Inspiring a passion for change


Hollie Brown ((right) speaks to students at St John Fisher College about her about her important work with the Darkness to Daylight Challenge

EVERY May, Queensland marks Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month to raise community awareness of domestic and family violence. A highlight of the awareness campaign is Australia's CEO Challenge: Darkness to Daylight. Recently St John Fisher College, Bracken Ridge, students were addressed by 2004 graduate Hollie Brown about her important work with the Darkness to Daylight Challenge, and how her time at the college had helped shape her values. ​

The room was silent as Hollie Brown spoke to students about her journey to-date, reminiscing on her time at St John Fisher College and how she came to be so passionate about working to make a positive difference in the lives of those affected by domestic violence.

She reflected on the feeling of community that was created at St John Fisher and how girls were taught to support each other.

“It is this culture that was instilled in our education, that has led me to this essential role at Australia's CEO Challenge, one that supports the community and women at such crucial times in their lives."

Hollie said despite not being a 'stand out' in any particular field of sport, academics, music or the arts, there were teachers at St John Fisher College who believed in her and supported her to challenge herself and step outside of her comfort zone.

Her inspiring words rang true to college students and staff when she said: “I didn't always know what I wanted to be, but I knew the woman I wanted to become.".  

Hollie began her career in hospitality while still at school and continued in this field for many years before moving into hotel and event management.

These years of experience provided unfiltered interactions with people from all walks of life.

It was during this tenure that Hollie learnt the importance and monumental impact that small acts of kindness can have on others.

“After many years in hospitality management supporting people using abusive behaviours and those experiencing abusive behaviours, I was able to use my skills in event management to transfer to Domestic and Family Violence Prevention (DFV)."

Hollie now works as Community Engagement Co-ordinator at Australia's CEO Challenge and has challenged not just the St John Fisher community to get behind the Darkness to Daylight initiative but all BCE schools. 

Senior students, staff and parents are invited to collectively log their kilometres as a group from 1 May to 30 May until they reach 100km with the final 10km run or walk to be held live on Monday 31 May.

Each kilometre symbolises a life lost to domestic and family violence with the movement representing a community that cares and is committed to change. 

To join the campaign against the scourge of domestic violence or to donate to the CEO Challenge head to: ​​

Top stories