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The Parent’s Podcast by Bravehearts is essential listening for all parents and carers. Hosts Carol Ronken, Bravehearts’ Head of Research, and Mathew Sinclair, Bravehearts’ National Child Protection Training Manager, interview some of Australia’s most esteemed thought-leaders in child protection, providing parents with current and practical information.

“Parents are such an important part of our work here at Bravehearts. Our vision is to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child, and that simply can’t be done without providing adequate, meaningful support for parents,” says Mr Sinclair.

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Episode Descriptions

Season One - Keeping kids and young people safe online

Episode 1

Featuring Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner

Julie Inman Grant is the e-Safety Commissioner and heads up the lead agency for internet safety in Australia.  In this episode we talk about the role of the Office of the e-Safety Commissioner, recent trends in internet-based risks to children, where parents can go to learn more about safe internet use and Julie shares her top 3 tips for parents to help keep their kids safe online.

Episode 2

Featuring Detective Acting Superintendent Jon Rouse, Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE)

Detective Acting Superintendent Jon Rouse is a Bravehearts Ambassador and works with the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE).  He has a wealth of experience in working to detect and prevent internet-based offending against children since the 1990s.  Detective Inspector Rouse shares with us the importance parental controls and shares his advice for parents to help keep their children safe online.

Episode 3

Featuring Professor Daryl Higgins, Institute for Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University

Our guest in this episode is Professor Daryl Higgins of the Institute for Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University. We discuss different educational programs available to promote internet safety for children and young people and the role of parents. We also talk about important preventative messages parents can share with their children.

Episode 4

Featuring Dr Deirdre Thompson, Director of Therapeutic and Support Services, Bravehearts

What if my child is engaging in harmful sexual behaviour online? In this final episode of our first series, we talk with Director of Therapeutic and Support Services at Bravehearts, Dr Deirdre Thompson.  Deirdre talks with us about Bravehearts’ Turning Corners Program for young people engaging in harmful sexual behaviour and dispels some myths often related to this topic.  Deirdre shares with us some of her advice for parents whose child may be a victim of internet-based offending and where a parent can turn to first for help.

Season Two - Consent, respectful relationships and sex education

Episode 1

Featuring Maree Crabbe, Co-founder and Director, It’s Time We Talked

In the first episode of this series, we speak with Maree Crabbe, Co-founder and Director of Australian violence prevention project It’s Time We Talked, about the impact of pornography on children and young people and their relationships and explore how pornography and sexualised content influences young people’s behaviours and their wellbeing. Maree also provides valuable advice on talking to your kids about what they may be exposed to online.

Episode 2

Featuring Jacqui Hendriks, Lecturer and Researcher, Curtin University

Speaking with Jacqui Hendriks we explore the importance of effective sex education in schools, and the role sex and relationship education can play in preventing sexual assaults. Jacqui speaks with our hosts about the role we have as parents and provides tips for parents on talking to their kids, honestly and openly about sex.

Episode 3

Featuring Katrina Marson, Senior Prosecutor (Sexual Offences Unit), ACT Director of Public Prosecutions

Expanding on the earlier discussion on the importance of sex education, Katrina Marson joins us to talk about teaching respect in relationships. Katrina shares her learnings from research she conducted through a Churchill Fellowship exploring how evidence-based sex and relationship education can protect children and young people from sexual harm.

Episode 4

Featuring Jonathon Crowe, Professor of Law, Bond University

Current conversations in the media around consent have pointed to the need for greater understanding of how consent is defined and gained. Touching on the law and current gaps, Jonathon Crowe, from Bond University, talks with us about ‘enthusiastic consent’ and the key components of what active consent looks like.

Episode 5

Featuring Gabby Wootton, Turning Corners Clinician, Bravehearts and Jordan Gartner, Training Facilitator, Bravehearts

In this final episode we speak with Gabby Wootton and Jordan Gartner, from Bravehearts, about the psychoeducational approach we take in delivering programs to young people. Gabby and Jordan talk about what they have learnt from the youth they work with, and what parents need to know about the issues they are facing.

ABout our guests

Julie Inman Grant

eSafety Commissioner
Office of eSafety Commissioner Australia

In her role as eSafety Commissioner, Julie leads the world’s first government agency committed to keeping its citizens safer online.

