Morcombes start their national child safety road tour
WHEN Bruce Morcombe first suggested taking their child safety message on a national road tour back in February, wife Denise told him he was mad.
But yesterday they have begun a 66-day keeping kids safe tour which will see them travel more than 20,000km through every state and territory.
Child protection advocates farewelled them from Parliament House in Brisbane as they set off towards their first stop, Ballina, but not before accepting an award for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
The foundation was born after Daniel, 13, was abducted while waiting for a bus. His alleged murderer Brett Peter Cowan is awaiting trial.
Mrs Morcombe told the crowd at the Queensland Child Protection Week awards how their small committee began planning the now nationally recognised Day for Daniel around their kitchen table.
She said they had one simple message - to educate children on how to keep safe.
The foundation won the media and communication award for the campaign surrounding Day for Daniel.
"It brings enormous pride to all who have contributed to the DMF over its nine-year history," Mr Morcombe said.
"Our work is not done however, as we all know we can achieve so much more in the future."
Queensland Child Protection Week Committee chairwoman Kelly Bucknall, said the awards honoured "the hard work of the champions who work to protect children and young people from neglect and abuse".
Event MC Kay McGrath described the campaign as one of the most significant for child protection in Australia.
She said more than 1000 schools and more than 1 million Australians had participated in child safety awareness activities on Day for Daniel.
"It's given Australian schools and communities the resources and the ability to teach personal safety in the flesh and online," she said.
"This innovative approach to empowerment has been taken up across Queensland and has the potential to reach every community in Australia."
During their national tour, the Morcombes will visit more than 20 schools and attend community events in Daniel's name all over the country.
Just before they drove away, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie thanked them for keeping Daniel's spirit alive.
"And for giving hope and opportunity and faith to all the boys and girls, that they can live in a safer society," he said.