ST Mary’s College, Maryborough, turned red as the whole school came out in support of the annual Day for Daniel.
Day for Daniel marks the disappearance of schoolboy Daniel Morcombe on the Sunshine Coast in 2003.
The National Day of Action aims to raise awareness of child safety, protection and harm prevention and help empower children to “Recognise, React and Report” if they feel something is not right.
St Mary’s students dressed in red clothing and each received a red ribbon to wear and keep as a reminder of the day.
A range of activities took place at the school such as face-painting, balloon-bursting and judging of the “Morky” colouring competition.
Students also made safety pledges on post-it notes and placed them on a giant “Morky” pledge wall.
Morky is the Daniel Morcombe Foundation’s mascot.
A highlight of the day was the group photo with a sea of red cheering loudly in support of “Keeping Kids Safe”.
Teacher Kaye Mason, who taught Daniel, said the day was an important date on her calendar.
“It’s always a focus of my message to remind students that it’s not just younger children who need to be aware of their surroundings and strangers,” she said.
“Daniel had just finished Year 9 and, with a show of hands at our weekly assembly, SMC students realised just how many of them are the same age as Daniel when he was abducted.”
Ms Mason said many of the Year 7 students at St Mary’s would have been born in 2003, the year Daniel went missing, so they had grown up in a world where their personal safety has been an ongoing conversation as a result of greater community awareness of the skills they needed to possess.
“The ‘Recognise, React, Report’ campaign helps give our children strategies they can employ to protect themselves and others against harm,” she said.
Although the day was about raising awareness, St Mary’s community also raised $272 for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
More than 1100 Queensland schools and about 900 interstate schools took part in this year’s Day for Daniel, with a record number of businesses supporting the events.