Family of Missing Persons Days

Family of Missing Persons Days are an opportunity for family members of missing people to provide vital information, records and samples to police and forensic scientists that may assist to identify their missing loved one.

The National DNA Program for Unidentified and Missing Persons (National DNA Program) invites relatives of missing persons to attend one of our unique Family of Missing Persons Days to:

  • Provide new or updated case information and forensic samples to the police and forensic scientists investigating unidentified and missing person cases
  • Receive education on the new forensic techniques being used by the National DNA Program
  • Engage with police, forensic and family advocacy groups (e.g. Missing Persons Advocacy Network) representatives and other families
  • Seek support from ambiguous loss-trained counsellors in attendance
  • Participate in new research being led by Dr Sarah Wayland which is exploring ways to improve the reference DNA sample collection experience for families of missing persons

Family members are asked to provide the following information, records and samples if available:

  • Reference DNA samples from multiple close biological relatives of the missing person (a mouth swab will be collected at the event)
  • Personal items or stored biological samples of the missing person from which the missing person’s DNA may be recovered (e.g. toothbrushes, razor, stored baby/wisdom teeth, lock of hair)
  • Dentist and doctor details of the missing person
  • Dental and medical records of the missing person (e.g. x-rays, CT scans)
  • Permission for the police to collect medical samples (e.g. newborn screening card, blood sample or biopsy sample), medical records (e.g. GP/Specialist records, Medicare records, surgery registers) and dental records (e.g. treatment records, dental charts, clinical photographs) of the missing person
  • Circumstantial, biographical and physical information about the missing person (e.g. date/location last seen, clothing/shoes/jewellery last seen wearing, sex, age, ancestry, eye/hair colour, height, tattoos, birthplace)
  • Photographs of the missing person, including facial portraits and smiling photographs which display the teeth

This information will be used by the National DNA Program to populate and/or update national databases, which will allow the effective searching and matching of unidentified human remains and missing persons cases for the first time at a national level.

In addition, these events will provide families with an opportunity to discuss the circumstances of their missing family member with police. If a family member is classified as a missing person (i.e. someone whose whereabouts are unknown and there are genuine concerns for their safety and welfare), families will be able to find out more information about how best to report their loved one missing if this has not been completed previously so they can participate in the National DNA Program.

These events will be held in various locations across Australia in 2021. For event information on Family of Missing Persons Days being held in Queensland, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria please refer to the drop down menus below. If there is no event listed for your State or Territory, please refer to the last drop down menu.

For further information in relation to the Family of Missing Persons Days or the National DNA Program please visit or contact the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre on 1800 000 634 or [email protected].

Please note: We are monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and restrictions relevant for each Family of Missing Persons Day event.
Any updates regarding restrictions will be adhered to.

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Unfortunately the Queensland Family of Missing Persons Day scheduled for Sunday the 1st of August has been postponed due to COVID-19 border closures and restrictions. 

Further details regarding a rescheduled event will be available here soon.

In the meantime, please register your interest in attending a Family of Missing Persons Day here.


Northern Territory

Details for the Northern Territory Family of Missing Persons Day coming soon.

In the meantime, please register your interest in attending a Family of Missing Persons Day here.


Details for the Tasmania Family of Missing Persons Day coming soon.

In the meantime, please register your interest in attending a Family of Missing Persons Day here.

Western Australia

Details for the Western Australia Family of Missing Persons Day coming soon.

In the meantime, please register your interest in attending a Family of Missing Persons Day here.


The Victoria Family of Missing Persons Day is being hosted by the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. For more information please click here.

Can’t make it to an event in your State or Territory? Or you reside in another State or Territory not listed above?

Unfortunately, we are unable to hold a Family of Missing Persons Day event in each State and Territory, or multiple events in different locations in participating States or Territories. However, family members will still be able to provide the information, records and samples (including reference DNA samples) the National DNA Program requires by other means.

If you cannot attend one of the outlined events above in person or do not see an event listed in your State or Territory, please click here to register your interest.

A representative from the relevant police force within your State or Territory will be in contact with you to discuss the circumstances of your missing family member and arrange the collection of information, records and/or samples as necessary.


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