Long before he became a missing man - a face on a poster taped to a telegraph pole - Nick Veljanovski was a boy who could turn heads.
His shock of red hair and blue eyes set him apart from his Macedonian family and would draw compliments from strangers.
Mr Veljanovski was 28 years old when he went into the Royal National Park at Bundeena two years ago, never to be seen since.
He is one of seven missing people whose lives have been documented as part of a new project that aims to bring the faces on the posters back to life in the public imagination.
The campaign, called Too Short Stories, is the work of Grey Advertising and the Missing Persons Advocacy Network.
“You do see those very stock standard missing person posters, and the public switch off because it’s kind of hard to connect with the person when you only get their vital statistics,” said the network’s founder and CEO, Loren O’Keeffe.
“This is about telling the stories beyond their missing person status, and telling the public they are real people, with families that need all the help them can get to find them.”
The project enlists artists and writers to create street art illustrations and personal stories which have been placed in the locations where each person was last seen.
Mr Veljanovski’s installation tells the story of his dramatic looks, boyhood activities and the circumstances his disappearance.
The network’s National Missing Persons Week campaign was launched this week with a billboard featuring Mr Veljanovski’s profile. The billboard was at Circular Quay last week and has moved to Cronulla Plaza.
Mr Veljanovski’s mother Sylvia has welcomed the renewed attention on her family’s search effort, which is detailed on their Facebook page.The family is offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads them to Mr Veljanovski. Mrs Veljanovski headed a a renewed public appeal for leads in June, which yielded some leads that have since run dry.
“We remain positive,” she said. “Hopefully people will connect with him.”