Many people have asked “how does the 1800 line work” so I have decided to put out some information to clear up any misconceptions.
The 1800 service is based in New South Wales as it was started originally by NSW in 1998 and then later passed on to the National Square Dance Society.
These calls to the 1800 number can be made from a land line or mobile, both of which are at no cost to the caller. It was set up to provide a single access point for people to find information about Square Dancing.
Committees change, contact numbers change but the 1800 number does not.
The service is a National service and is financed by the National Square Dance Society of Australia. It is serviced through a dedicated line to my home, independent of my own services. If I am home, I will answer the calls but, if not, the calls go to a message bank and are answered ASAP by me.
If I am away for a significant time, I arrange that the service be checked by one of our committee members who can call into the message bank and retrieve/respond to any messages.
I have two contacts for each state to whom I pass these messages as required. If I am home and answer the call and cannot directly assist the caller, I ask them if they would like me to pass their request on to a state representative.
Alternatively, I can give them the two contacts and they can call directly. Most people take this latter option.
If your club is having a promotion, you are more than welcome to use the 1800 number in your advertising. All that I ask is that you please let me know as it can be very embarrassing and unprofessional if I do not know what they are talking about.
I would also need a direct contact for detailed information as required. For example, sometimes I get asked if access to the venue is via “XXXX” street or “YYYY” street.
The important thing is that I be kept informed when you refer to the 1800 service.
We are here to help you as a response point for your advertising and to refer people to you. If you have any questions, please give me a call.
Public Relations Officer,
National Square Dance Society of Australia
Reprinted from The Australian Square Dance Review in August 2019