The suicide of a 14-year-old girl who was once the face of iconic Australian outback hat maker Akubra has left the nation shocked, as her grieving family launch a campaign to raise awareness of cyber-bullying.
Amy "Dolly" Everett, who at eight years old was the face of Akubra, took her own life last week. Her family said her death came after she was victimised by cyber bullies.
A national anti-bullying campaign has been launched in the wake of Dolly's death, and thousands have paid tribute on social media under the hashtags #doitfordolly and #stopbullyingnow
Her parents, Tick and Kate Everett, thanked the community for its response to their grief, and asked for time to celebrate her life.
"This is all we are capable of at the moment and ask for your respect to give us time to grieve," the family said in a statement to the ABC.
"Our daughter Dolly was the kindest, caring, beautiful soul, and she was always caring for animals, small children, other children at boarding school who were less fortunate than herself."
A national anti-bullying campaign has begun following the sudden death of a teenager, who was once the face of Akubra. Amy Jayne Everett was better known as Dolly. Her father has posted on social media that bullies convinced his daughter to end her life. #AntiBullying #7News pic.twitter.com/4eoHV3auD9— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) January 10, 2018
In an earlier Facebook post Tick Everett challenged Dolly's harassers to come to her memorial service later this week "and witness the complete devastation you have created."
"If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Doll's life will not be wasted," he said.
Hat maker Akubra said in a statement on Facebook the company was shocked. When Dolly was eight years old, she became the face of Christmas adverts for Australia's unofficial national hat.
"Dolly chose to end her life last week due to bullying. She was not even 15 years old," the company said.
"To think that anyone could feel so overwhelmed and that this was their only option is unfathomable.
"Bullying of any type is unacceptable. It is up to us to stand up when we see any kind of bullying behaviour."
According to the National Centre Against Bullying, one in five Australian children reported being bullied in the past 12 months, while the Australian Institute of Family studies says between 10 and 20 percent of children and young people have been cyberbullied.
The family of 14-year-old Amy Everett, nicknamed Dolly, who took her own life last week after being the victim of cyberbullying, are paying tribute to her saying she was a "caring, beautiful soul." #Studio10 pic.twitter.com/ojKClxKHfp— Studio 10 (@Studio10au) January 10, 2018
In response to a post about Dolly, Australia's e-safety commissioner, Julie Inman-Grant, said her office is committed to fighting online bullying.
"This is a global fight and we need to figure out the best strategies to call out abuse and disrespect when we see it and encourage young people to report and seek help," she said in response to a question on Twitter.
"They are not alone - there is a Global alliance of people that want to help support and empower."