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Small Town Triumph: Community Bands Together to Rescue 4-Year-Old Girl



Quick Smiles:

  • Bianca Page’s quick action and the community’s resolve led to a massive search for 4-year-old Shayla.
  • Searchers spent two days combing through dense bushland with a fleet of helpers, from sniffer dogs to drones.
  • The heart-stopping moment of Shayla’s discovery sparked widespread jubilation in the town.

In southern Tasmania, a little girl named Shayla became the unintentional star of a nail-biting hide and seek game that galvanized an entire community.

One afternoon, Shayla and her two canine companions took their playtime a tad too far from home, prompting a determined search effort.

Bianca, Shayla’s mother, faced every parent’s nightmare when she realized her daughter was missing. But with hope as her guide, she quickly alerted local authorities.

The search operation that ensued was nothing short of impressive, with over a hundred people, dogs, horses, helicopters, and drones joining forces.

The plot thickened when, one by one, the playful pups found their way home, leaving everyone on edge as Shayla was still nowhere to be found. But the community’s spirit never wavered, even as the search extended into a second tense day.

“It seems like perhaps she had been lying down and just stuck her head up and she was seen,” revealed Inspector Gavin Hallet, acknowledging the fortuitous moment when State Emergency Service volunteers finally located Shayla.

Relief washed over Shayla’s family at the news of her discovery. “When I passed the news on to mum, she was very grateful and very keen [to see her],” shared Gavin.


There was no time to waste for Bianca, who rushed to her daughter’s side, forgoing everything else for the reunion.

The emotional ripple effect of Shayla’s rescue was felt throughout the town, with cheers and cries of joy marking the end of a harrowing two-day search.

Carey Sharman and fellow Country Women’s Association members, who had been supporting the search crews, shared in the collective sigh of relief.

Tasman Council Mayor Kelly Spaulding summed up the sentiments beautifully, praising the collective effort that led to Shayla’s safe return: “It’s just absolutely amazing,” she said, a testament to the power of a tight-knit community pulling together for one of their own.