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Who We Are

Hetty Johnston AM

Founder and Chair of Bravehearts

Australia’s leading child protection advocate.

A born lobbyist, Hetty is a woman of passion and determination who has succeeded in highlighting the crime of paedophilia and child sexual assault to media, families, schools and the general community both nationally and internationally.

Her vision, leadership and downright tenacity has enabled Hetty to literally change the way we deal with child sexual assault in this country.

Not one to hope that things ‘will change in due course’, Hetty has forged a path in the area of child protection that dozens of organisations now follow.

I have a figurine in my office of a frog being half submerged in a birds mouth. The frog has its fingers wrapped around the birds neck - stopping it from swallowing. Underneath is the statement: NEVER GIVE UP. That's me. I'll never give up!
Hetty Johnston AM

Hetty’s most recent accolades include:

Hetty is author of national awareness campaign, ‘White Balloon Day’, ‘Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme (SADS)’, ‘Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure’ child protection CD-Rom and her autobiography, ‘In the Best Interests of the Child’ (2004).

Hetty has been a contributing author to various books including, ‘Crime on my Mind’, and ‘Women on Top’.

Hetty has been recognised for her outstanding contributions to child protection with numerous awards and nominations over her career since 1997.

In 2013 Hetty was awarded Ernst & Young Northern Australia’s Social Entrepreneur of the year, Westpac’s 2013 ‘100 Women of Influence’ and YWCA Queensland’s’ ‘125 Leading Women’. She was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2010 and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Community Practice and Governance (March 2010). In early 2009, Hetty was recognised as one of approximately 70 outstanding leaders worldwide, receiving the prestigious annual Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership award.

Hetty is the recipient of two Australian Lawyers Alliance Civil Justice Awards (2003, 2004).

Her responsibilities include/d:

Hetty is a much sought after speaker at Local, State, Federal and International levels including the International Virtual Global Taskforce Conference hosted by the Australian Federal Police in Sydney 2010.

She is consistently sought after by media for commentary on issues pertaining to child protection and has been the subject of personal profile in many print media, talk back radio and television documentaries such as Australian Story.

Hetty works with government and non-government agencies on legislative reform, submissions, lobbying and research to improve child protection and political accountability in Australia.

Hetty’s efforts as a child protection advocate have included:

Successful Campaigns Include: