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 Dennis
Chief Executive Officer

Sal has worked in strategy and development roles within human services for twenty years in London and Sydney. She joined Domestic Violence Service Management (DVSM) in 2015 where she established a professional services division, Sightlines, to support improved social, service and system awareness and responses to people experiencing Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) and other adversities.

DVSM provides direct services to people experiencing DFV, homelessness and other wellbeing needs across urban, suburban and remote rural contexts in NSW. Under Sal’s leadership DVSM has also established an important contribution in the establishment of www.insightexchange.net. 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.

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.

Sal is known for her strategic and purposeful approach to working with others, creating common ground amongst stakeholders with differing goals and motivations. Sal’s legacy is in developing the leadership of others and distilling clear ways to understand and make progress through complexity. Sal is passionate about connecting people to people, people to ideas, and ideas to ideas.

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.


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


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.


Seyda Avci
Services Lead - Moving Out Moving On (MOMO)

Seyda has worked and volunteered in the community services industry for 12 years, specifically in the disability and mental health sector in Sydney’s suburbs. During this time she has worked across multiple roles - from support work to managing community engagement and marketing initiatives. During the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Seyda held her team through the organisational transition, ensuring they were equipped to provide person-centred service delivery and planning for clients.

Known for her ability to balance professionalism with empathy, she is an enthusiastic leader who strives to empower people to achieve their goals. She is passionate about upholding the autonomy of clients and colleagues and places value on active listening and clear communication.

Seyda holds Diplomas in both Community Welfare and Case Management and is currently studying a Bachelor of Social Work.

Seyda is an advocate for human rights and gender equality. She shows particular interest in working with individuals and families from ATSI, CALD and LGBTQI+ communities.


Sussan Omar
Services Lead - Domestic Violence After Hours Service (DVAHS)

Sussan has worked in a variety of settings over the last 20 years including ; corporate, employment, youth, refugee and women’s health. For the past three+ years has worked in domestic violence in South West and Western Sydney. Sussan worked as a caseworker for ROAR before managing the DVAHS Service. Sussan is excited about leading the DVAHS service.

Sussan follows a strengths based and trauma informed model. She enjoys building rapport with women and children and delivering groups.

Sussan has a BA (Asian Studies) , Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and is a trained Circle of Security facilitator.

Sussan is passionate about working with diverse groups , supporting women, children and staff on their individual journey. Sussan believes in encouraging staff to reach their goals in a supportive manner.


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.