Boy with two support workers at the Kids! Be You holiday program

About CARS

It all started in 1994 when a family on the north side of Brisbane struggled to get much-needed support for their son, who was living with a disability.

With commitment and support from other families in the area, they rallied together and held a meeting in the garage of their home to discuss their challenges. From this meeting, Community Access Respite Services (CARS) – a local, caring and dedicated disability support service – was born.

We’ve grown and evolved in many ways since then. We now support over 170 valued clients and their families on the north side of Brisbane, and have a team of more than 100 incredible employees. We now offer a comprehensive and diverse range of services and supports, with a focus on helping our clients achieve their goals and live their best lives.

CARS is led by a professionally diverse volunteer management committee, with each member bringing a unique blend of expertise and experience in the disability sector.

We are accredited with the Institute of Healthy Communities Australia across all service delivery and program areas, and we are committed to meeting the Human Services Quality Framework Standards.

Our mission

“To expand the realm of possibility for all people living with disability; promoting independence, active participation and the achievement of personal potential.”

Our vision

“An inclusive community where all individuals living with disability choose a path of wellbeing and fulfilment that is uniquely theirs.”

Our people


Mel Fleming

Mel Fleming, General Manager

Mel oversees the day to day operations of CARS. She is committed to leading and inspiring our large team of staff to provide the best possible care and services to our clients. Mel strives to see our organisational values in action each day and welcomes feedback anytime to help us continually improve CARS and our services.
“The aim of the CARS support team is to contribute in a positive and meaningful way in the lives of the people we support. Their goals are our priority and at the heart of what we do at CARS”.

CARS management committee

Management Committee

CARS is managed by a volunteer committee from many different areas of business and life. A number of the team have a first-hand understanding of what it means to care for a person living with disability.

Sharyn Ghidella at the CARS Kids Holiday Program

Sharyn Ghidella, CARS patron

Sharyn agreed to become our patron early in 2016 and our president’s son, who is a devoted fan, was over the moon.
Sharyn wholeheartedly supports and endorses CARS and is committed to helping in any way she can with fundraising and promoting CARS in the broader community.


Our values

We work alongside you

Working together to achieve goals

Being supportive and understanding

Communicating openly and honestly

Fostering teamwork and empowering independence

We take the time to listen and understand

Understanding and championing personal goals

Building excellent relationships and listening carefully

Seeing and appreciating potential

Promoting and respecting personal choices

We celebrate diversity,
and honour personal choice

Celebrating diversity and respecting rights

Focusing on person-centred care

Taking responsibility for own and others’ safety

Understanding the consequences of our actions

We continually improve,
strive to exceed expectations

Seeking and responding to feedback

Continuously delivering best quality care

Being flexible, innovative and responsive

Promoting solution thinking