About Hetty Johnston AM, GAICD
Hetty Johnston AM, GAICD is Founder & Executive Chair of Bravehearts Foundation Ltd, Australia’s leading child protection advocate. A born lobbyist and reformist, Hetty has been acknowledged nationally and internationally as a woman of integrity, passion and determination with the capability of creating real change needed to help real people.
Hetty’s vision and activism created national prevention programs, increased sentencing for sex offenders and continues to protect hundreds of thousands of children across Australia. Hetty has pledged to never stop pursuing in her vision for Australia to become the safest place in the world to raise a child. In order to achieve that, Hetty has decided to run for office in the electorate of Macalister – turning her energies, commitment and strengths to not only protect our children, but to protect the rights of everyone in the community.
In doing so, Hetty will dedicate the same strong and passionate voice and commitment to the real issues of all the people of Macalister as well as their children.
Hetty has spent the last 26 years volunteering and working for our community. Hetty has succeeded in bringing about real focus and positive change on issues including defending the environment, improving education and health, giving small business a fair go as well as demanding political accountability, improved criminal justice and of the prioritisation of child protection.
Hetty has done more than ‘talk’ and much more than ‘promise’.
Hetty has demonstrated how effective she is in getting things done and ensuring that common sense, the peoples best interests and a fair go prevail.
Hetty is a woman of substance who delivers. Hetty is your independent voice – a real voice with real passion and commitment to deliver for you, your children and all the people of Macalister – without fear, favour or compromise – EVERY TIME.
A short Snapshot of Hetty
Hetty’s family have socialised, worked and played in Logan and the areas of Macalister since 1987. Hetty’s working background in senior finance and business admin roles (1977-1992) combined with her successful community activism against a government lie, a broken promise not to build a Toll road through our suburbs, forests and koala habitat (1991-1995) led her to become the Queensland State Leader of the then Australian Democrats (1995-1997).
In 1996 Hetty’s daughter bravely disclosed sexual abuse by a family member which quickly led to the exposure of a 40-year reign of terror being perpetrated against two generations of girls. No one said a word. The offender went to jail, Hetty’s family went to private counselling but the lack of services for children together with the cultural silence around the issue of child sexual assault motivated Hetty to turn her attention to preventing the same harm being perpetrated on other children. Since then, their daughter has blossomed and Hetty has gone on to become Australia’s leading voice in the fight against paedophilia.
In her own words…
“I love this area, this is our home. We raised our family here, our kids went to school here, we work and play here. Of course, I believe I am the best person for the job and that I have a lot to offer and contribute. My track record speaks volumes around my capacity to lead and deliver.
I first moved to Shailer Park with my family in 1987 where we established our small business which still operates today.
Throughout the early 90’s I gained invaluable volunteer experience successfully fighting for our community against the construction of a Tollway through Australia’s largest remaining Koala habitat, directly effecting Daisy Hill, Shailer Park, Loganholme, Carbrook and Cornubia, threatening our lifestyles, employment, environment and property values. We won.
In 1995 I joined the then Australian Democrats in an effort to ‘keep the bastards honest’. During this time, I became the State Leader of the party leading debate on State issues such as education, transport, environment, health, small business and political accountability. I learned much about media, lobbying, policy and politics across State and Federal politics.
I am not a person who will say ‘yes’ when I mean ‘no’. I just won’t do it, so it was important to me that in joining a Party I did not lose my voice, my independence and my ability to retain my personal integrity. The Australian Democrats provided me that opportunity and I was on a path to make independent politics my life’s work.
However, in 1996, a family disclosure of child sexual assault changed our lives and led me to create Bravehearts. Now, over 21 years later, Bravehearts has become a nationally and internationally recognised, respected and sought-after organisation that educates, empowers and protects Australian kids from sexual assault. As Braveheart’s Founder and Chair, my vision is to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.
Since Braveheart’s inception I have relied on truth, integrity, common-sense, hard work and my strong voice to successfully take the issue of child sexual assault out of the shadows and into the light. As a result of this persistence, this distinction was acknowledged and supported by the Commonwealth Government and its COAG partners through the National Framework for the Protection of Australia’s Children (2009-2020) and reflected in the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional responses to child sexual abuse. “
I would be privileged to represent the people of Macalister. I put myself forward for your consideration. I promise you that I will not let you down.
Hetty’s achievements include:
- 2016 Australian Businesswomen’s ‘Hall of Fame’
- 2016 Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors
- 2015 Australian of the Year for Queensland
- 2015 Inducted to the Logan Wall of Acclaim
- 2014 Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
- 2013 Ernst & Young (Northern Australia) Social Entrepreneur of the Year
- 2013 Financial Review & Westpac’s 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 Award
- Justice of the Peace (Qual)
- Member Australian e-Safety Commissioners Online Safety Consultative Working Group
- Member QFCC Advisory Council
- Graduate of the Australian Institute of Community Practice and Governance