When speaking with Reece Dumbell and Dean Sardellis, the co-founders of the Cameron Wellness Centre, their organisational values of Family – Community – Trust – Respect shine through in every word.
They started the Cameron Wellness Centre, a progressive and holistic treatment centre, after their wives (who are best friends) introduced them. Over time they realised they had a common motivation: seeing people with disabilities achieve the best outcomes in life.
The Cameron Wellness Centre provides multidisciplinary services to participants on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), ranging from children to adults, covering a large spectrum of disabilities and health issues.
Reece, a proud Minang Jupa Galk man, has been in the fitness industry since 2009 and saw first-hand the powerful link between mind and physical health. This was especially apparent during the Victorian Covid-19 restrictions of 2020 and 2021, when people had to stay at home for long periods of time and their movement and socialisation were restricted. Helping people get back on track after this life disruption has been very rewarding.
Dean, who is of Greek and Cypriot heritage, comes from a finance and accounting background. He is driven by a passion to see people from different ethnic backgrounds be able to confidently navigate the NDIS, making sure they get high quality treatment and care. He has a young child with special needs and therefore has first-hand experience of the importance of receiving consistent quality care.
Since its launch, the Cameron Wellness Centre, whose name is inspired by Reece’s great grandfather, Kenneth Cameron who was born on Ramahyuk Mission (Gippsland), has gone from strength to strength. They now have seven occupational therapists and one speech pathologist, all with different areas of specialisations and interests. This allows their clients to have a centralised treatment facility for all their therapeutic needs.
When asked how they have built such a successful business in such a short amount of time, they credited it to their values-based recruitment approach.
“Part of our ethos is making sure the cultural fit of staff is right. When recruiting, we look for people who have buy-in to what we’re trying to build here at the Cameron Wellness Centre,” said Reece.
Reece and Dean say providing ongoing development and career advancement to their staff is critical to keeping their practice at the forefront of best practice when treating patients. To ensure all employees have the knowledge, skills and confidence to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, they are given opportunities for cultural emersion.
“We don’t just give our new staff online training. We engage with a local Traditional Owner to take them out on Country and show them cultural sites and teach them about the local community, its people and history.”
When asked what advice they would give to other people thinking about starting a business, in addition to linking up with supporting organisations like IBA, they say:
“Make sure your business plan is tight. Make a plan and stick to it.”
IBA supported them to develop their business plans, and gave them a loan which they used to invest in good quality IT systems and office equipment. The IBA Start-Up Finance Package supports businesses to get their idea off the ground with a loan/grant package of up to $100k.
Reece and Dean walk the talk by looking after their own physical and mental well-being. Family time is important to them. They both have young children and making sure they set time aside to spend quality time with their families is of high priority.
After only six months in business, a bright future certainly lies ahead for the Cameron Wellness Centre, and its clients and staff. We’re looking forward to watching their growth – from strength to strength!