Media Release 2023



‘Don’t you forget about me’: Seriously sick children lead MissingSchool’s poignant new ad


  • MissingSchool, Cocogun, Scoundrel, Rumble, UnLtd and Zenith Media have joined forces in an integrated campaign to raise awareness of the seriously sick kids missing school across Australia
  • The ad signals the launch of MissingSchool’s Seen&Heard pilot program, which will activate assistive telepresence tech in schools
  • The ultimate aim is to give sick kids a continuing presence in the classroom, helping them stay connected to their peers, teachers, and education


Australia, 23 Feb 2023: MissingSchool, Cocogun, Scoundrel, Rumble, UnLtd and Zenith Media have launched Don’t you forget about me, a rallying cry to reconnect seriously sick kids with school.

The integrated campaign features a rousing children’s chorus covering the iconic 80s hit Don’t You (Forget About Me) by the Scottish rock band Simple Minds.

The ad shows sick children interacting with their peers and taking part in the North Rocks Public School children’s choir through the use of assistive telepresence robots, in a poignant reminder of the importance of connection and interaction – even when children aren’t physically present at school.

The campaign, which will run across TV, OOH and digital, signals the launch of MissingSchool’s revolutionary Seen&Heard initiative, starting with a one-year nationwide pilot program, aiming to scale to all schools by 2025.

The Seen&Heard initiative will help schools adopt ‘teach once’ telepresence technology including implementing school robots, training teachers, and supporting vulnerable students and their parents/carers in real time. Educational animations will be produced for peers and siblings of sick children.

Seen&Heard will also join forces with children’s illness groups and health professionals to assist schools and families with critical illness information designed in a way to support the student’s learning journey and social-emotional wellbeing.

Megan Gilmour, founder and CEO, MissingSchool said: “School is a right for every child, yet up to a third or 1.2 million of our nation’s children with a complex medical or mental health condition can face school isolation. Beyond the everyday trauma of their health crisis, they feel forgotten and isolated, through no fault of their own.

“The Seen&Heard pilot, spearheaded by the integrated Don’t you forget about me campaign, will assist schools and families in reconnecting kids stuck at home in a health crisis. The only cure for absence is presence, through telepresence technology and a dedicated support service.”

On the strategy behind the campaign, Chiquita King, Cocogun Managing Director, said: “This campaign was informed by a simple truth – isolation is more detrimental to our children than illness.

“Don’t you forget about me is a powerful cry for help and a sobering reminder that it is easy to make children feel seen and heard and therefore included. This campaign has been a project governed by passion, commitment and resilience. Our jobs are the best in the world – working with awesome humans creating work that contributes to making a difference.”

Louise Pay, account director, UnLtd said the project was a great example of the industry coming together: “Cocogun’s creative was agreed just before Covid restrictions took hold. Trying to shoot a film involving sick kids in hospital, school and a school choir was a real trifecta of impossibility!

“An unwavering belief in the cause drove everyone to bring this to life, despite the multitude of hurdles. UnLtd approached Scoundrel because Executive Producer Adrian had seen the positive impact of the Missing School program on a seriously sick child in his daughter’s class. So many good people collaborated to shine a necessary light on these often forgotten kids, and drive positive change for them.”

Director James Dive was struck by the poignant conundrum at the heart of the challenge: “Telepresence in Australian schools is a bittersweet conversation,” he said.

“We know the technology makes a huge difference to kids’ wellbeing, yet so few have access to it. This bittersweet equation became the basis of the film. There is hope, but equally this underlying void.”

Megan Kay, managing director at Zenith Media, said: “Zenith is proud to partner with Missing School. We are confident that our support will benefit so many sick kids in such an impactful way.”

This campaign is generously supported with pro bono media from Nine, Seven, Paramount, SBS, Domain, ARN, ATN, Tonic Media Network, Gumtree, Broadsheet, News, ACM, QMS and JCD.


