Congratulations to Carly on Say Hello.

Say Hello is a book written by Carly Findlay and its an education.

I’ve taken an awfully long time to put words to page for Carly about her book. The promises I made for words and reflections after speedily reading (in early February) we’re not delivered by me in a timely way, and that’s not like me.

Why? I’ve been procrastinating, hmmm, maybe, more mulling over how to express words that won’t belittle, be taken out of context, diminish, demean, be offensive or superficial. I don’t know how and what to say, as being introduced to Carly’s perspective and world, is tricky territory. I want to get it right, but chances are…

It’s a risk – but I want to bring words to and for Carly that’s a true representation of her worth and work. For, Carly Findlay has worked HARD and toiled long, and introduced me to the term ‘emotional labour’ (gosh, that’s so true – thank you) and invested over a decade of work and her lifetime of ‘being’ – to be seen and heard in this form, and I get that.

This is a difficult task and I will now attempt it, in my way.

Carly, IOU these promised thoughts into words, but before I do…

Carly and I met about 18 months before the publications of her memoir and first book. At the time, she had recently quit her job and was juggling around being completely self-employed whilst writing what she thought would be the final chapter of her manuscript. I had been down this road myself fairly recently, so kinda knew where she may have been at with some things, and what may lie ahead.

Carly had put it out on social media that she was keen to meet up with other writers whilst in Sydney on one of her rare free-afternoons – to do ‘writery things’.  We met in a leafy courtyard café in my home town of Glebe with 5 other women writers who were part of a writing Facebook group. It’s after this first face-to-face meeting that I started to pay more attention to Carly and her work.

I had a low-level of awareness of Carly back then. I certainly recognised her from her appearances on TV and had seen posts and media around her disability activism, but I wasn’t close to her work. We were and still are, from different orbits, circling around each other’s universes and linked by writing and Facebook, and writing groups on Facebook.

On Facebook, we support each other where we can. I slip in out of connection or participation into observation-mode at times, and watch her sometimes epic posts go off the charts, in good ways and sometimes, terrifying ways.  Bold, brash, colourful, courageous, fierce, fragile, funny. This is how I get to know Carly over these short, intense years. Like many others, I’m consuming her educating, explaining, defending, calling out, dressing up, eating well, suffering, dealing with and living out loud in the public space.

We’ve met up a few more times since that first time – for coffee when I’ve been in her home town of Melbourne and for dinner on a fleeting trip to Sydney. We’ve also batted about and chatted on Facebook and email –  raised thumbs, angry faces or heart of support where appropriate.

It has all been building up over the year and half to the launch of her book, Say Hello. I’ve been doing fist pumps for Carly from my screens, watching her do absolutely everything, and doing it right, and doing it 10 times more than anyone. In short – Carly deserves every success and more, for the work, energy, pioneering, dealing with trolls, handling media and generally being a star as a writer, author and a joyous human being.

She’s one of the hardest working people I know. I am officially, a Carly fan-girl.

It’s now time to talk about her actual book, Say Hello.

I was freakin’ excited about her Sydney launch (Feb 6, 2019) because when we met up for dinner in Sydney, she let me know that another superstar of the world was helping her launch (Annabel Crabb). I grabbed my ticket as soon as they were released and a week before the big occasion, grabbed myself a copy. I started reading in the afternoon, read as long as I could through the night and finished it in the early AMs.

Yes. That good.

I emerged from Carly’s world, firstly, enormously proud of my friend and shell shocked and ashamed of myself. As an able-bodied person who thought that I was open, aware and sensitive to the needs of people around me, I now understand better, how I am guilty of unconscious bias, behaviours and assumptions about people (and families) who manage and live with disability. I understand a little better, but not completely, how marginalising and diminishing our able society is and how the fight for justice is left to a few.

I’m now pointing at Carly and say directly to her: I still don’t have the words to truly express to you how enormously significant and important your life and work is to the world. I know that the wave of praise you’re receiving, all put together, shows you the scale of impact you and your efforts have. In all the ways people respond to your work – the lovers and the (jealous) haters, this is proof that you’re a substantial, powerful force in the world.  I couldn’t tell you to your face, Carly, I would cry too much and too hard. I’d probably just end up saying, ‘I rate you’ or ‘you’re tops’– but you know I think that of you already. 

Say Hello is an education, a romp, a journey. Carly is candid and honest about navigating some of the hardest edges of our society and her own, very personal challenges. She joyously bring to us her family, friendships, relationships, experiences growing up and becoming a woman with a visible difference and disability. Carly brings to light with rawness, the truth and realities that many people living with disability (and their families and supporters) experience every day. She’s candid (in good ways and shocking ways), blunt, unapologetically graphic, sometimes too understanding of other people’s stupidity, and very generous with her time and energy ( emotional labour).

If you want to know how it feels to be in Carly’s skin and in her brain (trust me, you do), grab yourself a copy of her hilarious, tender, sad and sassily written book.  It’s gritty, bitty, sticky, interesting, hilarious, mortifying and enlightening.

Carly is by no means an overnight sensation – she has work solidly, building a body of work and experience for well over a decade. As a fellow author and someone who strives for understanding and recognition, I COULD be jealous of all the success and attention. But, I’m not. Carly has done ‘the work’ and earned this recognition and truly deserves the success that comes from divulging the inner most parts of herself in public. I, of all people, know how this feels, and it is not a comfortable space. That’s why I take my hat off to Carly and appreciate what it means to have achieved, Say Hello. It’s a work to celebrate.

Find out more at

See, Carly, it was easier to write it and I hope it was worth waiting for.

Sue x

You must be logged in to leave a reply.

Warning: Unknown: open(/var/cpanel/php/sessions/ea3/sess_94mea2l0q6k2rbsitbt4nrup75, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/var/cpanel/php/sessions/ea3) in Unknown on line 0