Annual General Meeting

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) will hold its 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Melbourne, at the Novotel Glen Waverley, 285 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, on Friday 13 October 2017 at 7:00PM. The AGM will be held in conjunction with the 2017 BCA National Convention and will be streamed live over the internet.

The agenda for the AGM is linked below and includes presentation and discussion of the Annual Report and Financial Statements as well as the announcement of the election of Directors and National Policy Council (NPC) representatives for Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. The special business for the meeting will be consideration of changes to the BCA Constitution and a Resolution in relation to the merger of BCA and the Association of Blind Citizens of NSW (Blind Citizens NSW). Details of both matters are linked below.

All Full Members are entitled to one vote each in relation to any resolution put to the AGM. If Full Members are unable to attend this meeting, they may appoint the chairperson, or another Full Member as a proxy. Information about Proxy Voting is available from the National Office.

It is important to note that no election will take place at the AGM. The method used to elect Directors and NPC representatives is by postal vote. All eligible full members of BCA will have the opportunity to vote via a postal ballot should an election be necessary.

Elections

Call for Nominations for Directors of Blind Citizens Australia

This year there are four vacancies for Directors of BCA, all are for a three-year term. Directors whose term of office concludes this year are Mick Baker, who retires at the conclusion of his three year term; James Manders, Prue Watt and Fiona Woods who have been filling casual vacancies and now must stand for election in their own right. All are eligible for re-election.

Potential nominees are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Position Description for Director. People wishing to nominate for the position of “BCA Director” are required to complete and sign a nomination form. Valid nomination forms must include the names and signatures of nominator and seconder, both of whom must be Full Members of BCA as at 30 June 2017.

All nominations should be accompanied by a written statement in support of the nomination by, or on behalf of, the nominee. Nominee’s statements, which should be submitted in electronic form, should be no more than 500 words.

Nominations for election as a BCA Director and accompanying statements must reach Emma Bennison, Company Secretary, at mailto:emma.bennison@bca.org.auor via the National Office, by 5.00PM Wednesday, 6 September 2017.

National Policy Council Elections

Call for nominations for NPC representatives from Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania: The term of office for an NPC representative is two years. Nominees should consider the position description before submitting a nomination. Residents of Queensland, South Australia or Tasmania who are full members of BCA are eligible to nominate to represent their state. People wishing to nominate are required to complete and sign a nomination form. Valid nomination forms can be submitted via email, but must include a nominator and seconder who are Full Members of BCA as at 30 June 2017 and from the same state as the nominee. All nominations should be accompanied by a written statement in support of the nomination by or on behalf of the nominee. Nominee’s statements should be no longer than 300 words.

Nominations for election as an NPC representative and accompanying statements must reach Emma Bennison, Company Secretary, at mailto:emma.bennison@bca.org.au or via the National Office, by 5.00PM Wednesday, 6 September 2017.

Postal Voting Process for Director and NPC elections

Only Full Members of Blind Citizens Australia as at 30 June 2017 may cast a postal vote.

Election of Directors:

  1. If there are four or less nominees for election as Directors at the close of the nomination period, those members nominated will be declared elected and there will not be a ballot.
  2. If there are more than four nominees for election as Directors at the close of the nomination period, a ballot will be held. At the close of the poll, the four nominees with the highest number of valid votes received will be declared elected for a three-year term.

Election of NPC Representatives:

  1. If there is only one valid nominee for election as the “State Representative” for a State or Territory at the close of the nomination period, that member will be declared elected and there will not be a ballot in that State.
  2. If there are two or more nominees for election as the “State Representative” for a State or Territory at the close of the nomination period, a ballot will be held among members resident in that State. At the close of the poll, the nominee with the highest number of valid votes received will be declared elected.

If a ballot is required, ballot papers, along with the details of all nominees and their supporting statements, will be mailed to all eligible Full Members by Wednesday, 20 September, 2017. Completed ballot papers must be returned to the Company Secretary at the National Office no later than Monday, 9 October, 2017. Any ballot papers received after this date will not be counted.

The Company Secretary will declare the results of all polls at the AGM on 13 October 2017.

Constitution Amendments

The BCA Board is recommending to members that constitutional amendments be approved at the 2017 Annual General Meeting to allow for the establishment of “state divisions” and to ensure the organisation is compliant with modern legislation and governance practice. Details of these amendments and an explanation of their purpose is linked below. Full Members of BCA, present in person or by Proxy, will be able to vote on these amendments at the AGM on 13 October 2017.

Merger of Blind Citizens NSW into Blind Citizens Australia

The BCA Board and the Management Committee of the Association of Blind Citizens of NSW (Blind Citizens NSW) have been working together for some months on a proposal to consolidate the two organisations into one. Details of this plan were confirmed by both organisations in February 2017 when a Memorandum of Understanding was formally signed. While the final decision to consolidate the organisations will be considered by the members of Blind Citizens NSW at their Annual General Meeting in November, BCA needs to indicate its agreement to the arrangement by passing a resolution at our Annual General Meeting on 13 October. Details of this resolution and the terms of the arrangement are linked below. Full Members of BCA, present in person or by Proxy at the AGM, will be able to vote on this resolution. Approval of this resolution will require a simple majority vote.

Annual Report

If you would like a personal copy of the 2016-2017 BCA Annual Report, please call the National Office on 1800 033 660 or send an email to mailto:bca@bca.org.au to request a copy in large print, braille or via email. As soon as the Report is available it will be sent to you in your preferred format. The Report will also be published on the BCA website once available.

Attend the BCA National Convention

Information regarding the 2017 National Convention is available here. To register for convention, please visit this page and complete the online form, or call the national office. The closing date for registration is Thursday, 14 September 2017.

Nominations for David Blyth Award

Every National Convention year, BCA presents an award to a person who has made a substantial and enduring contribution to the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired. Do you know someone who should be nominated? Has the person contributed at a national level? Written nominations outlining the work of the nominee and why they should be considered must reach the National Office by 31 August 2017. The nominee can be a person who is blind, vision impaired or sighted.

BCA Certificates of Appreciation

At each National Convention, BCA awards up to two Certificates of Appreciation to individuals who have contributed to advancing the values and mission of BCA. Successful individuals may have contributed to BCA at a national, state or territory level. If you would like to nominate an individual for a BCA Certificate of Appreciation, please submit a written nomination outlining the reasons why the nominee should be considered. Nominations must reach the BCA office by 31 August 2017.

Summary

On behalf of the Board and staff of BCA, I do hope you can join us at this year’s National Convention and Annual General Meeting. I encourage you to consider nominating for a position as a Director of BCA or as an NPC representative. As an organisation of and for people who are blind or vision impaired, it is important that we acknowledge and support each other to enhance the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired.

Emma Bennison
Company Secretary
11 August 2017

National Office Details are:

Phone: 1800 033660
E-mail: bca@bca.org.au

Documents: