I was a bully but I changed my life
A TOWNSVILLE man has admitted he used to a bully but says he has changed his life in a statement following the death of Amy 'Dolly' Everett.
The 14-year-old girl took her own life after being relentlessly targeted by bullies. She will be farewelled at a funeral today.
The Townsville man, who The Bulletin has not named, admitted he used to be guilty of bullying at school in a post on social media.
"I was wrong," he said.
"It took a long time to see the damage I caused by bullying.
"I have rebuilt those relationships over time and expressed remorse and hopefully have been forgiven.
"Now that I have my one little girl it breaks my heart to think that even a girl who is this inspiring and beautiful still gets ridiculed and bullied constantly.
"Even online your words can damage someone, and even drive them to want to die.
"Spread love not hate. We are all the same. One love."
Townsville has reacted strongly to Amy's death and there has been an outpouring of grief on social media, the very platform which was used to bully the young girl.
Many have taken aim at bullies and trolls on social media, calling for them to be punished.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said "every step" must be taken to stamp out cyber-bullying while sending a heartfelt message to the family of Ms Everett.
In a statement, her father Tick, mum Kate and sister Meg Everett said their world "came crashing down" when Dolly passed away last week.
"Our daughter Dolly was the kindest, caring, beautiful soul and she was always caring for animals, small children, other children at boarding school who were less fortunate than herself," the family said.
"Out of all the sadness that the loss of our daughter has brought to our lives, we feel that through losing Dolly we would like to help other families by making an awareness of bullying and harassment that some people are sadly subject to."
Mr Everett went on to challenge those who had bullied his daughter to attend her funeral and see the devastation left behind.