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16 years of reasons

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All about Australian Agriculture and Distance Education

with a little bit of me thrown in. 

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All about agriculture, distance education,

good food and a little bit of my world.

 

 

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This business is run by two people who are current governesses if something doesn't work then please email Lee-Anne with links to where the information or link is missing

2014 Term 3 --- the crazy term for GovAust.  Next week we have Sports week and then in three weeks we have minischool week.  Have been having issues updating the website, currently in contact with hosting company hoping to figure out the issues by the 27th of July at the latest.

About Governess Australia

by Lee-Anne

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.

 

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

 

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

 

  • 15 Stations between 1997 to 2013
  • Year Levels Taught: Preschool to year 8
  • 38 kids to 2013

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

NSW Govie Network 2007-2013

 

"You're not just a govo, you're THE GOVO"                                                                                          "Uniting Govo's Outback"

 

Email govaust@governessaustralia.com

Copyright © Governess Australia All rights reserved.
Revised: Friday October 10, 2014.