As Dolly’s family says goodbye, experts call for parents of bullies to talk to their children
Hundreds of mourners in the Northern Territory town of Katherine have celebrated the life of teenager Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett, who took her own life after alleged bullying.
The Katherine primary school, where Dolly attended primary education, was packed full of mourners wearing her favourite colour, blue.
Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett had been the face of Akubra with this photo, taken eight years ago. (Facebook: Akubra)
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The 14-year-old girl was from a well-known cattle family in the Northern Territory and was once the face of Akubra, with a photo of her smiling as a child eight years ago featuring in an ad campaign.
Most attendees came from remote cattle stations to pay respect to one of their own — a deeply loved, young girl whose suicide left the tight-knit pastoral community reeling.
A number of speakers delivered poems, reflections and prayers for the girl who brought a soft edge to the hardness of station life.
After the service, mourners released balloons and butterflies.
Dolly was described by family as an independent soul, caring and kind to all. It was said she loved her horses and station life, was an avid artist and played a number of sports at boarding school in Queensland.
The family used today’s memorial to reiterate their hope of starting a trust called “Dolly’s Dream” to raise awareness of bullying, depression, anxiety and youth suicide.
Mourners wearing Dolly’s favourite colour blue, gathered for a memorial service in Katherine. (ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)
Dolly’s death has sparked outrage, sadness and an outpouring of support, particularly in rural and regional communities around Australia, with many people posting videos about their own experiences with bullying and lamenting the effect of technology on children.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also joined the cyberbullying discussion, saying in a post on Facebook much more work from government, health groups and internet companies was needed to prevent cyberbullying and minimise its impact.
The Queensland boarding school that Dolly attended, Scots PGC College, has said the welfare and privacy of the entire school community remained its priority during this difficult time.
Principal Kyle Thompson said a number of support services, including a team of dedicated counsellors, were available to any community member.
Northern Territory Police confirmed they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the young teen’s death.