Go blue to end bullying

Go blue for Dolly and say no to bullying. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

On Friday, 10 May, communities nationwide are rallying together for Do It For Dolly Day, a dedicated initiative aimed at fostering kindness, raising awareness, and crucial funds to combat bullying.

Dolly Everett was only 14 years old when she tragically took her life in January 2018, following relentless and sustained bullying and cyberbullying. Sadly, six years later the problem is not going away.

A recent report from the eSafety Commissioner has shed light on a troubling trend: cyberbullying is on the rise. According to the report, there has been a staggering 40% increase in cyberbullying reports, with eSafety receiving 2,383 reports in 2023 compared to 1,700 in 2022.

What is particularly worrying is that two-thirds (67%) of these reports were concerning children aged 12-15 years old – just like Dolly – highlighting the vulnerability of young people to online harassment and abuse.

Determined that no other family would suffer from the same devastation, Dolly’s parents Tick and Kate Everett established the anti-bullying organisation Dolly’s Dream. They have committed to changing the culture of bullying by addressing the impact of bullying, anxiety, depression, and youth suicide, through awareness, education and direct support to young people and families.

Dolly’s Dream supports Australian families by providing crucial services such as their free 24-hour support line, anti-bullying and online safety workshops in schools, mental health first aid training in communities and more recently (in partnership with Telethon Kids Institute) the free Beacon cyber safety app – a trustworthy resource for parents and carers to help them confidently navigate their family’s technology use and reduce associated harms.

“Since starting Dolly’s Dream, having an app in our program offering to further support parents and carers in navigating the online world is something we have been incredibly passionate about,” said Kate Everett.

“We don’t want other families to ever have to go through the heartache we have experienced. We are proud that Beacon provides easily accessible support and information to families, especially in our rural, regional, and remote communities, that we wish we had.“

Every dollar raised helps Dolly’s Dream in their mission to empower and educate the community to address and prevent bullying and cyberbullying, making a positive impact to the lives of Australian families and their communities.

Each year in May we see thousands of wonderful communities come together to remember Dolly by going blue (Dolly’s favourite colour), donating and participating in fundraising activities to help support the important anti-bullying work of Dolly’s Dream, sharing the message to be kind and speak even if your voice shakes.

Join everyone on 10 May for Do It For Dolly Day and Go Blue to End Bullying. To register, donate or find out more please visit www.doitfordollyday.org.au