Carmel Crouch

Disabilities advocate and founder of STEPS

QLDNomineeSenior Australian of the Year2021

Carmel Crouch has dedicated her life to providing opportunities for people with a disability to achieve self-actualisation and independence.

After adopting a son with disabilities, Carmel spearheaded the development of supported training to help people with a disability transition into the mainstream workforce.

She founded STEPS, which delivers a range of programs and services focused on employment, mental health, peer support and home and community care. STEPS has grown to 26 locations across Australia.

Carmel is passionate about promoting equality for all individuals and has developed programs to provide Indigenous Australians, Torres Strait Islanders and refugees with training and employment opportunities.

She recently launched STEPS Pathways College to help young people with a disability learn practical independent living skills. The first of its kind in Australia, the college has since added an online program and a day program to the curriculum.

Over her 32 years of service, Carmel has received many honours including an Australia Day Ambassadorship in 2019.