our BOARD & PATRON
Bravehearts’ National Board is made up of individuals with a vast range of skills and experience.
The diverse membership of the Board represents a wide variety of views, however, all Board members share the common goal of sharing their expertise to support the achievement of Bravehearts’ Mission to prevent child sexual assault and exploitation in our society.
Patron in Chief
Paul de Jersey AC
Mr de Jersey AC practised law in Queensland and was called to the Queensland Bar in 1971. He took silk in 1981 as one of Her Majesty’s Counsel (QC).
He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1985 and was the Commercial Causes Judge between 1986–1989. He was the judge constituting the Mental Health Tribunal between 1994–1996, President of the Queensland Industrial Court between 1996–1997 and was also the chairman of the Law Reform Commission of Queensland during the same period.
He was appointed Chief Justice of Queensland on 17 February 1998.
National Vice Patron
Karl Morris AO
Karl Morris is Executive Chairman of Ord Minnett Limited with a career spanning over 30 years in financial services and wealth management. He is a Commerce graduate of Griffith University and holds diplomas from the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisors Association of Australia, FINSIA and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Karl is Chairman of QSuper, Chairman of the Brisbane Broncos, and Chair of the Mary MacKillop Brisbane Catholic School Access Fund. His other Board memberships include Director of RACQ, Director of Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, Board Member of JP Morgan Australia Advisory Council, Board Member of the Financial Sector Advisory Council, Board Member of the Archdiocese of Brisbane Catholic Foundation and Governor of the University of Notre Dame Australia. He is a Master Member (and former Chair 2012-2018) of the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association of Australia.
Vanessa is a serial entrepreneur, mother to four young children and a leader in the consumer products industry. She is currently Founder & CEO of Simpli, a sourcing company focusing on eco-friendly products & packaging for small businesses & corporates. Products designed by her teams can be found in over 5,000 retail stores covering more than 30 product categories, including consumer electronics, medical devices, camping products and outdoor products. In fact, 1 in 2 Australians’ owns a product that her companies have produced.
Vanessa’s passion for business and commercialising products has seen her ranked in Australia’s Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs list 5 years running and she was named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year for Industry, Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year, and more recently, Vanessa was named in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence. With over 25 years’ experience in building businesses across Australia, China, the UK, Europe and the US, Vanessa understands what it takes to build and grow a global business.
With over 25 years’ experience as a corporate lawyer, Andrew has advised many of Australia’s leading companies in corporate governance and the formal application of ethical standards. He brings a high skill level of corporate professionalism that will complement Bravehearts’ existing leadership team.
Andrew is well connected in the domestic and Japanese business communities after spending a number of years practising in Tokyo; he currently leads top tier law firm, Clayton Utz’s Japan practice group nationally and is President of the Australia-Japan Society (Queensland) Inc. He is a trusted advisor to Japanese companies for their inbound investment into Australia, and Australian companies undertaking business in Australia and investing overseas including Japan. Andrew also heads the corporate advisory team for Clayton Utz in Brisbane and the Agribusiness group nationally.
Andrew is deeply passionate when it comes to engaging with those within our society that need assistance. This is evident from his long involvement in programs and organisations that provide community care such as his current role as Chairman of the Adam Scott Foundation, which provides life opportunities for Australian youth; and his previous trustee role with the Children’s Cancer Institute.
Gemma began her career in business services in 2001. She has served a broad client base across a variety of structures. During her career, she has gained experience working in primary production, medical practice and a range of service entities including retail and construction.
Gemma was drawn to Bravehearts by her desire to support the organisation’s mission.
Jemima Harris BA LLB
Jemima is a senior lawyer and executive leader with a strong interest in governance and the not-for-profit sector. She is an experienced commercial lawyer and consultant, recognised for her pragmatic approach, commercial acumen, innovative thinking and enthusiasm for helping others.
Founder & Director
Hetty Johnston AM GAICD
Hetty Johnston AM is the Founder of Bravehearts Foundation, 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 child sexual assault to media, families, schools and the general community both nationally and internationally. Hetty established Bravehearts in 1997, an organisation with a Vision to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child by 2020 through Bravehearts The 3 Piers to Prevention, Educate, Empower, Protect.
Hetty’s most recent accolades include:
- 2016 Inducted into Australian Businesswomen’s ‘Hall of Fame’.
- 2015 Queensland Australian of the Year.
- 2015 Inducted into Logan’s Wall of Acclaim.
- 2014 Awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
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).
Elected in 2012, Rob is the Member for Southport and the Shadow Minister for Housing & Public Works. He is Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Utilities, Science & Innovation. In the last term of Government, he looked after Child Safety and the Carmody Commission reforms before taking on the role of Assistant Minister for Planning & Development.
He lives on the Gold Coast not far from where he grew up in Southport. He has four sons.
Rob has worked in government, retail, broadcasting, media, wholesaling, entertainment, sport and development.
Elected to Gold Coast City Council in 2004, he chaired the Finance & Internal Services Committee overseeing the city’s finances, human resources, capital works, infrastructure planning & development.
Rob has a passion for community service, he has been involved with Bravehearts for almost a decade. He was the founding Chairman of the Gold Coast Community Fund and a foundation Director of the Gold Coast NRL Titans. He has also served on many other community boards and maintains a keen interest in Community Radio.
Between his commitments to Southport and his portfolio responsibilities, he spends any spare time with his family, surfing, learning Mandarin and enjoying the enviable Gold Coast lifestyle.