Premier and Prime Minister mark Walk for Daniel Morcombe
AUSTRALIA'S most famous redhead lent her support to the Day for Daniel with a personal letter of support which was read out to more than 1000 joining the 8th walk in honour of the teenager.
The tireless efforts of Bruce and Denise Morcombe in advocating for child safety was praised by the PM and Premier Campbell Newman.
Bruce and Denise thanked more than 1000 people for taking part and the army of volunteers behind the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
"We were hoping for about 1000, but to see more than 1100 people is just fantastic, so we hope to see everyone again next year, in the meantime we will just keep plugging along," Denise said.
The cavalcade of walkers made their way from Suncoast Christian College towards Palmwoods to remember, celebrate and honour Daniel Morcombe, the 13-year-old schoolboy who was allegedly abducted and killed nine years ago.
Today's walk saw the pathways from Woombye to Briggs Park painted in a sea of red as walkers made the journey Daniel could never finish.
"Today's walk locally is something very important to us and something very special to all our family simply because we all collectively are making a statement but more importantly, we are walking to Palmwoods which very sadly is a trip Daniel was unable to make," Bruce said.
"But none of us are here to be sad, we might reflect, but we are here to celebrate Daniel's life, but most importantly, to learn about safety and spread that safety message.
"Clearly none of us here have forgotten Daniel, that's very personal to us and we appreciate that enormously but more so we are about linking safety messages to Daniel's very real story important because no longer will those kids sit there and think those bad things only happen on the news or other places in the world.
Daniel's grandparents took part in the walk after being absent last year.
They undertook the journey alongside Daniel's brothers Dean and Brad as well as plenty of family, friends and members of the public.
The walk was lead by dignitaries including Premier Campbell Newman, Member for Glasshouse Andrew Powell, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleije, Speaker Fiona Simpson and Mayor Mark Jamieson.
Mr Newman thanked participants for coming along to support Bruce and Denise and the important work their foundation is doing to protect children.
"Throughout the past 12 months Bruce and Denise have visited an astounding 150 schools, sharing safety and anti-bullying tips with many thousands of students," Mr Newman said.
"My Government is pleased to support the work of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, having recently launched the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum."It's being rolled out this year and next, from Prep through to Year 9 and is a practical, effective and age appropriate way to get kids thinking about their own safety."
But it was a letter from Prime Minister Julia Gillard which highlighted the nation-wide support for the Morcombe family and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
"This year marks the eight walk for Daniel and with every year and every step we keep the memory of Daniel strong," Prime Minister Gillard said in the letter.
Across Australia, more than one million people will participate in the Walk for Daniel as part of the Day for Daniel.
To get involved, wear red today or host a red-themed afternoon tea.
MESSAGE FROM PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD
DANIEL MORCOMBE FOUNDATION
8TH ANNUAL WALK FOR DANIEL
THIS year marks the 8th Walk for Daniel. With every year, and every step, we keep the memory of Daniel strong.
The Day for Daniel continues to grow, with Australians across our nation uniting to honour Daniel's life and sharing the message of safety and protection for all children.
This year's Walk for Daniel is another opportunity for us to not only remember Daniel and to reflect on his life, but to remind us all of the importance of our children - protecting them, encouraging them and celebrating them.
The messages of protection, safety and opportunity are ones which Denise and Bruce have worked on tirelessly over the past eight years.
On behalf of all Australians, once again I pay tribute to their enduring courage and spirit.
Through the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, the young and vulnerable in our community are being educated about harm prevention and personal safety.
These important messages will help reduce the likelihood of a tragedy like Daniel's occurring in the future.
I am proud to support the 8th Walk for Daniel and all Day for Daniel activities. I thank all of the participants for honouring Daniel's memory and for your ongoing commitment to making the community safer for our children.
The Honourable Julia Gillard
Prime Minister of Australia