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.
Chairman - Matthew Rennie
(Managing Partner - Power and Utilities, Ernst & Young)
Matt Rennie is the Managing Partner of the Australian Power and Utilities business of Ernst and Young, and has advised privately owned and listed companies, Governments and regulators in the global infrastructure sectors since 1994. 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 has a strong interest in advancing the safety and welfare of children in Australian society.
Matt is also the Chair of the Bravehearts Gifts Committee.
Vice Chair - Wayne Penning
(Partner, Porter Davies Lawyers)
Wayne Penning is a Partner of Porter Davies Lawyers (PDL) (admitted to practice in New South Wales and Queensland). He heads the firm’s Corporate and Commercial Division.
Mr Penning has worked in leading international law firms in Sydney, Hong Kong and Brisbane and has represented a number of prominent listed companies, private companies, public sector clients and individuals involving: mergers and acquisitions, private equity, joint ventures, capital raising and corporate governance. Mr Penning has been recognised as a ‘leading and recommended lawyer’ by the Australasian Legal Business review panel.
He is a Director and a founding member of The Liz Ellis Foundation Limited. He established and chaired the APEX Community Flood Appeal in response to the floods of January 2011. He has acts for a number of not-for-profit organisations on various compliance and corporate governance matters, and is a member of the Queensland Law Society.
Wayne is also a member of the Bravehearts Gifts Committee.
Treasurer - Gemma Parisi
(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.
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.
(Founder and Executive Director, Bravehearts Inc.)
A born lobbyist, Hetty is a woman of passion and determination who has succeeded in highlighting the issue of paedophilia within media, families, schools and the general community both nationally and internationally. In 2005, Hetty was announced as a finalist for the 2006 Australian of the Year Awards - she is the recipient of two Australian Lawyers Alliance Civil Justice Awards (2003, 2004) and was named a finalist in the 2008 Suncorp Queenslander of the Year Awards. 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.
(Co-Founder, Whittaker Macnaught)
Cheryl has practised as an investment consultant and financial adviser in Brisbane for twenty-seven years. In 1982, Cheryl co-founded Whittaker Macnaught which was one of Australia's most respected Financial Planning companies. The business was sold in 2007 with 85 staff and over $1 billion funds under management.
Cheryl had an early start in business (age 14) when she took over her mother's business selling sewing machines while her mother recovered from surgery. Cheryl's first business was a baby wear and accessories shop which she operated from her home in Dampier WA at the age of 19. Cheryl went on to operate a Sewing Machine and Hi Fi business also from her home in Western Australia before returning to Brisbane in 1980. In 1974, Cheryl was instrumental in establishing the first Day Care Centre in Pilbara.
During her 27 years as Joint Managing Director of Whittaker Macnaught, Cheryl regularly appeared on finance programs for both ABC and 4BC radio stations, wrote newspaper and magazine articles, and regularly appeared on television as a finance commentator and has always been fully committed to promoting education on money management and helping fellow Australians to achieve their financial goals.
Cheryl is a Certified Financial Planner, a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a member of the Taxation Institute.
Cheryl is actively involved in community affairs, being a member of and serving on the boards of various professional, community and government associations including Queensland Rail. Surf Lifesaving Foundation Board, The Sisters of the Good Samaritans, the State Library of Queensland, Queensland Library Foundation and The Southbank Institute of Technology.
(CFO, Keystone Private Pty Ltd)
Lesa is CFO of Keystone Private, a multi-family office based in Brisbane. A mother of one son, with more than 20 years experience as a Chartered Accountant across a broad range of industries; Lesa is committed to Hetty and the Bravehearts mission to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.
Angelo 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 studied for his Bachelor of Laws whilst serving as a Police Officer in the Queensland Police Service. Whilst a member of the Queensland Police Service, 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 public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.
Angelo is currently a Partner in Dowd and Company, a Brisbane-based legal practice.