Hetty Johnston

Hetty Johnston AM, GAICD established Bravehearts in August 1997 to become Australia’s leading charity fighting child sexual assault. In March 2021 Hetty became independent from Bravehearts to pursue other opportunities.

Hetty continues as a highly sought-after child protection specialist, safeguarding governance consultant, media commentator, as well as national and international keynote speaker.

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.

Hetty is a voice for our community. She has succeeded in drawing attention to, and inspiring positive change on issues such as the environment, criminal justice, small business and child safety. She has crusaded for political accountability and been a passionate voice for all Australians.

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


Current Roles

Co-Chair: National Office of Child Safety Advisory Group (since 2022)
Member Expert Advisory Council: Qld Families & Children’s Commission (since 2014)

2023 Member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN)
Member Chief Executive Women
2022 Judge Telstra Best of Business Awards
2020 Qld Child Death Review Board Member – 2021-2022
2016 Out of the Dark Steering Committee (Online Safety)
Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors, (GAICD)
2014 Member Qld Family & Child Commission Advisory Council & Expert Panel
  Fellow of the Australian Institute of Community Governance and Practice (FAICGP)
2006 Inaugural Member Australian Government (Online Safety) e-Safety Advisory Group
1997-2021 Founded Bravehearts Foundation Ltd
1996 – 1997 Qld State Leader Australian Democrats
1992 – 1996 Co-leader VETO Eastern Toll road Association
1985 – 1992 Various Executive Business Administration roles



2015 Queensland Australian of the Year
Inducted to the Logan Wall of Acclaim
2014 Member of the Order of Australia, (AM)
2013 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year (Nthrn Region)
Financial Review & Westpac Top 100 Women of Influence
2012 Finalist Telstra Business Women’s Awards
2010 Paul Harris Fellowship – Rotary International
2009 Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award
2004 & 2003 Australian Lawyers Alliance Civil Justice Awards


About Safeguarding Australia


Safety, Respect, Integrity, Care, and Empowerment


To help Australia prioritise the protection of it’s most vulnerable

Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults

Australia’s legislative landscape, after several Royal Commissions and Inquiries focusing on child safety, aged care and disability, has become more litigious and far more demanding on organisations that work with, or interact with, vulnerable people as part of their business or operations – and it will strengthen further.

These inquiries have found widespread failures in organisational leadership, governance, culture, policy, procedure, and practice, all of which collaborated to facilitate horrific sexual abuse against thousands of vulnerable children and adults.

As a result, the sector Standards, Principles and Regulations have been strengthened and new legislation relating to child sexual abuse has been introduced across the nation.

Safeguarding in an organisation does not just happen; it requires an increase of awareness and training, the adoption of strategies, good governance, risk management and practice that together create a culture where the best interests and safety of children and the vulnerable are the first priority.

Just as with the introduction of Workplace Health and Safety, boards and executives must lead this Safeguarding journey.  They must set the culture.

The ongoing viability of your enterprise may likely depend on it.

I am committed to working with organisations throughout Australia to support governance and risk management capability; supporting boards, senior managers and staff to implement effective approaches to support decision-making, improve performance, optimise objectives and prevent harm.

Safeguarding Australia, Safeguarding People Australia and Safeguarding Children Australia are registered as Australian Business Names by Hetty Johnston.
ABN 51 658 254 104