Postcards help missing persons send a message of hope to loved ones this Christmas

Christmas Postcard Campaign image

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) National Missing Persons Coordination Centre (NMPCC) and the Salvation Army’s Family Tracing Unit are partnering to help deliver a message of hope to families living with the uncertainty of a missing loved one this Christmas.

This festive season, 8,000 non-traceable, postage-paid postcards will be distributed free of charge to those in the community disconnected from their families. 

Members of the community can write a short message to their family, which will be delivered via a central posting facility. By using a central posting facility, the postcards will not include any marks identifying the originating location, meaning those people who choose to be ‘missing’ can send a message home without their location being known.

The Christmas postcard campaign will provide hope to families living with feelings of confusion, frustration and sadness while waiting for news about their loved ones, even if they do not meet the traditional ‘missing person’ criteria.

A missing person is defined as anyone whose location is unknown and there are serious concerns for their safety and welfare. However, the campaign also extends to people who have, for their own reasons, chosen to limit contact with their families and have become ‘disconnected’.

Regardless of missing person status, the impact on families living without knowing what has happened to a loved one can be described as an emotional rollercoaster.

Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz, National Manager Crime Operations, said a short message from a disconnected family member may brighten an otherwise gloomy Christmas period.

“The festive season can evoke both happy and sad memories from years past, leaving a feeling of emptiness in those left behind,” Assistant Commissioner Platz said.

“We hope this campaign provides the catalyst for those choosing to be distant from their families, to reconnect and open up the line of communication.”

The campaign would also not be possible without assistance from the Salvation Army, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for delivering and collecting the postcards.

Lieutenant Brad McIver, Community Service Operations Manager for the Salvation Army, said they were very happy to be partnering with the AFP to help people reconnect with family.

“We see the availability of these postcards as a wonderful way for people to let loved ones know that they are okay, and to perhaps consider a more long-term reconnection with their families,” he said.

For more information about what the Salvation Army is doing at Christmas across the country, go to www.salvos.org.au.

How the Christmas post card campaign works:

  • The free postcards can be collected from any of the Salvation Army’s centres throughout the Christmas and New Year period
  • Simply write your message of hope on the back of the postcard, as well as the final destination address, and then put it into the pre-addressed envelope.  Return the card to Salvation Army staff or volunteers, or place it in any post box.
  • The post cards will be sent to a central post location and then forwarded to the final recipients.
  • Police will not have access to any information contained on the postcard, and police will not be able to track people using the Christmas postcard campaign.

Note to editor: The artwork for the postcard can be downloaded via this link:  https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/6hjgJMt39y/YWZwbmF0aW9uYWxtZWRpYUBhZnAuZ292LmF1

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333

Subscribe and receive email alerts
(link: https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases) when new media releases are published.

National Security Hotline

Visit the AFP Futures Centre

Our work at major airports, Airport Watch

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.