March News Letter


As Breakaway emerges from Covid-19 pandemic we are open for business and are excited about our future. Our Camp Coordination and Oversight Committee have scheduled our 2022-2023 Camp Programs and we are kicking off with 4 Camp programs scheduled over the next 2 months.

Staff, Board, Carers, Supporters and Volunteers are enthusiastically looking forward to getting back into the full swing of things and delivering on our mission to enhance the lives of people living with a disability and keeping the dream alive.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to linger. Breakaway is constantly changing and adapting to the new recommendations, regulations, and legislation. Just this week we have seen the sudden removal of QR codes, lifting of capacity restrictions and all who visit can now hear music and dance.

Breakaway would like to welcome three new staff members. This new team brings with it a wealth of experience, wide contacts, and personal friendly positive attitudes.


Dean Grant: Site hire and Venue Event Manager
Rebecca Turtle: Camp Program and Activities Coordinator
Charmaine Franklin: Camp Intake Coordinator
Breakaway is also supported by a Board of 11
dedicated Directors
Sara Evans: Community Engagement, PR and fundraising
Lynne Leys: Finance
80-100 Auxiliary members
Volunteer Staff and carers
Numerous entertainers and business supporters.


Welcome to the new year 2022, already we are into March. As you would all be aware Breakaway, just like yourselves, has been going through a couple of difficult years. This year however I’m feeling very positive and so is the Board of Management.

We meet as a Board once per month, but most of the Directors also chair committees that regularly meet and report to the Board each month. These committees include the Quality and Risk Committee, Finance, Infrastructure, Fundraising, and Auxiliary.

Currently, the Board is undergoing Self Evaluation from the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Corporation (ACNC). Breakaway will be assessed by the NDIS mid year to be able to continue to provide services to NDIS clients. Both the evaluation and accreditation requires a deal of collaboration and work to be done by the Board.

This year has seen new staff who I welcome and who will bring their skills to our workforce. It is very important this year to get the Breakaway Brand out into the broader community so that we can attract more families and individuals who need our services. Finally, I wish to thank all our volunteers no matter what role you play. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and the effect you have on the organisation is immeasurable. The Board is included in our volunteer community working often behind the scenes but all for the common good of Breakaway.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time if you see the need or require further information.

I wish you well
Jenny Taaffe


The camp coordination team is excited to be back on board and putting together new programs for 2022.

We have welcomed two new team members, Charmaine and Rebecca. Both bring a wealth of knowledge in various sectors and are excited to become part of the Breakaway team.

We have 12 Programs planned for 2022. Our first program for 2022 is the High Needs Family Weekend being held on the 11th- 13th March, followed by our Adults living with Disabilities program on 22nd-25th March.

We are excited to be welcoming new families/clients into the programs as well as re-engaging with some of our returning ones. Our Autism programs scheduled for April and July have a lot of interest being shown in them.

We have 22 new families that have registered as having children diagnosed with Smith-Magenis syndrome (S.M.S). We will be reaching out to them as well as our existing families to invite them along to our S.M.S program scheduled for October this year.

We are continuing to grow and develop our team and are always looking for new students/ volunteers to join us in being able to provide the members of our community with programs that are tailored to enhance their lives.


Hi, my name is Dean Grant & I am the new Site Hire & Venue Coordinator at Breakaway.

My prior work history is 15 years in disability employment services, 20 years in the entertainment industry as a Tour Manager & Publicist for the band Spy vs Spy and 18 years in the Cedar window & door industry with James Hardie.
Though I am new to the site hire role I have been at Breakaway for nearly 4 years working with a disability employment provider atWork Australia. I feel honoured to be part of the team at Breakaway after being able to witness the work that is carried out here every day to provide Camps for people & families living with disabilities.

February site hire has been busy with lodges being booked most weekends, last weekend with all 3 being used for functions. As I write this, we are setting up for my first Wedding at Breakaway & it is my 21st Wedding Anniversary today

There is a lot of enquiries coming in & I know once they come & witness the beauty of Breakaway they will book.
Big shout out to Shane & his team who maintain the gardens & grounds here they have it looking at its best. The new combi oven is now installed. Thank you to Lynne for organising the installation & to our volunteers Brian & Ray who helped lift the oven over the servery & into place. Now over to the sport, I am looking for a tennis partner, who is up for a game ???

Fundraising & Upcoming Events

by Sara Evans -Community Engagement Officer

Breakaway held their first fundraiser for
the year, the High Tea Fashion Parade, and
what a huge success it was, raising $15,000. A huge thank you to our major sponsors for this event Mingara, Spectacular Balloons & Events & Cental Coast Events.

EVENTS COMING UPWe have lots of Events coming up but dates still need to
be locked in keep an eye on our Facebook page and we will
also send an email out.
Trivia night.
19th August 22 – Mingara
Our First ever charity Ball
7th October 22 – Mingara


Breakaway is open for business and we are looking forward to having a better year ahead of us with programs up and running and site hire booking out.

Breakaway’s cabins have all been updated and newly renovated by a grant we received and they are looking very fresh and modern.

All hospital-style beds have now been updated and are new and suitable for people with disabilities.

We also now have a hydrotherapy spa bath in one of our cabins with a ceiling hoist with tracks from the bedroom to the bathroom.


Our refocus is Volunteers, who are the backbone and heartbeat of Breakaway. We have a great need to recruit new
volunteers particularly wider audiences including families, teens and a men’s shed. We are inclusive, supportive and would love to see the broader community interacting with us. If you wish to help, just give a call or email. To assist this, Camp Breakaway is also seeking people-friendly Lead Coordinator/s to organise our new social groups in:

  • Promotion of networking opportunities for
  • Coordinate Volunteer Training and upskilling
  • Developing opportunities for volunteers to have fun and new experiences.

We would also be really interested to talk to people with Marketing and Promotional experience, Digital and Media production, video editing, Front Office Managers, Receptionists and Filing and data administrators.

A message from our volunteer Jan
After recently losing my husband, I felt I needed to fill my day in with something worthwhile but fun. By chance, I met up with Sara Evans the Community Engagement Officer at Breakaway, Sara & I had been colleagues in the funeral industry, & she was telling me how they were always looking for volunteers &
how I would make an ideal candidate…………. here I am,
helping on reception, around the office, assisting at sponsorship events & enjoying it immensely. I only assist for a few hours
a week but its fun, interesting & above all meaningful & satisfying, helping to enhance the lives of people who have a
disability or the family & friends who need respite as a carer. Just a few hours a week
can make all the difference not only to those in need, but it also gives you the
volunteer, a purpose, self-esteem & a chance to make a difference.
Happiness is Volunteering!!



We have a band of dedicated volunteers who are constantly working to replace stock. We are always interested in new volunteers to help us. We have craft mornings from 9 to 12 on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. Everybody is welcome to join us and have a cuppa. If you have a skill and would like to run a workshop or if you would be interested in coming to craft on a Saturday morning as some people have indicated an interest, we would love you to contact us at the Auxiliary on 4399 3699. At our last workshop, we made needle cases and pincushions. Last year we started to provide the children at the Pre-school presents which they bought for Mothers’ Day and Christmas. We were in lockdown for Fathers’ Day. We hope to be invited by the Pre-school again this year.

The Auxiliary shop is now open from Monday to Saturday 9 to 2. As we continue to fundraise for Breakaway Inc by buying our goods you are also supporting Breakaway Inc. We are now back having regular stalls at local shopping centres such as Northlakes, Lakehaven and Lake Munmorah and now at Bunnings where we have been successful.

If you would like to see what we have for sale or you just would like to have a chat please feel free to drop in and join us for a cuppa.