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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 is currently working on editing the anthology Growing Up Disabled in Australia with Black Inc Books. She writes on disability and appearance diversity issues for news outlets including the ABC, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald and SBS.

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.

She also co-hosts a funny podcast called Refreshments Provided that could do with a few more listeners.

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

Stay up to date with Carly Findlay on Twitter.

Testimonials

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

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