Bravehearts Founder Voted QLD’s Social Entrepreneur
9 August 2013 at 12:57 pm
Founder of child protection Not for Profit organisation Bravehearts Inc., Hetty Johnston has been awarded social entrepreneur of the year at the Queensland northern region awards.
Johnston founded Bravehearts in 1997 to help break the silence on child sexual assault.
The organisation supports and advocates for the rights of children and families impacted by sexual assault.
Under Johnston’s guidance, the organisation now has more than 50 employees and over 300 volunteers in offices across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Johnston also plans to establish additional centres in the other States to allow for a national roll out of their support services.
Business nous runs in Johnston’s family, with her parents and brother all operating their own successful businesses.
Johnston also ran a number of successful businesses before starting Bravehearts Inc.
She said she established a Foundation to ensure the long-time viability and is exploring setting up commercial operations to fund the organisation’s future operations and become more independent.
Johnston has worked with both Government and non-Government agencies on legislative reform, submissions, lobbying and research to help improve child protection in Australia.
Seven other entrepreneurs were awarded in a range of other business categories.
EY Brisbane Office Managing Partner Jenny Parker said the awards showcased the significant contribution that successful entrepreneurs made to the region’s economy and business community.
“Entrepreneurs believe in a better way of doing things,” she said.
“They are inspirational, passionate, calculated risk takers who find opportunities where others only see obstacles.
“The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards are a celebration of the successes of these individuals, each of whom makes a significant contribution to Queensland by creating new jobs, fuelling growth and driving productivity.”
“This year’s winners are all extremely deserving of the awards, showing vision, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and a strong determination to succeed.”
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is a global program with entrepreneurs participating in 145 cities in more than 60 countries.
The 2013 Northern region winners and award recipients will travel to Sydney in November to contend for the title of 2013 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year at the national awards.
The overall Australian winner will then go on to compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next year.
For more information on the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program visit