Photo: Amy Jayne Everett, affectionately known as Dolly in iconic Australian hatmaker Akubra's ad campaign
A public memorial service will be held on Friday in Australia’s Northern Territory for Amy Jayne Everett, who as a child was the face of the iconic Australian hatmaker Akubra.
The 14-year-old girl took her own life last week over online harassment and bullying. Friends and family members who will attend the memorial service have been asked to wear blue, which was the girl’s favorite color.
Affectionately known as Dolly, her smiling photo featured for Akubra’s Christmas ad campaign was well known worldwide. Eight years later, Dolly's picture is once again circulating online but as the face of an anti-bullying campaign started by her family.
Amy was from a well-known Northern Territory cattle family. In a statement released on Wednesday, the Everett family said, “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.”
Dolly's father Tick Everett expressed his grief on social media, saying his beloved daughter felt she had no other option, without sharing any details of the suicide.
The grieving family also told local media they will establish a trust called "Dolly's Dream" hoping to raise awareness around bullying, anxiety, depression and youth suicide. “Out of all the sadness that the loss of our daughter has brought to our lives, we feel that through losing Dolly we would like to help other families by making an awareness of bullying and harassment that some people are sadly subject to,” according to the statement.
The wide-brimmed rabbit-fur Akubra hat is one of Australia's most recognizable brands, closely associated with rural outback life. Akubra Hats also wrote a post on social media, which has been shared more than 11,000 times, to honor the girl who was the face of their past Christmas advertisements.
"Bullying of any type is unacceptable. It is up to us to stand up when we see any kind of bullying behavior,” the company said.
One in five children in Australia say they were bullied in the past year. The close-knit pastoral community is said to be devastated by the suicide, and many people send messages to support and share their own experiences with bullying and mental health.
Australians expressed shock and left messages on the website of The Australian, condemning the ongoing online violence in Australia. And Dolly’s friends and family took aim at so-called keyboard warriors and vowed to protect Dolly's memory by offering support for raising a greater awareness of youth bullying