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About Governess Australia

 

CONTACTS

Facebook Profile... www.facebook.com/bushgovo.govaust

Facebook Page... www.facebook.com/govaust/

General Topic Enquiries govaust@governessaustralia.com

JobBoard Enquiries jobboard@governessaustralia.com

Connect with me on my Social Media Connection page

 

Governess Australia: a growing business

THE BEGINNING – a website run by governess groups

In the beginning Governess Australia was just a website, formed three governess groups from outback Australia

The idea of creating a network and website on governessing has been kicked around by the governess groups in South Australia and Queensland for several years.  In 2000 the South Australia Governess Group sent out letters to all School of the Airs and Distance Ed. Schools around Australia to see if they would be interested in forming a network for governesses. 

In 2002 Jasmyn Crimmins, President of the Mount Isa Governess group, contacted myself, Lee-Anne Bright, President of Distance Education Supervisors (SA Group).  The Mt Isa Govie Group was keen to set up a network on the web.  Jasmyn knew a governess called Kirsten Cosgrove from Charters Towers SDE, who had all the technical knowledge and training to put it together and up on the web. 

From that moment I became the willing pupil to learn all I could about the creation, operation and maintenance of the Governess Australia, the website, and Jasmyn took care of the financial side.  There were many moments when Kirsten was driven to the brink of madness.  The girls names became regular words in each of their work household, the bosses of all three at the time were very tolerant and we sincerely thank them for their support.

In October 2002 Governess Australia was launched onto the internet.  With much advertising through emails to all the Distance Education Schools and in 2003 through the ICPA newsletters, Governess Australia has became a success.   The JobBoard was a major success, in January 2003 the website had up to 8 jobs being advertised at one time.  After just two and a half months of operation we were ecstatic. 

In April 2003 I was sole webmaster of the site and that was when I made the first of many major changes to the look of the entire website, revamping most areas.  The major change was to the Schoolroom Tips and Links section.  They now became the one area called The Schoolhouse. The SA governess group compiled content for the website.

In October 2003, just 1 year from starting there were over 40 members of our Yahoo Group OUTBACK GOVIES.  By 2006 there were nearly 70 members when I moved it to facebook.

In 2004 I have worked on setting up many new pages and making the information more streamlined to use.  Some of the new pages are the FAQ page to answer new and perspective governesses questions and the Ask an Expert page.  I have also changes the overall look of the webpage once again.  I finally met Jasmyn at Mt Isa this year.  After all these years of emailing to meet someone face to face and hear a voice was fantastic. 

 

THE BUSINESS IS BORN

By 2005 I have 8 years governessing experience and I found myself in the position to make a choice about the future of the website I was passionate about.  By this point I had already been paying the running costs of the website and had no appropriate support or contact from the original governess groups.   

At this point I decided to follow my passion for governessing, agriculture and the outback… and I turned the website into Governess Australia, my business.  My aim was to turn the website into Australia’s leading information and support for employers, governesses and education in the outback.

In the beginning I request donations for using the JobBoard, in the first year I received $1000 in donation.  In the following years this fell to $200. 

Throughout this time I was still spend every available moment outside of governessing to improve and research things for the website.

In 2007 I had many challenges with the website and ended up rebuilding, in the process I upgraded the look of the site and added more information and pages.   The website has been simplified with the addition of the Parent Page and Govie Page, providing a central point for both parties to get information.

By 2009 December, the website has 167 pages, it has come a long way from the 8 that it started with.  Many parents have suggested charging a fee for the use of advertising space on Governess Australia.  Until this point in time all the blood, sweat and tears was all just something I did for no financial gain. 

In January 2010 I created a whole new JobBoard based on the idea that employers have to become members to advertise their position.  I was extremely excited to think after 9 years of maintaining the website it may start paying me back for all the time it takes answering emails and maintaining it. I also decided to streamline the look of the whole website to fit in with the new look created for the JobBoard.....MORE WORK.

Although the membership payments (still) don’t cover the hours of labour I put in it has eased the financial strain the website was having on my governessing wages.

 

THE LATEST TWIST

In the beginning of 2011 I made the decision to utilise the growing sensation of facebook.  I started a FaceBook page to support the website and give me a social media outlet, a way of connection to my supporters and advertise the business.  I also shifted the Outback Govies group to the more popular medium of facebook. 

In August 2011 I started a blog http://www.governessworld.blogspot.com/ I felt I was never going to get around to writing the book that everyone wants me to and I didn’t want to make the website filled with me.  I called the blog the Unwritten Etiquette of the Governess World.

In September school holidays I had an accident on my parents property and the last 3 months of the year in a moonboot on crutches.  This turned out to be extremely good for the business; I spent a lot of time putting together blogging material and I also joined twitter (http://twitter.com/Bushgovo) giving myself another opportunity to promote the business and join the Australian farming community which was rapidly growing there.

My December 2011 I was now running the website, the facebook page, the outback govies group, and I had connected my twitter account to my page.  Social media had provide me with a lot of opportunities to promote governessing and my business.

In 2012 I could see a need for support for teaching mothers and decided to help fill this by setting up GovAust Outback Families facebook group.  Giving employers and teaching mothers a place to share and support. 

I also joined Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/bushgovo/) and intragram (http://instagram.com/bushgovo) adding more to my social media portfolio.  I found pinterest to be the most successful way of gather ideas for the schoolroom and I use it on a regular basis.

2013 has already brought many changes and new ideas; I started using MS Expression Web to maintain the website.  This has provided me with ability to change the look of every page immediately using a templates.  This will save me hours of work in future upgrades.

