Individuals not statistics - Australian Federal Police shift focus from statistics for National Missing Persons Week 2019

National Missing Persons Week Campaign Image

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) National Missing Persons Coordination Centre (NMPCC) is shining a spotlight on Australia’s long term missing with the launch of National Missing Persons Week (NMPW) running from 4 - 10 August 2019.

Annually, National Missing Persons Week strives to create awareness throughout the wider Australian community, targeting those who have never thought about a missing person or the impact it has on their families and friends.

In its 31st year, National Missing Persons Week aims to continue this narrative by focusing on ‘individuals not statistics’ – the theme of this year’s campaign. It’s about going beyond the statistics of Australia’s missing population and focusing on the individuals. 

AFP Commander Justine Gough who among her roles manages the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre said it is sometimes easy to generalise the 2,600 long term missing persons in Australia and lose the essence of the individual.

“The people captured in the statistic are not just ‘missing persons’, they are fathers, daughters, and sons; students, chefs and academics, we don’t want people to forget that,” Commander Gough said.

As part of the National Missing Persons Week campaign for 2019, the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre is profiling eight long-term missing persons from around the nation. Unlike previous years, the new design removes the ‘persons’ from National Missing Persons Week and replaces it with the name of the real person being profiled.

The eight profiles have been selected by the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre in consultation with State and Territory Missing Persons Units and include Andrew Dymott (VIC), Ashley Bindon (NSW), David Mansell (SA), Martyn Tann (WA), Michael Lorenz-Schrader (QLD), Nazrawi Woldemichael (TAS), Rebecca Hayward (NT), and Wendy Dalla (ACT).

To complement the profiling element of the campaign, the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre have also joined forces with media personalities and social media influencers to amplify messaging on social media during National Missing Persons Week. The influencers will use their platform to share content to raise awareness of the issue and importance of the week.

AFP Commander Gough reminds us that no-one is immune to the social issue, and that it’s all of our responsibility to help raise awareness to reduce the incidence and impact ‘missingness’ has on our society.

“Anyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or educational background, may face the issue of someone they know becoming a missing person. It is crucial we reach the wider Australian community; those who have never thought about a missing person, or who believe the impact of a missing person will never affect them.

“The community also plays a critical role in helping police find people who go missing, and we urge anyone with information relating to a missing person, no matter how small, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000,” said Commander Gough. 

Members of the community sharing their stories and support throughout National Missing Persons Week 2019 are encouraged to use the hashtags #IndividualsNotStatistics and #NMPW2019 in support of this year’s campaign

National Missing Persons Week is supported by the Outdoor Media Association. For more information on the NMPCC and NMPW 2019 and to watch the campaign unfold, visit or 


In Australia, a missing person is defined as anyone who is reported missing to police, whose whereabouts are unknown, and where there are fears for the safety or concern for the welfare of that person. A long-term missing person is someone who has been missing for more than three months.


The AFP’s National Missing Persons Coordination Centre plays an active role in coordinating national police efforts, and educating the Australian community to prevent the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia.

The National Missing Persons Coordination Centre is a non-operational arm of the AFP which put simply means, the team is not involved in the investigations of missing persons. All investigations are undertaken by the relevant State and Territory Police.

Each year, the AFP, through the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre, takes the lead in coordinating the national promotion of the week to the Australian public.

Editor’s Note

Radio grabs from AFP Commander Justine Gough can be downloaded here.

Media Enquiries

For more information or to request an interview on National Missing Persons Week 2019, get in touch with Australian Federal Police.

AFP National Media

(02) 5126 6395

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