Anthea’s amazing Aruma adventure

Anthea celebrates her 40th birthday and reflects on her achievements over the last 22 years with Aruma.

April 3, 2023

Anthea has had an incredible journey with Aruma since joining us 22 years ago. Over the last two decades she has grown into a confident woman who works, performs and more importantly, advocates for herself.

“It was quite a long time ago when I started at House with No Steps, 22 years ago! Now I go to Aruma Work Education. I enjoy being on front reception and meeting the new people. I check people’s temperatures, do fire drills, send emails to friends, family and staff. I have learned how to photocopy and scan. I like helping everyone out however I can,” said Anthea.

With a zest for life and a determined personality, the Aruma team have always encouraged Anthea to challenge herself and achieve her goals.

“I’ve been with Aruma for nearly 12 years and the growth I’ve seen in Anthea is amazing. When I first started here Anthea was quite shy and unsure. Now she makes her own choices, and her independence has really grown,” said Deborah Carter, Trainer and Marketer, at Burleigh.  

Due to Anthea’s range of complex needs, her family spent a long time looking for the right support and an environment where their daughter could thrive.  

“We felt that House with No Steps was the only place we could put our faith in to take care of Anthea. The staff were kind but told us she was the most disabled person they had worked with so far. Anthea has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, a visual impairment, and intellectual delay,” said Mum, Di Heenan.  

Anthea quickly found her feet at Burleigh Hub and started making friends right away. At Aruma she was able to explore her passions while also developing life skills.  

Some of her favourite memories are from performing at Gold Coast Eisteddfods, where she even landed the lead role multiple times! Her love of drama and the performing arts was heavily supported by Amber Hoy, Aruma’s current National Business Development Manager. 

“I met Anthea on day one and quickly formed a lasting relationship that stands today. Anthea and I shared in our love of theatre and performance, and she was one of my star pupils with a beautiful singing voice. My favourite memory was putting on the Wizard of Oz performance in which Anthea played Dorothy in a shared role. What a star! I have loved watching her grow in confidence and independence over the years,” said Amber.

Anthea performing in the Wizard of Oz musical, playing the lead role of Dorothy.

Today a lot of Anthea’s goals are around independent living and engaging with the local community. Last year she chose to join the work education program for one day a week and now she is one of our awesome receptionists,” said Deborah.

This year is Anthea’s 40th birthday and she was excited to celebrate with her friends from across Aruma. She organised to bring a cake, nachos, and ice-creams to ‘Karaoke Friday to share with everyone. Every second month Burleigh host Karaoke Friday nights for customers across all Aruma services. Everyone was invited to socialise, sing, dance or just people watch in a fun, safe and friendly atmosphere. 

The team also presented Anthea with a bound book of these memories and of course there was delicious snacks and cake for everyone.

Anthea celebrating her 44th birthday with Elyce surrounded by balloons.

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