This week, Out of Home signs across Australia will feature and profile missing people as part of National Missing Persons Week (NMPW), from Sunday 1 August to Saturday 7 August. The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Their face might have changed. Missing them hasn’t’ and will help raise awareness of long-term missing Australians and the impact ‘missingness’ has on their families.
The 2021 campaign marks the thirteenth year the Outdoor industry has sponsored NMPW in New South Wales, and the seventh year it has run nationally, in partnership with the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
OMA CEO Charmaine Moldrich told us “With more than $10 million of advertising space donated by OMA members over more than a decade, this campaign is our industry’s longest standing community partnership. We truly value our relationship with the Australian Federal Police as we can use the power of our signs’ wide reach to hopefully help find the loved ones for families of missing people. This long-term partnership highlights Out of Home advertising’s unique position with signs in and among places where masses of people frequent. Our signs are paramount in raising community awareness for campaigns like National Missing Persons Week because we can quickly broadcast critical information to a broad audience nationwide. We hope that this year’s campaign which uses age progression images of the featured missing people will assist in bringing them home”.
In 2020, the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre (NMPCC) recorded over 140 missing persons reports per day, totalling more than 51,000 reports that year. Over 98 per cent of these people are eventually located, which is why the focus of the NMPCC is on the 2 per cent of people who are still missing for three months or more.
The Police are using age progression technology to focus on changes that occur to a person’s appearance over time.
Jodie McEwan, Coordinator NMPCC said “When someone has been missing for a decade or more, we acknowledge that their appearance would naturally have changed from the last photograph their family has of them. This technology helps us develop an image that simulates what the missing person could look like today. The AFP Forensic artists use their specialist skills to create the new image, whilst working closely with the families to ensure genetic factors are strongly considered. We want to highlight to the community that despite the length of time that has passed since our missing persons were last seen, our work in trying to find them does not stop. Our theme for this year’s police campaign reflects this with the message Their faces might have changed. Missing them hasn’t. This also recognises the ongoing pain that families endure when a loved one remains missing”.
This year, OMA members are anticipated to generously donate a campaign valued at approximately $1 million*. Participating OMA members include: Australian Outdoor Sign Company, BIG Outdoor, Bishopp Outdoor Advertising, goa, JCDecaux, oOh!media, Outdoor Systems, Paradise Outdoor Advertising, QMS Media, Shopper, Think Outdoor, TorchMedia, Total Outdoor Media, and Val Morgan Outdoor.
The 2021 Outdoor campaign features seven missing people:
- Christine Fenner – last seen in Bundaberg, QLD, 12 February 1999
- Laura Haworth – last seen in Queanbeyan, NSW, 5 January 2008
- Elaine Johnson – last seen in Kurnell, NSW, 1 February 1980
- Suzanne Lawrance – last seen in Healesville, VIC, 7 February 1987
- Nathan McLaughlin – last seen in Moil, NT, 17 March 1994
- Jason Mazurek – last seen in Sandy Bay, TAS, 15 September 2002
- Sophie Woodman – last seen in Victoria, 21 March 1980
For more information visit: www.missingpersons.gov.au