Iconic Australian Brand Dials 45 years of Service

1 March 2012

DIAL-AN-ANGEL was founded in 1967 by 29-year-old mother-of-three Dena Blackman, prompted by her own difficulties finding home help; with just a $200 loan from an impressed bank manager and a $20 a week office in Lindfield. Fast-forward 45 years and Blackman's business now has three franchises, seven company-owned offices and more than 10,000 registered Angels.

DIAL-AN-ANGEL is the only national Australian home care service to offer a full range of home needs, including care for disabled children and adults, eldercare, domestic duties (cleaning/housekeeping), babysitting and childcare. Blackman's daughter and DIAL-AN-ANGEL CEO Danielle Robertson says: "We're experiencing a boom in domestic demand at the moment. People simply don't want to spend their valuable spare time cleaning and are learning to ask for help."

The company has the strictest vetting process of any home care service in Australia, accepting only one in every 10 applications from potential Angels, and is one of few agencies around the world to meet every person and conduct comprehensive, in-depth reference checks to assess applicants.

In 1967, Blackman foresaw that outsourcing home help was the way of the future. In 1985, Blackman was still ahead of the race, taking ads in The Australian andThe Australian Financial Review headlined, "Keep Your Staff Where They Belong: At Work". It's taken nearly 30 years, but big businesses have now become major clients of DIAL-AN-ANGEL, buying emergency home care support for their staff.

Robertson (who calls her mother Dena at work) says Blackman had the instincts of a futurist when she foresaw corporations funding home care for staff. "Dena knew that companies would need to support staff more, especially during child care emergencies. The Department of Defence (Army and Navy) were clients from the late eighties and other businesses came on later."

Robertson has just celebrated 25 years in the business, and 2012 is her ninth as CEO. In her time at the company's helm, she has focused on the corporate potential of DIAL-AN-ANGEL and is proud that services can be redeemed via Frequent Flyer rewards points. Robertson is currently building a portal so members of a major insurance fund can directly book their services. Corporate clients include The ASX, KPMG, Stockland, Ernst and Young, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Maurice Blackburn, Norton Rose Australia and numerous other law firms, professional services firms and large and small businesses. "When these companies require a staff member's expertise, but their help is needed at home, they book an Angel with the firm picking up the tab."

The company is also perfectly positioned to meet growing demand for home-based care for elders. "Many of our clients are in the sandwich generation," Robertson says. "They're still supporting their own kids while caring for ageing parents too. We're also providing a viable alternative for people who don't want to go into retirement villages or nursing homes or those in institutions who want additional care and assistance."

While DIAL-AN-ANGEL has been a beacon to Australian families, they've also proved a shining light in the business world too. Dena Blackman has been inducted into the Australian Businesswoman's Hall of Fame and named a Veuve Clicquot Inspiring Woman of Australia. She's been a finalist in the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Awards and in 2009 received the Jason Lea Trophy (in honour of the late Managing Director of Darrel Lea) for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the Family Business Australia Awards.

So, what makes a good Angel? "Our Angels definitely have an X factor. They need to ‘want' to become an Angel; it's not just another job. We have more male Angels now. We pay well above-award rates because we want the very best people to work for us." Robertson was once an Angel herself. She says former Angels have become clients and former clients have even become Angels.

If you feel a nearby flutter on March 17, 250 Angels will be making their way to Sydney to celebrate 45 years of DIAL-AN-ANGEL. On the night, a new award will be announced in honour of Phyllis Akins, DIAL-AN-ANGEL's first office manager and backbone to the business for the first decade. Phyllis Akins passed away aged 92, only a few months ago.

Media Contact

Danielle Robertson

CEO, DIAL-AN-ANGEL Pty Limited

T 02 9125 6050

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A wide range of story ideas and photos are available for publication.

About DIAL-AN-ANGEL
DIAL-AN-ANGEL is a private, family owned and operated Australian company. It is the only national agency specialising in the provision of aged, home and child care. The agency provides Angels for housekeeping & home cleaninggardening & home maintenancenannying and babysittingsupervised contact visits, party helpaged carein-home nursingdementiapalliative and disability care in the home. A wide range of services are available to businesses such as medico legal reportingemployee work-life flexibility programstrade promotions for competitions and emergency care programs for children and seniors. Gift vouchers are available for all services.

As a national company, we have offices around Australia in AdelaideBrisbaneCanberraCentral CoastMelbourneNewcastlePerth and Sydney. For further information call 1300 721 111 or email administration@dialanangel.com