breakthru hits a quarter century!
July 5, 2018
by Joshua Cook

Breakthru hits a quarter century!

This year marks a very special 25th anniversary for Breakthru, an organisation founded with a vision of changing lives and empowering people with disability to achieve their goals. Breakthru is a non-for-profit organisation, an NDIS provider, Disability Employment Service (DES) and Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Over the course of 25 years Breakthru has helped thousands of Australians each year to realise their dreams and unlock their full potential.

It was 25 years ago that a gentleman by the name of Ross Lewis founded Breakthru. Ross saw a great gap between the opportunities to work for people with disability and everyone else. This injustice sparked his ambition to help people with disability experience seamless inclusion into their communities and take them from sheltered workshops into real working jobs.

Fast Forward to 2018, Breakthru now (25 years older) operates in over 25 sites from Far North Queensland through to Victoria. The services Breakthru offers has also grown from just Disability Employment Services to services within the NDIS, Mental Health and Training & Development.

On the central coast alone Breakthru has helped change the lives of over 10,000 customers, one of whom you may have seen on ABC’s recent documentary ‘Employable Me’ (episode 2) – the lovely Krystyna.

Krystyna contacted Breakthru in 2016 for assistance in finding​ a job. Breakthru staff partnered with Krystyna to identify her gifts and talents and identify ways to bring these to job opportunities. One of Krystyna’s great talents is her photographic eidetic memory and  her keen interest in geographic locations which Breakthru recognised would be a great match for work experience at her local library. Breakthru negotiated with the library and secured the perfect placement for her! You can still view Krystyna’s story on ABC iView.

Over many years Breakthru have developed significant partnerships with local employers and other providers to effectively deliver employment outcomes for their School Leaver Employment Support (SLES) and Find and Keep a Job (FAKAJ) customers. These partnerships extend to the likes of Castle Personnel, Ability Options, Benevolent Society, Mcdonalds, Target, Lakes Linen, Laser Craft and Wyong Neighbourhood Centre to name but a few. Some of the great options Breakthru offer include work tasters and industry visits to give people a taste of potential career opportunities.

Breakthru also offer life essentials core supports which have been extremely popular. Some of the most popular groups include social outings such as the Sydney Maritime Museum, Newcastle waterfront BBQ, Laser Tag, local fire station tour and Event Cinema visits, the ‘Lets Cook’ cooking group and ‘Con-Fit-dence’ gym groups. Due to the growing popularity of these supports Breakthru are also soon to start a Car Refurbishment & Maintenance group!

With a rich history, and a long list of lives changed Breakthru continues to support the community and empower people with a disability to achieve their goals. If you or somebody you know is looking for a NDIS, DES or RTO provider to help realise a dream or achieve a goal be sure to contact one of their friendly staff by calling 1800 767 212, visiting the website or email [email protected] to begin your own Breakthru today!

About the author

Joshua Cook

Holding dual degrees in Business Marketing and Commerce Accounting, Josh brings more than half a decade of experience to his role as National Marketing Manager at Breakthru, based in Brisbane, Queensland. His life's journey has uniquely equipped him to serve in this vital position. Raised alongside his younger sister Katey, who has Down Syndrome, Josh has gained an intimate understanding of the challenges and societal stigmas associated with disabilities. This personal connection fuels his commitment to the mission of Breakthru - to empower individuals like Katey to access the resources and support they require to live fulfilling lives. Through his role at Breakthru, Josh aims to break down the barriers and dismantle the misconceptions that often surround people with disabilities.

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