Julie has extensive experience in the non-profit and government sectors and spent two decades working in senior public policy and safety roles in the tech industry at Microsoft, Twitter and Adobe.

The Commissioner’s career began in Washington DC, working in the US Congress and the non-profit sector before taking on a role at Microsoft. Julie’s experience at Microsoft spanned 17 years, serving as one of the company’s first and longest-standing government relations professionals, ultimately in the role of Global Safety Director for safety policy and outreach. At Twitter, she set up and drove the company’s policy, safety and philanthropy programs across Australia, New Zealand & Southeast Asia.

As Commissioner, Julie plays an important global role as Chair of the Child Dignity Alliance’s Technical Working Group and as a Board Member of the WePROTECT Global Alliance. She was designated one of Australia’s most influential women by the Australian Financial Review in 2019.

Professor Daryl Higgins

Director of Institute of Child Protection Studies
Australian Catholic University

Professor Daryl Higgins’ research focuses on public health approaches to protecting children and child-safe organisational strategies. A registered psychologist, for over 25 years Prof Higgins has been researching child abuse impacts and prevention, family violence and family functioning – including prevention of child sexual abuse and online safety. The Institute’s work on child sexual abuse prevention, safeguarding in youth-serving organisations, and resources for families, organisations, and the community can be found at:

Detective Acting Superintendent Jon Rouse

Head of Covert Online Operations Team, Victim Identification Unit and Training Team
Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE)

Detective Acting Superintendent Jon Rouse has 37 years’ service with the Queensland Police Service in Australia. In 1996 Jon commenced investigating crimes against children and in 2001 he commenced at Task Force Argos where he implemented Australia’s first operation to proactively target internet child sex offenders.

He has instigated multiple national and international investigations targeting child exploitation criminal networks and has delivered training to law enforcement officers in Australia and across the world.

Jon is currently the Chair of the Covert Internet Investigations Group for the INTERPOL Specialists on Crimes against Children and is a Director with The Society for the Policing of Cyberspace (POLCYB).

In July 2019 Jon was seconded to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) to lead the Covert Online operations team, Victim Identification Unit and Training team.

Jon is the recipient of four Commissioners Certificates for his operational leadership and two Queensland Police Excellence awards for Child Protection Prevention.

In May 2018, Jon accepted the ‘Champion for Children Award’ in New York from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in recognition of his dedication for over 24 years to fighting and investigating crimes against children.

Jon was awarded the Queensland Australian of the Year for 2019 and he is the recipient of the Queensland Police Medal, the National Service Medal, the Exemplary Conduct medal, the National Police Medal and the Australian Police Medal.

Jon is an Ambassador for Act for Kids, Bravehearts and The Carly Ryan Foundation.

Dr Deirdre Thompson

Director of Therapeutic And Support Services

Dr Deirdre Thompson has been with Bravehearts since 2014 commencing in the role of National Therapeutic Services Manager before moving into the role of Director of Therapeutic And Support Services in the same year.

Deirdre holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) and a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, with just under 30 years of experience both in the UK and Australia in both Forensic and Community Settings.

She is passionate about working with and protecting the most vulnerable members of our society and has held senior roles within Government and the not-for-profit sector for 20 years in Australia.

Deirdre currently provides oversight to all of our client services, including Counselling, Turning corners, Redress Support Services, and our National Information and Support Service.

Deirdre was instrumental in developing and implementing the Bravehearts Turning Corners Program, a program aimed at providing early intervention and response to young people engaging in or at risk of engaging in harmful sexual behaviours.

Deirdre is committed to extending the reach of all of these services as well as developing and implementing new and innovative services within Australia to enable us to meet our mission of protecting children across Australia.

Maree Crabbe

Co-founder and Director
It’s time we talked (formerly Reality & Risk: Pornography, young people and sexuality)

Maree Crabbe is co-founder and Director of the Australian violence prevention project, It’s time we talked (formerly Reality & Risk: Pornography, young people and sexuality).

She is Co-Producer and Co-Director of the documentary films Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography, broadcast on SBS in Australia and in 35 other countries, and The Porn Factor, broadcast on SBS. She is also author of In The Picture – a resource to support secondary schools to address the influence of explicit sexual imagery.

