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Happy Holidays

Thanks to everyone for your support this year. As you can see from the slow down in blog posts things have got very busy with lots of new students. You can download our newsletter 2 to read about the year.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Aussie Christmas

Happy Christmas

Things have been very busy at Stacey College. You can download our first newsletter below to see everything that has been happening.

Newsletter1

Most importantly we have our Fulltime English course beginning on February 4th 2013. See the website for full details.

We will be closed for 2 weeks over Christmas, and will return on the 7th January 2013 ready for a fantastic new year!

From us at Stacey College we wish you a merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

nativityNativity by Samara Muhlhan.

Value in Second Language

Knowledge of a second language is taken for granted in many places around the world. The more I get to know the language industry, the more I meet people who speak two, three and four languages fluently.  Knowing English allows access to a lot of the world. Australia’s advantage of being predominantly English speaking can be a disadvantage as more and more of us are becoming complacent about the importance of learning more than one language. Knowing English plus another language, particularly an Asian language for Australians, is such an advantage. There has been a lot in the press lately about the drop in numbers of university students studying Asian languages. Though money has been poured into supporting the sector, the result is still declining numbers. “The proportion of Year 12 students taking an Asian language fell from 6.6 per cent in 2005 to 5.8 per cent in 2009. Chinese is far from being a mainstream choice, with many pupils being of Chinese background.” (The Australian, ‘Decline in Asian languages a ‘disgrace”, October 26, 2011) Until Australians truly value the importance of fluency in other languages there will continue to be a decline in those prepared to do the hard work.

English on the other hand is a booming industry. Estimates put the number of people currently learning English at 1 Billion (ref). Foreigners coming to Australia realise the importance of speaking English for the benefit of better jobs and ease of living. I would like us to recognise that all those who arrive on our shores, not speaking English, but speaking other languages, often more than one, already have such a valuable skill. It is often not until they learn to speak English that their knowledge of other languages can be utilized.

On the right is an article from today’s Weekend Australian. Even if you don’t use your second language at work, it is considered a sign of ‘cultural competence and an ability to think outside the box’.

Would you consider learning another language today?

Stacey College Team

I thought it was about time I did a bit of an update. Things change quickly around here at Stacey College. My last update celebrated our first student. We now have four students in ongoing tutoring, and five tutors available. I have been busy interviewing and hiring new tutors. The quality of the tutors that we have on board is fantastic. They have degrees, tutoring experience, teaching experience and on top of that are just great people. I really have no doubt about promoting them as educators who will offer a great service on behalf of Stacey College. I look forward to introducing each of them to you as we go along.

We are getting closer to having a building in the city. An offer on a lease has been made, and I hope soon to announce our new home!

So now I am busying myself with keeping records, making appointments, learning accounting and doing our first business tax return.

Lots to learn! Lots of fun!

Janet Stacey

I had a wonderful visit with my Grandma last week. She had put aside some photos and certificates to show me. This photo is from 1941 – the beautiful Janet Stacey, after whom the college is named. Another certificate is from 1933 when she graduated from business college. She had her heart set on being a teacher, but as a country girl she had started school late, and was then considered too old to train as a teacher. Her Grandma paid for her to go and spend a year at Business College instead.

Talking with Grandma, who is now 94, the fiercely independent spirit of the eldest child of 5, is still obvious. She told me how she would not marry the man everyone expected her to, how ‘Miss Stacey’ took no cheek from her boss, started learning the keyboard at 60 years old, and in her 70’s decided to study a Diploma of Christian Ministry. Fluent in French in her youth, Grandma could read it without translating it back into English. After retiring from managing a book shop for 8 years, she then went and did volunteer work in England. A love of learning and interest what other people think has kept her active her whole life.

I feel proud having a Grandmother who has maintained such a sense of dignity throughout a long and diverse life. I look forward to placing her photo and certificates on the wall in our new building (when we get it!).

A Baby College is Born

I don’t do pregnancy well. Ask my husband. Ask my children. Ask my mother. But I do have beautiful children. And maybe that is why I have returned to the daunting task of pregnancy twice after knowing how awful it was the first time. Pregnancy for me is a trial to be endured for the joy that comes afterwards. I know it is not like this for all women, but for me, it has been torture every time.

But children… the joy is unspeakable.

This week I have given birth to a baby college. The pregnancy was not nearly as difficult as with my children, but about as long. 9 months ago I was faced with the question “How do we start an English Language College in Perth?” The idea was conceived. The early few months were research, research research. How, what, when, where, and why? Learning everything I could about the industry, the competition, the registering authorities, the nature of small business, the nature of education institutions….

About 5 months in most women are showing a nice little bump, have stopped feeling nauseous (MOST! not me), and are beginning to think about life with a baby. Stacey College at 5 months from conception got a name. The process was very interesting a I looked back over my family history. Finally settling on the name STACEY in honour of my Grandmother, mother to 9 children, Grandmother to lots (really should check that next week!), Great Grandmother to a bunch. There will be more about Grandma in the next couple of weeks. Once the name was settled on, the company was launched.

6 months in and the website was launched, the blog began to chronicle the journey, and the legalities of business name, tax file number, business number and bank account were all done.

The 7th month was spent thinking and reading about vision and culture, then producing a vision for Stacey College.

