House debates

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Statements by Members

Fighting Chance

1:41 pm

Photo of Jason FalinskiJason Falinski (Mackellar, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The day's arrived when I've now heard the member for Griffith argue in favour of strong balance sheets! I rise today to acknowledge the extraordinary work done by Fighting Chance, a remarkable not-for-profit group on the northern beaches. Fighting Chance, which opened its doors in 2011, designs and establishes social enterprises that ask, 'What if?' In doing so, they support Australians with disabilities by breaking barriers in society.

Laura and Jordan O'Reilly were inspired in 2000 by their brother, Shane O'Reilly, who lived with cerebral palsy. They set out on a mission to create a new and better future for people with disabilities. Shane's passion for IT and computer work was not being realised within the traditional day programs for those with severe disabilities, so Laura and Jordan created Fighting Chance, a place in which people with disabilities were encouraged to thrive by acknowledging their own passions and developing their vocational skills.

The two enterprises Fighting Chance empowers are Jigsaw and Avenue. Jigsaw offers transitional training to build a future in which all people with disability in Australia are included within the workforce. Avenue is a day program that provides a greater level of support for people with disability by creating opportunities to complete work tasks, develop their individual skills and socialise.

Fighting Chance now operates right across Sydney and is changing the lives of hundreds of people living with a disability. I commend Laura and Jordan O'Reilly and the entire team at Fighting Chance for their fine ongoing work. It continues to provide a better future through wider opportunities and support for people with a disability and their families in our community.