World

Suicide of Australian teen ad star sparks cyber bullying campaign

SYDNEY: The father of a teenager who starred in advertisements for a well-known Australian hat brand and killed herself after being bullied online has vowed her life "will not be wasted" as a campaign against cyber bullying gains traction.

A memorial for 14-year-old Amy Everett, known as Dolly, who was once the face of the Akubra hat, is being held today following her suicide on Jan 3 after constant harassment.

Her family launched the #stopbullyingnow campaign, which has spread on social media, and plans to establish the Dolly's Dream trust to raise awareness around bullying, anxiety, depression and youth suicide.

"This week has been an example of how social media should be used; it has also been an example of how it shouldn't be," her father Tick Everett said on Facebook.

"If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Doll's life will not be wasted."

Mr Everett invited his daughter's tormentors to her service to "witness the complete devastation you have created", while advocating that others stand up to cyber bullying.

Dolly featured in past Christmas ads for Akubra, whose headwear is synonymous with outback Australia.

The company said it was "shocked and distressed" by her death.

One in seven Australian children are often subjected to cyber bullying, according to the National Centre Against Bullying, and youth suicide rate in the Northern Territory, where Dolly was from, is among the highest in Australia.

The Everett family has received an outpouring of support online. - AFP


HELPLINES

Samaritans of Singapore: 
1800-221-4444

Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019

Institute of Mental Health's Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222

Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800

Shan You Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 6741-0078

Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928

Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788

WORLD