“Love doesn’t disappear over time, doesn’t wane, doesn’t get less.” [Peter Harris, partner of Paul Rushworth, missing for six years]
The Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN)’s new campaign addresses what it calls ambiguous loss, the grief suffered by more than a quarter of a million Australians who make up the family and friends of long-term missing people.
The campaign, Missed Birthdays, created by whiteGREY and production company, Finch, is made of up two short films, whose birthday messages reveal the unrelenting sadness felt by those that missing people leave behind.
Sydney man, Paul Rushworth, went missing six years ago. Naz Samson Woldemicheal went missing from his Hobart home three years ago.
Both films were directed by Kyra Bartley and have been released online, supported by social and 30-second TVCs. They aim to remind the community that the search for missing people is ongoing, while at the same time providing an insight into the emotional toll of living with ambiguous loss.
Joe Hill and Garret Fitzgerald, joint executive creative directors, whiteGREY Melbourne, commented, “Through Missed Birthdays, we hope people will better understand what it’s like for the loved ones of a missing person and be moved to help MPAN provide the specialised support they need. We can’t thank our production partners enough for donating their time and talents to make Missed Birthdays possible.”
Pater Harris’s Missed Birthdays film was the first to launch – on November 4. The second film launched today, November 11, and features the family and friends of Naz Samson Woldemicheal. Naz turns 23 today.
Loren O’Keeffe, founder and chief executive officer of MPAN, stated, “There are thousands of Australians experiencing what Paul and Naz’s families and friends are going through, yet not enough professionals trained to provide the right support.
“The purpose of Missed Birthdays is to educate the public on the fact that while we do as much as we can for the missing loved one, we also need to remember the families and friends are also in great need of support. Unlike traditional bereavement, where the loss is clear, ambiguous loss does not get easier over time. It gets harder. Families don’t get the rituals and customs associated with standard grief such as a funeral, burial or a grave to visit. It’s a continual loss, so it requires ongoing support.”
Through a call for donations, MPAN is hoping to train a new generation of ambiguous loss specialists to provide this support. Find more information or make a donation here.
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Hill and Garret Fitzgerald
Creatives: Ben Mann and Nic Molyneux
National Managing Director: Katie Firth
Head of Strategy: Nathan Rogers
Designer: Gemma Lodi
Senior Account Director: Amy Ross
TV Producer: Tuesday Picken
Digital Producer: Mylene Czorny
Production Company: FINCH
Director: Kyra Bartley
Executive Producer & Managing Director: Corey Esse
Producer: AnnaTara Clark-Sneddon
Director of Photography: Katie Milwright
1st AC: Grant Wilson
2nd AC: Orla Hughes
Sound Recordists: Steve Foy & James Heartly
Runner: Maddie Wilko
Camera Equipment: Panavision Australia
Post Production: Atticus
Executive Producer: Amelia Bromley
Offline Editor: Delaney Murphy
Colourist: Alina Bermingham
Online Artist: Alina Bermingham
Sound Production: Bang Bang Studios
Sound Designer: Sam Hopgood
Sound Producers: Holli Dee & Polly McGregor
Music Supervision: Level Two Music
Music (Paul Rushworth): Strata by Moby courtesy of mobygratis.com
Music (Naz Woldemicheal): by Electric Dreams
Media Partner: Mindshare
Managing Partner:Chris Solomon,
Client Lead: Liam Hale
Media Executive:Karrin Kuyumcian