Do It For Dolly Day: Learn the seven signs that your child is being targeted by bullies

Richmond AFLW player Courtney Wakefield and her family are getting behind Do It For Dolly Day to spread the word against bullying. Picture: Supplied.
Richmond AFLW player Courtney Wakefield and her family are getting behind Do It For Dolly Day to spread the word against bullying. Picture: Supplied.

Richmond AFLW player Courtney Wakefield is taking a stand against bullying as an ambassador for this year's Do It For Dolly Day.

She is joining hundreds of communities across regional and rural Australia on Friday, May 14 who are embracing the messages to be kind, dress in blue and say no to bullying.

Do It For Dolly Day commemorates Dolly Everett, the 14-year-old from the Northern Territory who took her life in 2018 after sustained and ongoing bullying and online bullying. Her grieving parents, Kate and Tick Everett, started Dolly's Dream to ensure no other family went through the same devastation.

AFLW player Courtney Wakefield is a mother of two and hopes her children can grow up in a world where people choose kindness over bullying. Picture: Supplied.

AFLW player Courtney Wakefield is a mother of two and hopes her children can grow up in a world where people choose kindness over bullying. Picture: Supplied.

Acting as a voice for those who can't speak for themselves, Dolly's Dream aims to create a kinder world and works to prevent other precious lives being lost by educating and empowering families and schools.

Courtney, 34 and a mother of two who lives with her family on a station in south-west NSW, said she had a similar upbringing to Dolly as a young girl growing up in the outback.

"I'm now bringing up my young daughter and son in country Australia," she said.

"I absolutely worry about my kids being bullied. They haven't been exposed to a lot yet, especially school and socialising. I can raise them the best I can, but at some stage they'll be in the big, bad world and I hope they'll be safe.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

Courtney Wakefield

"It's so easy to be kind. It's what I want to instill in my children and if I can instill it in other boys and girls across the country, I'm happy."

Do It For Dolly Day

With recent research showing half of Australian young people have been cyber bullied or experienced other hurtful online behaviour in their lifetime, it's never been more important for families to say 'no more' and to learn the seven signs that your child is being targeted.

This year's Do It For Dolly Day is seeing communities across the country in bigger numbers than ever embrace the anti-bullying messages.

Dolly's mum, Kate Everett has called on all families this year to learn more about the signs of online bullying.

"We know that only about half of teens who've been online bullied tell their parents about it," Kate said.

"Some teens hide their experiences of online bullying so well that their families have no idea anything is wrong. But many others show warning signs.

"This Do It For Dolly Day, Tick and I ask everyone to learn about the seven signs that your child is being bullied online."

Dolly's dad Tick urged everyone to say yes to kindness and no to bullying.

"We can all show compassion, tolerance, respect and sensitivity towards other people.

When we feel empathy, we are less likely to bully others," Tick said.

Psychologist Dr Charlotte Keating said if parents or carers suspect that bullying might be happening, try and remain really calm.

"Try and get to the bottom of what is going on so that you are able to take the steps you need to either stop it from happening or take the evidence, report it, and block if need be," Dr Keating said.

To learn the seven signs your child is being bullied and more about Do It For Dolly Day, visit dollysdream.org.au

Lifeline 13 11 14