Schools and workplaces were awash with blue on Friday 10 May, with thousands standing together against bullying on the first Do it for Dolly Day.
Dolly’s mum, Kate Everett, said remembering to always treat others with respect was a great first step in stopping bullying.
“Blue was Dolly’s favourite colour and creating a sea of blue on Do it for Dolly Day reminded people to be kind to those around them,” she said.
Dolly’s dad, Tick, said he hoped a community show of strength would drive home the anti-bullying message on Do it for Dolly Day.
“By coming together and getting behind the cause, people will encourage their mates to do the same and, before long, everyone will feel brave enough to speak out against bullying,” he said.
And that you all did – in spades. Do it for Dolly Day was incredible.
Fundraisers were held in every state and territory and included schools, kindergartens, childcare centres, businesses, girl guides, sports clubs, hospitals, government departments, as well as other charities.
We remembered Dolly and supported her family’s mission by ‘going blue’ at school or work and holding fundraising events to help provide much-needed resources to parents of bullied children.
We saw businesses and sporting clubs donating a portion of sales from selling blue flowers, scrunchies, driving lessons, beauty treatments, blue food and blue cocktails, just to name a few. Knights Roses dedicated a rose shrub to Dolly. Schools sold blue cupcakes, milkshakes and jelly and dressed in blue for a gold coin donation. And there were morning teas, afternoon teas, and sausage sizzles – Jeremi from Maple Street Meats even made a blueberry sausage!
Your support helped us reach more than 1.2 million people and cover Australia in a sea of blue.
Hundreds of photos were shared across #doitfordollyday and here are just a few to show how you helped spread kindness all over the country.
The day was only a success because of the caring Dolly’s Dream crew and your amazing efforts on the day – thank you.
Emma Booth was 11 when she excelled on horseback, however, her riding ambitions were put on hold in April 2013 when a serious car accident left her paralysed from the waist down. Determined to ride again, Emma overcame incredible challenges to get back in the saddle within six months of the crash, going on to compete in dressage at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil. Emma, now 27, became a Do It For Dolly Day Champion to spread positivity. She wants to remind people that although bullying has terrible consequences, kind actions and words, in everyday life and on social media, can have an equally positive impact.
Tom Curtain is a two-time Golden Guitar winner and Dolly’s Dream ambassador. He and the Katherine Outback Experience team have just completed a three-month ‘Speak Up’ tour through regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Tom was inspired to write the song Speak Up by Dolly’s words, “Speak even if your voice shakes”. He recorded the duet with Sara Storer and within two days of it being released, Speak Up reached the top spot on the iTunes Country Music Chart.
Tom has a close relationship with Dolly’s parents, Kate and Tick, and has signed on as a Do It For Dolly Day Champion to continue promoting kindness and speaking out against bullying.
Swimmer Maddie Elliott hit the global stage at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, when she became the youngest Australian Paralympian to win a gold medal. Maddie was only 13 at the time and also took home one silver and two bronze medals.
In 2014 she followed up this huge success by breaking a world record at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and again at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, where Maddie’s record-breaking performances earned her three gold and two silver medals from her eight events.
The talented swimmer became an Australian hero but also the target of online bullies who questioned the extent of her mobility impairment, her classification and her credibility.
Maddie signed on as a Do It For Dolly Day Champion to speak out against bullying and to support other young people who are experiencing cyber bullying.
When Victorian year 12 student Wren Gillett was 14, a fellow student set up an Instagram account dedicated to distributing hurtful messages about her. Since that time, Wren has rekindled a friendship with the girl who bullied her. She believes today’s young people need support and resilience training because their peers can always reach them. Wren, who chairs the VicSRC, hopes to study law or broadcast journalism and dreams of working with the United Nations. She has signed on as a Do It For Dolly Day Champion because she is passionate about empowering young people.
Australian actor Lincoln Younes was bullied during his school years, and has signed on as a Do It for Dolly Day Champion to honour Dolly’s plight and help put a stop to bullying. He wants to reassure young people that their bullies and school life don’t define them and that they are not alone. Lincoln is sending his support for Do It For Dolly Day all the way from the US. He is currently in Los Angeles filming Eva Longoria’s new series Grand Hotel for ABC US, which is set to air in June. Back home he is best-known for his roles as Romeo Kovac in Tangle, Casey Braxton in Home and Away and Chris Vesty in Love Child.