Life & Style Weekend - - Q&A - CARMEL CROUCH, STEPS man­ag­ing di­rec­tor

Carmel Crouch is a leader within the Coast com­mu­nity, with a clear pas­sion for pro­vid­ing equal op­por­tu­ni­ties to ev­ery­one and an ad­vo­cate for peo­ple liv­ing with a dis­abil­ity.

She is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of STEPS: a na­tional char­ity that teaches peo­ple real skills to help them achieve their goals in the real world.

She founded the char­ity al­most three decades ago with the help of a group of par­ents and spent 21 years in an un­paid role of pres­i­dent be­fore tak­ing up the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor po­si­tion.

Carmel was nom­i­nated for the 2018 Queens­land Se­nior Aus­tralian of the Year award, sits on many com­mit­tees con­cerned with so­cial and eco­nomic pro­gres­sion, and con­tin­ues to re­main com­mit­ted to help­ing oth­ers.

Favourite time of day and why?


Morn­ings. It’s al­ways a joy to wake up and know I have an­other pre­cious day to do what I love do­ing: to be with the peo­ple I love and ad­mire.

Why? Be­cause time is so pre­cious and I don’t take it for granted, every week­day morn­ing I get the priv­i­lege to spend time work­ing with spe­cial peo­ple in an or­gan­i­sa­tion I love who truly make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of peo­ple, and week­ends are spent with my beau­ti­ful fam­ily.

What ex­cites you?


Liv­ing life ex­cites me in every way. There’s so much to fill my day with and so many won­der­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties to look for­ward to with every day pre­sent­ing new and ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, and the best bit is, I get to live and work with ex­cep­tional and amaz­ing peo­ple.

Favourite sport? Player or spec­ta­tor? 3

No, not a sports per­son at all. How­ever, I do ap­pre­ci­ate how com­mit­ted elite sports peo­ple are and how much time, ef­fort and pas­sion they put into their cho­sen sport. I re­ally re­spect that sort of ded­i­ca­tion to some­thing they truly be­lieve in.

Best child­hood mem­ory?


Wow. That’s a long time ago, but that would be hav­ing the free­dom I had to be a child, spend­ing days dis­ap­pear­ing for hours down the back creek to play with my much-loved brother, never be­ing afraid to do so and know­ing I would al­ways be safe and loved.

Where were you born?


South­port, Queens­land – so a true Queens­lan­der!

Where would you like to hol­i­day?


Now there’s a ques­tion. I have had the priv­i­lege of trav­el­ling in­ter­na­tion­ally a lot over the years, but right now it would be to go back to New York to live for a few months.

Cats or dogs? Do you have a pet?


I like both, re­ally, and have had many pets over the years. But I now have a large fluffy rag­doll cat that weighs around 10kg. Who are your he­roes?


I ad­mire a lot of peo­ple who have ex­celled in their own lives and made a spec­tac­u­lar dif­fer­ence in the lives of oth­ers. They aren’t nec­es­sar­ily well-known or ac­cepted as he­roes, but are he­roes to me and the many oth­ers whose lives they’ve im­pacted pos­i­tively.

Dream job?


I’ve had it al­ready, and am still do­ing it. “If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life”?

That’s me. What will you be do­ing in 10 years? 10

Hope­fully still alive and kick­ing and healthy, hav­ing a load of fun re­tired, still con­nected to STEPS and spend­ing lots time with my fam­ily, and trav­el­ling while I still can with my love.

What’s the best thing about liv­ing on 11 the Sun­shine Coast?

Ah, it’s the very best place in the world to live and come back to. No mat­ter where I travel in the world my heart will al­ways be here on the Coast. When I get back, I know I am home safe and happy.

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