I have also have taken Penny O’Dowd on to the team to help build a product shop.  By the end of this month we will be doing our first annual order for rugby jumpers.  The product shop is in its infancy and we hope to look at selling stickers and stubby holders.  We have also started offering Taxation Support Sessions.

 In 2016 another exciting revamp of the website happens. This time the key focus being is making it work on both mobile devices and laptops. Also a floating share bar to make it easier to share a page onto social media.

THE FUTURE 

The future offers lots of exciting prospects with my aim as always to provide information and support for families and governesses in the outback. 

 

About Lee-Anne Bright

I grew up on a property in Western NSW, south of Broken Hill.  My sister and I had governesses while completing primary school at Broken Hill School Of The Air. 

I still head home every school holiday and help my parents on our goat property, Kimberley Station 140km south of Broken Hill.  I am also secretary of the local picnic race club, Nanua Picnic Race & Quarter Horse Club. 

I started governessing in 1997 and through the years have had my types of jobs and experiences. 

My statistics are as follows ...

  • 3 states education systems

    • South Australia

    • Queensland

    • New South Wales

  • 8 DE schools

    • Port Augusta SOTA

    • Broken Hill SOTA

    • Longreach SODE

    • Charleville SDE

    • Emerald-Rockhampton (Capricornia SDE)

    • Bourke-Walgett SDE

    • Hay SOTA

    • Dubbo SODE

  • 17 families between 1997 to 2016

  • Year Levels Taught: Preschool to year 8

  • 44 schoolage kids to 2016

As a governess I have been a teacher, friend, 2nd mum, sister, counsellor, secretary, computer whiz and partner in crime.  I have also been fencer, musterer, stationhand, spare driver.

My passion is the outback, education, community and agriculture.

:) Must tidy and write more about me later in the year :) 



Groups who have supported Governess Australia over time...

Distance Education Supervisors (SA) provided financial support throughout 2001, 2002, 2003,

Mount Isa Govie Group (QLD)  provided financial support throughout 2001, 2002, 2003,

 Longreach Govies (QLD)  2004, 2005, 2006

Charleville Govies (QLD) 2006

Capricornia Govies (Emerald, QLD) 2006

Bourke / Walgett Govies (NSW) 2007

Broken Hill Govies (NSW) 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015

NSW Govie Network 2007-2017




POST : 21 June 2016

Joining myself at Governess Australia is


MISS PENNY



Lee-Anne & Penny


Miss Penny will be the SHOP GIRL (Sales Manager) for Governess Australia...  I now have a team of two :)

Penny will be designing products for GovAust, assisting with monitor facebook groups, posting blogs and bring great ideas to the table.


If you see Miss Penny floating around then give her a big welcome.


Cheers Lee-Anne



Miss Penny talks ....

 

Hi everyone!

I am as pleased as punch to be officially joining Lee-Anne here at Governess Australia. I have been using the website since I started governessing in 2007, but didn’t actually meet Lee-Anne until the Broken Hill Home Tutors Conference in 2011. I think I waited three days before asking if I could give the website a little spell check…

I excel at both procrastinating (was meant to do this weeks ago) and rambling, but I shall try and avoid boring you to tears while I tell you about myself.

Born on a sunny day in the autumn of 1988, I….no, I’m not going to do that to you.

I grew up in Adelaide – have to keep reminding the kids I’m a city girl – and with my mum, moved to Peterborough when I was 17. She jumped back into carriage driving and joined the local quilting group, which is actually how my governessing career started. One day, not long after I finished school, one of the quilting ladies knocked on our door and asked if I was interested in becoming a governess. After I stared at her blankly for several seconds, she gave me a basic outline and explained that a quilting acquaintance was looking for a govie, and she thought I’d be perfect. And that, as they say, was that.

After that great first year I was under the misapprehension that while wonderful, governessing was something you did for a gap year, before you entered the real world. Thus, it wasn’t until I had discovered that with my asthma I could never be admitted to the police force, failed at selling cars and spent some time nannying in Adelaide, that I started thinking about governessing again. I realised I hadn’t felt truly confident or that I was in the right place, doing the right thing, since I left the station. So once again, I headed over to Governess Australia. Best move I ever made! (Aside from the really awesome save I made the other day when we were playing soccer.) As soon as I got back out bush I realised – this is it. Working with kids; teaching them, laughing at  them with them, learning with them, watching them grow, inside and out? Best job ever. But not just a job: a lifestyle. One I never knew existed, that now I couldn’t imagine giving up.

 

I have worked in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, with six different schools and sixteen kids. I have taught years 1 – 6, 8 and 9 -  and sometimes I think I have learned just as much as them. Some of the things I have learnt include:

  • Prickles and burrs must be removed from socks before they enter the washing machine, for they will always relocate to pillowcases and undies.
  • The one day I wear my daggy trackies to school is the day someone turns up unexpectedly.
  • Fritz, baloney and sandwich meat are all the same thing.
  • The third ‘wether’.
  • A cow is a cow, but a steer is not. It took 3 children, a half hour argument and Wikipedia to expose the lies my city upbringing taught me.
  • Mice eat anything. Even bandaids.
  • If I ever really need to go somewhere, it will rain.
  • My sense of direction is nowhere near as good as I thought
  • Children packing their port for mini school are not alcoholics.
  • The ability to find the ridiculous in most situations is priceless.
  • Having all three children behaving and doing what they’re supposed to at the same time is a rare and precious thing.
  • Not doing your schoolwork because you threw up on it is a legitimate excuse.

And on that insightful note, I will say farewell for now, and get back to annoying Lee-Anne with suggestions for the website :)

Cheers,

Miss Penny