Though Salter Point is mostly bushland, with plenty of trees, flora and fauna to gaze at, it is now home to a rather special tree. The Blue Tree stands as an important message to all that pass that it’s okay to not be okay.

The Blue TreeOriginally inspired by Jayden Whyte of outback WA hit close to home to students at Aquinas College and encouraged them to act. Instead of removing a dead tree situated outside the College’s boarding facilities, the school’s Wellbeing Council worked with the Grounds and Maintenance department to turn it into a symbol of hope and remembrance.

Brotherhood and community are of core focus in the school, particularly in boarding, so the team of students opted to add a secondary element to the famous project – the hands of those who participated. “Mental health issues are isolating and it’s hard to remember that there is support available,” Year 12 student Jarvis Pickering, the driving force for the project, stated, “the hands are to remind people that they’re not alone.”

While students like Jarvis may soon be graduating, their legacy lives on with the project sparking further trees to be scouted with the aim of painting, alongside discussions throughout the school on the topic of mental health.