Damian McKENZIE

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DAMIAN MCKENZIE

Missing since: 
Wednesday, September 4, 1974
Last seen: 
Steavenson Falls, Marysville
Responsible jurisdiction: 
VIC
Year of birth: 
1964
 
Gender: 
Male
Build: 
Slim

Circumstances

On the 4th September, 1974, Damian McKenzie, aged 10 years was reported missing whilst on an excursion to Steavenson Falls at Marysville Victoria.

Damian from the Cobden area in Western Victoria, was one of at least 40 children taking part in a five day youth camp,  being run at the time by the ‘Young Australia League’, (YAL) . The YAL base camp was located beside the Acheron River in Taggerty and it was from here camp participants; including Damian, would be bussed to varying locations to participate in activities.

One such activity was a visit to Steavenson Falls at Marysville, where participants would traverse a 700 metre long winding track to the top of the falls to take in the surrounding vistas.

On Wednesday the 4th September, 1974, Damian was amongst a group of boys and girls from the camp who visited Steavenson Falls. Reports indicate that whilst traversing the track leading to the top of the falls, Damian is said to have moved ahead of the group some distance, never to be seen again.

Young Australia League adult chaperones present were notified of Damian’s disappearance and undertook an initial search of the area before contacting police.

The search undertaken for Damian was one of the largest of its kind in the state’s history and involved up to 300 searches drawn from and including Victoria Police personnel, including members’ of the Search and Rescue Squad, Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs Search and Rescue Section, St.Johns Ambulance, Civil Defence (now known as the SES), Forestry Commission of Victoria (DWELP), Red Cross and Local Volunteers.

The search for Damien covered an area of approximately 12sq. miles with searches faced with difficult terrain, almost impenetrable scrub and undergrowth and difficult weather conditions, including snow at times.  The official search for Damien concluded on the 8th September, 1974, with those in charge of the search holding out little hope for Damian’s survival.

Family, friends’ and local volunteers’ have continued to search for Damian over the years and sadly no trace of Damian has ever been discovered.

Damian remains a missing person to this day.

 

 

Thanks to Suzie Ratcliffe from Leave a Light On for this account -

Steavenson Falls, located 4 kilometres southeast of Marysville VIC... A picturesque location boasting one of Victoria's highest waterfalls... But this area also has a horrible secret, the last known location of 10 year old Damian McKenzie....

10 year old Damian McKenzie (from Cobden VIC), along with at least 40 other children, was taking part in a 5 day youth camp run by the Youth Australia League (YAL).

From the YAL base camp located beside the Acheron River, students would be transported by bus to various locations to participate in assorted activities.

On Wednesday 4th September 1974, Damian and a group of other students travelled to Steavenson Falls Marysville VIC, where it was intended for them to traverse a 700 metre winding track to the top of the falls to observe the surrounding areas from the lookout.

It is believed Damian travelled ahead of the group on the track, with group members losing sight of him. Adult chaperones within the group were notified of his sudden disappearance and performed an initial search of the area before they contacted police.

Although an extensive search of the area was conducted including Victoria Police personnel, members’ of the Search and Rescue Squad, Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs Search and Rescue Section, St.Johns Ambulance, Civil Defence (now known as the SES), Forestry Commission of Victoria (DWELP), Red Cross and Local Volunteers, Damian was not located.

44 years have now passed since Damian disappeared, his family still hoping for answers.

If you have any information of that fateful day, if you can help locate Damian, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000