Applications Now Open for Spring Holiday Activities

Councils and eligible not-for-profit organisations in the Cootamundra electorate are encouraged to apply for funding to deliver Holiday Break activities for young people during the upcoming spring school holidays. 

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke said the $10 million program offers young people in the region aged 12-24 years the opportunity to socialise with their peers, learn something new and have fun.

“The Holiday Break program provides ways for young people to engage and connect with people their own age in a wide range of events from arts and cultural activities to outdoor leisure pursuits,” Ms Cooke said. 

“It’s also a great foundation to strengthen mental health and wellbeing after what has been a difficult couple of years for many.”

“Funding of up to $7,000 will be available to all 93 regional councils and eligible not-for-profit organisations to deliver fun and exciting activities like movie nights, arts workshops, music activities and sport camps.” 

Minister for the Arts and Regional Youth, Ben Franklin said that for the last three years, the Holiday Break program has provided young people in the regions with the opportunity to have fun and enjoy themselves over the holiday period.

“Holiday Break allows regional youth to overcome barriers to participation by providing free or heavily subsidised holiday activities, alleviating cost of living pressures for young families and ensuring they are given equal opportunities,” Mr Franklin said. 

“We want to ensure all regional young people have the opportunity to connect with each other, learn new skills, and enjoy their youth.” 

“If there’s an activity that you’d like to see happen during youth week or the school holidays, I encourage you to reach out to your local council or eligible not-for-profit organisation to turn your idea into a reality.” 

Applications are open now until the 29 July 2022. To find out more and for program guidelines, visit  

Winter Holiday Fun Coming to the Region

Youth in the Cootamundra electorate will be able to enjoy a variety of workshops, programs and trips over the upcoming winter school holidays, thanks to the NSW Government’s $10 million Holiday Break Program.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke welcomed the program and said it offers great opportunities for young people to learn new skills, meet people and have fun at the same time.

“The Holiday Break program empowers young people to come together, step out of their comfort zone and do activities they might otherwise not have ever dreamed of doing before,” Ms Cooke said.

“Youth in Coolamon with have a chance to try their hand at a NAIDOC painting workshop, while youth from Cootamundra and Gundagai who have never seen snow before will get the chance to take a trip and learn how to ski and snowboard. Activities are being run all across the electorate for young people to get out and enjoy.”

Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said a number of free sport and recreation activities are included to help keep kids active during the winter break.

“These school holidays there are 16 camps across regional NSW that include meals and activities such as archery, BMX, orienteering, problem solving skills and more,” Mr Ayres said.

“Holiday Break camps are a fantastic opportunity for regional youth to challenge themselves and learn new skills, and I encourage all parents to register their kids now and give them an experience they will never forget.”

The program is also supporting 34 leading arts, screen and cultural organisations to show young people what they have to offer. 

Funding for the program is part of the State Government’s commitment to making the arts more accessible to young people across regional NSW.

Minister for Regional Youth and the Arts Ben Franklin said the programs will enable young people to enjoy a wider range of activities.

“We have a vibrant youth arts sector in NSW that covers many forms, and this is reflected in the wonderful array of workshops that will be on offer for young people during the winter school holidays,” Mr Franklin said.

“We are investing in our innovative arts, screen and cultural organisations and making their ambitions a reality, while also improving access to high quality and diverse experiences for children and young people.

“These inspiring sessions provide an important opportunity for young people to find their passion, develop new skills from professional artists and explore exciting forms of self-expression and collaboration.”

To find out more about activities near you and for program guidelines, visit

Cowra to Benefit From Youth Opportunities Program

Young people in Cowra will benefit from the NSW Government’s Youth Opportunities program, with Cowra Show Society the successful recipient of $46,580 funding for their initiative – Volunteering for the robust real-world experience.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke said the Cowra Show Society’s planned workshops would provide a great opportunity for young people in the Cowra region to engage with the community and learn new skills to set them up for success in life.

“Young people thrive when they have the opportunity to participate in programs tailored to their needs,” Ms Cooke said.

“This proposal from Cowra Show Society sounds like a fun and engaging way to help them develop the talent and tools they need to reach their career and education goals, as well as encourage greater participation of young people as volunteers – be it with the Cowra Show Society, or elsewhere in the local community.”

Minister for Families and Communities Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the Cowra Show Society was one of 47 projects funded under this round of the Youth Opportunities program.

“Youth Opportunities grants are delivering $2 million in funding for youth-led and youth-driven projects across NSW,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

“From initiatives to assist young people to get their first job to workshops that will build vital life skills such as cooking and car maintenance, there will be incredible opportunities state-wide for young people.”

Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the program helps provide a pathway for young people, particularly in regional areas, to find their place in their community and live independently.

“The transition from school to work is often challenging, and initiatives like the Youth Opportunities Program are imperative in helping make that transition as easy as possible for young people,” Mr Franklin said.

“This funding helps facilitate a sustained transition into employment and provides young people with a personal development pathway to upskill them into qualified, work-ready professionals.” Youth Opportunities is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, providing $15.3 million to 329 projects across NSW since it commenced.