In September 2016, police swarmed on a home on Mactan Island in the Philippines as part of an international investigation into child sexual exploitation material.
A raft of images featuring young Filipino children had been uncovered the previous November during a raid on a property in Queensland.
After 10 months of painstaking work, Australian Federal Police and Philippine National Police investigators had managed to identify the victims and trace them to the Cordova home. Six children were taken into protective custody and their mother was arrested.
Watch: Keeping your kids safe on social media.
The woman, who was later sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Philippine court, had taken more than $25,000 from a Sydney-based offender in exchange for personalised child abuse material featuring two of her children. The youngest was just two years old when the abuse began.
The man later received an 11-year jail term.
That September day on Mactan Island, AFP Senior Constable Nicole Whelan was there as the mother was taken into custody.
"That was, 100 per cent, one of the highlights of my career," Snr Cst. Whelan told Mamamia.
"There's no other feeling like it. It's quite a privilege to be involved in that moment and to change the course of that child's life."
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This week is National Child Protection Week, an annual initiative that aims to bring child abuse and neglect out of the shadows.
It's a mission to which Snr Cst. Whelan has dedicated the majority of her working life.
A former social worker, Snr Cst. Whelan joined the AFP in 2013 and has spent close to five years as part of the Child Protection Operations team.
She's based in the AFP's Eastern Command, which covers NSW but often relies on close cooperation with colleagues in other jurisdictions, as well as state police and international authorities.
The AFP is responsible for investigating child sex offences committed by Australians overseas and crimes associated with online child sex exploitation. That may involve offenders sharing and downloading images of child abuse, for example, or grooming a child for sexual abuse via social media,
"People are using social media platforms a lot for sexual activity with young children," Snr Cst. Whelan said. "That's probably one of our number-one referral topics at the moment."
And it appears to be getting worse.
With communities locking down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation has reported an increase in the number of reports: 21,000 in the 12 months to July 2020, compared to 14,000 in the same period the previous year.