Special Interest Branches

On this page you will find contact and useful information on our BCA Special Interest Branches.

Ever wanted to know what is available to you as a person who is blind or vision impaired in your state? Our first state based toolkit was launched at the 2014 NSW State Convention. Other state based toolkits have now been developed. The state based toolkits outline financial support, information for parents and for students, transport entitlements, home and living, aids and equipment, health and wellbeing, leisure as well as advocacy and legal support.

You can obtain a copy of the toolkit in your preferred format by contacting Blind Citizens Australia’s head office on (03) 9654 1400, or toll free, on 1800 033 660. Links to each state toolkit, in Word format, can be found at BCA State Based Toolkits

National Women’s Special Interest Branch

Janene Sadhu
President
Phone: 03 9853 1051
Email: nwb@bca.org.au

The BCA National Women’s Branch is made up of a group of Australian women who are blind or vision impaired, whose mission is to improve the lives of blind and vision impaired women in Australia. Men are welcome to join the branch.

We seek to empower our members by:

  • Providing positive peer support;
  • Holding seminars of interest;
  • Encouraging involvement of women in all levels of BCA;
  • Being a resource for women on vision impairment; and
  • Facilitating communication between our members, and supporting member issues such as isolation.

BCA National Women’s Branch activities include:

  • Sponsoring women to participate fully in BCA convention and branch activities
  • Sessions at BCA conventions on topics such as self defence, self confidence, relationships, body language, and stress management

Email Discussion List

A member-focused email discussion list, bca-womentalk provides members with a forum in which to discuss topics of interest, as well as providing support and advice.

The committee uses “Women Talk” to float suggestions for branch projects and convention sessions and to gather feedback. To join the list simply send an email to nwb@bca.org.au and the moderator will subscribe you.

“SoundAbout”

A committee member presents a report for SoundAbout, BCA’s quarterly audio magazine.

Diana Braun Aspirations Award

This award is presented to a woman who is blind or vision impaired, who has made a significant contribution to her community and demonstrated leadership and strength of character. Branch members nominate candidates for this biennial award and the committee select the recipient. The Aspirations Award is announced during the Branch AGM and presented at the BCA National Convention Dinner.

“Aspirations” Magazine

Our biannual magazine “Aspirations”, is a combined project between the committee and the general branch membership. It contains feature articles, recipes, book reviews and member profiles. It is the main vehicle of communication between the Branch Executive and its members. Members are encouraged to contribute to “Aspirations”.

“Aspirations” is produced in electronic and audio format.

Branch Leadership

The National Women’s Branch is led by a committee of seven full members elected biennially at the Branch’s AGM which is held in conjunction with the BCA National Convention. Ideally the committee has representatives across geographic and age ranges, regional and metropolitan areas, and from a variety of backgrounds, skill levels and life experience. The committee is a supportive working environment and is a springboard for launching many future leaders of BCA. The National Women’s Branch has a co-opted representative on the National Policy and Development Council (NPDC) which guides the policy work of BCA. BCA state and special interest branch presidents meet regularly by telelink to share ideas and discuss policies.

Publications

  • “Women in Community Development”
  • “Parenting”
  • “Shopping, Cooking & Feasting on a Budget”

How to Join BCA National Women’s Special Interest Branch

You must be a BCA member to join the National Women’s Branch. Ring the BCA National Office on 1800 033 660 to arrange your membership. National Women’s Branch membership costs a once-off fee of $10.00.

Overseas Service Special Interest Branch

Ivan Molloy
President
Phone: (03) 5975 1858

The Overseas and Cultural Branch holds regular fund-raising barbecues, raffles and luncheons to raise funds to enable the branch to assist in need people who are blind or vision impaired outside of Australia. Examples of donations are:

  • Funds raised sent to various blindness organisations in Sri Lanka
  • Numerous books in Braille (English) sent to Sri Lanka
  • Folding white canes sent to Sri Lanka
  • Hundreds of pairs of spectacles sent to Sri Lanka
  • hundreds of cassette tapes for recording being sent to Kenya and India