ferry, meet in the hotel reception at 8:45AM.

Prices:

Ferry to MONA: $22 return (no concessions)

Admission to MONA:

  • $28 per person
  • $25 per concession
  • Free for Tasmanian Citizens (must present Photo ID including residential address)

Duration: Approx. 2.5 hours (not including ferry travel there and back) – return to the hotel around 3:00PM

Weblink: https://mona.net.au/

You are welcome to stay on longer, have some lunch, or take the return ferry straight after the tour, but you will need to nominate what time you will want to return on the Ferry when you pay for your ticket at the start of the day (you can change this during the day at MONA by just talking to staff at MONA Reception).

About MONA

Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art offers a walk through history to current and modern Art. From their general collection named Monasims to confronting and thought provoking pieces, MONA is bound to generate conversation, stimulate the senses and take you on an exciting journey.

BCA has arranged a guided tour of at least 10 exhibits. Exhibits have been selected in consultation with people who are blind or vision impaired and incorporate auditory and/or tactile elements. If time allows, it may be possible to visit additional exhibits during the tour.

Option 4: Tour of Print Radio Tasmania

Time: Meet in the hotel reception at 12:45PM

Price: Free, however a short taxi ride to Print Radio Tasmania at own expense is required – approximately $7 and booking is still essential as places are limited.

Tour duration: 1 hour – return to hotel around 2:30PM

Weblink: http://www.7rph.org.au/

About Print Radio Tasmania

Print Radio Tasmania is Tasmania’s state-wide RPH service. Broadcasting since 1982, its studios can be found just outside the city centre, in Davey Street.

We have a proud history of involvement of blind and vision impaired people.

Find out how a radio station can be run by blind or vision impaired people. Learn about some of the issues and advancements made in assistive technology, and discover some of the issues facing RPH stations across Australia.

Family Friendly Event

We want to make conventions as inclusive as possible, which in this case means ensuring that partners and children have activity options available to them while Convention sessions are taking place.

This may include:

  • Having volunteers dedicated to supervise youngsters for different activities
  • Providing a child care service

If you have any feedback about this, or further suggestions, please feel free to get in touch. You will also be able to express interest in this option when you register.

Nominations

Nominations for awards and certificates of appreciation have now closed. 

Recommendations

The due date for submitting recommendations to the convention has now passed.

Information for First Time Attendees

Buddy Program:

We will be offering a “Buddy Program” to assist first time attendees and more recent members to feel more at home during the convention. If you are attending convention for the first time and would like the benefit of a more experienced buddy over the convention weekend, please complete the relevant section of this registration form. Also, if you would like to act as a buddy during the convention, please complete your details on the registration form.

Financial Assistance:

Requests for financial assistance have now closed.

Volunteering at Convention

Volunteers are essential to ensuring members are adequately supported throughout the convention. To find out more about volunteering at national convention please read our Information Pack, which also includes an application form. If you have queries that cannot be answered in the information pack you can contact Naomi Barber at BCA on 1800 033 660.

REGISTER

Registrations have now closed, however if you have questions about, or changes to your registration, please contact Anna Briggs on 1800 033 660 or anna.briggs@bca.org.au.  Also feel free to get in touch if you are a volunteer, nominated agency representative, carer, or guest speaker with queries about registration. 

 Registration Types:

  • Pack 1: Full Convention (includes complete Friday-Sunday program, Friday night welcome function, Saturday night dinner, and Sunday night BBQ): $250
  • Pack 2: Full Program (includes complete Friday-Sunday program, does not include evening functions): $200
  • Pack 3: Saturday and Sunday Convention (includes the Saturday and Sunday program, Saturday night dinner, and Sunday night BBQ): $220
  • Friday workshops: $50
  • Friday night welcome function: $20
  • Saturday Program (does not include dinner): $70
  • Saturday Dinner: $60
  • Sunday Program: $70
  • Sunday night BBQ: $40

 Registration page

 

Come to BCA’s 2019 National Convention

 

Listen to the audio

It has been less than a year since our last National Convention, but we’ve decided to bring the next one forward slightly for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the success of our 2017 National Convention was motivating for many, and told us that members don’t want to wait a whole two years to get together. We will also be trialing holding the event at a different time of year, in response to several recommendations we’ve received from you over the years.

Therefore, the 2019 National Convention will be held in Hobart from Friday 29 March to Monday 1 April.

A Very Special Venue

We are excited to be partnering with The Old Woolstore, a historic building in the heart of Hobart, to host the convention proceedings as well as our accommodation. The venue is full of character while also being accessible. It is centrally located, close to cafes, restaurants, shops, entertainment, and other accommodation options. And less than 20 minutes from the airport!

The Old Woolstore has a mixture of accommodation types which you can book at the following rates using the code “BCA”:

  • Hotel room – $170 per night
  • 1 bed apartment – $205 per night
  • 2 bed apartment (sleeps 4) – $270 per night

This means there are more options for those who wish to share accommodation or prepare their own meals while attending convention.

The Program

The BCA Board has approved a new approach to the development of the Convention program to be piloted, which will see members having a greater level of input into the content of the program. Keep an eye on our communication channels to learn more about this in the coming months.

There will be workshops on the Friday afternoon, followed by more formal convention sessions on the Saturday and Sunday. We will also be arranging sightseeing options and additional workshops on the Monday for those who wish to stay a little longer.

A Family Friendly Convention

We want to make conventions as inclusive as possible, which in this case means ensuring that partners and children have activity options available to them while Convention sessions are taking place.

This may include:

  • Having volunteers dedicated to supervise youngsters for different activities,
  • Providing a child care service

If you have any feedback about this, or further suggestions, please feel free to get in touch.

 

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NSW / ACT 2018 Convention – Register Now!

 

The NSW/ACT State Division of BCA invites you to attend it’s first convention as a newly formed state division. We take time to look at the things that help us live a good life in NSW and the ACT, from tips for everyday living to gadgets and technology that make our lives easier. You will get a chance to share ‘diverse experiences of parenting’ and hear and reminisce about attending camp. You can network during Friday night welcome drinks and Convention dinner. And, if you want to tap into your primal self, come join us in a drumming circle!

Friday 26th – Sunday 28th October 2018

Travelodge Hotel, Newcastle, West NSW

More details…