How to get from Melbourne to Rio De Janeiro using Velocity points?

I am a Gold Velocity member and have to to go to Brazil for a wedding in October, Virgin Australia do not fly there but what airlines and combination should I look at maximize points and status?

Award bookings aren’t suppose to earn status pts (at least saver/reward seats don’t). Easiest way might be to make your way to USA first. The more direct flights to South America are via LATAM and Air NZ, who are not Velocity partners.