'I needed time to heal': Meg Everett on new Dolly's Dream ambassador role

By Sarah Matthews
Updated May 12 2022 - 11:42pm, first published 10:00pm
Meg Everett is getting ready for her first Do It For Dolly Day in the public eye. Picture: Mel Bethel Photography

Amy 'Dolly' Everett's older sister Meg needed time to heal and be a kid before stepping into the spotlight. But now, she's ready for her first Do It For Dolly Day as an ambassador.

The Katherine family were thrown into the spotlight after Dolly's death by suicide at age 14 in 2018 after relentless online bullying.

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Meg, 20, said although she was always helping out behind the scenes, it was vital for her parents to protect her from the media storm that followed her sister's highly-publicised death and her parents' advocacy for youth mental health and online safety.

"I needed time to heal to still have a childhood and grow up and everything," she said.

"Mum and Dad were very good at making sure that nothing changed. They did a really good job of protecting me from the media and from people trying to get things out of me and that sort of stuff.

"I decided this year that I've grown up a bit now. Between working full time...I would love to help out a little bit here and there."

Meg and Dolly's mother Kate said she was initially concerned about the toll that being a public figure could have on Meg.

"I didn't want her to have her last teenage years just being in the spotlight and having to deal with so much and also protecting her from any trolling," Kate said.

"[I thought] what if she does an interview and she stumbles...people are mean online...I've lost one daughter, no way am I going to let it happen to another one.

"But she's an adult...she's just reached the stage where she is strong and herself and she mentioned she's ready to stand up and help us so publicly which is really exciting."

Kate and Meg are getting ready for a series of high-profile events and media appearances for today's Do It For Dolly Day, which is a be a big adjustment for the naturally shy Meg who works on a cattle station in northwest Queensland.

"At first I was like 'it's not too bad. And then I'm like, I'm really shy and get stage fright and stuff like that...Oh, my God, what have I gotten myself into?" Meg said.

"[But] it will be good. I really want to help young people and I would love to make a difference, especially for rural people because I think they get forgotten about a bit."

Of course, talking about the loss of a loved one is emotionally taxing work. But the Everetts are a tough bunch, and think the positive impact of their advocacy is worth it.

"Every time we get up and speak about it, it is raising awareness and hopefully a parent or a child out there will go 'oh my goodness, I need help,'" Kate said.

"And that in itself is what you keep doing it for."

Kate said although she will be away from home for this year's Do If For Dolly Day, she's been blown away by the Katherine community's support for the event.

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"Being in Katherine for this day is really special. It's really emotional," she said.

"We just hope that the community finds some information and finds what we do useful.

"They're just so supportive, they're just so amazing."

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