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“Harriss Wagner’s involvement in driving our technology transition program has had a profound impact on the support and services that Cana is now able to offer those people in need.”  

​Ian Dardis, Board Director

Cana Communities -
Harriss Wagner offers pro bono services to not-for-profit organisation

Cana Communities is a not-for-profit organisation working with men and women who have experienced homelessness, addiction, mental health issues, and other barriers that have prevented them from creating a positive life for themselves. Cana’s mission is to create inclusive communities and nurture dignity, hope and belonging.


Cana began as De Porres House in 1975 and since then has set up overnight shelters and transitional homes including providing shelter for the homeless. In 2011, Cana opened a Farm at Orchard Hills in Western Sydney. Cana Farm creates a space and opportunity for people to learn from each other and recreate themselves with the support and care of volunteers. In 2016, Cana expanded and introduced its relational model to Western Australia by establishing a welcoming place, in Emmaus House, a community hub based in Fremantle.

Ian Dardis, Cana’s Board Director, and former CEO of Dentons Law Firm in Australia explained to Client Services Partner, Amanda Harriss, that Cana required improvements to its technology so that the organisation could modernise its operations and mitigate risk for the benefit of its volunteers and those people who rely on its services. After listening to Cana’s story and understanding its purpose, Harriss Wagner was delighted with the opportunity and readily offered to help by commencing in March 2021 to develop a technology transition strategy, along with a change management program to aid in delivering the strategy to its Volunteers.

Key to the transition included managing an RFP process to identify a suitable technology support provider who could assist with introducing a modern technology infrastructure and provide on-going technical services to support the organisation’s growth. Empower IT were selected as the preferred technology provider after undergoing a rigorous due diligence process, and who has since successfully delivered the benefits needed.

Departing from a disparate Google environment to Microsoft O365 incorporating the introduction of SharePoint for intranet and document management, and Outlook for email providing a dedicated Cana domain and email protocol has introduced standardisation for the organisation, along with mitigating operational risk.

Key changes also extended to Cana Farm, a commercial enterprise that sells exceptional produce to the public, to support its growth. A change in strategy for the website and its online shop was recommended by Harriss Wagner, which has provided Cana and its Director of Marketing, Brand and Communications team an easy-to-use toolset to navigate and expand upon in the future.

Harriss Wagner has worked closely with the Leadership Team to design and manage the change management program necessary to support its valued Volunteers through the technology transition, which has been very well received.

Cana’s Board of Directors and Leadership Team have expressed their delight with the support Harriss Wagner has provided and shown much gratitude for our gift to them. Ian Dardis stated on behalf of his Cana colleagues “Harriss Wagner’s involvement in driving our technology transition program has had a profound impact on the support and services that Cana will continue to offer those people in need.”

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