Jesinta Franklin says Cleo Smith case wouldn't have received the same coverage if she was Indigenous


Jesinta Franklin addresses the ‘disparity’ between missing white and Indigenous children following the discovery of Cleo Smith – and claims there wouldn’t have been the same level of interest in the case if it had been an Indigenous child


Jesinta Franklin has spoken out about the disappearance and subsequent discovery of missing girl Cleo Smith, insisting the case wouldn’t have received the same coverage if it had been an Indigenous child.

In a post on Instagram Stories on Wednesday, the 30-year-old model pointed out the ‘disparity’ between missing white children and Indigenous children. 

‘Without taking away from the joy of finding a missing child alive and well, I can’t help but think about the disparity that exists in this country between missing children who are White and Indigenous children when it comes to the visibility and coverage of the case,’ she began. 

Weighing in: Jesinta Franklin (pictured) has spoken out about the disappearance and subsequent discovery of missing girl Cleo Smith, insisting the case wouldn't have received the same coverage if it had been an Indigenous child

Weighing in: Jesinta Franklin (pictured) has spoken out about the disappearance and subsequent discovery of missing girl Cleo Smith, insisting the case wouldn’t have received the same coverage if it had been an Indigenous child

‘I have read so many heartbreaking stories of missing Indigenous children that garner hardly any media coverage or the social media coverage that a case like Cleo’s did. 

‘I have no doubt the widespread broadcasting of information in regards to the case assisted the phenomenal efforts of the WA police force in locating this beautiful little girl and reuniting her with her family.’ 

She added: ‘Posting this because I think we need to do better for all children who go missing and their families.’

At a disadvantage: In a post on Instagram Stories on Wednesday, the 30-year-old model pointed out the 'disparity' between missing white children and Indigenous children

At a disadvantage: In a post on Instagram Stories on Wednesday, the 30-year-old model pointed out the ‘disparity’ between missing white children and Indigenous children

'I have read so many heartbreaking stories of missing Indigenous children that garner hardly any media coverage or the social media coverage that a case like Cleo's did,' wrote Jesinta. Pictured, Cleo Smith

‘I have read so many heartbreaking stories of missing Indigenous children that garner hardly any media coverage or the social media coverage that a case like Cleo’s did,’ wrote Jesinta. Pictured, Cleo Smith

Jesinta is a mum to daughter Tullulah, 20 months, and son Rocky, seven months, who she shares with her husband of five years, Indigenous AFL star Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin. 

According to a report by ABC News in December 2019, Indigenous people account for 17.5 per cent of all unsolved missing persons cases in Western Australia, despite making up just three per cent of the local population. 

In August 2019, the families of 15 missing Aboriginal children united for a state-wide rally in NSW to raise awareness for Indigenous cases, according to a report by The Guardian. 

Family: Jesinta is a mum to daughter Tullulah, 20 months, and son Rocky, seven months, who she shares with her husband of five years, Indigenous AFL star Lance 'Buddy' Franklin (pictured)

Family: Jesinta is a mum to daughter Tullulah, 20 months, and son Rocky, seven months, who she shares with her husband of five years, Indigenous AFL star Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin (pictured)

Cleo disappeared on October 16 and was found alive at 12.46am on Wednesday when police stormed a public housing home after a sudden tip off with a ‘needle in haystack’ clue.

Police feared the missing girl could have been spirited away anywhere in the country – but instead she was under their noses all along in a rundown house just 3km from her home and 75km from the campsite.

‘What’s your name?’ officers asked as they scooped her up into their arms. ‘My name is Cleo,’ she replied.

Found: Cleo disappeared on October 16 and was found alive at 12.46am on Wednesday when police stormed a public housing home after a sudden tip off with a 'needle in haystack' clue

Found: Cleo disappeared on October 16 and was found alive at 12.46am on Wednesday when police stormed a public housing home after a sudden tip off with a ‘needle in haystack’ clue

That rundown house on Tonkin Crescent in Brockman, in the northern suburbs of Carnarvon in northwest Western Australia, is just kilometres from where she lived in South Carnarvon.

Right in the middle is the town’s main shopping centre where the 36-year-old resident of the house was seen by neighbours buying Kimbies nappies at Woolworths.

Cleo was likely already locked up in the house when her mother Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon awoke at 6am to find she was no longer lying next to them and her baby sister Isla in their tent at Blowholes camping grounds. 

'Posting this because I think we need to do better for all children who go missing and their families,' concluded Jesinta

‘Posting this because I think we need to do better for all children who go missing and their families,’ concluded Jesinta

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