It's the cause so close to all of our hearts.
On May 14, 2021, Do It For Dolly Day will be held for the third consecutive year where people from all corners of the nation will unite to spread kindness and take a stand against bullying.
For Dolly's parents, Kate and Tick Everett, to say the past three years have been challenging is an understatement, but for the Katherine, Northern Territory, pair, Dolly's Dream has provided an outlet for their grief that in return, may prevent others from "having to walk this road".
"We created Dolly's Dream as a legacy to our daughter who took her own life after she was bullied throughout school and online. Each year we dedicate a day to remember her," Kate, Dolly's mum, said.
"We decided that part of what we wanted to do was make people aware, we wanted to improve school cultures and hopefully prevent other parents from having to walk this road.
"Dolly's Dream has given us something to focus on, it's honestly helped us through a really tough period."
This year's focus for Do It For Dolly Day is on the seven signs of bullying, which include:
- Upset or anxiety when using devices
- Sudden loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
- Unexpected changes in friendship groups
- A decline in school work
- Avoidance of school or clubs
- Avoiding other teens or seeming lonely, depressed, sad or anxious
"I distinctly remember being in a car with Dolly and hearing a message notification come through. The way her body language and demeanor changed...hindsight is so great, it should have registered that things were really wrong," Kate recalled.
"Even though I asked what was going on and if everything was ok, and she replied 'no, I've got this, I'm fine', I should have stopped the car, I should have delved into a really difficult conversation.
"There were so many things we missed. As parents, we probably failed her in a way by not recognising these signs and changing the course of what was to come.
"So, our focus this year is to ask parents to step up and make sure they know what's going on on their kid's social media."
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Speaking on behalf of her daughter, Kate hopes that when Dolly looks down from above to see the Do It For Dolly movement that she is met with pride.
"She did this drawing that had 'speak even if your voice shakes' written across it, and I think she wouldn't like the fuss, but I think she would be proud that we have created such a movement that has inspired people to ask for help or speak up against bullying," Kate said.
She was such an incredibly kind human. I think she would be pretty impressed, I hope so anyway.Kate Everett, Dolly Everett's mum
Each year, the businesses and school's of Katherine turn blue to support Dolly's cause, and their support doesn't go unnoticed.
"The support has been completely overwhelming, to have whole towns turn blue and social media networks flooded with kind messages and the colour blue...I just get so overwhelmed," Kate said.
"There are so many Katherine businesses who support Dolly's Dream. We have so many schools, so many little businesses behind the scenes too.
"Tom Curtain from Katherine Outback Experience is one our ambassadors, he's this wonderful human that does so much for Dolly's Dream behind the scenes.
"Tom's the guy who can get a phone call from a school who says they've got a bullying issue and drop everything at his business and go into the school, sit down with the kids and write a song on mateship.
"Tom highlights what we love about Dolly's Dream, he does it so well and so quietly. We wouldn't be here without the likes of people like Tom."
Participating businesses include:
- Nutrien Ag Solutions
- Elders Real Estate Katherine
- Mac's Hire Katherine
- Town and Country Butchers/Lenards
- The Beauty Bar Katherine
- Jones Meat Mart
- Phoenix Creations
- Kumbidgee Restaurant & Functions
- Laser Clinic Katherine
- Katherine Mitre 10
- Intersport Katherine
- The Sweetest Things Florist
- Rod & Rifle TackleWorld Katherine
- Allflex Australia
- Southern Wire Rural
- AGT Mobile Maintenance
- Kirbys Bottleshop Katherine
- Top End Livestock
- The Finch CafeBetta Home Living Katherine
To register for Do It For Dolly Day, visit dollysdream.org.au.