Keeping our kids safe: Day for Daniel

Day for Daniel honours the memory of young Daniel Morcombe, abducted and tragically murdered in 2003. The Daniel Morcombe Foundation tells us about its work promoting child safety, and how parents can get involved.

For some, ‘Daniel Morcombe’ is a household name. A heart-breaking story about an innocent 13-year-old boy, who’s situation went from safe to unsafe very quickly.

In December 2003, Daniel Morcombe was tragically abducted while waiting for a bus in Palmwoods, Queensland.  In 2005, The Daniel Morcombe Foundation was established by Daniel’s parents, Bruce and Denise, in honour of Daniel Morcombe.

The aims of the Foundation are to educate children and young people about how to stay safe in physical and online environments and to support young victims of crime, through initiatives such as ‘Day for Daniel’.

What is Day for Daniel?

Day for Daniel is Australia’s largest child safety education and awareness day. In 2021, Day for Daniel will be held on Friday 29 October. It is a day for parents, carers, educators, and community groups to teach children important personal safety lessons. The theme of the day is ‘Wear Red, Educate, Donate’.

In 2020, the Foundation inspired more than 1.5 million people to get involved in Day for Daniel. Over 4,846 schools and early learning centres wore the Foundation’s signature colour red and participated in child safety education. Hundreds of businesses and community groups also championed for child safety.

How do I talk to my child about Daniel?

Children may be curious about what happened to Daniel, and why we have a ‘Day for Daniel’. It is important children learn about Daniel without getting overwhelmed, scared, or upset. Day for Daniel is a day to be positive about learning to be safe.

In response to questions, it is best to answer in straightforward and simple terms.

You might like to try the following response:

Daniel was a 13-year-old boy who felt safe every day. One Sunday, at the start of the school holidays, he went to catch a bus. Unfortunately, the bus broke down and by the time the next bus turned up Daniel was gone. Daniel’s situation went from safe to unsafe very quickly. Luckily, what happened to Daniel doesn’t happen very often and there are lots of things we can talk about to help you stay safe.

We have ‘Day for Daniel’ because Daniel’s family want to help children learn what to do if they ever find themselves in an unsafe situation.

What can parents and carers do on Day for Daniel?

You can help keep kids safe and promote ‘Day for Daniel’ by following these steps:

  • Talk to your child’s school or early learning centre and encourage them to register for Day for Daniel
  • Take the opportunity to start or continue conversations about safety with your child
  • Have open and honest conversations with your child/ren, remind them nothing is so awful, they can’t talk to someone about it
  • Use the Daniel Morcombe Foundation’s Keeping Kids Safe Resources
  • Wear Red, Educate and Donate

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