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Words From Grant Trebilco, OneWave Founder - For Mental Health Awareness Week

Words From Grant Trebilco, OneWave Founder - For Mental Health Awareness Week

Tell us a bit about yourself and how OneWave came to be?

I’m from Mount Maunganui but have spent most of the last 10 years living in Sydney. When I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2012, surfing and good people helped me the most when I moved back home to the Mount. Sometimes one wave really is all it takes. I thought that maybe if I shared the simple recipe of saltwater therapy, surfing, and it’s ok not to be ok, I could help other people get their stoke back. So, one Friday morning in March 2013, I decided to dress up in a shirt and tie and go surfing solo at Bondi to try and start some conversations about mental health. That was OneWave’s first Fluro Friday, and luckily, I have been joined by so many good people who are just as passionate about raising awareness of mental health, and we haven’t missed a weekly Fluro Friday for the last ten years.

OneWave believes in a simple recipe to support mental health, can you share more about this?

OneWave is a non-profit surf community raising awareness of mental health through a simple recipe… saltwater therapy, surfing and fluro. We believe everyone should have the chance to ride waves and openly talk about mental health without being judged.

OneWave runs weekly Fluro Friday sessions where we dress up in bright fluro outfits and share waves and stories to raise awareness of mental health.

Sometimes one wave is all it takes to free the funk and wearing bright colours makes people happy and helps start conversations about mental health, which is often invisible.

OneWave also runs 'Free the Funk' Programs in schools and workplaces, which have impacted more than 40,000 people.

For many, talking about mental health can be a challenge. Why do you feel OneWave has been so successful in creating awareness in communities?

So many awesome communities in New Zealand are helping raise awareness of mental health and providing support for people facing mental health challenges. I think what has helped OneWave raise awareness of mental health is our simple recipe of saltwater therapy, surfing, fluro and the power of an amazing community. There is something about dressing in bright fluro outfits, being vulnerable and sharing real stories that helps turn people from strangers to best mates in minutes.

What is OneWave doing for Mental Health Awareness Week this year?

We will announce the Fluro Friday events happening during Mental Health Awareness Week on OneWave social media @onewaveisallittakes and our website,

What has been your biggest high, win or favourite memory over the past 10 years of OneWave?

There have been so many ups and downs along the 10 year journey of OneWave, but one of my absolute favourite memories is celebrating OneWave’s 10th birthday with all the OneWave communities around the world. My family came over to Sydney for the 10th Birthday celebration in Bondi, and it was the best thing ever having them there to be part of a fluro wave for mental health that spread the whole length of Bondi Beach.

How has your own personal mental health journey been supported by OneWave?

I have met the most amazing humans through the OneWave community and they have helped so much in my mental health journey. We have surfed in fluro every single Fluro Friday now for ten years, and a combination of community, saltwater therapy and surfing in bright outfits is a massive part of my recipe for taking care of my mental health.

OneWave is a non-profit, how do donations support the movement?

We are super grateful for the support we get through donations. Your kindness helps OneWave get more people facing mental health challenges in the ocean and start more conversations about mental health by supporting our preventative mental health programs:

Free the Funk School Program - OneWave delivers 'Free the Funk’ programs in primary and high schools to help bring more colour and awareness to mental health. Your donations will help us provide more students with mental health tools they can use throughout their lives.

Fluro Friday - Fluro Friday is a free weekly community event raising awareness of mental health through saltwater therapy, surfing and fluro. Your donations will help us continue to provide this event free to the community 52 weeks of the year.

Amazing Grant, so how can readers join a OneWave event?

Everyone is welcome at Fluro Friday! You can head to to find out more, and if you can't find a Fluro Friday at your local beach, we would be so stoked for you to start a Fluro Friday at your local. It is as easy as grabbing a few mates, dressing in fluro, surfing, and sharing stories to help people free the funk. It can be a weekly/monthly event or even once a year. Email to find out more, and we will jump on the phone and chat about making it happen.

Also, if you are interested in OneWave running a Free the Funk Program at your primary or high school we would love to chat. You can find out more info here:


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