Australia Day

26 January 2015

93 days to go

Hetty Johnston

Hetty Johnston


Founder and Executive Director of Bravehearts Inc

Hetty Johnston is the Founder and Executive Director of Bravehearts Inc., Australia’s leading child protection advocates. Bravehearts, established by Hetty in 1997, is an organisation whose mission is to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.

A born lobbyist, Hetty is a woman of passion and determination who has succeeded in highlighting the issue of pedophilia within media, families, schools and the general community, both nationally and internationally.

In 2005, Hetty was a finalist for the 2006 Queensland Australian of the Year Awards. She is the recipient of two Australian Lawyers Alliance Civil Justice Awards (2003 and 2004) and was a finalist in the 2008 Suncorp Queenslander of the Year Awards. She was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2010 and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Community Practice and Governance.

In 2009, Hetty was recognised as one of approximately 70 outstanding leaders throughout the world, receiving the prestigious annual Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award. Hetty was named on the list of Financial Review and Westpac’s Top 100 Women of Influence in 2013 and is a finalist in the 2013 EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

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 also is consistently interviewed 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 has also:

  • chaired the Queensland Child Protection Week Committee for three years
  • held a position on the Board of NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect)
  • held a position on the Board of ASCA (Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse)
  • sat as Chair for the Endeavour Foundation’s ‘Abuse Prevention and Response Committee’
  • participated on the Federal Government’s working party on a ‘National Approach to Child Protection’
  • advisor to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Enquiry
  • sits on the Federal Government’s working party on Cyber-Safety
  • sits on the Federal Government’s Sexualisation of Children working party
  • works with the Federal Government to inform the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to the Sexual Assault of children.