The Blue Tree Project has created a mental health revolution throughout Australia. Kendall Whyte, founder and CEO of Blue Tree Project, has used her pain as motivation to help spark difficult conversations and break down the stigma of mental health through giving dead trees ‘a blue lease on life’.
Inspired by the tragic loss of Kendall’s brother, Jayden, after taking his own life in 2018. The blue tree that Jayden painted as a practical joke now acts as a beacon of hope for those struggling, with over 880 trees painted across Australia and the world.
The mining and quarry industry came together to paint a tree blue to encourage people to speak out when doing it tough. Located at MAX Plant’s manufacturing facility on the corner of busy Cockburn Road and Sparks Road in Henderson, this tree acts as beacon of hope & conversation starter.
Familiar faces caught up and new connections were made with heartfelt conversations about mental health. Hosted at MAX Plant’s manufacturing facility the Director of Strategic Initiatives Jordan Pedley started the event by asking ”anyone that has ever struggled with mental health or knows someone that has struggled with mental health to raise their hand?’ Unfortunately, the room of over 200 people was full of raised hands.
Delvene Cornwall Bibbulmun Yorga, Bibbulmen Whadjuk, Ballardong Yorga and Willmun Yorga did a beautiful Acknowledgement of Country. As she stood next to the blue tree, Delvene spoke about the land, her elders and practicing gratitude.
Kendal Whyte followed, bravely sharing her story and motivation behind the Blue Tree Project, bringing many in the room to tears.
John Zappia and Chris Clark supported the event with the world’s fastest doorslammer and a Western Australian Sprintcar on display. The pair helped to raise money through signing posters and allowing people to sit in the famous cars.
MAX Plant’s Chief Operating Officer, Nicole Talbot, commented, ‘So many great conversations were had on the day and will continue to happen. The generosity of everyone is greatly appreciated and for such an amazing cause.’
Senator Slade Brockman and the City of Cockburn’s Lead of Business and Economic Development, Michael Faulkner, put their stroke on the blue tree at the event and support this important initiative.
Jordan Pedley stated, ”From CEOs to apprentices, people really opened up. We created a safe space to have a yarn. I am still overwhelmed with the amount of support from the industry, raising over $15,000 and sparking countless conversations in just a few short hours.’
“We want people to know that it is OK to talk, and it is OK to tell somebody you are not OK, and it is OK to go and seek help.” – Kendall Whyte.
The generosity of all that attended as well as the businesses involved in making the day possible was phenomenal. This mental health awareness lunch and fundraiser would not have been possible without MAX Plant, Striker, Mineral Resources, Nunzio’s Mobile Pizza’s, WA Bolts, Zappia Racing and Henderson Fabrication.
CEO and founder of MAX Plant, Craig Pedley, finished the event by thanking everyone and announcing that this event will be an annual event. He compassionately stated ”It is important to bring the industry together and remind each other that we are one big community that has each other’s backs.”