Congratulations to Nicole Morris for her support and dedication to the families and friends of all those missing throughout Australia. Recently a close friend of mine lost her cousin and in supporting her I felt the pain that comes with the shock and fear of the unknown. As each day passes with no news or clues as to what's happened the intensity of sadness increases. They say that time heals but when there is no resolution there can be no healing, it's like being stuck in the moment with no way forward.
I can't fully imagine the heartache that loved ones endure when someone close goes missing but I can understand how it feels to be part of a police investigation. My work with the NSW Police Force brought me in contact with many such investigations and nothing is more rewarding both emotionally and professionally than the successful reuniting of families and friends.
Unfortunately this is not always the case and it's during times of uncertainty that we most need the support and friendship of others. The Australian Missing Persons Register gives exactly the support and hope that families need in critical times of anxiety and distress. I am proud to be part of this wonderful support network which not only assists those left behind but honours those who are lost.
I call on St Anthony, Patron Saint of the lost to give hope to the many families and friends of the missing who are waiting each day for news of their loved ones. My prayers for the safe return of those who are lost are with you all. Miracles do happen and we can never give up hope that one day our prayers will be answered.
Note from Nicole - I am delighted that the wonderful author and retired Police Officer ESTHER McKAY has agreed to become Patron of the Australian Missing Persons Register.
Esther served in the NSW Police Force for
seventeen years, attaining the rank of Detective (technical) Senior Constable.
She worked in Forensic Services for fifteen years, specialising in crime-scene
examination and vehicle identification. She has a Diploma of Applied Science in
Forensic Investigation (NSW Police) and was awarded the National Medal of
service in 2001. Esther retired Medically Unfit, Hurt on Duty in 2001.
Esther is the author of the highly acclaimed book CRIME SCENE. She was recipient of the 2003–2004 Australian Society of Authors mentorship program, where she worked with Gabrielle Lord on the manuscript of Crime Scene. She now lives in Sydney with her husband and two children.
Esther was also awarded The Pride
Of Australia Medal for Community Spirit 2007.
Esther is a keen advocate for improving mental health conditions for sufferers of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and is currently working on her second book. You can find out more about Esther by visiting her website - http://www.esthermckay.com/
Anyone who has read Esther's book will be very familiar with the tragic story of the missing boys found at Pheasant's Nest in 1990. Esther had the grim task of helping to recover the bodies of the boys and her personal compassion and grief for those children I know will help every family of a missing person understand the dedication the Police have towards the care of their loved ones after they are located.
On a personal note, I read Esther's book
at a time when I was really struggling with this work that I do. It's not at
all easy every day thinking about and talking about abducted, abused and
murdered children and the bodies of young women being found with terrible
violence and pain having been inflicted on them and helping the families
through the mental torture of not knowing and imagining the worst has happened
to their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends. I was
becoming paranoid and unwell, not sleeping, overreacting to the smallest of
upsets, anxious and unhappy. I read Esther's book at the perfect time to
realise that it was my work that was affecting me. I thought that I wasn't a
Police Officer, I don't see the bodies when they pull them out of the ground, I
don't interview the evil people who put them there, how could this be affecting
me? But of course it does, because I do become emotionally involved with all
the families I deal with and I do care. Thankfully Esther's words made me
realise that I need to look after myself as well as these families and make
sure my own health is taken care of. This I now do; I know the signs to look
out for and I know what to do about it when it starts to become too much, so I
owe Esther a huge debt of gratitude. Amazingly, shortly after her book affected
me so deeply I got to know Esther by a chance meeting and I have been able to
personally tell her what a wonderful help she has been not only to me but I
know to vast numbers of people who have read her book. I highly recommend it to
all and I am deeply grateful to her for becoming the Patron of the website and
supporting the work I do. Thanks Esther!