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Marc and Anthea Lema are the parents of seven children, with Cameron being one. They are also the Directors of Cam Can. The concept of creating Cam Can was borne out of Marc and Anthea’s personal experience in creating innovative supports for Cameron. Marc and Anthea wanted more for Cameron than what ‘the system’ was able to offer and, as a result of years of hard work, established Cam Can to do just that.
Marc and Anthea developed a ‘circle of support’, designed a small business enterprise for Cameron to operate, and implemented a community living arrangement within three years. Due to these life enhancing initiatives for Cameron, other families sought their help to develop plans that would bring about meaningful lives for their family members. What started as two dedicated and committed people sitting in a lounge room with a lap-top in 2011, has since developed into a contemporary organisation which now supports over 500 people across Western Australia. These people all enjoy the benefits of a meaningful and fruitful life like Cameron, one which otherwise may not have been achieved.
So what attracted so many people to Cam Can? The answer is quite simple; it is Marc and Anthea’s principles and values which don’t ‘shift’ when service and funding pressures arise. Marc and Anthea’s passion is to apply their values to assist people to have greater control over their own lives and to live in the community as valued citizens. Cam Can continues to be a family-led organisation providing individualised, tailored community-based support to people with disability and their families who want to live their lives in the community. We provide personalised supports to people who wish to live together in their family home, or to people who are living or want to live an independent life of their own.
Marc and Anthea have a wealth of experience assisting people with disabilities, their families and supporters in planning, implementing and maintaining community-based supports and services.
Marc has more than 40 years of experience working with people with disabilities and is Cam Can’s Chief Executive Officer. Marc started his career as a Social Trainer working directly with people with disabilities in large institutions in Western Australia. He subsequently held positions at the Disability Services Commission (DSC), including Senior Social Trainer, Local Area Coordinator, various management roles and spent time as the Principal Advisor to the Minister for Disability Services. With such solid experience, and wanting to make a further difference to people’s lives, Marc left the DSC in 2011 to work with Anthea to create Cam Can.
Anthea has 20 years of experience in IT, administration and communications and is a Cam Can Director. Anthea has a long history in supporting community groups and non-government organisations, including holding the positions of Chairperson of Interchange (Inc.) and a Board member of the Developmental Disability Council of WA (Inc). Anthea was also an Independent Evaluator for the DSC Quality Management Framework. Anthea is a sought-after advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and has written articles and delivered several papers regarding her experiences.
Marc and Anthea believe planning is key to success. They are both trained in various forms of planning including ‘Personal-Centred Planning’, ‘Essential Lifestyles Planning’, ‘Personal Futures Planning’ and ‘Optimal Individual Service Design’. Anthea and Marc have also attended and presented numerous workshops and conferences on topics such as People-Centred Planning, Social Role Valorisation, Inclusive Education and Optimal Individual Service Design. Both have presented papers in Western Australia and Victoria and have been keynote speakers and presenters at State and National conferences and workshops. They have also been asked by many Disability Services Organisations to assist them to think about how supports can be delivered differently, and to work with people they support to create new support arrangements.
On 1 July 2011 Cam Can officially became an endorsed provider for the Disability Services Commission of Western Australia, enabling them to deliver individualised supports to people with funding. With Western Australia’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Cam Can gradually evolved and developed new practices and processes as a provisional NDIS provider. In September 2021, Cam Can passed its NDIS ‘full registration’ audit with flying colours, and is now an endorsed NDIS service provider.