It used to be only the fabulously wealthy or instantly recognisable celebrities that would employ the services of a bodyguard. A new type of profession has been emerging for the wealthy families of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The governor (or the increasingly more common governess). Families who have two very busy working parents with large salaries have always needed to employ a caregiver. These roles have historically entailed picking kids up from school, taking them to sports and other activities, helping them with homework and essentially assisting with domestic administration wherever it makes sense for the families own unique requirements.
The new breed of caregiver in Sydney is now so much more as parents with the means to pay for exceptional services have been able to demand more. It is now not unreasonable to expect that for top dollar, your caregiver is a highly trained bodyguard, is skilled enough to tutor your child up to HSC levels of education and can actively develop your child in other areas such as music, martial arts or adapt to learn any other pursuit and add value.
First, let’s look at the bodyguard services. The risk profile for kidnappings in Sydney has always been much lower than in other parts of the world. For some proactive parents it is always better to manage that risk rather than ignore it, especially when it comes to the safety of your children. There could be nothing worse for parent than having your child taken, and from a statistical perspective, very few are ever returned to their parents, even if a ransom is paid. Employing a bodyguard for your child where this is such low risk might cost $100K per year. Not much for some families on an income of several million per year who enjoy that assurance that their child is protected by a close protection professional and who would need to use the services of a caregiver that would not cost much less than this anyway.
These ‘drivers’ plan and execute many of the same security related activities that are performed for higher profile targets. They analyse trips and security touchpoints, they assess risk and they use tools such as toys or jewellery with hidden devices that can be tracked, so in the event the child is kidnapped, a rescue operation can be executed immediately with the help of law enforcement agencies or a private security team that can be engaged at short notice.
But for many parents who work in jobs all day that are centred around getting the best possible value for money, they have realised the same principal can be applied to domestic administration and there is so much more value to be gained by asking that the bodyguard be multi-skilled to the point where protection services are only part of the job. Education and development ranks as a close second to safety and welfare and many security professionals are now training in other areas such as Mathematics, literature and music as it gives them a great package to sell. Why pay for just a bodyguard, when you can get a bodyguard who doubles as a maths tutor, martial arts mentor and someone who can also teach children to play the piano.
The new breed of Sydney bodyguard is a close protection officer, an educator, a mentor and an important person in the life of the children they protect and develop. This has become one of the hottest new industries emerging in Sydney’s elite and each year the companies that offer these services find new skills that can be applied to the staff to make them more marketable in an ever increasing competitive world.