Bravehearts National Management Board is made up of individuals with a vast range of skills and experience.
With the diverse membership of the Management Board, many differing views are represented. Not all members of the Management Board hold the same positions as Bravehearts on all matters, and likewise Bravehearts may hold different positions to the members. The common goal of the Bravehearts Management Board is a commitment to sharing their expertise and working together to assist Bravehearts ensuring the best interests and protection of children in our communities.
National Vice Patron - Karl Morris
(Executive Chairman, Ord Minnett Limited and Chair Bravehearts Foundation Fund)
During his 20+ year career at Ord Minnett Ltd, Karl has managed all aspects of the business including stockbroking, funds management and corporate finance. Karl holds a Commerce Degree and Post Graduate Diploma’s from the Stockbrokers Association, Institute of Company Directors and FINSIA. Karl is a Board Member of the Stockbrokers Association of Australia, as well as the Queensland Theatre Company, the Sydney Catholic Development Fund, Sydney Archdiocesan Investment and Finance Committees, the Brisbane Archdiocesan Investment Committee as well as a Director of RACQ and Director and Governor of Notre Dame University of Australia. Karl lives in Brisbane with his wife Louise and their five children.
(CEO - Bravehearts)
Angelo Venardos has been appointed CEO of national child protection advocate Bravehearts replacing founder Hetty Johnston AM, who has been appointed chair of the organisation - the pair effectively trading places. A former policeman and police prosecutor, Angelo has practiced law for the past 25 years, most recently as a director at Ferguson Cannnon Lawyers in Brisbane. He has been admitted as a Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia since 1991. He holds both a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws from Queensland University of Technology as well as a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (Executive) from the Mt Eliza Business School.
Angelo started his career as a Police Officer in the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and studied for his Bachelor of Laws whilst serving with the QPS. During his 11 years with the QPS, Angelo served in a number of areas, including within the Juvenile Aid Bureau, as a Lecturer at the Police Academy, and as a Police Prosecutor.
Since his admission as a Legal Practitioner, Angelo has worked in the private sector, in the public sector (including as a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for some 7 years) and in the not-for-profit sector (as General Counsel with CareFlight (Qld) Limited for some 4 years).
A long-time supporter of Bravehearts, Angelo was a non-executive director on the Bravehearts board and most recently served as chairman before taking on the role as CEO.
"It's an immense privilege to be appointed to this role and I look forward to contributing to the stellar work this powerhouse organisation does to protect kids in communities right around Australia," says Venardos.
Chair - Hetty Johnston AM
(Founder and Chair, Bravehearts)
Hetty Johnston AM is Founder and Chair of Bravehearts Inc., Australia’s leading child protection advocate. Her most recent accolades include; 2015 Queensland Australian of the Year, Inducted in 2015 into Logan’s Wall of Acclaim, Awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2014.
Hetty is the author of national awareness campaign, ‘White Balloon Day’, ‘Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme’, ‘Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure’ child protection CD-Rom and her autobiography, ‘In the Best Interests of the Child’ (2004). Hetty has been a contributing author to various books including, ‘Crime on my Mind’, and ‘Women on Top’.
Hetty has been recognised for her outstanding contributions to child protection with numerous awards and nominations over her career since 1997. In 2013 Hetty was awarded Northern Australia’s Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the year. She was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2010 and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Community Practice and Governance (March 2010). In early 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 is the recipient of two Australian Lawyers Alliance Civil Justice Awards (2003, 2004).
Hetty is the Member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN); Australian Government Cyber-Safety Working Party; and the Queensland Government Child & Family Reform Stakeholder Advisory Group.
Vice Chair - Matthew Rennie
(Managing Partner - Power and Utilities, Ernst & Young)
Matt Rennie is the Global leader of EY's Power and Utilities transactions business, and the leader of EY's Australian Power and Utilities business.
He holds a Masters degree in Economics and Post Graduate qualifications in Applied Finance and Investment. Matt has worked with numerous not-for-profit boards and incorporated associations over the past ten years and is passionate about advancing the safety and welfare of children in Australian society.
Treasurer - Gemma Cook
(Senior Manager, Grant Thornton Accountants)
Gemma began her career in business services in 2001. She has served a broad client base across a variety of structures. During her career, she has gained experience working in primary production, medical practice and a range of service entities including retail and construction.
