STATEMENT FROM THE MORCOMBE FAMILY
"Our son Daniel was abducted and murdered more than 13 years ago.
This triggered what is believed to be the largest police investigations in Queensland and one of the largest in Australia.
Globally, it is believed to be second only to Madeleine McCann's disappearance in terms of public interest, primarily driven by traditional media and social media.
Our family acknowledges and thank: Police, SES volunteers, forensic experts, Department of Justice, media, businesses and individuals who collectively contributed in finding Daniel's remains and having a guilty man rightfully convicted and now serving a life sentence.
Our request to Queensland State Coroner Terry Ryan for a resumption of the Coronial Inquest has been granted and we thank him for that decision. The purpose of the resumption is to complete a process that was started, then adjourned, 6 years ago.
This is a unique opportunity and a valuable one. To let it pass helps nobody, because rarely, if ever before, has an Inquest commenced with 33 Persons of Interest and a missing child; and this process elevates one person, dismisses 32 and a family are provided the opportunity to lay that loved one to rest.
Now we have the answers, the resumption will focus on investigative methodology. What systems worked and what could have been done better.
As tragic as Daniel's case is, there will be another, and another; they will walk in our shoes.
If we help one family's tragic case reach a conclusion and not have it destined to become a cold case then the resumption has a purpose and is worth it."
NB: The Resumption is scheduled to commence at 9.00am in the Brisbane Magistrates Court (Court 4 Level 1) on 14 Dec 2016.
Bruce and Denise Morcombe think that a public accessible sex offender website is a sensible, responsible and modern approach to educating children and parents about the silent underbelly which casts a dreadful shadow on our society. We cannot continue to sit back and do nothing. Let's use the resources available to make a stand here and now.
Daniel's Law would:
List violent sex offenders on a publically accessible website
Identify these people by name and alias
Show a current photo of them
Provide the general geographical area they live in. (Not the actual street address)
Identify in broad general terms their history of offending
Background Points of Note:
Child victim's of sexual assault will not be identified.
Suggestions of increased vigilantism is not supported by statistics.
Educating parents and children about potential risks is being responsible.
Using the internet and online technology is the modern way we communicate today.
Providing an increased deterrent to future predators makes common sense.
The only negative aspect of Daniel's Law as we see it, is to those on it!
Remember these are the worst of the worst. They are people who have raped and murdered children. We owe it to our kids to make a stand and say we know who you are and we know what you have done.
Your vote is anonymous. Data collected will be used for statistical purposes only.
Article below by Zara Butt
Bruce and Denise Morcombe haven't always been household names. They were once an average hard-working couple enjoying a peaceful life with their sons Dean, Bradley and Daniel in Palmwoods, a small country town on the Sunshine Coast. In December 2003, the boys were enjoying their school holidays. Bradley and Daniel were looking forward to flying to Melbourne to visit their grandparents after their 14th birthday. On Sunday 7th December Daniel waited for a bus to take him to Sunshine Plaza for a haircut and Christmas shopping. He never returned.
The Morcombe's relentlessly pursued answers, working collaboratively with QLD Police and the public. The Daniel Morcombe Foundation was established in 2005 to maintain public attention on Daniel's disappearance, educate children about personal safety and keeping safe, and assisting child victims of crime. Bruce and Denise pushed for an inquest which would revise the evidence the police had received. Their determination was rewarded and in October 2010 a coronial inquest was held. On 13 March 2014 Brett Peter Cowan was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, indecent dealing with a child under the age of 16, and interfering with a corpse. He will be eligible for parole in August 2031.
To say the Morcombe's are fighters would be an understatement. Though they may have won their fight for answers and a successful conviction for Daniel's murder, their battle to protect Australian children is ongoing. They now face the challenge of seeing their bill, Daniel's Law, come to pass in the NT. Based on Megan's Law in the US, successful passing of the bill would make the NT the first Australian jurisdiction to legislate a publicly accessible website featuring a photo of offenders, their location, and offence details. A draft of Daniel's Law was read in the NT parliament on 15th September 2014. It has not been without opposition.
Some experts have voiced concern regarding the identification of victims. Bruce acknowledges this as a legitimate argument and says, "Daniel's Law takes into account the risk of victims being identified. For instance, if the victim's identity will be obvious due to living in a small community then the panel can decide not to publicly register the offender or include only a general location." Daniel's Law states that the panel must decide against publishing offender details if it will cause harm to the victim that outweighs any benefits to other victims or the public. Bruce continues by saying, "Denise and I have met a number of child sexual assault survivors. Almost all of them would have no problem with being identified. They believe that public awareness of the offender's details would be a significant deterrent in reoffending and help prevent would-be offenders from venturing down that path. They want the public to be warned about such people."
