CAM CAN is a family led/run organisation which gives key personnel the advantage of the lived experience and intimate knowledge of the importance of assisting people with disabilities to have a good and fulfilling life in the community. The structure of CAM CAN consists of the CEO Marc Lema, Director Anthea Lema, Managing Director Steve Robinson, Director of Operations John Thomson, Senior Operations Managers Rob Erskine and Roley McRobert, Operations Managers Alison Braid, Fiona Bowden, Darrell Andrews, Jan Lock, Penny Dowds and Sean Jones, Service Coordinators, Administration Staff and Direct Support Staff.
All people working with CAM CAN regardless of their role are strongly linked to members. Each staff member has a responsibility of directly supporting people.
CAM CAN’s Operations Managers have more than 20 years’ experience in Government and non-Government Human Service Organisations. They have held positions in the past as Local Area Coordinators with the Disability Service Commission or working in the private sector through roles in therapy, education, training and health. CAM CAN’s Operations Managers are responsible for the day to day operations of the organisation which includes the supervision of CAM CAN Coordinators.
Cam Can Coordinators have been carefully recruited to ensure they have the skills knowledge and experience required to produce high quality support to people with disabilities, their families or carers. Coordinators have various backgrounds including professions such as Psychology, Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy. A number of Coordinators also have experience in Local Area Coordination.
CAM CAN Coordinators are responsible for the recruitment of the organisations valuable team of support workers. Each person is recruited individually with a key focus on being someone who shares an interest with that person, lives in and has a good connection with their local community and possesses the will and the skill to be a good support person.
Marc has more than 30 years of experience working with people with disabilities. Marc started his career as a Social Trainer working directly with people with disabilities in large institutions in WA. Marc has held a number of positions with the Disability Services Commission including; Senior Social Trainer, Local Area Coordinator, District Manager, Manager Operational Support and Development, Regional Manager LAC and spent a short time as the Principle Adviser to the Minister for Disability Services. Marc was the original Manager of the Community Living Initiative. Marc was instrumental in creating CAM CAN and is the CEO of the organisation. His passion to promote the rights of vulnerable people is unwavering and it is this, together with his personal experience of raising a family including Cameron, a young man with a disability that drives Marc’s commitment to bring about good outcomes for all people.
When Marc is not working, he is a keen Liverpool supporter, following his team closely and enjoys making the most of every opportunity to hang out with his family and friends.
Steve is strongly committed to his family and community and plays an active role as part of the leadership team within Cam Can. Now based in Perth after establishing Cam Can operations in the Lower South West Steve has over 25 years of practical experience within government and the human services industry including working with the Disability Services Commission of WA, Aged Care, Juvenile Justice and Community Corrections.
Steve has co-presented with John O’Brien at the Australasian Down Under Institute focussing on Individual Service Design, demonstrated his experience as a skilled facilitator working alongside Heather Simmons (now also part of the Cam Can Team) and has attended training with Michael Kendrick on Optimal Individualised Service Design. Through various roles Steve has gained both the knowledge and practical day to day experience to assist individuals and families in planning and organising their supports from the ground up. Committed to ongoing growth and development Steve is constantly striving to be at the forefront of innovative service design and delivery.
As Cameron’s Mum, life experience has taught Anthea that often, life is what you make of it – that there is opportunity where you might least expect to find it. She has felt the pain of being isolated, the hurt and humiliation of having her son rejected on many levels, but also knows the strength that can be drawn from people who are willing and believe in the value of all individuals. Anthea has the highest expectations of CAM CAN and is extremely focused in her commitment to ensure supports of the highest standards are delivered to members of CAM CAN. Anthea is a strong believer in community and the richness of natural supports in a person’s life. She will be a constant force driving the team at CAM CAN to work towards this ultimate goal in the lives of people they support. On the home front, Anthea enjoys simple things – swimming, canoeing, walking by the river, BBQ’s in the park, chilling with the family and friends, and when time allows, being creative in the kitchen.
John has more than 25 years’ experience working in human services. John started his career as a Support Coordinator, working alongside individuals and families to assist them to navigate and co-design/implement individualised supports. John then joined the Australian Red Cross as their Regional Coordinator, refining, developing and implementing community-based programs and taking a keen interest in International Humanitarian Law. John started with government in 1998, holding senior positions with the Department of Housing, Department of Premier and Cabinet and more recently with the Disability Services Commission and Department of Communities, where he led the implementation of the WA National Disability Insurance Scheme.
John is passionate about people and believes strongly that communities as a whole benefit from inclusion, not just people with disability – “Inclusion enhances a community’s social capital; by better reflecting community diversity we can create broader networks and connections amongst people thereby breaking down stereotypes”. John continues to live and work in the South West, he is an active member of his local soccer and basketball clubs and takes every opportunity to support and participate in community events. John enjoys spending time mountain biking, bushwalking and exploring the South coast with his wife and children and is a passionate supporter of the AFL and English/Scottish Premier Leagues, supporting the West Coast Eagles, Everton and Glasgow Rangers.
Rob initially trained as a primary teacher but has worked extensively with people with disability for over 35 years both in Western Australia and interstate. This has included focus areas such as sector change, including programs of deinstitutionalisation, promoting people living in their own homes, staff education through TAFE and in-service training and Local Area Coordination (LAC). He was a Manager, Operational Support and Development in LAC and had a leading role in the implementation of person centred planning approaches within the Disability Services Commission.
He worked at the Mental Health Commission shortly after its establishment in Western Australia. This focused on developing and implementing the move towards individualised supports and funding within the mental health sector. It included a significant role in developing and implementing the Individualised Community Living strategy, supporting people with mental ill health to move out of hospital settings, to live a good life in their own home in the community.