Watch the video here: – 90 seconds – 60 seconds – 30 seconds – 15 seconds


Stills available here:


OOH imagery:







Creative agency: Cocogun

Creative Partner – Ant Melder

Art Director – Lauren Maneschi

Copywriter – Lewis Clarke

Managing Director – Chiquita King

Group Business Director – Emily Hahn

Head of Design – Chris Clausen

Designer – Rachel Tse


Production company: Scoundrel

Director – James Dive

Executive Producer – Adrian Shapiro

Executive Producer – Kate Gooden

Producers – Charlie Taylor & Holly Winter

DOP – Christopher Miles

1st AD – Naomi Enfield


Post house: The Editors

Head of Production – Liv Reddy

Editor – Lily Davis

Colourist – Fergus Rotherham

Flame – Stu Cadzow


Sound production: Rumble Studios

Composer – Jeremy Richmond

Music & Sound EP – Michael Gie

Music producer – Adam Moses

Sound Designer – Cam Milne & Tane


Social Impact Partner: UnLtd

CEO – Chris Freel

Strategic Advisor – Paul Everson

Director of Partnerships – Jade Harley

Account Director – Louise Pay


Media Agency: Zenith Media

Managing Director – Megan Kay

Media Strategist – Ruby Muller

Account Executive – Gem Harriss


Website Development: G Squared

Strategy – George Photios

Digital Production – George Pappas

Build – Thien Nguyen


Digital and Social Media: Half Dome

Client Solutions Manager – Floriana Deleo

Activation Executive – Elyse Taylor


PR Agency: Pure Public Relations

CEO – Phoebe Netto


With special thanks to the talented kids and teachers at North Rocks Public School.


– ENDS –


Editor’s Notes: MissingSchool’s Seen&Heard initiative is made possible by a Commonwealth grant. Separate private sector seed funding has been provided by TPG Telecom Group for a period of two years and AuDA Foundation for one year. Find out more [link to TPG website content, being developed by TPG]

For more information or interviews with MissingSchool CEO/co-founder Megan Gilmour, please contact (out of hours is fine):


Phoebe Netto, Managing Director

Pure Public Relations



Download photos of Megan Gilmour and the Seen&Heard initiative here.


About MissingSchool and Megan Gilmour

Social innovator and technology trailblazer, Megan Gilmour (read full bio), co-founded MissingSchool, in 2012, after watching her son, Darcy, struggle with a two-year period of school isolation due to a life-threatening illness, requiring a bone marrow transplant at the age of 10.­

Since then, she has led the not-for-profit, tirelessly advocating for the needs of students with medical/mental health issues, their families, teachers and peers through awareness; resources; capacity building; activating human-centred technology; and world-leading research. Watch her inspiring TEDxCanberra talk.

In 2015, MissingSchool commissioned and co-wrote an Australia-first report on the challenges facing kids who miss school because of serious illness or injury – followed two years later by the launch of a telepresence robot service, commencing as a pilot in the ACT, and now operating in every state and territory across Australia. To date, the organisation has deployed more than 175 robots and reconnected close to 5,280 classmates.

Launched today (26 February, 2023) MissingSchool’s Seen&Heard initiative builds on a decade of success, fine-tuning its focus on scale-up of connective technology (from telepresence robots to far-reaching teleconference tools) with the ultimate goal of solving school isolation for some of Australia’s most vulnerable students by 2025.

The initiative has been developed based on insights drawn from MissingSchool’s service evaluation data through over 1000 surveys and long-form interviews with teachers and parents since 2017. The University of Southern Queensland is partnering with MissingSchool to translate that evaluation data into world-first research.

Gilmour’s work has been recognised nationally and internationally. In 2018, she was a finalist for the ACT Australian of the Year Awards. She has also been recognised as one of AFR’s 100 Women of Influence, and was awarded the Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year for Purpose and Social Enterprise in 2019. She is also a Churchill Policy Fellow and a 2020 Deakin University Alumna of Year.

MissingSchool believes that all children should be seen and heard. For more information, visit:

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