A huge old dead tree that hundreds of thousands of people have driven by over the years has been transformed into Boggabri’s third blue tree on the Kamilaroi Highway north of Boggabri.

On site last week as the tree was being painted, Lloyd Hardy, Boggabri Coal’s Mining engineering manager said: “Boggabri Coal is very proud to be part of this program.

“We want people to know that it’s okay to not be okay, we want them to know that someone is always listening and we need to ask R U Ok.

“By taking the time for an R U OK? conversation and genuinely listening with an open mind, we can all help the people in our world feel supported and connected,” said Mr Hardy.

Mr Hardy thanked everyone in the community and Boggabri businesses for getting involved, for getting this project started and supporting mental health which is so important.

It is the little things that make a difference, and one difference last week was that Mr Hardy’s father, Ray Hardy, also known as ‘Dah’ took his lawn mower down to the tree and mowed around it so that it would be easier for the fellows painting.

The completed Blue tree with the R U Okay message.

Just goes to show that there is always someone around and willing to listen, so please if you are not okay reach out.

Many people still don’t know the story of the ‘Blue Tree Project’ however, many do know the R U Ok organisation so it was decided last week that the tree would support both organisations in the awareness and importance of good mental health.

When speaking about the combining of the two ideas Pete Brien said, “this is something that shouldn’t have bounds, and if we just save one person, it is all worthwhile.”

Along with the background story and since the inception of the Blue Tree Project there are more than 1000 trees registered on the Blue Tree Project website.

Boggabri ‘the little town with a big heart’ now has a ‘Blue Tree’ on the north, south and east of the town.

The first being painted at the Milchengowrie property south of Boggabri along the Kamilaroi Highway in August 2021 and the second at Wean east of Boggabri in July 2023.

The third tree is the first to incorporate the R U Ok and current feedback is that people would like to see the other trees incorporate the same message.

R U Ok? Is a conversation that could change a life and is marked on the second Thursday of September each year as a National Day of Action and reminds all Australian that every day is a day to ask, ‘are you okay’.

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