For a brighter Queensland: an interview with Bruce Morcombe

By Julia Contrucci

“Always look to make tomorrow better than today”.

The words to live by reflecting Bruce Morcombe’s outlook on life and his message of positivity for all Queenslanders after receiving the 2020 Queensland Greats Award last June.

For two decades, the Queensland Greats Awards recognises the efforts and achievements of remarkable individuals and institutions for their invaluable contribution to the history and development of the state.

Since 2005, Bruce and his wife Denise personally committed to making communities a safer place for children with the establishment of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.

Honouring the loving memory of their son, abducted and murdered in 2003 on the Sunshine Coast, the initiative aims to educate Australians on how to stay safe in physical and online environments, as well as to provide support to young victims of crime in their often harrowing journey to recovery.

“Up to a million youngsters are aware of the educational programs of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation”, said Mr Morcombe based on the number of participants of the 2019 Day for Daniel, in 30th of October, Australia’s largest national day of action to raise awareness for child safety, protection, and harm prevention.

Corona push

On its website, the Foundation provides a wide range of educational resources and activities to promote child safety. The content is suitable for kids and youngsters of all ages and includes specific contents directed to parents and careers, as well as grandparents.

Not even a worldwide pandemic was able to slow down the Daniel Morcombe Foundation’s deliveries. In fact, it was quite the opposite – particularly due to Covid-19, the organisation expanded and brought forward some of their projects.

“We have seen the need for more resources to teach our kids about how to stay safe online. In June 25th, we launched Australia’s Biggest Child Safety Lesson, which focuses on online activities for children, and about a month before that, we launched the board game Morky’s Safety Mission”, revealed Mr Morcombe.

Still, that is not all the foundation has planned for 2020. “We still have projected to come later down the year, but [given the social isolation restrictions] we especially expanded resources and made them available to every Australian for free”, detailed Mr Morcombe.

Brighter and better

The vision of creating a better future guides the efforts of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, and the message of its founder to Queenslanders: “accept the day for whatever unfolds, but always look to make tomorrow a better day and that way Queensland will be brighter, and your own life experience, more enjoyable”. “If today was great, tomorrow will be better. If today was not much fun, make sure tomorrow is little better”, advises Mr Morcombe.

The Daniel Morcombe Foundation operates on private donations and public grants, from both state and federal governments. Over the past 18 to 12 months, the organisation was also successful with ongoing business donations that contributed to the delivery and production of educational content, to the assistance of victims of crimes and to the support of families of missing persons.

“Everything at the Foundation is free, but there are still a lot of costs. Donations, which are greatly appreciated for sure, enable us to continue our programs”.

To learn more about the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and their work, and to contribute to the organisation, visit https://danielmorcombe.com.au/.