Iris connecting people – from a safe distance

Part of Iris Foundation’s mission is to foster connections – a challenging prospect in a socially distanced world. Our most recent activities, including our in-school programs, our Tree of Dreams campaign and our second annual resilience awards ceremony, have been adapted to give special priority to community safety.
Iris Foundation continues to work hard to strengthen social networks and to bring people together. We’re finding that there are many ways to create meaningful connections, even if hugs and handshakes are off the agenda for now.

Tree of Dreams campaign to spark hope and remembrance

Iris Foundation’s annual Tree of Dreams campaign is now underway. Until World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, you can place a message of hope, support or remembrance in the tree, located at Wyong Milk Factory. Unfortunately, there will be no public gathering this year due to COVID-19, but we are happy to place messages for anyone who can’t visit the site in person.

The Tree of Dreams is a campaign to raise awareness of suicide prevention on the Central Coast. This project recognises the impact of suicide in our local community and works to create conversations about mental health. Adorned with hundreds of colourful message tags from members of the public, the tree has become a memorable tribute to those we have lost – and also a reminder to us all to reach out to each other when times are tough.

To find out more, visit: or

CBWN Women’s Resilience Awards recognise local strength

The second annual CBWN Women’s Resilience Awards were celebrated at a gala luncheon at The Ary, Toukley on August 19.

Generously sponsored by Central Coast Unity Bank, the awards were created to celebrate local women who have displayed extraordinary resilience to overcome setbacks in their personal or professional lives. Nominations were put forth by members of the Community and Business Women’s Network.

State MP for Wyong David Harris opened proceedings, addressing the importance of building resilience across the community, particularly amidst the current public health crisis. MP for Gosford Liesl Tesch also spoke, highlighting a widespread shift toward supporting local people and businesses.

Following a delicious two-course meal, the nine nominees ascended the stage one-by-one to share their stories, along with inspiring tips about negotiating the steep learning curves of life. This year’s Honouree, Sharon Cheer of Killarney Vale, learned to manage significant challenges to become a tireless advocate for workplace diversity, and for the job seekers she supports every day. Congratulations, Sharon!

Thanks to The Ary Toukley and all the attendees for making this an uplifting and safe event.


Iris Foundation has also remained in close consultation with our community partners as they begin to assess the mental health impacts of COVID-19. Demand for services has spiked, with needs likely to evolve quickly in the weeks and months ahead.

For now, the board and staff of Iris Foundation extends our best wishes to our supporters and their loved ones. Stay safe, healthy and connected.

Help us reduce the risk of suicide

To make a tax-deductible donation in support of mental health on the Central Coast, click here.

Get updates

This update was orinally published as an email newsletter. Click here to subscribe now!