Another argument against Daniel's Law is that Megan's Law has failed to provide evidence that a public sex offender registry reduces sex offending. Asked his response to this argument Bruce says, "It's a valid point but the factors which contribute to sex offending must be considered. Megan's Law has been around for 20 years. Our society has changed significantly since then. More public awareness of such crimes against children has resulted in an increase of reporting incidences of sexual abuse. It's not a statistic that one is able to quantify." He acknowledges that most child sexual assault is committed by people who are known to the child. He says, "An example of how Daniel's Law could assist in this situation is by informing single parents of their would-be partner's history." He continues by emphasising that in a modern world the goal posts have moved. He holds grave concerns for children falling prey to online predators. "It would shock most Australian's to learn the number of sex offenders preying upon children online. Doesn't it make sense to use online tools to combat the issue?"
Daniel's Law would allow the public to be aware of offenders like Brett Cowan who have a history of grievous crimes against children. In 1989, Cowan received a two-year sentence for indecent dealing. He had been doing community service at a playground when he enticed a seven-year-old boy into the toilets and molested him. On 28 September 1993, he raped a six-year-old boy and left him for dead in an abandoned car situated outside a caravan park where he and his girlfriend at that time lived. Cowan was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and was granted parole after four-and-a-half years. He relocated to the Sunshine Coast with his Aunt and Uncle, who were Pastors at the Woombye Christian Outreach Centre, as it was then known. He married in 1999, had a son, and settled in Beerwah. He would go on to father another 3 children to 2 more women. On 7 December 2003, Daniel was seen waiting for a bus under the Kiel Mountain Road overpass. The bus he was supposed to catch had broken down just down the road. Daniel hailed the replacement bus but it continued due to being behind schedule and it being an unofficial stop. Cowan stood a distance behind Daniel and by the time the second bus came a few minutes later, both he and Daniel had gone.
Asked whether a public sex offender registry would have changed the way he and Denise raised their boys Bruce says, "Yes, it would have been a very useful tool had it have been available. Palmwoods was, and still is a small, safe community. It wasn't until after Daniel's disappearance that we became aware of an evil underbelly that exists everywhere. As responsible parents we would have educated our children about potential personal safety issues. Identifying serious sex offenders on a website to children makes it real. We don't wish to scare anyone, especially children, but it will help them appreciate that they need to observe those basic safety messages. For instance, travelling with a friend if possible or telling someone where you are going and what time you will be home. And as always Recognise, React and Report anything suspicious."
The passing of Daniel's Law has the potential to change would-be outcomes for children who may be preyed upon by such deprived, opportunistic individuals. Being a community issue, if you wish to have your say then please visit the Daniel Morcombe Foundation website where an online survey has been created. All responses will be forwarded to the NT parliament before the second reading of Daniel's Law in the coming months.
$10,000 Dance Fever for Daniel winner
St Flannan's School in Zillmere have won the inaugural Dance Fever for Daniel competition. Dancefever Multisport presented a significant $10,000 cheque to St Fannan's for producing the most outstanding video.
The Dance Fever for Daniel Competition was organised by Dancefever Multisport and supported by the Daniel Morcombe Foundation as part of 'Day for Daniel' 2015. The competition was open to all schools in Queensland and New South Wales.
The competition was a video production that focused on Child Safety and Movement. Schools designed, performed and filmed a video production within their school premises such as school hall, stage, classroom and playground. There was no competition entry fee.
Dance Fever for Daniel Competition video production covered a variety of curriculum content across The Arts and Health and Physical Education within the Australian Curriculum.
Maria Russo said "The aim of this competition was to bring greater awareness and importance of child safety and movement for children within primary schools. We were really impressed by the quality and content of the video's that were submitted"
Denise Morcombe added "It was a wonderful initiative for students to learn in a fun way, incorporating our safety messages 'Recognise, React and Report'".
Link to the winning video: https://youtu.be/bqvBzINPunk
The 12th Annual 'Day for Daniel' will be held on Friday 28th October 2016.
Parents, carers, educators can visit the 'Day for Daniel' website for resources and information on how to keep kids safe.
After launching the first Keeping Kids Safe Resource Kit in September 2014 requests were made by the public to produce versions for children with special needs and those with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage.Denise Morcombe said "These new components are written specifically for children with special needs and children and young people with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. It differs from our original resource kit material largely by way of its message delivery. Working with industry experts it was identified that our key words: Recognise, React, Report remain important and should still be the cornerstone of our safety material. But keep it targeted, short and sharp , fun and engaging."
By telling stories relevant to our indigenous and special needs friends and using language that is appropriate I think we have a unique combination that will go a long way to assisting these most vulnerable children"The Daniel Morcombe Foundation collaborated with a number of agencies and stakeholders to assist them in compiling material that would suit the needs of these groups.
