Safety plan a legacy to Daniel
DANIEL Morcombe's legacy could be a safer Australia for all children as Queensland teams up with his parents to develop and implement a nationwide child safety package.
Premier Anna Bligh and Bruce and Denise Morcombe said the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Program will become a core component of the school curriculum.
"For years the Morcombe's have promoted the importance of child safety in Queensland and throughout Australia through the Daniel Morcombe Foundation," said the Premier.
"Today, they are ready to face a new challenge and that's why we want to work together to develop a world leading child safety package here in Queensland.
"I am grateful, and parents across Australia will be grateful, for the Morcombe's decision to use the lessons of the terrible tragedy they have experience to protect our children."
As part of Child Protection Week, the Morcombes are taking a road trip to promote child safety.
They made today's announcement at Kangaroo Point with the Premier and, after visits at various schools along the way, will finish in Cairns on 10 September 2011.
"Daniel's abduction is a defining moment in terms of Queensland parents collectively recognizing that child safety is important. The Daniel Morcombe Foundation was established in May 2005 with its primary aim to educate children on how to keep safe. Today's announcement will ensure that the DMF is financially viable to continue well into the future," said Bruce Morcombe.
Denise Morcombe said, "This is such welcome news. We thank the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and her colleagues for delivering a range of initiatives that will ensure Queensland is the safest place in Australia to raise a family."
The Premier said the package will fund:
- A paid ambassadorial role for Bruce and Denise Morcombe to deliver a child safety package or message using Daniel's story as a core theme in schools
- Development of a child safety package targeted at prep to year 9 for inclusion in the school curriculum.
- State support and promotion of additional fundraising initiatives for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation such as a 'Day for Daniel' on October 28 2011; and
- The Queensland Government would lobby for adoption of the child safety package nationwide
"The Morcombes themselves will act as ambassadors for child safety for a period of at least two years as the plan is implemented," she said.
The Premier said a working group would be established immediately to fully develop the child safety package for school which could see the development of a universal sign of distress that can be used by children who feel they are in danger.
"This will include the Morcombes, the Commissioner for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, and officers from Department of Education and Training, the Queensland Police Service and Department of Communities," she said.