Tributes flow for teenager who took her own life as family launches anti-bullying campaign
Published: 11 January 2018 Image credit: Akubra Facebook
The family of 14-year-old Amy “Dolly” Everett has remembered her as a “precious angel,” after the Northern Territory teenager and one-time face of the famed Australian Akubra hat company tragically took her own life due to bullying last week.
Her father Tick Everett took to Facebook, sharing his family’s devastation over Dolly’s death and calling for an end to bullying and harassment with the launch of an anti-bullying campaign in Dolly’s name.
“If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Doll’s life will not be wasted,” he wrote.
“I know for some, suicide is considered cowardly but I guarantee those people wouldn’t have half the strength that my precious little angel had, Doll had the strength to do what she thought she had to do to escape the evil in this world.
“Unfortunately Dolly will never know the great pain and emptiness left behind.”
No details were given as to how his daughter was bullied or who was responsible, but Mr Everett did challenge her tormentors to come to her funeral.
“If by some chance the people who thought this was a joke and made themselves feel superior by the constant bullying and harassment see this post, please come to our service and witness the complete devastation you have created,” he wrote.
He then urged the community to come together to stand up to bullying.
“For the strong ones, let’s stop the bullies no matter where, but especially in our kids, as the old saying goes,” he wrote.
“You will never know what you have until it’s gone.”
He ended the post with several hashtags, including #STOPBULLYINGNOW, #ANGELGIRL, #DOLLY, and #SPEAKNOWEVENIFYOURVOICESHAKES – a reference to a drawing Dolly made before her death, showing a girl doing a back bend with those words written above her in all capital letters.
Photo: In a drawing before her tragic death, Dolly shared the message, "Speak, even if your voice shakes."
Dolly’s service will be held this Friday in Katherine East, NT, and is open to family friends.
The family has asked that mourners wear any shade of blue – “Dolly’s favourite colour.”
Instead of sending flowers, people are asked to donate to the anti-bullying charity the family has launched, called Dolly’s Dream.
Dolly became well-known around the country after she became the face of Akubra hats in 2010.
The company expressed its dismay at her passing in a statement posted to Facebook.
“This is not an easy post to write,” the Akubra wrote.
“We were shocked and distressed to hear of the passing of “Dolly” – the young girl many of you will recognise from our past Christmas adverts. This beautiful photo was taken 8 years ago.
“Dolly chose to end her life last week due to bullying. She was not even 15 years old.
“To think that anyone could feel so overwhelmed and that this was their only option is unfathomable.
“Bullying of any type is unacceptable. It is up to us to stand up when we see any kind of bullying behaviour. Dolly could be anyone’s daughter, sister, friend. We need to make sure anyone in crisis knows there is always someone to talk to.
“Be a friend, check up on your mates.”
The company expressed its condolences to Dolly’s family, saying their “hearts go out” to all of her loved ones.
Friends and family also took to social media with an outpouring of messages of love and support.
“Many thoughts to you and your family. I commend you using such a tragedy as a podium for the devastation that bullying, particularly online, can cause. I hope from such a loss that there will be many who recognise the impact their words can have and take a fresh approach in their interaction with others. Much love,” Josh McEntee wrote.
“My thoughts are with you and your family. May your beautiful little girl be at peace now. Sending love and strength,” Jaz Smith wrote.
“Sending all the love in the world to you and your family,” Bailey Sidel wrote to Dolly’s sister Meg Everett. “Rest in paradise doll.”
“My kids have both been on the receiving end of bullying, it’s a very low form of human that gets their kicks from hurting others. My heart breaks for you all. Xxoo She is a beautiful girl gone far too soon,” JjLamb said.
The profile picture Dolly’s father and sister have used to promote the campaign, a picture of Dolly with the words, “Dolly took her own life to escape bullying #STOPBULLYINGNOW,” has been shared more than 1400 times.
Photo: Dolly's family members have changed their profile pictures to this image, urging the community to #STOPBULLYINGNOW. The photo has been shared more than 1400 times.