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REDinc. flies to WoW, NZ! Dear Diary…

Published: 05 Oct 2017

The World of Wearable Art exhibition took place in NZ last week and a group of keen REDinc. wearable artists and REDinc. support crew flew over to the Island of the Long White Cloud to check out some of the world’s most incredible costumes!  Here’s their diary of all their adventures:

Thursday 28th Sept. 2017
The crew of 13 head off from Lismore at 4.30pm to the Gold Coast Airport Motel. After settling in and getting the room allocation (which was one bed short!) we head off to the South Kirra Surf Club for some dinner. Little bit of First Aid on the return, but nothing serious.

Friday 29th Sept. 2017

The alarm sounded at 2.30am! Knocking on doors getting everyone up and heading to the airport by 3.30am – some breakfast and then onto the plan for the 3hour and 15min flight, landing in Wellington at lunchtime. Slight medical drama in the high altitudes but with the assistance of the rather fetching young male steward, and some oxygen, all drama was averted and a safe but bumpy landing ensued.

The city of Wellington had embraced the festival wholeheartedly and throughout our journey we would see references constantly and reminders of the WOW. The airport had large displays of entrants from previous years events. It was so amazing to see them up close.

We were picked up from the airport in our own Super Shuttle and whisked through the streets of Wellington to the Grand Chancellor Hotel. Such fascinating architecture, Cape Cod style houses, European, as well as Polynesian influence throughout the city, and all being built into the sides of the hills.

We had a bit of a wait for all the rooms to be ready, but used the time to relax. Most rooms were on the 19th floor with Josie, Zilpha, Lee S and Lee H on the 18th floor. We all met up at 6pm for the big night out at WOW. Everyone looked fabulous all dressed up, as well as rugged up for some. The temperature was about 14. We enjoyed a brisk walk about a block away to the TSB Bank Arena venue on the waterfront.

Yet again the whole area was littered with trolleys for Pete….. no – just joking! There were fabulous displays behind glass, contemporary designs encapsulating structures – a feast for the eyes. In the lead up to the start of the event we enjoyed some lively jazz music, and then the show began. It was incredible! The range of entrants, the music, choreography, colour, lighting and pure creativeness of the whole event was amazing. It wasn’t hard to stay focused for the two-hour show, with dance and music filling the arena. A story was built to incorporate the whole vision, and expressed the talents of the entrants. The idea of giving into your dreams, fulfilling your heart’s desire and expressing yourself was the main theme translated by a single female figure and her childhood shadow. It showed how people can be knocked down, disenchanted, discouraged, criticised but still rise above it and let their abilities shine. The range of materials used and the creativeness of the designs in each section showed the skills, imagination and resourcefulness of today’s fashionistas. Environmental awareness was a big factor also. Once the show had concluded we stayed to hear all of the winners in each section and this prompted some interesting discussions later on. The overall winner was an entrant from Taiwan entitled ‘Encapsulate’ (later to be referred to by Josie as ‘The Toilet Brush’!).  Check out all the categories and winners, here.


After such an inspiring show some of the group headed off to a contemporary, retro, industrialised McDonalds for a snack. Then it was off to bed and a very well earned sleep.

Saturday 30th Sept. 2017

A late start to the day for some, and the search for breakfast (most finding the buffet on the 17th floor a good pick, if you were there by 10!). Then it was time to let the tourist-ing begin! Janet, Amy, Hilary, Theo, Mary, Peter, Laura, Alice and Macy all headed out in a taxi to explore and shop. Zilpha, Josie, Lee S and Lee H all headed out into the streets of Wellingtons CBD for shopping, walking along the waterfront and then onto the TePapa Musuem.  An expedition through the Museum and Lee H only got lost once. The amazing history of the Maori people, their culture and history was represented so wonderfully. Most eventually headed back to the Hotel just after lunch, some for a rest, and Hilary, Theo, Zilpha and Lee H set off for a tour of the Weta Studios.  They enjoyed a tour of the Weta gift shop and the fascinating surrounds however, as well as a look through the streets of Wellington through the windows of the Taxi.

The souvenir (and fashion) shops were left short of stock by most and many bags were filled. The Wellington weather was kind to us and there were blue skies with mild weather of about 14.

Sunday 1st Oct. 2017

Up and out of the rooms by 10 am (by the skin of his teeth – Lee H who was enjoying his cup of tea in solitude in his room) to get the shuttle to the airport. We left Alice, Laura and Macy behind in New Zealand to continue their adventure for another week. The rest of the group met with an amazing dragon in the arrival lobby of the Wellington airport. His fiery eyes would open and close, so we had to take yet another photo opportunity! Then breakfast and plenty of coffee before more shopping to finish off those New Zealand dollars at the airport shops. I think it must be bad luck to return home without enough souvenirs…… The flight home of course needed some pizazz, so the sick bags appeared, and I think Amy must have liked the look of the steward on the way home too – as yet again the oxygen was brought out. However, both Theo and Amy were lucky enough to get a private tour of the cockpit and meet the pilots when we landed.

After arriving back on Australian soil, everyone was returned to their homes and loved ones on the way to Lismore. Everyone tired, but happy. We felt no earthquakes in NZ (thank goodness!), we all enjoyed good food and company, all arrived home safe. A fantastic adventure. Every person on the trip was however disappointed but expressed much gratitude that the original facilitators were not present. The group is thankful to Naomi and Jeremy for the opportunity that they created. It was an inspirational and educational trip that most would otherwise not have taken on.

An opportunity also to get to know people better and glimpse into the lives of those around us.

A book will be published with the photos and memories captured during the trip for distribution to the participants.

Awards discussed on the trip home:

Most Helpful – Peter Dickson

Up There For Thinking! – Lee Hilder

High Altitude Drama Queen – Amy Serone

Moving On Quickly (no more big plane, next stop respite) – Theo MacPherson

Best At Bling Shopping – Lee Spykers

Lessons learnt:

  • Remind staff to refuel vehicles
  • Don’t always believe everything your Dr tells you
  • Make sure to watch the footpath
  • Even though the sticky date pudding looks good… you don’t need it
  • Embrace the original sayings invented (slept like a top, eyes like a stork)
  • You don’t need to tell every single person you see that you are from Australia
  • Always check the number
  • of beds when booking a motel
  • Wellington in September is perfect for menopausal women
  • Accessibility for people with disability is an issue everywhere
  • Always be grateful for the opportunities given
  • Knowing the Wi-Fi password is far more important than anything!