By Justin Flynn
Almost four years after starting an Instagram account to raise awareness for albinism with her friend Sammy McCombe, Lucy Carpenter has been on a wild ride.
The 18-year-old from Ocean Grove was invited to contribute to a newly released book titled ‘Growing Up Disabled in Australia’, been an extra in a movie and has been in a music video, all while juggling study commitments.
The book, edited by Carly Findlay, is a collection of stories from more than 40 people about negotiating the world with a disability.
In Lucy’s case, it’s albinism which causes problems with the development and function of the eyes.
Lucy’s eyesight, by her own admission, is poor.
“I was 15 when I found out that M&Ms had a little white M on them,” she laughed.
“I’d gone 15 years without knowing this.”
Lucy’s contribution to the book is around 1700 words
“Some wrote poems, some did cartoons,” she said.
“I tried to focus on a little bit of every part of my life so far. Things I have experienced good and bad, and how I explain my vision to people.”
Lucy was invited to speak at Geelong Library on February 11 about the book, where she got to speak about herself and her journey.
“It’s pretty good subject to speak about,” she said.
“You can’t really get anything wrong.”
Lucy and Sammy were extras in the Australian black comedy movie Judy and Punch and were in a music video for Big Scary that was filmed at Redwood Forest near Warburton. They were also in a photo exhibition in Ballarat that Lucy said “portrayed different seasons and themes”.
While 2020 was difficult for everyone, Lucy was not able to see her friend Sammy much, but they still kept their Instagram account going.
Lucy is quite comfortable with the term ‘disabled’ being used describe her condition, but can see why others might not like it.
“There are some people who don’t like the term disabled or being called disabled,” she said.
“For me personally it’s a term that I don’t mind too much. I am disabled. I have a vision impairment.
“It’s classed as a disability and I don’t have a problem with it although there are a lot of negative connotations with the word ‘disabled’.”
For now Lucy will concentrate on her bachelor of professional communications at RMIT.
“I can’t change anything so my plan now is to make the most with what I have,” she said.