Through unimaginable heartbreak, the Morcombes have turned something no parent should go through into a legacy for their son.
Daniel Morcombe was abducted and murdered in 2003 while waiting for a bus on the Sunshine Coast.
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation began in 2005 by Denise and Bruce Morcombe. Its aim is to educate children on how to stay safe in a physical and online environment; as well as support young victims of crime.
Speaking to the Advertiser, Denise Morcombe said it was a balancing act to allow a child to develop their independence as well as ensuring their safety.
“Kids need to be kids,” Mrs Morcombe said
“They need to be catching buses and riding bikes.”
But, she added a child should never roam the streets alone.
“They should always travel with a friend,” she said.
The Morcombes will be in Wagga next week to give safety presentations to school children in years three to six.
“We’re talking to students who weren’t even born when Daniel went missing, but they know about it and they listen,” Mrs Morcombe said.
The presentation teaches children to react and report and to develop a safety network of trusted adults.
“If a child has butterflies in their stomach, or getting sweaty palms, they should remove themselves from the situation and contact a designated person in their safety network,” Mrs Morcombe said. One important tip Mrs Morcombe passed on was to have a password that only a child and their trusted adult network knows.
The seminar will also delve into issues with internet safety.
The Morcombes struggled early on with the spotlight on them, but thought their message needed to be shared.
“Twelve months after Daniel disappeared we stopped talking to the media – we thought we couldn’t do this,” Mrs Morcombe said
“But after some time off, we decided we had to keep going to keep getting the message out there and to repay the people who had helped us.”
The Morcombes, through Mission Australia, will deliver two seminars in Wagga on Wednesday, October 21. Three schools will be at the 9.30am talk at Bolton Park Stadium, and four schools at 12.30 session. They will then travel to Cootamundra Sports Stadium on Thursday, October 22, for two sessions – 9.30am and 12.30pm.
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