The parents of teenager Amy “Dolly” Everett, who died after being cyberbullied, hope to spread a message of kindness through the inaugural Do It For Dolly Day.
As Kate Everett lay with her teenage daughter’s body she vowed her death would not be in vain.
The parents of Amy “Dolly” Everett, who took her life after being bullied, have since been trying to keep that promise through their foundation Dolly’s Dream.
Their work to raise awareness about cyberbullying has led to the launch of the inaugural Do It For Dolly Day on Friday, which will see schools and workplaces across Australia “go blue”—Dolly’s favourite colour—in a bid to educate communities and empower them to stamp out bullying.
A sea of blue has taken over schools across Queensland as part of ‘Do It For Dolly Day’. The event aims to stop bullying and calls for everyone to be kinder following the tragic death of schoolgirl Dolly Everett. Report on 7NEWS at 6pm. #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/SjjVZohMqX
— 7NEWS Sunshine Coast (@7NewsSC) May 10, 2019
Everett says she wants children, parents and other adults to use the day as a chance to speak up.
“We wanted to keep the conversation not only on bullying but on kindness, giving kids the tools to flex their kindness muscles,” she told AAP.
Dolly, the former face of Akubra, was 14 years old when her parents found her lifeless body at their Katherine home in the Northern Territory in January last year.
She had endured persistent bullying and abuse at her school and had just finished a drawing, captioned “speak even if your voice shakes” before her death.
It has become the rallying cry for friends and supporters as they try to prevent other tragedies.
Today is ‘Do it For Dolly Day’ – a day to commemorate a young life lost and to spread the message of kindness. Together we can make a positive difference to those around us #bekind #doitfordolly pic.twitter.com/ak4BCFLZf2
— AusoftheYearAwards (@ausoftheyear) May 9, 2019
“If we can see Australia in a sea of blue … that would be amazing,” Everett said.
Fundraising events will be held all over Australia, including South Australia where the Norwood Football Club women’s team will all wear blue scrunchies in support during their final.
⚠️ Bullying is a tragic reality for so many people, including me as a child. That’s why I’m speaking up on Do It For Dolly Day. Our words & actions profoundly affect those around us – let’s use them to build people up, not tear them down. https://t.co/C2IXJLzlXh #doitfordollyday pic.twitter.com/AmovxINRzA
— Eddie Woo (@misterwootube) May 10, 2019
In Victoria, the whole town of Bairnsdale is turning blue, including everyone from the local garbage collectors and police officers to waitresses and the town’s students.
“As long as people get together tomorrow, show some respect and spread some kindness and take the opportunity to speak with children not only about their behaviour online but how they treat others throughout their day,” Everett said.
While the foundation has been dedicated to rolling out programs at schools across the country, the Everetts now hope to launch a resource for parents within the next few months.
“We have a long list of goals we want to tick off,” she said.
By Gemma Najem