Student Article from Eamon Madden
I didn’t know who Daniel Morcombe was until I came to Marist. It seems crazy, but the victim of one of the most high-profile murder cases in any Queenslander’s recent memory was completely unknown to me. I wasn’t even a year old when he disappeared from that Sunshine Coast bus stop in December 2003. Sure, I probably heard him mentioned in primary school or heard snatches of his name on the news during the trial of his murderer, but it carried no weight.
That changed in my Year 5 year at Marist. I vividly remember scaling the steep hill up to the junior school and being greeted by swathes of red milling about the handball courts. Something was going on here.
Ever since Daniel’s disappearance, his parents have been wholly committed, through the Morcombe Foundation, to protecting and educating children about predators. Bruce and Denise Morcombe decided that the best way to use their profile in the media would be to support the community in its protection of children. Whilst saving every child from a fate similar to Daniel’s seems like an almost impossible task, it is the ultimate goal of the foundation.
Perhaps for some at Marist, Day for Daniel is just a way to get out of a couple of classes through the safety programs and talks run throughout the day, or enjoy a sausage and a couple of macaroons at break, but for me it’s always meant a little more, ever since that first scarlet coloured day in Year 5. It’s shown me that, despite the big, bad world we live in, where kids are snatched off the streets and every stranger is suspect, there’s always someone looking out for us boys at Marist. And that’s a comforting thought.
Day for Daniel is on this Friday the 30th, and it’s a free dress day, with the boys being encouraged to wear red and bring in a gold coin donation. As I mentioned, there’s food on sale in the yard (through the tuckshop system) and cybersafety talks running throughout the day for Years 5-10.