Missing people sent birthday messages from loved ones in White Grey’s new campaign for Missing Persons Advocacy Network

The Missing Persons Advocacy Network’s (MPAN) latest campaign focuses on ‘ambiguous loss’, the kind of grief suffered by the family and friends – more than 250,000 of them in Australia – of long-term missing people.

‘Missed Birthdays’, created by White Grey in collaboration with production company Finch, is a campaign made up of two short films featuring the family and friends of two long-term missing people – Sydney-based Paul Rushworth and Hobart’s Naz Samson Woldemicheal – sending them birthday messages. The second film launched today, Woldemicheal’s 23rd birthday.

Woldemicheal has been missing for three years, and Rushworth for six.

“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,” said White Grey Melbourne’s joint executive creative directors, Joe Hill and Garret Fitzgerald.

“We can’t thank our production partners enough for donating their time and talents to make Missed Birthdays possible.”

The online films, directed by Kyra Bartley, are supported by 30-second TVCs and social. MPAN’s founder and CEO, Loren O’Keeffe, said that they remind us to think about the family and friends of those missing, who are experiencing indefinite, ongoing loss.

“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,” O’Keeffe said.

“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 the campaign, MPAN hopes to attract donations that will fund training for ambiguous loss specialists.


Agency: whiteGREY
National Managing Director: Katie Firth
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Hill and Garret Fitzgerald
Creatives: Ben Mann and Nic Molyneux
Head of Strategy: Nathan Rogers
Designer: Gemma Lodi
Senior Account Director: Amy Ross
TV Producer: Tuesday Picken
Digital Producer: Mylene Czorny

Production Company: FINCH
Executive Producer / Managing Director: Corey Esse
Producer: AnnaTara Clark-Sneddon
Director: Kyra Bartley
Director of Photography: Katie Milwright
1st AC: Grant Wilson
2nd AC: Orla Hughes
Sound Recordist: Steve Foy
Sound Recordist: 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 Producer – Holli Dee & Polly McGregor

MUSIC Supervision: Level Two Music
Music Supervision: Level Two Music
Music (Paul Rushworth): Strata by Moby courtesy of
Music (Naz Woldemicheal): Music by Electric Dreams

Media Partner: Mindshare
Managing Partner: Chris Solomon
Client Lead: Liam Hale
Media Executive: Karrin Kuyumcian


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