Family farewells Dolly and calls for kids to speak out

12th January 2018 12:54 PM
UPDATED 1:59 PM

UPDATE: Dolly's family have urged children to 'speak, even if your voice shakes' after farewelling the 14-year-old in a funeral in the Northern Territory today.

The teenager died by suicide earlier this month.  Her death resulted in a powerful movement on social media using the hashtag #doitfordolly, calling for kindness and an end to bullying. 

 

UPDATE: THE family of Katherine teen Amy 'Dolly' Everett has arrived at the Casuarina St Primary School to farewell their daughter and sister.

Father Tick Everett, mother Kate and sister Megan arrived in the family's Nissan Patrol, with the brand of their rural contracting company TEEMAK emblazoned on the numberplates.

Megan walked between her parents, who held their arms around her.

The hundreds of attendees - mostly from the NT's close knit pastoral industry - are decked out in blue, Dolly's favourite colour.

Family and friends arrive at Casuarina Street Primary School for Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett's memorial service in Katherine, Northern Territory. PICTURE: Michael Franchi
Family and friends arrive at Casuarina Street Primary School for Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett's memorial service in Katherine, Northern Territory. PICTURE: Michael Franchi

Many of the vehicles in the school's car park have bumper stickers reading "#doitfordolly" - a hashtag which has gone viral since Mr Everett's Facebook post.

Mourners have spilled out of the hall.

A private memorial service will be held for Dolly at the school before the family leads mourners in releasing blue balloons on the school's oval.

They are expected to address the media this afternoon.

A friend of Amy "Dolly" Everett says she has been left asking whether she could have done anything to prevent the 14-year-old's suicide.

Hugs are exchanged at Casuarina Street Primary School as mourners arrive for Dolly Everett's memorial service in Katherine, Northern Territory. PICTURE: Michael Franchi
Hugs are exchanged at Casuarina Street Primary School as mourners arrive for Dolly Everett's memorial service in Katherine, Northern Territory. PICTURE: Michael Franchi

 

Taniesha Southeron says she and others have been questioning themselves after Dolly's death this week, which her family have linked to cyber bullying. "I think everyone who knew Dolly when they found out what happened they would have asked themselves, 'was there something I could do?'" Ms Southeron told the Seven Network.

"Did I miss something? Did I not see something? Did I say something wrong? Has she taken something I've said in the wrong way? It's very hard for all of us. I know we've all ask ourselves those questions."

Dolly's death has sparked a battle cry among concerned parents and others.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 18.7 people die by suicide in the NT for every 100,000 residents.

 

If you or anyone you know needs support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or visit Lifeline.org.au or beyondblue.org.au

    EARLIER:

CROWDS of family, friends and supportive strangers are expected to gather at a Northern Territory school to farewell the 14-year-old face of Akubra hats, Amy Jayne Everett.

Known as "Dolly", the teenager died last week after relentless online bullying led her to take her own life just weeks before returning to school, her father says.

The tragedy has captured worldwide attention after grieving dad Tick Everett took to Facebook earlier this week to suggest Dolly's tormentors attend her memorial.

"Please come to our service and witness the complete devastation you have created," he wrote on Sunday.

Northern Territory police have commenced an investigation into whether cyber-bullying contributed to the Katherine teenager's death.

Amy Everett, known as Dolly, took her own life last week.
Amy Everett, known as Dolly, took her own life last week.

The NT Children's Commissioner Colleen Gwynne had earlier called for an investigation amid concerns around social media bullying on teenagers' mental health, and said Dolly's bullies should be treated as if they have committed a crime.

Ms Gwynne, a former NT cop, clarified to The Australian: "I'm not talking about locking kids up, but we need to understand them. They have to be held accountable."

Mr Everett has said he believed his daughter had no other option than to take her life.

"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," he wrote on Facebook.

"However, unfortunately, Dolly will never know the great pain and emptiness left behind.

"If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Doll's life will not be wasted."

Dolly’s family has pledged to help other precious lives from being lost, ‘then Doll’s life will not be wasted’. Picture: Facebook
Dolly’s family has pledged to help other precious lives from being lost, ‘then Doll’s life will not be wasted’. Picture: Facebook

Dolly's death has attracted tributes from Akubra Hats, whose advertising campaigns the teenager starred in, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

"As a parent and as a grandparent, my heart breaks for Dolly and her family," Mr Turnbull wrote in a post on Akubra's Facebook page. "From pain and loss we must renew our commitment to say no to bullying … Every step must be taken to ­reduce the incidence of bullying, whether offline or on, and eliminate it wherever we can."

The Everett family has pledged to "facilitate positive change for other young lives" in remembrance of Dolly, by establishing a foundation in her memory to raise funds to address bullying.

The teenager will be farewelled at what is expected to be a packed-out and emotional ceremony at the Casuarina Street Primary School in Katherine East at 11am on Friday.

Attendees have been asked to wear blue - Dolly's favourite colour.

 

If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or visit Lifeline.org.au

Casuarina Street Primary School is expected to be packed this morning for Dolly’s memorial service.
Casuarina Street Primary School is expected to be packed this morning for Dolly’s memorial service.