Resolutions / Wellbeing

Flowers need time to bloom and so do you – Meg Everett is doing it for Dolly

Meg Everett

"Every day is another chance to start over," says Meg Everett. It's big sister advice she wants to share with young people today.

Meg grew up in one of the most remote parts of Australia, a cattle farm in the Northern Territory with Dolly. More than sisters, they were best friends. Once high school age, the girls were enrolled in a boarding school together. Here, Dolly was subject to a vicious spate of bullying that led to her taking her own life. She was just 14.

Through this moment of profound grief, Dolly's parents and sister founded Dolly's Dream, an organisation committed to changing the culture of bullying. Dolly's Dream addresses and raises awareness of the impact of bullying on young people, especially for young people who are in more isolated environments.

Our chronic connectedness has given way to more pathways for abuse. While Dolly's Dream helped enshrine Dolly's Law – a law criminalising online bullying – bullying remains a more pervasive problem than ever. In fact, the eSafety Commission shared a report earlier this year that indicated the reporting of cyberbullying in Australia had increased by 40 per cent.

Meg laments at how negative today's spaces have become for young people. As someone who identifies mustering cattle in the outback as "her happy place", she wishes things could be simpler for the young people of today. "Kids deserve to live a simple life without worries, where they can just go to school, play with friends and play games," she says.

But more than that, she wishes there could be more understanding. "I think some people don’t take it seriously when someone says they are not okay with a situation. Just because they don’t see a problem, doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem."

"Kindness costs nothing and means everything. You never know what someone has been through or is going through," says Meg.



This is the underlying message behind Do It For Dolly Day on 10 May, an annual moment to spread kindness and unite in breaking the silence and shame around bullying.

To mark our 20th anniversary year, RUSSH has officially aligned with Dolly’s Dream – with commitments that range from donated media campaigns to a bespoke fundraising strategy.

Publisher and editor-in-chief Jess Blanch says, "Over the years we have supported charities and organisations to the best of our abilities, especially within the First Nations space, however we wanted to mark this special milestone with a partnership that has longevity and a plan for a sustained commitment.

"I grew up on Kamilaroi and Geawegal country in rural NSW, and I understand firsthand the unique challenges that face youth in isolated areas. I raise two daughters now in the city, every day I am reminded of this stark contrast.

"Life on the land can be tough on families and communities, and I still remember the day of Dolly Everett’s passing in 2018. It something that has never left me. Now, I am grateful we are in a position to make a positive contribution to the dialogue around bullying, utilising the half-a-million-strong audience we have built over the past 20 years."

There are many ways to support Do It For Dolly Day. You can register a community event, donate, or spread awareness by adding a dash of blue to your outfit on 10 May. But for Meg she says the best way to support is to simply be kind. "Your kindness may change the course of someone’s life. Be an upstander, speak up on behalf of someone else. This takes great courage," she says.

We asked Meg what she wanted to tell the young people of today, and she brimmed with words of resilience. Looking after yourself is an act of courage and she says "don’t hold back on doing something you are passionate about. You don’t need the latest pieces of clothing to look beautiful or to be good enough. Your body is perfect the way it is. Wear sunscreen, especially on your face."

But also, she wants more young people to know that it's okay not to have everything figured out. "It’s okay to have a small circle. Trust me, it’s okay to not know what you want to do after school. It’s not a race."

"Not every day is a bad day, flowers need time to bloom and so do you."


RUSSH has created a limited edition "Do It For Dolly" t-shirt, available on the RUSSH store. Full proceeds will go direct to Do It For Dolly.

Additionally and moving forward, $2 from the sale of every copy of RUSSH Magazine, will be donated.

Be kind, always.


If you or someone you know is struggling, there are free resources available on or via the Beacon App. All people no matter where they live have access to help.



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