BCA State Conventions and Forums 2014

Annual General Meeting
11.00am on Saturday 4 October 2014

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) will hold its 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Melbourne, at the Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens Hotel, 13 Spring Street, Melbourne on Saturday 4 October 2014 at 11.00am. This meeting will be streamed live over the internet.

The AGM will be held in conjunction with the BCA Victorian State Convention which commences at 9.00am and concludes after the Conference Dinner at the same venue.

The agenda for the AGM is attached and includes a presentation and discussion of the Annual Report and Financial Statements as well as the announcement of the election of Directors. The special business for the meeting will relate to consideration of the proposed Revised Constitution and notice of the 2015 National Convention.

All Full Members are entitled to one vote each in relation to any resolutions put forward at 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 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.

Board Elections
Call for Nominations for Directors of Blind Citizens Australia
This year there are five vacancies for Directors of BCA. Four of these vacancies are for a three-year term and the fifth is for a one-year term as it is currently been filled as a casual vacancy.
Directors whose term of office ceases this year, listed in alphabetical order, are: Anna Briggs; Barry Chapman; Bruce Ind; Michael Sadhu; and Tony Starkey. All are eligible for re-election.
A position description for Director is available from the National Office on request. People wishing to nominate for the position of “BCA Director” are required to complete and sign a nomination form. To obtain a nomination form, contact the National Office. A copy of the nomination form is also available on the BCA website. Valid nomination forms must include a nominator and seconder who are Full Members of BCA as at 30 June 2014. Please contact me, Rosemary Boyd on 03 9654 1400, to discuss alternate methods of submitting a valid nomination form.

All nominations should be accompanied by a written statement in support of the nomination by, or on behalf of, the nominee which should be submitted in electronic form to the Company Secretary, rosemary.boyd@bca.org.au. Nominee’s statements are required to be less than 500 words.
Nominations for BCA Directors must reach Rosemary Boyd, the Company Secretary, at the National Office by 5.00pm Tuesday 26 August 2014.

Ballot Papers
Only Full Members of Blind Citizens Australia as at 30 June 2014 may cast a postal vote.
(i) If there are four or less nominees for Directors at the close of the nomination period, those members nominated will be declared elected and there will not be a ballot.
(ii) If there are more than four nominees for Directors at the close of the nomination period, a ballot will be held. At the close of the poll, the nominees will be ranked in order of the number of votes received with the nominee with the most votes ranked as number one, and so on. The four nominees ranked 1 to 4 will be declared elected for a three-year term and the nominee ranked fifth will be declared elected for a one-year term.
(iii) In the event that there are exactly five nominees for Directors, where one nominee has indicated a preference to be appointed for one year only, there will not be a ballot.

If a ballot is required, ballot papers, along with the details of all nominees and their supporting statements, will be mailed to all Full Members on Wednesday 10 September 2014. Completed ballot papers must be returned to the Company Secretary at the National Office no later than Friday 26 September 2014. Any ballot papers received after this date will not be counted.

The Company Secretary will declare the results of the poll at the AGM on 4 October 2014.

Annual Report
If you would like a personal copy of the 2013-2014 BCA Annual Report, please call the National Office on 03 9654 1400 or 1800 033 660 to lodge this request. This Report will be available in large print, Braille, or by email only. 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.

Revised Constitution
This year the Board members have been looking very closely at all of the BCA Governance documents with a view to ensure that they are up-to-date with current practices and with recent legislative changes. The BCA Constitution was last revised in 2007; consequently the Board have prepared a Revised Constitution which they are seeking approval from the members to implement. This document takes into account the changes to the Charities Act as well as the recommendations from members to reduce the “red tape” where possible.

A copy of the Revised Constitution, along with a summary outlining the differences between the 2007 Constitution and this 2014 Revised Constitution will be available from the National Office and on the BCA website. If you have any questions relating to the proposed changes, please do not hesitate to contact any of the Directors, or myself.

State Conventions
Information regarding each State Convention is available on the BCA website, in the August SoundAbout and it will also be presented on New Horizons programs leading up to the AGM.
Registration forms for the Victorian, NSW/ACT and Queensland State Conventions accompany this notice of meeting. There is no State Convention in South Australia this year.
Information and registration forms will also be available on the BCA website. You can register for each State Convention over the phone, by email or regular mail. Please take note of the closing date for registration for each State Convention.

On behalf of the Board and staff of BCA, I do hope you can join us at our Annual General Meeting or at one of the State Conventions. I encourage you to consider nominating for a position as a Director of BCA. 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.

Rosemary Boyd
Company Secretary
5 August 2014