The 2018 Tree of Dreams campaign culminated with a public lighting ceremony at Wyong Milk Factory on September 6.
The tree, adorned with more than 1000 coloured tags gathered from local schools, businesses and community organisations, spectacularly lit the night sky. The gathered crowd watched on as Iris Foundation Chair Barry Abrahams unveiled a plaque for the event and Foundation supporter Colin Henderson read a stirring poem, ‘Good Timber’ by Douglas Malloch. The full text is available on Iris Foundation’s Facebook page.
Milk Factory staff hosted a reception prior to the lighting ceremony. It was an opportunity for Iris Foundation to publicly thank the Central Coast organisations and businesses that had supported the 2018 campaign, including Wyong Roos Foundation, Wyong Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank, 2GO/SeaFM Coast Radio, Trendpac and TyTags Australia.
Special mention was made to the workers at Alison Homestead Men’s Shed, who handcrafted a large sign for the occasion. Guests also listened as Jo, a trained speaker with lived experience of suicide, shared how the loss of a family member had impacted her life, and how she had risen above the tragedy.
The Tree of Dreams is an annual campaign that allows Central Coast locals to share messages of hope, support and remembrance in the lead-up to World Suicide Day on September 10. Tags will remain on display in the tree for visitors to Wyong Milk Factory for a month.