Twenty years ago a caring, compassionate and outstanding woman named Angela Dunleavy took the plunge and started a business in the spare room of her suburban home. She called it Care Strategies. Angela’s background in Psychiatric Nursing, Case Management, Local Government (as a Councillor), Personal Care Support Services, along her with tenacity and drive, helped her bring together a business in Community Care.
After many ups and downs, building networks and a name change to Care Professionals, she made it to the ten-year mark, and a celebration like no other was had.
Do you know that only 10% of small businesses make it to ten years? Angela was honoured to celebrate her achievement with the Mayor of Casey Council attending the celebration to highlight the difference Angela was making in the community.
Angela was not your average Councillor. She had something different; a burning passion and dedication to make a difference in the way we deliver care to our vulnerable members of our society.
On November 3, 2013, Angela sadly passed away suddenly in her home. The industry was devastated. Over 150 people attended her funeral service, including Case Managers, Service Coordinators, Clients and Carers.
Angela was loved and adored by just about anyone who had the pleasure of meeting her.
She truly was a wonderful spirit. Before we even had the chance to dry our tears the big question was, what was going to happen to Care Professionals? That is when I stood up.
Care Professionals today
My name is Natalie Chrisohoidis. I am the daughter of Angela Dunleavy. I had the honour of working with her from when I was as 12-years old where she had me filing, cleaning and answering calls. I continued to work for Care Professionals throughout high school and university. I was certain I would always play a significant role at Care Professionals. After much deliberation and often self-doubt amidst the grief and shock, I took over as Director of Care Professionals with the dedication to carry on my Mother’s legacy. It was inevitable that the business suffered as a result of the loss of its most important asset. But we carried on.
There were many times I felt like giving up; however, with the support of my family, in particular my father and my husband, I managed to keep it all together. For such a little lady, Angela gave me some pretty big boots to fill (even though she didn’t really quite touch five foot, no matter what she told you). Nine years later and here we are – thriving and stronger than ever. The relationships we have with our clients participants, support coordinators and families are strong. I have naturally picked up my mother’s compassion and eagerness to make a change for the better in people’s lives. I love what I do and although there are no words known to humanity that could possibly describe how dearly Angela missed is, and how I miss her, I am honoured to have stepped into her (huge) boots.
I may now be the face and the voice of Care Professionals, but Angela is and always will be the soul and spirit that has kept this business alive.
My vision and mission is to provide quality and personalised care to vulnerable members of our community to assist them stay in their homes with their families for as long, and with as much dignity and independence, as possible.
For Mum, I will honour that.
Care Professionals team
Owner and Director since 2013
With a passion to help people as her number one driving force and motivation, Natalie’s commitment to improving the lives of others has seen her build Care Professionals into what it is today, but she is not alone. She is fortunate to have an incredible team of carers and support staff who are committed to the same goals, also allowing her the time to spend caring for and raising her pride and joy – her two young sons.
Accounts, Service Coordinator and Client Relations officer
There is not a title long enough for Teresa. She is entirely dedicated to supporting our clients to receive the best care and support possible. The outcomes for clients in achieving or maximising independent living is a direct reflection of the tireless and always innovative work she produces. Teresa loves to be challenged and there is no job too big for her to handle. When Teresa is relaxing from work she loves the outdoors camping in their new caravan.
Rachel is training to become Human Resources and Recruitment Coordinator. She is warm, friendly, approachable and committed to ensuring everyone is looked after and achieves their best outcomes. Rachel promptly responds to issues and concerns and handles sensitive internal matters with fairness and integrity always with the goal of helping others grow into the best version of themselves. To relax and unwind Rachel loves her yoga while absorbing the beautiful hills of the Dandenongs.
Talia is our vibrant and warm Service Coordinator. She is new to the industry but you would not know. She is right at home with Care Professionals. Her unique ability to assist others maintain their independence, while working with people from any background makes her a natural in ‘individualising’ support needs for our clients. Talia has two teenage girls she is completely devoted to, and spending her weekends watching their sport and other extracurricular activities is exactly where she wants to be.
Between service coordination, meeting organisation and arranging everything from name badges to personal protective clothing, and much more. Kristy has fallen into a very natural role of technical support. There are not enough words to describe her work. Office Administrator hardly seems adequate. She has amazing patience when dealing with bureaucracies – large and small – and handles every challenge graciously and effortlessly. In her spare time she loves spending time with her family and playing with her young daughter.