Remembering Daniel, and keeping kids safe

Day for Daniel honours the memory of young Daniel Morcombe, abducted and tragically murdered in 2003. Ahead of this year's event, we asked the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to tell us about its work promoting child safety, and how parents can get involved.

For some, ‘Daniel Morcombe’ is a household name. It’s a name people speak with a certain reverence, as the captivating image of a beautiful, blue-eyed boy resonates in their mind. Few can forget the heartbreaking story.

In December 2003, Daniel Morcombe left his Palmwoods home on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, to catch a bus to get a haircut and buy Christmas presents for his family. While he waited for the bus, he was abducted and tragically murdered.  In 2005, his devastated parents, Bruce and Denise Morcombe, initiated the Daniel Morcombe Foundation vowing to make Australia a safer place for all children.

Since then, Bruce and Denise have tirelessly campaigned to build a future where children and young people are free from harm and abuse. Every year, the foundation coordinates Australia’s largest child safety education and awareness day – Day for Daniel.

What is Day for Daniel?

Day for Daniel is Australia’s largest child safety education and awareness day. In 2020, Day for Daniel will be held on Friday 30 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 2019, the foundation inspired more than 1.3 million people to get involved in Day for Daniel. Over 425, 000 children and young people 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 a response similar to this:

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 wants 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 learning centre and encourage them to register for Day for Daniel
  • Take the opportunity to start or continue conversations about safety with your child
  • Let your child know they can always talk to you
  • Use the Daniel Morcombe Foundation’s Keeping Kids Safe Resources
  • Wear Red, Educate and Donate if you can.
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