Canberra, Jan 12 (IANS) Hundreds of mourners on Friday attended a memorial service for Amy “Dolly” Everett at a Northern Territory school following her death by suicide which her parents said was a result of cyber bullying.
Attendees from across rural Australia wore blue, Dolly’s favourite colour, to the funeral in solidarity with her family, Xinhua news agency reported.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday night issued a statement on social media, saying his heart was breaking for the Everett family.
“Dolly’s passing highlights the devastating impact that bullying can have on its victims,” Turnbull said.
“Every step must be taken to reduce the incidence of bullying, whether offline or on, and eliminate it wherever we can.”
A photo of Dolly as a child in an Akubra hat when she was the face of the iconic brand has gone viral since her parents, Tick and Kate Everett, released it as part of a social media campaign to raise awareness of the impact of cyber bullying.
Speaking to media after Friday’s service, Tick and Kate, as well as Dolly’s sister Meg, said they would remember Dolly as “a kind, gentle and loving little girl who loved her animals and cared so deeply for other people less fortunate then her”.
“She was loved by so many and made friends with everyone she came across,” Tick said.
“Dolly saw the good in this world and the good in everybody she met.”
They have said that they hope to establish a trust called “Dolly’s Dream” which would raise awareness about anxiety, depression and suicide among the youth.
“We don’t want another family to go through what we are going through and our vision is to establish a trust called Dolly’s Dream,” the family said.
“It won’t bring our Dolly back, but it may just prevent the loss of another young life.
“Please just talk to your children and anybody else and remember, speak even if your voice shakes. Stop bullying and be kind and do it for Dolly.”
Earlier on Friday, Northern Territory police confirmed they were investigating the circumstances surrounding Dolly’s death.