They should be celebrating his 21st birthday but instead the family of missing teenager Zac Barnes are hosting a benefit ball to raise funds for a coronial inquest into their loved one's disappearance.
It has been over two years since the apprentice bricklayer, then 18, was last seen getting out of a friend's car near the intersection of Haussman Drive and Tripp Close in Thornton on November 13, 2016.
But his mum Karen Gudelj hasn't slowed down the momentum in finding answers.
"We are waiting for the police to provide a brief to the coroner, and that is expected to happen at the end of the month," she said.
"Once the coroner reads the brief ... then we can hopefully get a date for the near future. For us, it's important because it's not a crime to go missing.
"Unfortunately, police can only do so much with the resources they have. It's a reactive investigation so if no one is calling in then they've got nothing to follow up.
"We really believe now that Zac isn't coming home. We just need to coroner to see that and give the police more power ... our goal is a strike force so they can actually start proactively looking for him.
"We've seen that's how other cases have been solved."
As part of their push for a coronial inquest, the bereaved family is hosting a benefit ball in the Hunter Valley on Sunday.
The family plan to use the funds raised to hire a barrister to represent them during the inquest. "Zac turns 21 next Wednesday, and it should be an event that we should be celebrating with him," Ms Gudelj said.
"So we decided it was the perfect opportunity to create awareness and fight for him.
"We have over 100 people coming. We've had a great outcome with the community doing donations ... knowing that the support is there helps us get through the tough days.
"Also, not a lot of people know what a coronial inquest is and how it can help for the missing."
For those who don't know, a coronial inquest is a public hearing to determine the cause and circumstances surrounding a person's death. "We are also making a statement," Ms Gudelj said.
"We are going to have a table set up for other missing people. It's going to be a table of 10 empty chairs with a photo, acknowledging how real this is - it's not just happening to us but other people."
The formal ball, including three course dinner, will be held on Sunday, May 19 from 6pm at Hunter Valley Crowne Plaza.
Tickets cost $150 per person.
People can buy tickets by searching 'Zac 21' at trybooking.com or visit the 'Official Famly Page - Find Zac Barnes' Facebook page to donate.