19 July 2023

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (21 - 27 July)

| Dione David
Start the conversation
A blind woman, her dog and a tradie sit on a bench

Chum will be showing as part of the Travelling Film Festival at Warrawong this weekend. Photo: TFF.

The Illawarra is putting out an open invitation to pick up a new skill this week with an eclectic array of workshops. From arts and crafts to upcycling, cooking to belly dancing, it’s the week to expand your horizons.

In between there’s a travelling film festival, a “gobsmackingly ingenious” theatre production that will inspire intense nostalgia and op shopping in Kiama.

These are our top nine picks for the week.

All Weekend

Man stands in front of a carnival ride at night

Go on an epic road trip with the Bells, a sixth-generation carnival family, as they haul their convoy of trucks, rides and workers from Batemans Bay to Darwin and back in documentary The Carnival. Photo: TFF.

Travelling Film Festival Warrawong

When: Friday 21 July to Sunday 23 July, various times, see full program
Where: Gala Cinema Warrawong, 204 Cowper Street, Warrawong
Cost: Adult $18, concession $16, kids, students and under 26s $14.50, book here.

An exciting program of Australian and international features, documentaries and short films hits Gala Cinema Warrawong this weekend. Opening night kicks things off with a screening of The Carnival, fresh from the Sydney Film Festival featuring a question-and-answer session with filmmaker and South Coast resident Isabel Darling. The lineup includes screenings of eight more feature-length films and three exclusive short films.

Logo depicting silhouette of girl carrying a handbag and dress on a coat hanger against a pink background

These markets are hosted by Kiama’s Rekindled Fashion. Image: Rekindled Fashion.

Rekindled Fashion preloved fashion market

When: Saturday 22 July, 9 am to 4 pm and Sunday 23 July, 9 am to 3 pm
Where: Kiama Masonic Hall, 46 Collins Street, Kiama
Cost: Free entry.

One of Kiama’s premiere op shopping locations, Rekindled Fashion will hold a preloved women’s clothing market over two days. Expect an old-style market where designer and vintage items await their new owners and hidden treasures can be uncovered. There will be 14 stallholders selling beautiful bargains to hunt down.


Banner for macrame ornament workshop at Shellharbour Civic Centre featuring a star and rainbow woven ornament

Get crafty, learn a new skill and take home two beautiful new ornaments. Image: Shellharbour Civic Centre.

Macrame ornaments workshop

When: Saturday 22 July, 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: $20, book here.

Whether it’s to produce handmade gifts or embellishments for your own home, macrame is a beautiful skill to learn. Under the expert guidance of proud Wonnarua/Wiradjuri woman, weaving expert and creator of Tiriki Studios, Kharleigh, you’ll learn macrame techniques and create two hanging ornaments: a hanging star and a rainbow. This a beginner-friendly class, and most suited for ages 16 and above.

Green flyer for make your own owl workshop featuring a white stylised owl on a green background

Learn some new skills and score a fabulous new ornament for your garden at this hands-on workshop. Image: The Tinkerage.

Upcycle an owl for your garden workshop

When: Saturday 22 July, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: The Tinkerage – Shellharbour, 44 Buckleys Road, Dunmore
Cost: Free for Shellharbour City Council residents, $40 general, book here (suitable for 16 years and over or over 13 years if accompanied by an adult).

In this interactive workshop, you’ll be furnished with all the tools and skills you will need to upcycle old wooden pallets and fencing materials into a beautiful owl ornament for your garden. Under the supervision of an experienced Tinkerage coordinator you will learn to use the band saw, jigsaw, power drill and driver and then decorate your owl with an eclectic and interesting range from Reviva Dunmore (or brought from home for a personal touch). Bring your own safety goggles, ear protection, lunch, drink and mug for a cuppa, and wear protective footwear.

Banner for neuro art workshop featuring a colourful mandala

Discover the power of self-expression and creativity at this workshop. Image: Shellharbour Civic Centre.

Neuro art workshop

When: Saturday 22 July, 10:30 am to noon
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour
Cost: $35, book here (suitable for 15 years and over).

Billed as a chance to “connect with your inner self”, this mindful art class will allow participants to discover the power of self-expression and creativity. Michelle Springett from Expressive Art Experience will guide you through a fun workshop as you uncover your unique style. An intimate group of only 16, beginners are welcome and all materials will be provided (as well as coffee, tea and Tim Tams).


Flyer featuring comedian Mikey Robins

Join one of Australia’s best known comedians and broadcasters, Mikey Robins, for an author talk at Wollongong Library. Photo: Wollongong City Libraries.

Author talks with Mikey Robins

When: Wednesday 26 July, 6 pm to 7 pm
Where: Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book here.

He’s a face most Aussies know and now, renowned Australian comedian and broadcaster Mikey Robins is coming to Wollongong Library. Though best known as the previous host of Triple J’s National Breakfast Show and team leader on Good News Week, Mikey is now the host of the hit podcast And the Rest Is History. Join him as he discusses his new book, Idiots, Follies & Misadventures – a rollicking romp through history’s heroes, villains and idiots that shows just how history really does repeat itself.


When: Wednesday 26 July, 7:30 pm, Thursday 27 July, 6:30 pm, Friday 28 July, 7:30 pm and Saturday 29 July, 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
Where: Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 32 Burelli St, Wollongong
Cost: Premium $59, adult $49, adult c reserve $39, concession/group 8+ $44, concession c reserve $34, under 30s $39, school groups 8+ $23, family of 4 $156, book here.

At the cutting edge of theatre and technology, Coil is set to take Wollongong back to the glory days of video stores – before they were killed by streaming. Created by Wollongong-based performance collective re:group this innovative and nostalgic production inspired by the closure of Thirroul’s last video store is billed as “gobsmackingly ingenious in its execution”. Fascinatingly, the audience will watch a movie being made and played in real time. Don’t miss out.


Flyer for cooking class featuring wontons in broth

Learn to make delicious, silken pork wontons in a flavoursome broth from Illawarra cooking legend Nonna Gina Ottaway. Image: Shellharbour Civic Centre.

Create & Sip: Pork wontons in Asian broth

When: Thursday 27 July, 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Commercial Kitchen & Gadhu Room, Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: $65, book here (suitable for 18 years and older).

Illawarra’s cooking legend Nonna Gina Ottaway garnered fame for her appearance as a MasterChef 2018 contestant. Now she’s beloved for her ingeniously simple techniques that make cooking accessible to all. In this intimate class of eight, learn the tips and tricks to make delicious silky pork wontons in a flavourful Asian broth. At the end of the cooking class, sit together and enjoy the delicious meal you have created with BYO alcohol.

All ingredients are provided – just bring a medium-sized pot and containers to take home leftover food.

Banner for belly dancing workshop at Thirroul Library featuring two women in belly dancing costumes in front of a beach

Things get percussive at Thirroul Library this Thursday after hours. Image: Wollongong City Libraries.

Let’s Try: Belly Dancing and Percussion

When: Thursday 27 July, 6 pm to 7 pm
Where: Thirroul Library, 352-358 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul
Cost: Free, book here (suitable for 18 years and over).

In this after-hours workshop at Thirroul Library, join mover and shaker Kylie Astarte for a fun belly dance and percussion workshop incorporating movement and rhythms from Aswan to Cairo. You’ll be schooled in some easy techniques and movements and make your own music using tablas, frame drums and finger cymbals. No experience is required – just wear comfortable clothing and footwear.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Illawarra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Illawarra stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.