Following the outbreak of World War II, Esther and George Szekeres emigrated to Australia after spending several years in Hongkew (a community of refugees) located in Shanghai, China. In Australia they originally settled in Adelaide, before moving to Sydney in the 1960s.
In Sydney, Esther lectured at Macquarie University and was actively involved in mathematics enrichment for high school students. In 1984, she jointly founded a weekly mathematics enrichment meeting that has since expanded into a program of about 30 groups that continue to meet weekly and inspire high school students throughout Australia and New Zealand.
In 2004, she and George moved back to Adelaide, where, on 2005-08-28, she and her husband died within half an hour of each other.