BEGA Valley author Melissa Pouliot was a special guest speaker at Monday’s launch of National Missing Persons Week at Customs House in Sydney.
Ms Pouliot’s cousin Ursula Barwick has not been seen or heard from since 1987 (see story page 5).
As well as representatives of the Australia Federal Police National Missing Persons Coordination Centre and NSW Police, detectives from a taskforce charged with investigating Ursula’s disappearance were also at Monday’s launch event.
“This week is all about appealing for information on missing persons,” Ms Pouliot said.
“I was also on the Today Show with Karl and Lisa and on ABC News Breakfast TV.
“All the focus and attention is incredible.
“We’ve [Ursula’s family] been searching for news of Ursula’s disappearance for 28 years.
“It’s such a great feeling to have so many people caring about her.”
Ms Pouliot also held a Picnic for Missing on Saturday in Fitzroy Gardens, Kings Cross, for friends and family and said they had plenty of support.
“Lots of people came along to find out more,” she said.
“A lot of other family and friends of missing persons were at the launch and I had some really lovely feedback saying they appreciated what I said.”
An estimated 35,000 people go missing each year.
Of those, more than 1600 have been missing for more than six months.
Research in Australia says up to 12 people are affected for every person who goes missing.