A 14-year-old girl whose family say took her own life after being targeted by bullies online has been remembered at a memorial service.
Hundreds of mourners attended the service for Amy “Dolly” Everett, who was known for once being the face of Australian hat brand Akubra.
The memorial was held in the Northern Territory town of Katherine, near her family’s cattle ranch, with most people wearing blue, the teenager’s favourite colour.
After the service, balloons and butterflies were released in tribute.
“Thank you to everybody for the overwhelming love and support that the family has received over the last few days,” said Dolly’s father, Tick Everett.
“We realised many people have travelled a long way to be with us today and we appreciate everyone who came along today to say farewell, to a beautiful daughter and a beautiful little sister Dolly.”
A photograph of a young Dolly has been used by Akubra Hats since 2009, most recently at Christmas last year.
The brand posted a tribute online, expressing their “shock” and saying that she had chosen to end her life to escape being bullied.
Mr Everett, supported by his wife Kate and daughter Meg, has urged parents to speak to their children about bullying following his daughter’s death.
“Speak even if your voice shakes,” he said, quoting a caption from a sketch of a dancer that Dolly had recently drawn. “Stop bullying and be kind, and do it for Dolly.”
Prior to the memorial, Mr Everett called for his daughter’s bullies to attend the service via social media.
“Firstly if by some chance the people who thought this was a joke and made themselves feel superior by the constant bullying and harassment see this post, please come to our service and witness the complete devastation you have created.”
Dolly’s death caused shock across Australia, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledging to do more to tackle cyberbullying and raise awareness of the dangers.
“From pain and loss, we must renew our commitment to say no to bullying,” he wrote in a Facebook comment.
Northern Territory police are investigating the bullying allegations on behalf of a state coroner.
No criminal investigation is under way, but the coroner can recommend criminal charges at the end of an investigation into an unexpected death.
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