Denise was born in Tauranga and educated both in New Zealand and Australia. She has spent half of her adult life living and working across multiple cultures in Australia and New Zealand, was a pivotal specialist in Melbourne, and a founding member of Bay of Plenty Sexual Assault Service in Tauranga.
Denise’s formal qualifications include
- Community Nurse – New Zealand
- Bachelor of Social Work – Australia
- Diploma of Community Work – Australia
- Diploma of Holistic Healing – Australia
- Certificate in Supervision – New Zealand
- Registered ACC Accredited Counsellor – New Zealand
Membership ANZASW Aoeteroa NZ Association of Social Workers
Denise was a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA House), The State-wide Emergency Over Night Women’s Refuge, Victoria After Hours Centre Against Sexual Assault, all of which are based in Melbourne.
Since the year 2000 Denise has run her own private practice based in Tauranga and Hauraki, and helped establish Bay of Plenty Sexual Assault Services. For over thirty years she has worked with thousands of people to help make positive changes in their lives.
Her focus is in providing acute, medium and long term counselling and sexual assault support services to women, men and adolescents.
In 2009 Denise's research was used as the basis to develop the Sexual Assault Primary Prevention two year program, initiated by the Tauranga City Council's "Tauranga Safe City".
Denise has significant experience working with Maori and her own Iwi is Ngati Maru of Hauraki.