Bruce and Denise Morcombe with Warwick East State School students Riley Skermann, Justine Horne, Hayley Carey, Kate Potter and Rachel Alder.
Bruce and Denise Morcombe with Warwick East State School students Riley Skermann, Justine Horne, Hayley Carey, Kate Potter and Rachel Alder. Kerri Burns-Taylor

Speaking out in Daniel's name

BRUCE Morcombe yesterday stood in the Warwick East School library and recounted the day his son Daniel was stolen from his life.

He spoke of the mere three minutes it took for Daniel to disappear and his family's lives to change forever.

He pondered the words he would say to his son on that fateful day almost 10 years ago, if he had the chance.

By the end of it all, he was emotionally drained but it wasn't the first time he had shared these things and it won't be the last.

Mr Morcombe said although it was challenging to speak of losing his teenage son, he and his wife Denise were inspired to give other children the second chance Daniel never had.

"It is important to us small towns and regional areas are spreading the message of keeping kids safe," he said.

"The difference between us and anyone else who can speak to the kids about safety is that we can use those messages and related them back to our own very real story about Daniel.

"And that really helps the kids take it in and understand the message."

Although it has been close to a decade since that boy in the red T-shirt vanished from the Sunshine Coast bus stop, speaking of Daniel remains difficult for Mr Morcombe.

But at the same time, the dedicated dad takes strength from the sea of red T-shirt-clad children whose attention he so easily commands.

"It is draining but at the same time we take energy from the children - they are so enthusiastic and it's great," he said.

Mr and Mrs Morcombe spent yesterday morning speaking to the children about not only the stranger danger that rocked their own lives but also the predators that lurk online or are even known to them.

Their message has been incorporated into three key words - recognise, react and report.

This also forms the basis of the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum, which has been developed by the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and the Department of Training and Education and adopted by Queensland state schools.

 



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