Over the first few years, we addressed the oversimplistic association and superficial search-find narrative by bringing this issue outside of the police poster confines and into the mainstream through a variety of creative and innovative initiatives. As well as equipping families with practical tools and opportunities, we humanised missing people, prompting Australians to recognise that any family can find themselves in this predicament, and generated a feeling of empathy for both those who disappear and those who are left behind.
Having started that conversation and created a space for this cause by consistently engaging the media and public, we then began working to attract the financial backing to further establish the organisation. In 2019, MPAN was welcomed into the philanthropic arena so crucial for small unfunded charities, by way of The Funding Network pitch night. It was a watershed in the organisation’s journey.
The scope of that particular support allowed us to solidify a platform for families to share their lived experiences, and to get specialised support for the unique and continual loss that they live with. More recently, in our bid to secure ongoing funding, we’ve commissioned independent research to measure the cost of Missing Persons to Australia, and are about to commence a complementary study of MPAN’s Social Return on Investment (SROI).
We are sought out by academics, consultants, journalists and authors to provide guidance and sensitivity check documentation to better inform the public and authorities around the language, care and needs of people affected by the cause. [e.g. AFP’s Counselling Framework, Jacqueline Moriarty’s Gravity is the Thing, Erin Stewart’s The Missing Among Us]