To celebrate its 5th birthday and to raise awareness of mental health challenges, OneWave wants to create a “fluoro wave” on 80 beaches in 26 countries around the world.
The non-profit surf community comes together each year for the colourful event – this year happening on Friday March 23 – which sees people dressed in their fluoro best stand in a line at the water’s edge and link arms to help spread the word.
The main event takes place at the south end of Bondi Beach from 6.30am (the wave begins at 7am) where, for five years, a group of flamboyantly dressed people has been meeting weekly at dawn for Fluoro Fridays.
Grant Trebilco is behind Fluoro Fridays and Onewave, which he started in 2013. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder a year earlier, he thought it was time to speak openly about his mental health, so grabbed a fluoro outfit, picked up his surfboard and headed to Bondi.
“Talking about it out in the surf really helped a lot. Hearing from others about their own experiences in-between waves was a real healing process,” says Trebilco. “Fluoro Friday is a platform for anyone to open up about their experience. Doing this every week you quickly realise that whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone in it.”
From there it’s blossomed, and each week at Fluoro Fridays there’s a group chat, followed by a surf or some yoga.
Tomorrow after the chat, people will instead join together to create the human “wave”. As well as happening in Australia, there will be waves in India, Mexico, Iceland and New Zealand, among other countries.
Here’s a list of some of the places you can take part.
New South Wales (6.30am)
Bondi Beach (South Bondi)
Manly Beach (South Steyne)
South Curl Curl
Wanda Beach Cronulla
Norah Heads (Soldiers Beach)
Newcastle Beach, Newcastle
Byron Bay (The Pass) 7am
Rose Bay (Tingira Memorial Park) 6am
North Durras Beach 3pm
Oatley Park Beach
Noosa (First Point) Saturday 24th March, 6.30am
Burleigh Heads 6am
Greenmount Beach 6am
Cairns (Esplanade Pool) 6.30am
Alex Heads 6.30am
Moffat Beach 6.30am
Trigg Point, Perth 6.30am
Wobiri Beach, Exmouth 7am
Torquay beach 8am
Cottage Beach 6.30am
Lorne Beach 6.30am
St Kida (details tbc)
If you or anyone you know needs help, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.