May 2, 2019
Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston AM stirred emotions at Thursday’s South Burnett Mayor’s Breakfast in Kingaroy.
Hetty, who is standing as a candidate at the upcoming Senate election, steered away from politics, concentrating instead on heart-wrenching stories of child abuse.
She explained her reasons for starting Bravehearts in 1997 after she discovered a family member had suffered sexual assault.
Hetty, who had been involved in the “koala road” protests against the Goss Government in the mid-1990s, was used to activism.
So when she looked around and found there was no organisation she could to turn to for help, she set up her own, Bravehearts, to provide advice and support to families affected by child sexual abuse.
Bravehearts now provides education and training for personal and child safety, advice and support for survivors of child abuse and their families, and advocacy for people affected by child sexual assault.
Hetty shocked her audience with a sad statistic: one-in-five Aussie children are sexually assaulted before they turn 15 years old.
In 2014, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service to the community and in 2015, she was named Queensland Australian of the Year.
The Mayor’s Breakfast is the official launch – and a fundraiser – for the annual South Burnett Relay For Life campaign.
This year’s event was held at Kingaroy RSL Club.
It is also an opportunity for the South Burnett Relay For Life committee to unveil the 2019 Face Of Relay.
This year two people will share the honour, husband and wife team Eric and Carla Cross, who have both faced cancer diagnoses during their lives and will have important roles to play on Relay For Life day on October 12.
The pair were sashed by Rowena Dionysius and Queensland Cancer Council South-West Qld Regional fundraising co-ordinator, Pandora Bevan.
The annual Mayor’s Breakfast also provides the perfect opportunity for South Burnett Relay For Life patron Carl Rackemann to announce the three special guests for the Dinner with the Captains.
The Dinner, which will be held on July 27, is a major fundraiser for Relay For Life, and also a whole lot of fun!
Carl said this year’s event would feature Jessica Watson OAM, the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world, and former Australian cricket star (and Queensland captain) Greg “Fat Cat” Ritchie.
The third “captain” who will be interviewed on the night is still a mystery.
Carl said it would be a rugby league guest but couldn’t reveal anything more yet.
The dinner is being sponsored by Telstra Store Kingaroy, Tarong Power Stations, Meandu Mine, Stanwell and Downer, TAFE South West, McDonald’s Kingaroy and the South Burnett Regional Council.
Tickets can be booked by phoning CROW-FM on (07) 4169-0700.