Bravehearts employs over 65 people who are committed to delivering our Vision to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child. Want to help make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child? Check out our Careers page.
Founder and Executive Chair of Bravehearts
Hetty Johnston AM
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.
Chief Executive Officer
Wilma comes to Bravehearts from her role as the Senior Director of UniQuest’s Expertise Commercialisation & Contract Operations Divisions. UniQuest Pty Ltd is the commercial arm of The University of Queensland, it is a privately owned company that commercialises the intellectual property and expertise of University of Queensland with revenues of up to $100M per year. Expertise Commercialisation Division commercialises the expertise and facilities of the university and has portfolio management of service provision businesses of the university. Contract Operations is the internal UniQuest division whose activities consolidate enterprise-wide needed support services for best practice in contract, project finance and management.
Wilma is a business graduate of Monash University and has worked with UniQuest since 2008. Before joining UniQuest, Wilma worked as the Business Manager for a Division of CSIRO where she managed a large portfolio of contract research projects. Her experience before working in the research industry was as a commercial paralegal for a national law firm and practice manager of a number of niche commercial law firms.
Director of Operations
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 client Operations in the same year.
Deirdre holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) and a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, with over 25 years of experience both in the UK and Australia. 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 16 years in Australia. Deirdre currently provides oversight to all of our client services, including Counselling, Advocacy and Support, Training, ChildPlace and Education and is committed to extending the reach of all of these services to enable us to meet our mission and protecting children across Australia.
Director of Research and Policy Development
Carol Ronken worked as a researcher and Associate Lecturer at Griffith University in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice before joining Bravehearts in early 2003. With a BA(Psych) and Masters Applied Sociology(Social Research), Carol is the Director of Research for Bravehearts and is passionate about ensuring the organisation’s active involvement in research, policy and legislative development that aims to prevent, respond to, and ultimately reduce the incidence of child sexual assault in the community. In 2011 she received an award from the Queensland Police Service Child Protection and Investigation Unit for her contribution to child protection. She is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC), the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN), and the Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland. Carol has co-authored The Bravehearts Toolbox for Practitioners Working with Child Sexual Assault (Australian Academic Press, 2011) and in January 2017, Carol accepted a 3 year position as a Visiting Fellow in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, at Queensland University of Technology.
National Therapeutic Services Manager
Lyn Patman is the Therapeutic Services Manager at Bravehearts. Lyn has been a dedicated and proactive employee since 2003 and is the author of Bravehearts personal safety program, Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show seen by over 750,000 children nationally.
Lyn holds a Bachelor of Applied Social Science majoring in Counselling. She is also a qualified Clinical Supervisor and is registered with The Australian Counselling Association. Lyn is passionate about using a strengths-based approach and working collaboratively whether in a therapeutic setting with clients, managing her therapeutic teams or when working with external service providers.
National Education Manager
Sharon Stewart is the National Education Manager for Bravehearts. Sharon has worked as a teacher in both state and independent primary schools as well as various roles in the community service sector prior to joining Bravehearts in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and a Diploma in Community Service Co-ordination and has 5 children. Sharon’s passion lies in nurturing and educating children through early intervention programs that empower them with personal safety skills, increased self-esteem and resilience to help them stay safe and ultimately reduce the incidence of child sexual assault.
National Child Protection Training Manager
Mathew Sinclair is the National Chid Protection Training Manager for Bravehearts and first joined the organisation in 2013 when he established Bravehearts’ Royal Commission services including the information and support line and case management functions. Mathew has a BAPsych and an extensive professional history in the community-based supervision and intervention of sexual offenders. Mathew also has significant experience in project and change management within large organisational settings and is passionate about matching his experiences to support organisations enhance their child protection culture.
National Manager of Advocacy and Support Services
Silvia Galdamez joined the Bravehearts Team in 2014 as a Case Managers. Since then, she has had a variety of roles being Team Leader of the Advocacy Team and now the National Manager of Advocacy and Support Services. Silvia overseas the Royal Commission Services and the Case Management team within Bravehearts. Prior to joining Bravehearts, Silvia worked as a paralegal and solicitor within Commonwealth and Local Government and not for profit sectors.
Silvia holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from Griffith University and Masters of Applied Law (Family Law) from the College of Law.
Silvia is passionate about advocating for the most vulnerable in our community. She is constantly inspired by the strength and resilience of survivors with whom she works and from whom she learns.
Head of Community Engagement and Fundraising
Lorelle has 20 years’ experience working in the communications industry, including as a radio broadcaster, journalist on the six o’clock news, Senior Account Director and Marketing Manager in Australia and abroad. Brands worked on include international campaigns for McDonald’s, Dove, Pringles, Always/Whisper and Jacob’s Creek, as well as the re-branding of Tennis Australia.
After moving back to Queensland to be close to family, Lorelle decided to use her experience exclusively in the not for profit sector, where her overarching business knowledge can contribute to the strategic development of fundraising programs, as well as identify gaps in processes and create solutions.
Lorelle seeks to find new concepts to make charitable organisations profitable and self-sustainable. She looks to apply her analytical and critical thinking in order to explore and develop innovative programs that have impact, for the most vulnerable in the community.
She is currently the Chair of the Board at Special Care Central.
Lorelle has a Bachelor of Arts – Journalism, majoring in Public Relations, as well as certificates in Strategic Planning and Digital Strategy, Digital Marketing Essentials and Australian Applied Management Colloquium.
Zoe Hermans has a professional background in early-years education, creative design, marketing and public relations. She has worked in the Not-for-Profit sector for over a decade in the areas of education, program development, campaign planning and brand management. Prior to joining Bravehearts, Zoe spent 10 years with one of Australia’s leading animal welfare organisations, Animal Welfare League Queensland. She has two school-aged children, who are the inspiration behind her work for Bravehearts.
EA TO FOUNDER AND CEO; NATIONAL GRANTS COORDINATOR
Jo Compagne has worked for Bravehearts since 2006 in various roles including coordinating donation of goods and services to create Bravehearts $1.3million head office, Executive Assistant to Hetty Johnston AM and National Grants Coordinator. Jo is currently employed as the Executive Officer to the CEO, whilst still maintaining her role as National Grants Coordinator. Jo is passionate about the protection of children and as a mother of 4, believes it takes a whole community to raise and protect a child. Jo is committed to doing all she can to bring about vital change to protect Australian children and is dedicated to ensure people needing Bravehearts services know they are valued, heard and supported.