Written by Sally Aurisch and Stephen Belbin.
Vision Australia’s newly formed Client Reference Group (CRG) brings together a cross section of clients with unique skills, knowledge and lived experience and provides advice and feedback to the Vision Australia board on the direction of the organisation.
Recently, the CRG had a very productive two days together in Brisbane from October 25th – 26th.
On the 25th October the CRG received an update on Vision Australia activities, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and My Aged Care (MAC). The CRG also took part in a 'Share your Vision' community conversation forum. In the afternoon, members of the group met with the Board of Directors to share what they had been working on over the previous months. Topics discussed included: what youth want from Vision Australia, the challenges for clients living in remote areas, inaccessible learning materials and employment. There was also discussion around building on Vision Australia's connection with Indigenous communities by employing staff who identify as an Indigenous person.
The following day, October 26th, began with a breakfast with the Board of Directors then the CRG attended Vision Australia’s AGM at the Coorparoo site.
Over the two days in Brisbane the CRG furthered their connections and increased their understanding of topics discussed. CRG members believe that a solid path for engaging with clients has been laid for Vision Australia. The CRG are already beginning to implement some suggestions out of the two days in Brisbane and are planning topics for discussion at the next meeting with the Board of Directors in March 2017.
The CRG members and portfolios are as follows:
- Brenda Murray – Senior Australians
- Bridie Cochrane-Holley and Jane Britt – Youth
- Coral Arnold – Accessible Information
- Mark Scofield – Regional and Rural Australians
- Melissa Fanshaw – Parents of Children who are blind or have low vision
- Nadia Mattiazzo – Seeing Eye Dogs Australia
- Nicole Demara – Indigenous Australians
- Sally Aurisch – Employment
- Stephen Belbin - Education
The CRG meet face-to-face twice a year, at the same time as the Board of Directors. These meetings provide a chance to catch up in person, share what we’ve been up to with each other and the Board and receive an update on what is happening within Vision Australia from General Managers.
The CRG also meet via tele-conference every 6 months with the Andrew Moffat (Board Chair), Caroline Waldron (Board Director) and Ron Hooton (CEO),
For further information visit the Client Reference Group page here.