REDinc rises like a phoenix from flood devastation

LIKE many other businesses and families in Lismore, local disability services organisation, REDinc, lost everything in the wake of the recent flood.

Despite the devastation, an impending art exhibition scheduled in Byron Bay just one week on from the flood went ahead; and REDinc. artists, like phoenixes rising from the ashes, were able to proudly attend their opening night.

On Friday March 31, floodwater inundated all of the REDinc buildings (in Magellan Street and Warina Arcade), leaving the organisation with nothing but barely usable buildings.

Everything was lost except for the artwork for the Lone Goat exhibition, which the REDinc artists had been working hard on for the past 12 months.

With so much hard work and excitement brewing for the REDinc community over the past 12 months, with much relief and euphoria the exhibition went ahead.

REDinc Art Exhibition Director, Josie Donnelly, spoke of the moment when she first walked into 87 Magellan St. on the Sunday after the flood.

"When I walked into the REDinc. building in Magellan St. on Sunday 2nd April, I held my breath not sure what I would find. It was utter devastation," she said.

"I could see that we had lost pretty much everything.

"I immediately thought of the artwork that we had put to one side to be hung at the Lone Goat exhibition and how sorely disappointed the REDinc. artists would be that the upcoming exhibition might not be able to go ahead.

"With huge relief, I saw that their artwork were some of the very few things that had not been destroyed by the flood. I couldn't believe it!

"Despite all the destruction and chaos, we would be able to go ahead and have our show."

The opening night of the incREDible Art Exhibition went ahead in spite of REDinc's huge losses and enjoyed a larger than usual crowd who attended to show their support to the much-loved disability services organisation.

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson opened the event and spoke about the resilience of the REDinc community in its capacity to go ahead with a successful event, in spite of its losses.

As a for-purpose not-for-profit organisation, REDinc is historically self-sufficient: always finding new and innovative ways to generate its own income.

On this occasion REDinc is asking people to support recovery efforts of the organisation to get back on its feet so that it can continue to support the local North Coast communities.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched which has raised nearly $2,000 in less than 48 hours.

People can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/redinc-flood-recovery



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