Sadly, all many people get to know about the 100 Australians reported missing every day are their vital statistics.
We wanted to give families the chance to share more about them in an effort to engage the public and reignite the search. In 2016, nine families were paired with acclaimed authors and artists who generously donated their time and talent to write short stories about and create original artworks for their missing loved ones. Excerpts from the stories were incorporated into the artworks and installed in the locations where they were last seen.
In 2017, based on the response, the full stories (along with the artworks) were published in a beautifully designed hardcover book that was stocked in a number of renowned bookstores across Australia. Grab yourself a copy here, so that we can continue to humanise missing people and continue their unfinished stories.
With tremendous support and encouragement from the families, authors and artists involved, the second phase of the project launched in 2017. Writers interviewed families and created 100-word micro-stories that captured the essence of the missing loved one. Once approved, they were then shared with artists who designed, painted and installed artworks (murals, sketches, digital illustrations) across the country.
Watch the video below and register to be involved as either a family, artist, writer or wall owner at www.theunmissables.com.au
Unmissable Coffee Cups
The latest phase of this initiative is a modern take on the old milk carton campaigns; coffee cups.
For National Missing Persons Week 2018, twenty of Melbourne’s top cafes are distributing 100,000 BioPak cups to help us bring this issue into the mainstream.
The cups feature six long term missing loved ones — Owen Redman, Nicola Sallese, Bung Siriboon, Naz Woldemicheal, Nick Veljanovski and Warren Meyer.
For the month of August, these very special cups will be available at these fantastic cafes: Aucuba, Cento Mani, Feast of Merit, Friends of Mine, Hard Pressed, Long Story Short, all 4 Oli & Levi cafes, Pedro Espresso, Pillar of Salt, Proud Mary, Reunion & Co, Saint James, STREAT, Touchwood, Union Kiosk and Wide Open Road.
Australian media coverage
“We continue to struggle to cope with the loss of our husband and father — we want answers, but we need public awareness and assistance to be able to get them.”
“Dad’s story is too short, and there needs to be more.”
“This is about telling the stories beyond their missing person status, and telling the public they are real people, with families that need all the help them can get to find them.”
“The book is about raising awareness of the number of people affected when someone goes missing and to improve the support network for those families.”
“This is about reminding the public that (Bung) is not just a schoolgirl that went missing, she is a young girl that had hobbies and interests and belonged to a family that adored her.”
“He had a large appreciation of the more important things in life, like the environment and animals and I think he was a bit of an old soul in how he looked at the world.”
International media coverage
“A member of the public has already come to us with information, prompted by seeing one of the stories in her neighbourhood. Who knows where it will lead, but being aware this initiative is making that kind of impact is incredible.”
“100 people are reported missing in Australia every day. Their lives, and those of the people left behind who care about them, have been put on hold – their stories cut short.”
Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN) is telling the stories of missing people in a new out-of-home campaign to remind the public about the people behind the statistics to mark National Missing Persons Week.
What if writers and artists got together with the families of missing Australians to give the public a picture of the real people behind the vital statistics.
Recordings and radio ads
Emotive readings by the authors of each story, as well as actor Sibylla Budd, also played on radio during Missing Persons Week (embedded below).