Rob joined Cam Can in 2014 as a Service Coordinator and was appointed as an Operations Manager in June 2015. In December 2017, Rob was appointed Senior Operations Manager.
He has a grown up family and a long term passion for playing, coaching (and now watching) all levels of baseball and softball with a particular eye on the mighty ‘Cockburn Cougars’.
Roley joined Cam Can in 2014 following an extended career in the WA public service. He worked with young offenders before joining the disability sector as a Local Area Coordinator with DSC including 10 years as the LAC for Bassendean and working in regional settings including the South West and the Wheatbelt.
Roley was a proactive member of the Bassendean community and was a key contributor to the Town of Bassendean’s ‘Vision 2030’ Community Plan as well as serving on the Town’s Access and Inclusion Committee and the local Reconciliation Action Plan Working Party. His work in the human services field is driven by a strong sense of social justice and an unshaking belief in the inherent good that exists in people and communities.
Roley is currently the Operations Manager for Cam Can in the Lower South West after moving to Busselton from Perth in 2016. He is a devoted fan of the Hawthorn Football Club, a keen (but not particularly good) golfer, avid cricket lover as well as having a passion for bushwalking and hiking the Bibbulmun Track. Roley also enjoys travel, music, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Darrell Andrews has worked in disability services since 1996, starting as a support worker while also working in Senior Management and compliance roles. Darrell brought to CAM CAN extensive experience having worked in areas of respite, accommodation and employment within DSC, FaHCSIA and HACC funded services. Darrell spent two years working as a Coordinator with CAM CAN leading to his promotion as Operations Manager in 2014.
Jan came to Cam Can after an extensive cross section of roles in the non-profit sector and also Local and State Government. A big part of her career has been in the community development sector including Local Area Coordination (LAC), child protection and various community services. Jan’s enthusiasm for the promotion across the broader community to encourage that all people are able to live a good life in their own home and community through informal and formal connections, relationships and belonging is at the core of the principles and values that Cam Can work by. Jan has also been involved in various volunteer groups over the years which heavily relied on grants and support from the local community and broader partnerships.
Jan has had experience in various managerial roles from working in a Community Centre providing learning programmes, parenting courses, disability support groups and was the Centre Licensee for the occasional child care and kindergarten. Previous roles through her career required vital negotiating skills and promoted the encouragement of partnerships with families, individuals and other parties to reach goals and achievements through creative solutions considerate of the people involved willingness to make things happen.
Jan was working in LAC before coming over to Cam Can in 2014 as a Service Coordinator and was recently appointed Operations Manager in December 2017, after acting in this position for a six month period.
Jan is a wife, mother (her children are adults now), she is also a very proud grandmother and family is very important to her. Jan has varied interests including travelling, live bands and concerts, a good movie or book and catching up with family and friends.
Penny Dowds has over 25 years experience working in human services, specifically child protection, child and adolescent mental health, out of home care, disability and the Family Courts in both the UK and Australia.
Her passion, since her early days, has been to ensure the rights of marginalised groups are upheld, and their voice is always heard. As such, she has targeted professional and voluntary roles where she can to make a difference by advocating for and driving positive change at both operational and systemic levels.
Prior to joining Cam Can in March 2020, she worked as a senior manager for a non-for-profit organisation leading and growing trauma informed youth and homeless services in WA. Due to her hard work and commitment in this role, Penny was nominated for and was a finalist in the ‘YOUTH AFFAIRS COUNCIL OF WA Recognition of Significant Contribution to Youth Work Award’ .
As a parent of a child with a disability, Penny strongly believes in the importance of ensuring inclusive and individualised care (as one size does not fit all and nor should it) and promotes the integration of trauma informed care and practice principles in all human service areas to achieve this.
Penny believes that achieving an inclusive society is everyone’s responsibility and is excited to be a part of Cam Can where ‘uniqueness’ and ‘difference’ is embraced and innovative solutions are developed to achieve this.
Alison is a country girl at heart! She grew up in Esperance and following her tertiary education and some travelling around the globe, she has spent the majority of her career in the Wheatbelt, living in Narrogin and working around the region. She left the Wheatbelt in 2014 and relocated to the Goldfields, living in Kalgoorlie but spending time in Leonora/Laverton and the Ngaanyatjarra Lands. Alison left Kalgoorlie in 2016 and has been living in the South West since then, joining Cam Can in July 2020. Alison has worked in the human services area throughout her 26-year career, predominantly in the public service and in the child protection arena. Alison’s core values centre around kindness and compassion and building trust and good relationships with everyone.
Alison enjoys the outdoor life, owns a camper and “wanders out yonder” with her family and two beloved dogs whenever she can. One of Alison’s passions is open water swimming but this has been somewhat curtailed with the increased sightings of the big mammals of the ocean!! Alison has a property with lots of space and is an avid gardener and loves growing her own vegetables and fruits.
Fiona joined Cam Can in July this year and brings over 20 years’ experience as a social worker. Fiona commenced her work in human service whilst studying at university in support work, tutoring and mentoring in Child Protection. Since then she has worked in Western Australia for the Health Department, Disability Services Commission, Department of Communities and an number of organisations in the not-for-profit sector. Fiona also has experience in the Victorian and Northern Territory Education Departments, Child Protection in Tasmania and crisis accommodation in the Northern Territory.
Having grown up on a farm in Western Australia, she is passionate about working in regional, rural and remote areas. Fiona believes it is a privilege to work alongside people and communities to strive towards and achieve their goals, and is grateful for the opportunity to continue this work within the Cam Can team.