In May, the 8th month, my wonderful husband introduced me to the woman who has become our first teacher and tutor. Rinna brings a vast amount of experience and talent to the company. There is also a team of agents working hard getting the word about Stacey College out to all their communities. Advertising and marketing kicked into gear.

And this week, June the 9th month, the birth of a college. With the launch of our tutoring services, we got our first student, and they are choosing to stick around, signing up for 2 tutorials a week! The birth felt a little more like a stork delivery than the real thing, but still a very joyous occasion.

So it’s time for a celebration. Time to stop and reflect for a moment. Time to mark the occasion. In June 2012 Stacey College got their first student and officially began! To those who have been following the journey – thanks for your support and encouragement. Stick around and enjoy the raising of baby Stacey into a fully grown college!

Switzerland

Official Name: Confoederatio Helvetica
Population: 7.5.Million
Language: Swiss German (64%, many dialects), French (20%), Italian (6.5%), Romansch (<1%)
Capital: Bern, 124381 Population
Population Density: 190 people km2

INTERESTING FACTS
(1) Technology:
60% of Switzerland’s electricity is produced by hydroelectric power.
(2) Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant >90%
(3) Education: Switzerland has a literacy rate of 99%. Most people are educated in public schools.
(4) Music: The alphorn is an archaic instrument that is 2.75m long, made from a single log of wood. (Sounds like a bigger version of the didgeridoo!)
(5) Food: Swiss lead the world with an average annual chocolate consumption of 10.4kg. They also consume the greatest amount of soft drinks in the world per capita.
(6) Geography: Switzerland is landlocked, bordering France, Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein and Italy. It is 70% mountains with more than 1500 lakes. You will never be more than 16km from a lake.
(7) Men: Though Switzerland is known for its neutrality (it has not been in a war since 1515), its 19-20 year old men must do 90 days of military service, and return every 2 years for a couple of weeks. The Swiss army takes part in peace keeping missions around the world, and the Swiss Guard protects the pope in Rome.
(8) Women: Swiss women were the 2nd last in Europe to get the vote, and have a life expectancy 6 years longer than Swiss men.
(9) Children: Must be named from a name on the approved list – no wacky and weird alternatives!
(10) Claims to Fame:
Companies – Victorinox (makes of Swiss army knives, Nestle (largest food company in the world), Credit Suisse (Banking), Red Cross.
Roger Federer – Tennis player
Albert Einstein – published his Theory of Relativity while working as a patent clerk in Bern.
Heidi – children’s book written over 100 years ago by Johanna Spyri

The second in my series on countries. Once again let me know what you think. Got any interesting facts to add?

Small Business: Keeping it interesting!

The great thing about this stage of business is that I get so much pleasure from every new development. This week my business cards arrived. So exciting!!! Next time you meet me ask for one – they look and feel great. Thanks to my brother Cooper at The Single Desk for the super design and Pink Gecko for the excellent job printing them, both at a very reasonable price too!

I like to promote other small businesses as I think small business is a fantastic thing. Hope Connolly, from Pink Gecko, mentions that there is so much more to running a business than her just being a great designer. I think that is why this is the first job I’ve ever had that I have not got bored in. Here’s a brief list of the things I’ve been involved in so far, and Stacey College hasn’t even celebrated it’s first birthday yet.

Research

Planning and development

Website design and maintenance

Administration

Social media

Photography

Accounts and taxation

Financial Forecasting

Designing marketing materials

Liasing with: my business partner, government departments, agents, potential students, graphic designers, potential staff, insurance brokers, teaching resource salespeople, community facility authorities, advertising agents, banking staff…

It’s just the beginning and I’m having a great time!

Inspiration: Monkeyandme


Let me introduce you to Charlie the sock monkey. My daughter Samara fell in love with him on our holiday to Mandurah. She had worked very hard doing jobs around the house to save up some spending money. Charlie caught her eye, and she felt him well worth her hard earned cash. We came home and looked up the website that was written on his tag. We were delighted to find that Monkeyandme is a Perth business with an enormous range of sock monkeys, all very cute and very cheeky. Samara immediately declared that she was going to collect them all!

What I love about Monkeyandme is written under the About Us section on their website:

In every bad situation there is good. The sock monkeys are the something good.

During a pregnancy we found out that our baby had a condition not compatible with life called Trisome 18 (we had to Google it too!) My best friend sent us a beautiful handmade doll to celebrate our little girl Poppy who was too precious for this earth. The doll was beautiful and inspiring. So with an empty calendar, a need to keep busy, basic sewing skills and a long standing love of all stripey things, the sock monkeys started appearing. (You should see the ears on the first one!) Eventually there were enough sock monkeys to begin Monkey and Me. Watch this space to see what exciting adventures the monkeys go on and exciting developments at Monkey and Me.

The sock monkeys are so cute and have brought so much happiness when it was needed most. We know they’ll do the same for whoever adopts one.

I am inspired by someone who can take suffering and use it to bring something new and beautiful into their world and the world of complete strangers like me.

The success of this lovely business was brought home to me on my recent trip to Melbourne. I was shopping on Station Street, looking for something special for my daughter. When I was about to give up I walked past a shop and there in the window were three little sock monkeys grinning up at me. Delighted I went in and brought Charlie a friend – Skittles. My daughter was overjoyed!

I’m not sure how far Charlie and the other sock monkeys have ventured, but lets hope their cheeky grins get sent all over the planet!