Maree has worked with young people – and on issues affecting young people – for over 25 years. She has developed and delivered programs focusing on sexual violence prevention, sexual diversity, pornography, sexting, and the prevention of sexually transmissible infections.

Maree’s contributions to public conversations about young people, sexuality and pornography include television and radio interviews, and articles in online and print media.

Jacqui Hendriks

Lecturer and Researcher, Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health (CERIPH)
Curtin University

Jacqui Hendriks is a lecturer and researcher at Curtin University, based at the Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health (CERIPH). She is Project Manager of the RSE Project, is part of the management team for SiREN and is a Board Member of the Australian Association for Adolescent Health. Jacqui is dedicated to ensuring that all young people are able to receive comprehensive, contemporary and engaging relationships and sexuality education (from home, school and elsewhere); have the ability to engage in consensual and pleasurable sexual activities; and can access best-practice health and/or other support services easily, equitably and without shame.

Katrina Marson

Senior Prosecutor (Sexual Offences Unit)
ACT Director of Public Prosecutions

Katrina Marson graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 2012. She majored in Gender Studies in her Arts degree, and her Law Honours thesis argued that the criminal justice system fails to reduce the incidence of unwanted sexual experiences for young Australians, compared to preventative education methods which are more effective. In 2012, Katrina was awarded the Maree Ayers Prize for Criminal Justice and the Tillyard Prize for outstanding contribution to university life by the ANU. In 2013, she was named ANU Student of the Year. She went into legal practice as a criminal lawyer, working for the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions between 2013 and 2018, including in the family violence and sexual offences units. She spent a year of that period on secondment at Legal Aid ACT as a criminal defence lawyer. In 2016 she was named ACT Young Lawyer of the Year.

Katrina sat on the Governance Committee of the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre between 2012 and 2017, and tutors in Criminal Law and Evidence Law at ANU. She has published articles in the area of law reform and policy, particularly in relation to sexualised and family violence.

In 2018, Katrina was appointed Director of the ACT’s Child Abuse Royal Commission Criminal Justice Response Team – responsible for implementing the criminal justice recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse in the Australian Capital Territory.

In 2020, she returned to the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions and is now the 2IC of the Sexual Offences Unit there. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2018, and in 2019 traveled to Europe and North America researching the use of relationships and sex education to safeguard sexual wellbeing.  Katrina was an inaugural Fellow of the Policy Impact Program, a collaboration of the University of Queensland and the Churchill Trust Australia.

Jonathan Crowe

Professor of Law
Bond University

Jonathan Crowe is Professor of Law at Bond University and a founding Co-Director of Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy, an Australia-wide initiative working to shape community responses to sexual violence. He is the author or editor of nine books and more than 100 scholarly book chapters and journal articles. He comments regularly in the media on legal issues, particularly in relation to sexual consent. He is also a former President of the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy and current Co-President of the Australian Dispute Resolution Research Network.

Gabby Wootton

Turning Corners Clinician

Gabby is a registered psychologist working in the Turning Corners Program at Bravehearts and has a passion for working with young people. Working from a trauma-informed lens, Gabby has a focus on understanding the whole person including their attachment and developmental history. Previous work experiences include working with those affected by sexual assault, domestic violence, and other forms of trauma and adverse life experiences, providing diagnostic assessments and reviews, working with those with disabilities and complex mental health issues, and working with complex emotional and behavioural presentations.

Jordan Gardner

Training Facilitator

Jordan has an Honours in Psychology and established her early career working in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres, supporting children with disabilities and creating personal safety programs for young people. Her dedication to leading practice prevention programs stems from her observations that many individuals who had experienced complex trauma in their childhood were often struggling to achieve positive outcomes. Jordan is currently studying a Masters of Clinical Psychology.

In her three years with Bravehearts, Jordan has realised a passion for bridging academia and practice. She is well-informed and confident presenter able to adapt her style to meet the needs of any group.

Jordan has developed and delivered a variety of presentations, workshops and e-learning courses for professionals working with children across many sectors including education, sport and community services. She has been instrumental in the development and expansion of ProjectYou!, Bravehearts’ respectful relationship and personal safety program.

Episode Resources and links

Season One

All episodes

Season Two

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5