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August 14, 2022

National Missing Persons Week: what life would be without them?

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Théo Hayez is an 18-year-old Belgian man who disappeared from the Byron area. He was last sighted leaving Cheeky Monkey’s bar in Byron Bay at approximately 11pm on 31 May 2019.

In 2021 over 53,000 missing persons reports were made to Police in Australia. This National Missing Persons Week, think of the people you love and ask yourself: what life would be without them?

Laurent Hayez with his precious son Théo as a toddler. The family live on memories. Photo courtesy Laurent Hayez.

The disappearance of Tony Jones in 1982 was the catalyst for the establishment of National Missing Persons Week (NMPW) in Australia by the Jones family. The inaugural week took place with a memorial service in Townsville in 1988, where the Mayor of Townsville planted a tree in commemoration of Mr Jones.

NMPW is an annual week of action that takes place in Australia during the first week of August to raise awareness of the significant issues surrounding missing persons.

Every day Laurent Hayes lives knowing what it’s like to be without them. Photo Tree Faerie.

The week is also used to profile long-term missing persons, and to educate the Australian community. This event is supported throughout the missing persons sector and within the broader community to bring much-needed awareness and hopefully answers for those left behind.

In support of NMPW, the AFP NMPCC coordinates an annual police campaign with State and Territory police, highlight a different theme each year to raise awareness of the significant issues associated with missing persons, profile long-term missing persons to reduce the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia.

The annual police campaign compliments other campaigns, events, initiatives and memorial services run by families with a missing loved one, advocacy networks, government and non-government organisations, and members of the public.

National Missing Persons Week 2022 starts 31 July and goes to 6 August.


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