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    The Honourable Campbell Newman

    Queensland Australian of the Year Award recipients announced

    The Honourable Campbell Newman

    Friday, October 24, 2014

    Queensland Australian of the Year Award recipients announced

    Passionate child protection campaigner Hetty Johnston has been named as Queensland’s recipient of the Australian of the Year Award for 2015.

    Premier Campbell Newman congratulated Ms Johnston, the founder of child advocacy charity Bravehearts, for her tireless and effective work in campaigning to keep children safe.

    “Like Hetty Johnston, the Government wants to make Queensland the safest place to raise a family and Hetty is an energetic and determined campaigner for children’s rights who works hard with her Bravehearts team to give them a voice,” Mr Newman said.

    The Premier also congratulated three other community heroes – Fred Hyde, Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Juliette Wright - who were also announced as recipients at Queensland’s Australian of the Year for 2015 awards ceremony in Brisbane this afternoon.

    Mr Newman commended all of the award winners for their generosity, passion and commitment.

    “All four recipients are truly inspirational people and we should all be proud to count them as part of our Queensland community,” Mr Newman said.

    “It is through their selfless, determined and unwavering commitment to their individual fields that they make our society a better place and in turn act as role models for younger and older generations alike.

    “Each year these awards provide a nationwide platform of recognition. They not only allow us to celebrate the best and brightest among us, but also provide an opportunity to learn about the remarkable and inspiring stories of Queenslanders making a difference to Australia.

    “These recipients are very deserving of their awards and should be proud of their achievements. We are truly humbled by their triumphs, dedication and selflessness.

    “On behalf of Queensland, I would like to thank Hetty, Fred, Yassmin and Juliette for their contribution and wish them all the best at the national Australian of the Year Awards, to be held in Canberra on the eve of Australia Day.”


    Queensland’s recipients for the Australian of the Year Award 2015 are:

    • Australian of the Year – Hetty Johnston AM - Child protection activist (Cedar Creek)
    • Senior Australian of the Year – Fred Hyde AM - Philanthropist (Warwick)
    • Young Australian of the Year – Yassmin Abdel-Magied - Engineer/social advocate (Sunnybank Hills)
    • Local Hero - Juliette Wright - Social entrepreneur (Camp Mountain)

    More than 2000 nominations were received from the public for the 2015 awards and nominations are already being accepted for the Australian of the Year 2016.

    For more information and to nominate someone that makes you proud, visit:

    The Australian of the Year Awards is a National Australia Day Council program and is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.




    Australian of the Year

    Hetty Johnston AM - Child protection activist (Cedar Creek)

    Founder of child protection charity, Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston is determined to make Australia the safest place in the world for children. Hetty established Bravehearts in 1997 after learning her daughter had been sexually assaulted. Since then, Hetty has dedicated her life to creating awareness that child sexual assault is largely preventable and encouraging the nation to prioritise the safety of children. Today, Hetty leads a team of more than 70 employees who provide therapeutic, educational and advocacy services across the nation. Hetty has worked tirelessly to bring attention to a topic that was once taboo and her work has resulted in major policy and legislative changes, as well as numerous inquiries across the nation. Hetty has compelled Australia to address child sexual assault and support the thousands of children who are sexually assaulted each year. She remains passionate and determined in her fight for children and her legacy will be a safer nation in which to raise a child.

    Senior Australian of the Year

    Fred Hyde AM - Philanthropist (Warwick)

    While most people slow down when they retire, 94 year old Fred Hyde has devoted the last three decades and all of his resources - personal, physical and financial - to rescuing and educating abandoned children in Bangladesh. A World War II veteran, Fred has spent his life working hard to help others. After seeing the plight of children left orphaned after a tidal wave on Bhola Island in 1970, Fred later sold his house and poured all his savings into his not-for-profit organisation, Co-operation in Development. Since 1991, Fred has built 45 schools, five kindergartens and teacher training facilities for 165 teachers and, at present, there are 12,000 children attending Co-operation in Development schools. A humble but awe-inspiring leader, role model and mentor to many, Fred continues to spend six months of every year in Bangladesh, directing projects that touch the lives of countless people.

    Young Australian of the Year

    Yassmin Abdel-Magied, 23 - Engineer and social advocate (Sunnybank Hills)

    Born in Sudan, Yassmin Abdel-Magied moved to Australia when she was two and since then has devoted her extraordinary energy and talents to making Australia a better place. At age 16, Yassmin founded Youth Without Borders, an organisation that enables young people to work together to implement positive change within their communities and internationally. Yassmin has forged a hybrid career as an engineer, social advocate and media commentator and she is a sought-after candidate for state and federal councils. Yassmin has sat on the Australian Multicultural Council, the Board of the Queensland Museum and the Design Council, contributed as a member of the Federal Anzac Centenary Commemoration Youth Working Group and was on the organising committee of the 2014 Youth G20 Summit. She was also the Team Principal and designer of the University of Queensland's race team. A role model to many, Yassmin has been recognised with many awards. Her achievements across a number of fields provide positive proof that hard work, resilience and self-belief can reap rewards, regardless of gender, faith or cultural background. 

    Local Hero

    Juliette Wright - Social entrepreneur (Camp Mountain)

    Driven, inspired and relentlessly ambitious, Juliette Wright is on a mission to alleviate poverty. Establishing an online platform in 2009 to connect those who have with those who need, Juliette is changing the face of how society helps its most vulnerable and marginalised people. Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GIVIT, Juliette created the portal to ensure quality goods get to where they are most needed by safely connecting and inspiring an online network of givers. Juliette’s vision, hard work and determination have resulted in donations of more than 126,000 items to disadvantaged members of the Australian community. In 2011, when Queensland was hit by devastating floods, GIVIT became the state government’s official website for matching donors and recipients - with 1.8 million hits resulting in 33,000 goods matched in three weeks. Juliette’s positive ‘can do’ attitude inspires others to embrace philanthropy and her next challenge is GIVIT Kids, a safe online platform for children to give new or pre-loved belongings.