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Meet our leadership team and managers

Bravehearts employs over 65 people who are committed to delivering our Vision to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.

Want to help make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child? Check out our Careers page.


Chief Executive Officer

Alison Geale

Originally from Sydney, Alison has worked in Australian media for over 20 years. She has enjoyed Senior Management roles with all major Australian Radio networks in both key metropolitan cities and major regional hubs.

Before joining Bravehearts in 2018, Alison spent more than 15 years with Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) Australia’s largest media and entertainment company. She spent 6 years in a Senior Group Management role which oversaw SCA’s largest national revenue program across all of SCA’s media assets Australia wide and internationally. She was also responsible for all of SCA’s training and development for Sales staff countrywide.

From 2013 Alison was Director of Sales for SCA’s Gold Coast Media Operations which included SEA FM, GOLD FM and TV stations Southern Cross Ten, ONE and 11. She then became General Manager of all of Southern Cross Austereo Gold Coast media brands.

She has served as a board Member for Gold Coast Business Excellence and also Gold Coast Community Fund, and lives with her husband Graeme and teenage daughter Holly.

Chief Financial Officer

Bruce Dennehy

Bruce joined the Bravehearts team as Chief Financial Officer in February 2018, returning to the workforce having taken time off in 2017 to immerse in Yoga Teaching Training.

Bruce has worked in the not-for-profit sector in financial and commercial roles with Mater Hospital, Queensland University of Technology, and Mater Foundation.

Prior to this, Bruce held a variety of financial roles in the commercial sector in FMCG, industrial, and entertainment companies across Australia, the UK, and the US.

Bruce qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse.

Director of Therapeutic and Support Services

Deirdre Thompson

Dr Deirdre Thompson has been with Bravehearts since 2014 commencing in the role of National Therapeutic Services Manager before moving into the role of Director of client Operations in the same year.

Deirdre holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) and a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, with over 25 years of experience both in the UK and Australia.  She is passionate about working with and protecting the most vulnerable members of our society, and has held senior roles within Government and the not-for-profit sector for 16 years in Australia.  Deirdre currently provides oversight to all of our client services, including Counselling, Advocacy and Support, Training, ChildPlace and Education and is committed to extending the reach of all of these services to enable us to meet our mission and protecting children across Australia.

Director of Research

Carol Ronken

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 Director of Research 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.  She is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC), the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN), and the Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland. Carol has co-authored The Bravehearts Toolbox for Practitioners Working with Child Sexual Assault (Australian Academic Press, 2011) and in January 2017, Carol accepted a 3 year position as a Visiting Fellow in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, at Queensland University of Technology.

Mandy Browne

Head of Community Engagement

Originally from Melbourne, Mandy has worked in the media for over 30 years, both in Australia and the UK. Mandy spent almost 25 years with Newscorp, across a number of newspaper titles including The Herald, The Australian & The Australian Magazine. Prior to joining Bravehearts she spent 7 years at Southern Cross Austereo (SCA).

Mandy has been in management roles for the past 20 years, including Sales Director at Gold Coast Publications (Gold Coast Bulletin &, Sun Community newspapers) and Director of Sales at SCA Gold Coast, incorporating the Hit and MMM networks and Channel 9. Mandy was also a company Director for the Best of the Gold Coast magazine.

She moved to the Gold Coast in 1999 for a sea change, and never returned. She is an avid sports fan and coaches junior basketball.

Mandy has been a long standing advocate of Bravehearts, with her family (husband Andrew and children Hayley and Ben) launching the Ditto program on ‘A current affair’.

EA to Founder and National Grants Coorindator

Jo Compagne

Jo Compagne has worked for Bravehearts since 2006 in various roles including coordinating donation of goods and services to create Bravehearts $1.3million head office, Executive Assistant to Hetty Johnston AM and National Grants Coordinator. Jo is currently employed as the Executive Officer to the CEO, whilst still maintaining her role as National Grants Coordinator. Jo is passionate about the protection of children and as a mother of 4, believes it takes a whole community to raise and protect a child. Jo is committed to doing all she can to bring about vital change to protect Australian children and is dedicated to ensure people needing Bravehearts services know they are valued, heard and supported.

Therapeutic Services Manager

Lyn Patman

Lyn Patman is the Therapeutic Services Manager at Bravehearts. Lyn has been a dedicated and proactive employee since 2003 and is the author of Bravehearts personal safety program, Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Show seen by over 750,000 children nationally.

Lyn holds a Bachelor of Applied Social Science majoring in Counselling. She is also a qualified Clinical Supervisor and is registered with The Australian Counselling Association. Lyn is passionate about using a strengths-based approach and working collaboratively whether in a therapeutic setting with clients, managing her therapeutic teams or when working with external service providers.

National Manager of Advocacy and Support Services

Silvia Galdamez

Silvia Galdamez joined the Bravehearts Team in 2014 as a Case Managers. Since then, she has had a variety of roles being Team Leader of the Advocacy Team and now the National Manager of Advocacy and Support Services. Silvia overseas the Royal Commission Services and the Case Management team within Bravehearts. Prior to joining Bravehearts, Silvia worked as a paralegal and solicitor within Commonwealth and Local Government and not for profit sectors.

Silvia holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from Griffith University and Masters of Applied Law (Family Law) from the College of Law.

Silvia is passionate about advocating for the most vulnerable in our community. She is constantly inspired by the strength and resilience of survivors with whom she works and from whom she learns.

National Child Protection Training Manager

Mathew Sinclair

Mathew Sinclair is the National Child Protection Training Manager for Bravehearts and first joined the organisation in 2013 when he established Bravehearts’ Royal Commission services including the information and support line and case management functions. Mathew has a BAPsych and an extensive professional history in the community-based supervision and intervention of sexual offenders. Mathew also has significant experience in project and change management within large organisational settings and is passionate about matching his experiences to support organisations enhance their child protection culture.

National Education Manager

Megan Young

Megan holds a Masters in Learning and Development, a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma in Children’s Services with over 15 years of experience in the education sector and 5 years of experience in operating her own small business. She is passionate about high standards in education for all children, children’s rights and inclusive practices. She believes it is the role of parents, carers, educators and the wider community to provide children with the most supportive environment, in which they can be children, be individuals, feel comfortable, express themselves freely and learn about the world they live in.

Prior to joining Bravehearts in 2018, Megan founded and continues to grow a successful boutique learning centre on the Gold Coast, catering for children and families with diverse needs. Her expertise are in teaching children and young people of all ages, curriculum development, inclusion support, educational consultation and business management.

Marketing Manager

Zoe Hermans

Zoe Hermans has a professional background in early-years education, creative design, marketing and public relations. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over a decade in the areas of education, program development, campaign planning and brand management.

Prior to joining Bravehearts in 2016, Zoe spent 10 years with one of Australia’s leading animal welfare organisations, Animal Welfare League Queensland. She has a primary school aged girl and a high school aged son, who are the inspiration behind her work for Bravehearts.

Kayleen Johnston

Corporate Partnerships Manager

Kayleen Johnston is the daughter of Bravehearts’ Founder & Executive Chair, Hetty Johnston AM. She has spent 10 years working for Bravehearts, bringing vital funds and corporate partners in to enable Bravehearts to continue providing vital services to children and families in need of its services.

Her professional background in sales and account management has allowed her to bring skills into the not-for-profit sector, cultivating relationships and working to ensure that Australia is the safest place in the world to raise a child.