The second Do It For Dolly Day will look vastly different in light of COVID-19 restrictions but the message is the same: everyone can still say yes to kindness and no to bullying on Friday, May 8, and beyond.
With more young people than ever before online across Australia, awareness and prevention of bullying has never been more important.
This month, eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant revealed that higher use of the internet during the COVID-19 crisis has been accompanied by a 40 per cent spike in reports to eSafety across its reporting areas.
Last year, thousands of families, schools and workplaces were awash with blue as Australia stood together against bullying for the inaugural Do It For Dolly Day and it’s hoped even more will join the fight this year.
Dolly Everett was only 14 when she took her life in January 2018, following relentless and sustained bullying and cyber-bullying.
Her parents, Tick and Kate Everett, created the Dolly’s Dream organisation, determined that no other family would suffer from the same devastation.
“We can’t ask people to come together like last year but fostering a sense of community and togetherness is more important than ever,” Kate said.
“Kindness is at the core of everything we do. We believe that through kindness we can create a sense of community and, together, we can combat bullying.”
This Do It For Dolly Day, the Everetts are asking everyone to share the Dolly’s Dream message by wearing blue, decorating in blue and posting on social media using #DoItForDollyDay.
And Australians have answered the call – getting creative to spread a unified anti-bullying message.
Chantal Simons, who led an all-women team on an epic journey across the Simpson Desert last year, is also taking part in this year’s event.
“This Do It For Dolly Day we will all have to focus our efforts to raise awareness for Dolly’s Dream online. This is especially relevant during these times as cyber-bullying has become more frequent,” Chantal said.
“I will wear blue around the house, post on social media and connect with my friends online.
“I am aiming to do an Instagram live with some of my fellow female riders who crossed the Simpson Desert on motorbikes last year, and raised over $24,000 for Dolly’s Dream.”
Arnhem Earthmoving and Mechanical, has provided its employees based in various locations including remote parts of the Northern Territory, with blue hi-vis shirts and Dolly’s Dream caps.
Jodie Simpsonsaid that this year, the company is likely to have around 30 employees take part in the day, donning their hi-vis shirts, taking photos and advertising through social media, as well as fundraising activities.
“Last year everyone really took part in the day, it raised so many smiles and really made us all stop and think about how we can treat each other that bit kinder,” Ms Simpson said.
“It really does change the mood in the place to a brighter, happier one.”