This new educational DVD will be supplied free of charge to schools and community groups around Australia. It has a series of menu prompts that are in alignment with the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum and reinforce the key safety words; Recognise, React and Report.Filmed scenarios include age appropriate topics covering: Recognising Body Clues, Reacting unsafe situations, Reporting to people on your Safety Network as well as safe internet and safe Mobile Phone Use and others.
Congratulations Charlie Wetere for receiving an Australian Government Volunteer Certificate of Appreciation for your dedication and commitment to the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and for your ongoing volunteer work at the One Heart Training Academy which supports youth in Nambour. Thank you for contributing to our Foundation and Community. You truly are a local hero.
Charlie has been a volunteer with the Daniel Morcombe Foundation for over 8years. In this time he has assisted the Foundation to move Offices twice and helped out with 7 x Dance for Daniels and 7 x Walk for Daniels. He has also contributed in many other ways and helped raised valuable funds for the Foundation.
Mrs Sandra Cathcart Mother of 2 young girls. Works part time in the Media and Advertising industry and Sergeant Tim Britten CV Father of 3 boys. Australia's highest decorated serving Police Officer. A Police Officer of 20 years currently a Police Prosecutor in WA.
Thank you so much for helping us spread our child safety messages across Australia.
4 May 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bruce and Denise said "We started the Foundation to repay the community for all their help in the first 12 months after Daniel went missing. We cannot believe a decade has now elapsed. In that time thousands of children have benefited from our work"The first committee members included Tim Ryan, Julie Elliot, Samantha McDowall, Brett Winkler and Bruce and Denise. Prominent Lawyer Peter Boyce was to join us just 2 weeks later for the 2nd meeting.
The Foundation now employs 6 people who work from the Daniel Morcombe Foundation Office at The Big Pineapple.The Foundation has worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to 'Keep Kids Safe' and to deliver their two main aims of educating children about their personal safety in physical and online environment and to assist young victims of crime.
To help celebrate our anniversary The Help Me App will now be available Free of Charge from today.The Daniel Morcombe Foundation has made many significant achievements including the following;
QLD Child Safety AmbassadorsBruce and Denise Morcombe were appointed as QLD Child Safety Ambassadors in 2011. Since that time they have presented to 350 schools in QLD on child safety and protection .
The Daniel Morcombe Child Safety CurriculumThe Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum was launched in September 2012. One of the main aims of the Foundation is to have this modern, engaging and vital child safety initiative rolled out in every school in all States and Territories.
'Keeping Kids Safe' Resource KitThe Daniel Morcombe Foundation launched the 'Keeping Kids Safe' Resource Kit in September 2014, as part of their objective to educate children to keep safe.
The kit includes a DVD with 9 different scenarios which is aligned to the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum and a 20 page Education Resource Booklet.The Daniel Morcombe Foundation has funded the production of 20,000 resource kits. To date the Foundation has posted one kit to every State, Catholic and Independent School in Australia which equates to 10,127 kits. An additional 7,000 kits have been sent to parents, carers and community groups.
Prior to the production and distribution of the Keeping Kids Safe Resource Kit the Foundation produced and distributed 45,000 copies of the child safety DVD - Foundation Red.
The Day for Daniel is a National Day of Action to raise awareness of child safety, protection and harm prevention. Wear Red and Educate is its simple but powerful slogan. Linking Daniel's very real story with child safety is a very powerful combination.Day for Daniel is the largest child safety awareness day of its type in Australia. In recent years more than 1 million Australians joined with us in protecting children.
In 2014 over 900 schools in QLD registered to participate in Day for Daniel. In 2014 over 1,500 schools and 1,000 businesses across Australia registered to participate in Day for Daniel.
Victims of Crime
This support includes; Funding medical expenses for victims of crime usually in the form of counselling, funding therapeutic activities including sporting and recreational pursuits to increase self esteem and self worth.
The Walk Tall Program is funded by the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and is managed by Act for Kids. Walk Tall provides counselling and emotional support to children and adolescents on the Sunshine Coast who have either experienced or are at risk of physical, emotional and/or sexual harm.
Being Safety Smart
This App is a great way to not only help keep kids safe, but assist people of all ages, from 7 to 97, covering all kinds of personal emergency situations!
The 'Help Me' button sends an emergency text with GPS location details to two nominated mobile numbers as part of your trusted safety network and has a number of other unique features including safety tips and note filing.
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation has been the recipient of a number of awards including;2011 QLD Child Protection Award for "Foundation Red" Best Educational initiative.
For more information contact Tracey McAsey, call 0420 300 737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.danielmorcombe.com.au
Bruce and Denise Morcombe will be available for interviews and photos
Footage is available at http://www.danielmorcombe.com.au/10-year-anniversary.html
Tuesday 5th May at 10am
10 Year anniversary video http://www.danielmorcombe.com.au/10-year-anniversary.html
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The Day for Daniel, a National
Day of Action raising
awareness of Child Safety,
Protection & Prevention