For nearly 35 years local disability support services charity Breakaway Toowoomba has been providing vital assistance to those who need it most in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. The outbreak of the current COVID-19 pandemic has meant some changes to operations however the not-for-profit is still working hard to service the local community, and one employee in particular has gone above and beyond drawing on their experience in both support services and fashion design.

Julianna Grace is employed by Breakaway Toowoomba as a Support Worker, a career she always knew would be a meaningful way to be involved in and to give back to the local community. “My father had been a support worker for over 20 years and I had always heard from others in the industry how rewarding it was. I love it.”

When the COVID-19 crisis hit Toowoomba, Julianna knew she wanted to help those most vulnerable. “I wanted to be of use and help my community to stay safe and be a part in helping to stop the spread of this virus. Making masks is my way of helping the community, even if it’s only one person – that could potentially help one hundred not getting sick.”

The masks contain 2 layers of non-woven material, an adjustable nose bridge and are designed to be machine-washed after every use. Julianna has worked as both a fashion designer and a seamstress and was able to put these skills to good use by making the masks. “I did a lot of research and finally came across a basic template online which I modified myself to sit snug on the face. I chose interesting prints to make them a little more ‘Couture’,” she laughs, “I wanted them to be pretty too!” 

Breakaway Toowoomba’s CEO Carolina Williams is thrilled at the initiative taken by Julianna but not surprised by the Support Worker’s dedication to care. “Julianna’s amazing efforts to keep the Breakaway community safe and healthy is the perfect example of how the provision of support and incredible personal generosity is something positive that can come from this devastating global pandemic. That is what Breakaway Toowoomba have always sought and will continue to do, even during these uncertain times. Support for those most vulnerable in our community is so important at the best of times and absolutely essential at the worst. We hold the spirit of this at the heart of everything we do here at Breakaway and couldn’t be prouder of Julianna’s efforts and selfless attitude towards our clients and the local community at large.” 

Breakaway has been providing quality support and respite services to people with a disability, their carers and families since 1986. With humble beginnings as a small group of parents who saw the need for this vital service, Breakaway are now a leading provider, employing nearly 150 people locally and continuing to provide services in Respite, Supported Independent Living, Emergency Support, Community Participation, and Daily Living and Domestic Assistance during this global pandemic. 

To make a mask of your own or get in touch with Julianna to get one of hers please contact us here at Breakaway Toowoomba –