DVSM Leadership Team


The DVSM Leadership Team work together to plan, implement, monitor, support and celebrate achievements in the organisation.

Members of the leadership team work together as a whole, in project teams and in individual work portfolios to establish and sustain a supported, purposeful and productive workplace. A workplace where individuals can stretch in their professional potential and where teams share a culture committed to continuous quality improvement and have opportunities for new experiences, development and succession.

Sal
Sal Dennis
Chief Executive Officer

Sal has worked in strategy and development roles within human services for twenty years in London and Sydney. In 2015, she joined Domestic Violence Service Management (DVSM), a registered charity that provides direct services to people experiencing Domestic and Family Violence (DFV), homelessness and other wellbeing needs across urban, suburban and remote rural contexts in NSW.

Sal has been advancing the depth and breadth of DVSM’s work across sector boundaries. In 2015, she established a professional services division, Sightlines, to support improved social, service and system awareness and responses to people experiencing DFV and other adversities. In 2017, Sal led the design and establishment of the Insight Exchange platform. Each month, professionals, practitioners and the public from across the response continuum engage in reflection around foundational ideas about violence, and our shared responsibility as responders and social agents in representing violence. In 2020 the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team Report 2017 – 2019 spoke to the value and importance of DVSM’s work ‘in reframing safety planning as victim-centred and considers that this approach to safety planning should form part of all domestic violence training’.

Sal has designed and led projects in service reforms, common assessment frameworks, child poverty reduction and integrated leadership programs across statutory and universal services. Her experience also includes working with corporate leadership firms in an associate capacity as a coach and advisor to NGOs and corporate executives.

Sally Grimsley-Ballard
Executive Manager

Sally has worked in a range of executive leadership roles and brings more than 20 years experience with the Australian Public Service and Women NSW. More recently Sally worked with not-for-profit Dress for Success Sydney leading their engagement and operations growth to support women in NSW into financial security. Sally is a pragmatic and strategic leader and has extensive experience in complex engagement and change management and has led a wide range of projects and teams. She is passionate about bringing together the relevant people including those at the centre of the issues to find solutions to difficult problems. Relationship management is a strength and Sally has worked across sectors throughout Australia developing sustainable joint responses to support individuals and families, often the most disadvantaged.

More recently some career highlights for Sally have included almost four years working on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, enabling those who could contribute to do so, including young people and diverse communities; managing the production of ‘Aurora’, a domestic violence support and education smart phone application at Women NSW and coaching Human Services staff to support all Australians. Sally has also had extensive experience driving quality and performance and in all aspects of human resources.

Sally is passionately committed to equity, equality and social justice for everyone in our community. She is currently studying post graduate studies in Social Impact at UNSW.

Jenni Martha BandW - web
Teresa-150

Teresa Desmond
People and Practice Manager (Sydney Services)

Teresa has worked in the not for profit sector in Ireland and Australia in frontline roles including as Women’s and Children’s Support Worker with Viva House Refuge in Dublin, and Lou’s Place in Kings Cross as their Domestic Violence and Child Protection Case Worker. Teresa transitioned into management shortly after as a Team Leader and Acting Regional Coordinator within the Humanitarian Settlement Services Program of Settlement Services International.

Teresa most recently worked at the St Vincent De Paul Society as a Senior Team Leader of the Marian Centre and the historic Elsie Refuge in Glebe before moving into the newly created role of Practice and Quality Officer - Specialist Homelessness Services. Teresa is also a dedicated Night Patrol volunteer with St Vincent de Paul Society.

Teresa’s colleagues describe her as a passionate, empathetic leader with good communication skills. Respect and dignity are two core values that Teresa strongly upholds in her practice.

Teresa has a diploma in Child Care and Education as well as an Honours Degree in Applied Social Studies in Social Care, and is currently working towards completing a Master of Social Work at the University of Sydney.

Teresa is passionate about striving for continuous improvement in the services she is a part of, she feels very privileged to walk alongside women in their journey and see the transformation that delivering services in a person-centred and ethical way can have for the families she works with. Being around people energises Teresa, she enjoys learning from her colleagues and the families she works alongside in her everyday work.

Mary

Mary Ronayne
Community and Culture Manager (WSH)

Mary was born in Brewarrina and comes from the Kamilaroi nation. She has been the Manager of the Wilcannia Safe House (WSH) since 2013 and is part of the DVSM Management Team, and is now working a cross-services role as ‘Community and Culture Manager’.

Over the last 18 years she has worked in a range of coordination and management positions within the Domestic and Family Violence sector in rural NSW. Her focus has always been to support women and children to realise their potential and help them understand that they are important and can reach their dreams. She has a wealth of experience working with Aboriginal women and is aware of the complexities and disadvantage that comes with being an Aboriginal person. As such she is concerned with improving the wellbeing of Aboriginal women and children, families and communities.

Mary’s expertise is in listening to others, building relationships and connections with people and supporting people to come together and understand each other’s view point to reach a common goal. She is passionate about seeing people’s lives change for the better.

Mary holds a Diploma of Community Services Coordination and has Certificates in multiple other areas including Social Housing and Aboriginal Health.
Mary is currently studying (online) a Diploma in Business.

View Mary Ronayne’s Leadership Portfolio

Jenni Martha
Organisational Services Manager

Jenni has worked in the not for profit sector in New Zealand and has a strong background in managing financial and risk management. In her recent role, she was the Head of Finance in one of the Charitable Trusts in Auckland that has distributed millions of grants to the New Zealand community. Her colleagues describe her as a committed and analytical leader that values integrity.

Jenni has completed a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and currently is working towards her Master of Business Administration at UNSW. As professional qualification, she holds CPA and CIMA qualifications. She is passionate about making a positive impact to the people around her and being a trusted advisor for the organisation.

Nicole

Nicole Diab
Services Lead - Refuge Outreach Action Response (ROAR)

Nicole has been working within the youth and community sector for 13 years in and around the West and South West Sydney area. She has worked for government and non-government organisations supporting disengaged young people aged 10-21 years within juvenile detention, as well as in the community.

In 2007 Nicole started working for a not-for-profit organisation called MTC Australia as a Case Manager in various youth programs within the company to eventually a Regional Management role. She remained with MTC Australia until she decided to have a sea change in 2016 and entered into a partnership and bought a café, which she has since sold.

Nicole’s colleagues describe her as passionate about the work that she does and that she is supportive to clients and other staff.

Nicole has a degree in Social Science and a cert IV in Frontline Management. She facilitated various group workshops and trained in the delivery of Love Bites. Nicole is most passionate about being able to help grow and support positive change in people’s lives as well as the community.

 

Zoya

Zoya Syed
Services Lead - Refuge Outreach Action Response (ROAR)

Zoya has several years experience as a case manager in employment service programs such as Work for the Dole and Personal Support Program (PSP). PSP was a specialised program designed for long term unemployed clients, facing multiple social and psychological barriers to employment. Her role as a case manager was to assess and refer people to appropriate services that could assist them to overcome these barriers and develop their employability skills. Zoya has also worked as a trainer for employment training programs for youth and mature aged clients and assisted them to explore their employment options.

Zoya worked as a case manager at Australian Red Cross and then four years as a team leader at Settlement Services International working with asylum seeks, assisting people to settle in the community while addressing their psychological and social issues. Her most recent role was as a case manager with Employer Mutual Limited in psychological claims for NSW Police.

Besides other qualifications her Diploma in Counselling has significantly enhanced her communication skills and the knowledge to understand human behaviour.

Zoya is passionate about social justice and equality. She has always been an advocate for human rights.

 

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