Mel's Story

Story seventeen – Melissa Doyle, Alannah & Madeline Foundation Ambassador

“It sent the newsroom into chaos. Reports of an attack at the beautiful historic site of Port Arthur in Tasmania … a quiet Sunday afternoon, tourists milling about gently.

I was a reporter in the Seven newsroom when the information began to slowly filter through … incredulous and horrified as the enormity unfolded.

35 people were killed. 23 wounded. It was the deadliest mass shooting Australia had ever seen.

One of the most heartbreaking faces of the tragedy was Walter Mikac. A grieving father who lost his wife Nanette and daughters Alannah 6 and Madeline 3.

Yet this man who had lost everything was able to turn his focus to ensuring something positive came from his loss – something that would keep other children safe.

And so the Alannah and Madeline Foundation was born.

I am a proud Alannah & Madeline Foundation ambassador. I love the buddy bags and the simplicity of giving children in need a teddy bear, some PJ’s and a back pack to cling to when their life is in chaos. And as a mum of teenagers, I recognise the need for our online safety programs … guidelines for kids to stay safe, but also valuable information to educate us parents who didn’t grow up in the digital age.

I admire Walter and take comfort that the memory of his precious little girls will live forever.”

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