With ‘Women in Leadership’ the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, DVassist is profiling its Chief Executive Officer, Esther Schwald.
Esther is an emerging industry leader who is quickly developing a reputation as an innovator in the support services space. Her disruptive approach of using technology to challenge traditional methods of service delivery is helping people access essential services and education across Australia.
Backed by an international career, Esther is now the CEO of DVassist, a family and domestic violence charity that offers free and confidential counselling and support to people living in regional, rural, and remote WA.
Within the first year of her leadership, Esther created and launched DVassist’s resource-rich website; established a telephone helpline and therapeutic counselling service; developed complementary community engagement and communications strategies; and recruited a dedicated team of sector specialists to help make it all happen.
Esther’s goal is to demonstrate the power of technology in supporting people who would otherwise be unreachable. As the only family and domestic violence support service that delivers multisession therapeutic phone counselling to people in the furthest corners of WA, DVassist is unique in its offering.
DVassist’s Founder, author Fleur McDonald, has a driving belief that nobody should have to experience family or domestic violence alone, no matter how remotely they live. Thanks to Esther, Fleur’s belief is becoming a reality.
Today, DVassist engages with around 750 people every week through the DVassist website and help centre. Soon, DVassist will also launch its web chat support service on their website, providing “silent support” when calling isn’t an option.
As well as leading DVassist, Esther is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Mental Health Project, an organisation that develops evidence-based psychological mental health and wellbeing eLearning programs and support resources for the workplace.
She has also worked as an online lecturer with Swinburne Online University inspiring the next generation of leaders, where she specialised in management and leadership teaching and coaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Esther holds a Masters in Leadership and Management from Curtin University.