Cameron is the young man whose story CAM CAN has been founded on.
Cameron is a proud business owner and operator; he lives in his own home and enjoys a life where he is valued for what he contributes. As a result of his innovative and creative support arrangements, Cameron is surrounded by people he can call friends and lives a fulfilling life in the community.
Cameron was born with what was termed a “profound intellectual disability” and in spite of the challenges this presented him and numerous others over the years, Cameron has successfully risen above what the system had planned for him.
Marc and Anthea have often been invited to present the story about their son Cameron at conferences and forums around the country. Cameron is the proprietor of his own business which is a creative, innovative response to the need for a real job and a valued role in the community. Cameron also lives in his own home which he shares with his friend. The presentation talks about the journey, the things learned and the initiatives taken to ensure Cameron lives a meaningful and fulfilling life in the community.
Just a note to say I was speaking to my Local Area Coordinator the other day and she was filling me in on Cameron’s ‘Cam Can’ business. Last time we spoke you were just getting started and it is so great that everything has turned out so well for Cameron. I googled ‘CamCan’ and just had to email you and say how fantastic Cameron looks in all his photos, a very mature, handsome young man, love the uniform too!
(Parent of young man who attended school with Cameron)
…Your story is truly inspirational and your spirit and determination to help others is fantastic. I wish you well and good luck to Cameron in his new independent life.
Comment from the Managing Director, Argyle Diamonds
…It was so great to have you both here in Melbourne and presenting at our conference. People got so much out of your session. It helped people to open their minds to the possibilities and there is no dismissing that this is possible because Cam’s story is real!
Deb Rouget August 2011
This is an inspirational story and i wish them much sucess. There are many more families in thissituation and more to come in the future. Unfortunatly not everyone has extended family to rely on. This is why i started JACKS HOUSE(joining Autistic care Knowledge and support) Inc recently to raise funds to help house adults with Autism and to assist as many as possible to find emploment or structured day support. We have a long way to go but highlighting this issue is a good start. Thankyou for the story ABC.
Inspiring, comforting, achievable in real life, thank you so much for sharing this story. I will carry this idea solidly with me as I consider the future for my children. Kylie McClelland mother of three children who all have extra needs due to developmental disabilty and author of “Extreme Parenting”
What a fantastic documentary, firstly the story and the strength of Cam and his family and particularly his mother, and also to the production team, a well made unfolding story that had me hanging off every word till the very end.. thanks so much and I have no doubt that it will be an inspiration for others in similar situations. I will download podcast to listen to it again and share with others.
This was a very inspiring story. I sat in the car and missed my lecture so I could hear the whole thing! I am of a similar age to Cam and I have an older brother who sounds like he is in a similar predicament to cam – not able to communicate, would never be able to look after himself. He is in full time care around the clock and I would love for him to be able to contribute. This story really gave me hope that one day this might be possible.
Cam’s story is a great example of the reality that EVERYONE can work when their skills, talents and abilities are used to their potential. It does take a thoughtful approach, creative thinking and commitment by a group of people to get this kind of business going. But there are thousands of examples of customized employment across the world. Sadly, Australia alienated its workforce skilled in customized employment when Federal Government funding encouraged employment services to be driven by profits and therefore cost-cutting and low-skilled, untrained staff. I share a vision with many others that we can again have access to the sort of knowledge in technical assistance that Marc Gold showed us in the 1970’s so that all people have access to support that channels their skills into employment and spares people with disabilities from a life of poverty.
‘Perfection is relative. You are perfect if you reach the potential you have at this moment. To be perfect means encountering our limits and gradually pushing them back’ (John Main OSB).
I think Cam’s story, his life, is an exercise in perfection, with his family and friends so crucial in helping him realise it concretely. So much of our lives are focused on a mythical absolutist idea of perfection ie. the idea that once you get to a certain external, publicly agreed upon benchmark, then you’ve attained it, and if you don’t, then you’ve failed. I think Cam’s journey shows us the beautiful power of bringing perfection ‘down’ into actually lived life, into the reality of the here and now. It’s amazing that we can so often miss the perfection within what we falsely mis-take for imperfection. Reminds me too of the truths we see at work in L’Arche. Thanks, an inspirational depiction of real-life in action.