Ambassador is a passionate Australian
AUSTRALIA Day Ambassador Carmel Crouch is passionate about her country and assisting the disabled.
Thanking people for her warm welcome to Biggenden’s Australia Day ceremony, Ms Crouch said it was nice to visit rural communities.
“It’s great to see communities come together as it happens so much better in rural communities,” she said.
“We are here today to celebrate Australia’s diversity and to know just how lucky we are.
“When I travel out of Australia
it gives me a warm feeling when landing back on home soil.”
Ms Crouch is a distinguished businesswoman and community leader known for her work in building capacity and empowering individuals and communities towards independence.
A long-time advocate for people with a disability, she has worked for more than 30 years developing programs and services that give people with a disability equal opportunities for employment, housing, happiness, health and wellbeing.
As managing director of STEPS Group of companies on the Sunshine Coast, Ms Crouch’s focus on strategic partnerships has been key to supporting positive outcomes for individuals and establishing stronger communities.
Ms Crouch said her proudest personal achievement was the establishment of the STEPS Pathways College
“STEPS’ humble beginnings started back in 1989 when a group of parents, all of whom had a child with a disability, felt there wasn’t enough support in place to allow their children to build their own independence,” she said.
With a disabled child of her own, Ms Crouch developed a boarding college on the Sunshine Coast for 19-30-yearolds to attend over four years.
Ms Crouch said the first cohorts have been sent out into the community and are successfully living independent lives.
“I get goose bumps thinking about it,” she said.
“I only hope others get on board but it is an expensive program.”
When it comes to funding, she said she is a very loud voice in Canberra and in most states.
“It is our job to make a positive difference in people’s lives,” she said
IMPRESSIVE SPEAKER: Australia Day Ambassador Carmel Crouch was at Biggenden's celebrations.