Hundreds wear blue in tribute to Dolly Everett
HUNDREDS of people have paid their respects to Amy "Dolly" Everett in a moving memorial service in Toowoomba this morning.
Inside the packed Our Lady of Lourdes church, the crowd remembered the innocent cowgirl whose life was cut far too short in a tragic story.
It was the heartbreaking story of a young girl pushed to her limit; and one that brought hardened men and women of the land to tears.
A little cowgirl who put fear aside, rode motorbikes on her family's property in Katherine, delivered sunshine to the station workers, stood tall on horses and excelled at school sports.
The smiling daughter and sister once the face of the iconic Akubra hat now the catalyst behind an anti-bulling crusade that has swept the nation and broken hearts.
Our Lady of Lourdes in Toowoomba was filled with every shade of blue as family and friends from around the region and the state united to Do It For Dolly.
On behalf of Dolly's parents Tick and Kate, and their daughter Meg, Kate's cousin Jackie Price delivered an emotional eulogy that recalled a young girl whose nickname given the day after she was born stayed with her ever since.
The "innocent, happy little country girl" would defy station rules and set about "bringing some sunshine" and flowers to the property workers' daily lives, Mrs Price said.
She was loved by her teachers, peers and governesses in her primary school years with the Mt Isa School of the Air, and was a popular student at camps.
At Scots PGC in Warwick, where Dolly started high school boarding from the family home, she excelled on the sports fields including netball, baseball, cross country and hurdles.
Cousin Hayley Maudsley read the poem she wrote in honour of Dolly, an ode to the cowgirl who honed her own identity with her horse by her side.
"They all try to look the same, all try to give themselves a name, pick on the girl who is all alone, just because her identity is her own," she read from There's a Cowgirl in Heaven.
"A cool identity isn't a need, let those you bully be freed.
"You identity should be your own, a better person you will be known."
Her legacy achieved in just 14 years will not be how she died so young, but that the tragedy will encourage parents and children to speak up and reach out; to fight against bullies and put an end to the torment.
That sentiment is why more than 100 people, dressed in shades of blue, gathered in Toowoomba, and why the doors were open to the community.
After the service, Mrs Price said it was Dolly's family's wish that the tragedy be not in vain and that the conversation puts an end to bullying and saves lives.
More than 34,000 people have shown their support for Dolly's Dream on social media.
Donations are encouraged to Dolly's Dream Foundation, a charity group established by Dolly's family and friends to facilitate positive change for other young lives.
Donations can be made to:
DOLLY'S DREAM FOUNDATION