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National Missing Persons Week launch in the Bega Valley

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National Missing Persons Week launch in the Bega Valley

Friday 22 July 2016 Melissa Pouliot speaks to the media as part of her advocacy work for missing persons.

Acclaimed local author Melissa Pouliot will launch National Missing Persons Week for the Bega Valley, along with Mayor Michael Britten and Detective Sergeant Justin Marks from the Far South Coast Local Area Command. 

National Missing Persons Week is an annual event to raise awareness of the significant issues associated with missing persons, and help reduce the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia.

In Australia, an average of 100 people a day, or one person every 15 minutes, are reported missing.

Thank fully many of these people are found, but around 1600 people are classified as long-term missing.

Melissa Pouliot is a bestselling author who writes fiction novels highlighting the impacts when someone goes missing.  

Melissa’s fiction and advocacy for missing persons is inspired and motivated by her real life experience, the 29-year-old mystery surrounding the disappearance of her first cousin Ursula Barwick.

Detective Sergeant Justin Marks has been involved with the investigation of multiple local missing persons cases. Only recently he renewed calls for any information regarding the disappearance of Kellie-Anne Levitski who was last seen at the family's rural property on the Mount Darragh Road in March 2014. 

The Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit (FFMPU) is loaning 'The Tree of Life' Message Board Quilt, to Bega Valley Shire Council to display in the Tura Library.

This beautiful message board holds the words and names of missing people and family members.

The launch to Missing Persons Week is on Monday 1st August at the Tura Marrang Library and Community Centre starting at 11am and includes some light refreshments.

There will also be a variety of information material from the Australian Federal Police, the NSW Missing Persons Unit and the Red Cross International Tracing Service.

The Australian Federal Police National Missing Persons Coordination Centre partners with police, media, families and other organisations to enhance prevention and education. National Missing Persons Week is a key part of that initiative, the theme this year is ‘Staying Connected.’

For more information about the launch or to RSVP please contact Scott Baker –Programs & Partnerships Officer for the Bega Valley Shire Library on 6499 2172 or

Photo: Melissa Pouliot speaks to the media as part of her advocacy work for missing persons.


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