Be the change you want to see in the world.
This is an adage Gulgong High School student Jack Egan and his mates embraced when they wore blue for Do It For Dolly Day recently to help fight bullying culture and encourage acceptance and understanding at school and in the community.
Jack spoke with the Mudgee Guardian about why Dolly Day - which is in its third year - is so important.
"We at Gulgong High School don't tolerate bullying," Jack said.
"It's been an issue that we see that gets swept under the covers a fair bit, so we jumped on top of it and we decided we'll express how we feel and a few students dressed up for Do It For Dolly Day.
I was told since I was young - You weren't put on this earth to fit in, you're put on this earth just to stand out and be yourself.
"We're extremely lucky that our school and the principal was behind this 100 per cent."
Jack said bullying, for many people, is something to be expected. A part of life, but wanted to remind people that it doesn't have to be.
"We're asking people. You know, if you see anyone upset there's no cost to be kind. There's no harm in smiling at someone, offering to help them with their groceries because there is no cost to being kind," he said.
"And I believe that, you know, what you put in is what you get out.
"So, you know, if you're nice to someone they will be nice back. If you're a horrible person, they'll be horrible back."
Do It For Dolly Day encourages people to wear blue, the favourite colour of Amy 'Dolly' Everett who in January 2018 at 14 years of age took her own life after relentless bullying in person and online.
"A lot of people wore blue, which made me feel good knowing that, you know, just a little message changed a tiny bit. I think that people were willing to actually express and give support," Jack said.
"I was told since I was young - You weren't put on this earth to fit in, you're put on this earth just to stand out and be yourself.
"Let everybody know that who you are is who you are and you're not there to be a ghost basically, you're yourself and I feel like that's why I was so keen to get behind Dolly Day because that's true like you know, be yourself, express yourself the way you want to, if you want to do something do it there's nothing stopping you."
Be a mate. Be kind.
If you or anyone you know needs help:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36