Written on the 7 October 2016 by Kevin Conolly


Minister for Disability Services responsible for youth John Ajaka and Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly today announced $50,000 in funding for the Blacktown Regional Economic and Employment Development Taskforce (BREED) to deliver an innovative program that helps young people with autism develop their IT skills.

The funding is part of the NSW Government's Youth Opportunities Program, which provides grant funding to organisations to deliver youth-led, youth-driven community projects.

"It doesn't matter whether you are 16 or 60, the NSW Government wants to help everyone realise their full potential and participate in all aspects of life," Mr Ajaka said.

"The highly-successful Youth Opportunities program is focused on better engaging with young people and removing barriers that prevent them from participating more fully in their community."

Under the IT LAB program, based at Quakers Hills, skilled IT mentors will help young people explore their love of technology in self-identified projects such as programming, graphics, coding, animation, game and app development, and robotics.

"The NSW Government is proud to support such an innovative program that will make a real difference to the lives of people in our area," Mr Conolly said.

"I congratulate everyone involved with the program and I have no doubt it will be a tremendous success."

Stephen Frost from the BREED Taskforce said that the program allows participants to engage socially with their peers within a safe environment whilst developing behavioural, educational and employability skills.

"Initiatives such as these are vital to removing barriers to inclusion for young people with autism, and ensure that they are able to participate in their communities," said Stephen Frost.

Since the Youth Opportunities Program was launched in 2012, more than $7.9 million has been allocated to over 140 youth development projects.

Successful projects from this round of funding will commence in 2017.

Information relating to this year's grant recipients can be found via

Author: Kevin Conolly


I am honoured to have been elected as your Parliamentary representative in my capacity as the Member for Riverstone.

As your voice in the NSW Parliament, I will fight tirelessly for the local and state issues that affect you.

Through this website, I will keep you up to date with the latest news.

I am committed to working tirelessly to deliver the infrastructure and services needed in our local area.

You can also use this website to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or views that you might like to raise with me.

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