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Carly Findlay

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Carly Findlay OAM is an award-winning writer, speaker and appearance activist. Her first book, a memoir called Say Hello, was released in January 2019.

Carly edited the anthology Growing Up Disabled in Australia with Black Inc Books. It’s in stores now.

She writes on disability and appearance diversity issues for news outlets including the ABC, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald and SBS.

In 2020, Carly Findlay received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her work as a disability advocate and activist.

She was named one of Australia’s most influential women in the 2014 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. She has appeared on ABC TV’s You Can’t Ask That and Cyberhate with Tara Moss, and has been a regular on various ABC radio programs. She has spoken at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the University of Western England and Melbourne University – to name a few. She organised the history-making Access to Fashion – a Melbourne Fashion Week event featuring disabled models. She has a Masters of Communication and Bachelor of eCommerce.

Carly identifies as a proud disabled woman – she lives with a rare, severe skin condition, ichthyosis. She organised Australia’s first Ichthyosis meet in 2015 – bringing together 75 people affected by the rare, severe skin condition Ichthyosis. 25 attendees had Ichthyosis. Friendships and support networks were formed.

Stay up to date with Carly Findlay on Twitter.


“The session was amazing, we received some beautiful feedback from people who attended saying it was one of the best sessions that we’ve ever had at the TAC. Carly did a brilliant job, she’s such a professional. It was super engaging and refreshing to hear such an open and honest conversation. We would definitely have Carly back to speak again if an opportunity arose.”

—Kathleen Simpkin, TAC

“Carly was really insightful and a great communicator. Her talk was a perfect balance of talking about her lived experience while also providing really concrete points on how organisations can improve accessibility – which is exactly what we hoped the talk would be able to touch on. I got some feedback from someone who asked Carly a question and they told me that they found her response really meaningful and valuable to them as someone with a disability.”

—Abhainn Treacy, NSW Department of Communities & Justice

“Thank you for arranging Carly to speak to our PerkinElmer team today. She was AMAZING.

The feedback is coming through now on my email from our colleagues in Singapore, Japan and Malaysia as well as Australia – they all loved hearing her story and how we as a company can better support the disabled community and our employees who are disabled or are parents/relatives of a disabled person.

Carly was only booked to speak for 20-30 minutes, she spoke for 45 minutes then took 15 minutes of questions – so generous with her time. We are very appreciative.”

—Megan Pearce, PerkinElmer

“VCOSS engaged Carly Findlay to deliver a ‘how to’ presentation on using online platforms as a vehicle for disability advocacy.

The presentation was to an audience with varied levels of social media and advocacy expertise, and from an array of disability advocacy and community sector organisations.

Carly’s presentation was not only informative (completely meeting our brief) but it was also bursting with engaging content and Carly’s own personal experiences that showcased her personality and meant people could learn from her real-life examples. This really helped our audience connect with Carly and feel comfortable asking questions during Q&A.

Carly obviously put a lot of time and consideration into her presentation, which included insights into appropriate language, how and when to engage, how to maintain safety and self-care when dealing with the online world – and more.

Hearing about disability advocacy through the lens of someone with lived experience was incredibly valuable – something we heard repeated in audience survey feedback – and we hope to work with Carly again at future events.”

—Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS)

“Carly was a pleasure to work with from start to finish. We had a great initial discussion about the purpose of the event and on the day Carly delivered right on brief. Her speech was thought provoking, informative, challenging and humorous – a very hard combination to strike. Carly responded to questions from the audience thoughtfully and was generous with her time after the event, making herself available for photos and discussions with audience members. Carly jokingly asked me a couple times during the event, “have you got your money’s worth?”, and I definitely did! I would highly recommend Carly to anybody looking to book an engaging and entertaining speaker for their event.”

—Fergus Grealy, UNSW Sydney

“I have been inundated with messages of congratulations and our team working on next steps after the event.

We are over the moon with how the whole event went and also Carly’s message and the whole energy, excitement and joy she brought to the event. He message was hard hitting – just what we and our guests needed to hear – but delivered in her very own authentic and graceful way.

We hope to work with Carly again in future!”

—Elouise Holmes, Yooralla

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Speaking Out Agency

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South Yarra 3141

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