Gemma was drawn to Bravehearts by her desire to support the organisations mission.
"I wanted to assist Hetty and her team in speaking out on an issue that many find too difficult to deal with. I was fortunate to have a mother that instilled in me the knowledge and skills to understand what was unacceptable and to avoid risky situations, and I believe that every child deserves to have this opportunity. It is only through knowledge, awareness and breaking the silence that Australia can be the safest place in the world to raise a child, and this is the very core of what Bravehearts does." Gemma Parisi.
Company Secretary - Margaret Fitzsimmons
Margaret began her professional life as a chartered accountant working for (what is now) PriceWaterhouseCoopers. She has more than 25 years’ experience, specialising in strategy, profit improvement/financial performance and change management and has worked in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and London.
Margaret has worked for various types of organisations from large global businesses and national organisations to professional practices and SMEs. For the last five years, she has been the director of her own management consulting firm. A pioneer in net profitability reporting for professional services practices, Margaret regularly speaks at industry forums and has been a technical writer and presenter for the College of Law.
Minute Secretary - Carol Ronken
(Research and Policy Development Manager, Bravehearts Inc.)
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 Research Manager 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. Carol has also co-authored The Bravehearts Toolbox for Practitioners working with Child Sexual Assault (Australian Academic Press, 2011). Carol is currently studying for her doctorate through the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology.
Board Member - Rob Molhoek
(State Member for Southport)
Elected in 2012, Rob is the Member for Southport and the Shadow Minister for Housing & Public Works. He is Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Utilities, Science & Innovation. In the last term of Government he looked after Child Safety and the Carmody Commission reforms before taking on the role as Assistant Minister for Planning & Development.
He lives on the Gold Coast not far from where he grew up in Southport. He has four sons.
Rob has worked in government, retail, broadcasting, media, wholesaling, entertainment, sport and development.
Elected to Gold Coast City Council in 2004, he chaired the Finance & Internal Services Committee overseeing the city’s finances, human resources, capital works, infrastructure planning & development.
Rob has a passion for community service, he has been involved with Bravehearts for almost a decade. He was the founding Chairman of the Gold Coast Community Fund and a foundation Director of the Gold Coast NRL Titans. He has also served on many other community boards and maintains a keen interest in Community Radio.
Between his commitments to Southport and his portfolio responsibilities he spends any spare time with his family, surfing, learning Mandarin and enjoying the enviable Gold Coast lifestyle.
Board Member - Leanne Linard
(State Member for Nudgee)
Leanne was elected to the Queensland Parliament in January 2015 as the Member for Nudgee and appointed Chair of the Parliamentary Health and Ambulance Services Committee soon after. Prior to entering Parliament, Leanne worked for Commonwealth Vocational Education and Training Regulator, Australian Skills and Quality Authority (ASQA), as an Executive Officer to the Chief Commissioner, and with a focus on National Strategic Reviews. With a passion for sound policy and community engagement, Leanne also spent twelve years in the Queensland Government as a Policy and Senior Policy Advisor for Police and Corrective Services, Emergency Services, and economic policy.
A passionate community advocate, Leanne is co-Chair and Patron of the School of Hard Knocks, a member of the Queensland Chapter (Advisory Board) of Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, a Facilitator with the National Student Leadership Forum (2003-current), a founding member and former Parliamentary Liaison of the Queensland Servant Leadership Forum, and founding member of the Banyo District Community Group, which seeks to foster cross cultural exchange and social inclusion in her north Brisbane community. She is also Patron and an active member of many local organisations in her electorate including the Banyo RSL Citizens Auxiliary, Banyo Devils Junior Rugby League Club, North Brisbane Lapidary Club, Northgate Local Ambulance Committee, Brisbane North Chamber of Commerce and is a former Board Member of the Nundah Activity Centre. She holds a Bachelor of Business (with Distinction), Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training and is undertaking a graduate degree in Law (deferred). She is the recipient of the Lionel Ledlie Prize of the Industrial Relations Society of Queensland, Suzanne Lines Memorial Scholarship, Sidney Webb Memorial Prize and a Zonta International- Women in Business Scholarship.
Board Member - Wilma James
Wilma is the Senior Director at 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.