Day for Daniel recognised around Bega Valley | Photos, 2016

Day for Daniel focuses on the importance of talking to children about how to stay safe. 

On Friday, schools, businesses and libraries around the Bega Valley participated in the event by wearing red.

The day was inspired by 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe, who was abducted and murdered by Brett Peter Cowan on the Sunshine Coast in December 2003.

When Tathra Public School’s Year 1 pupil Simran Shaw was asked to explain why everyone had dressed in the same colour on the day, she said it was “because someone got taken by a bad person and when he got taken he was dressed up in red”. 

She said a way to stay safe was not to run away when in the markets or a shop, while her classmate Ruby Blankenstein said to not get tricked into following someone if they give you a gift. 

As there is an increased use of the internet among young people, school pupils are taught about protecting themselves online. 

While Year 6 pupils at Bega Valley Public School Leah Bonney and Darby Hayes do not use social media, their friends Eliza-Jane Norris and Shanae Haywood do. 

But in order to stay safe, Shanae said it was important to not give away any private information online, while Eliza-Jane said to not become friends with someone online who you do not know. 

At the schools, pupils held up their hands for photographs. The five fingers of their hands represented five people to talk to if they are in trouble. 

Day for Daniel ambassador Melissa Pouliot said these people could be a teacher, police, parents, grandparents or anyone the child trusts. 

Chief Inspector Anthony Moodie of Bega Police said there had not been recent reports of children being approached in the Valley, but that did not mean people should become complacent. 

He encouraged families to discuss Safe People, Safe Places messages, including to always go straight to the place you are walking to, have safe places such as a shop and go to these places if you are ever frightened, and if someone ever tries to grab you yell out “go away, I don’t know you”. 

This story Day to focus on safety first appeared on Bega District News.