Born in Santiago, Chile, Denisse grew up in New York where she completed a degree in Development Sociology from Cornell University. In Australia she completed a Master's degree in International Development from RMIT University, whilst working with Youth Development Australia's social enterprise project, YouthWorx Productions, a training and employment program for homeless youth.
Trained by the Gamaliel Network in the US, she continued working towards social justice and as a community organiser, linking churches with other organisations such as civil rights groups and trade unions. Her capabilities range from grassroots campaigning to coalition building.
Denisse now lives permanently in Melbourne and identifies herself as an immigrant twice removed.