Stacey College – the first year

This is a presentation I prepared for our Stacey College Opening last week. I will blog more about the opening when I have photos to share.

This summarises the process we have been through from initial question to one year on.

Click on the link to see the fully interactive presentation.


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?

New City Location

We have been promising a city location ready for full time courses to start next year. Well here it is! Stacey College is now located at 18/7 Aberdeen St, Perth in the Piccadilly Square West building. This is a shared premises with Sheridan College.

The site is approximately 378m², and consists of classrooms, offices and a soon-to-be installed computer lab.

For students, it conveniently places Stacey College next door to McIver Train Station and a 9-minute walk from Perth Train Station. 10 parking bays will also be available for the exclusive use of staff and students, and the Aberdeen St entrance to the Newcastle St Carpark is across the road.


This is a very exciting step for the team at Stacey College. Tutoring and small classes now have the option of being held at this city location during office hours. Come and check us out!


Resilience is a bit of an IN word at the moment. But I certainly think it deserves its moment in the sun.

Here are some definitions of resilience:

1. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity: oxford dictionary

2. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness: oxford dictionary

3. In less than a decade the term resilience has evolved from the disciplines of materials science and environmental studies to become a concept used liberally and enthusiastically by policy makers, practitioners and academics. It suggests an ability of something or someone to cope in the face of adversity – to recover and return to normality after confronting an abnormal, alarming and often unexpected threat. It is used alongside security to understand how governments, local authorities and the emergency services can best address the threats from terrorism, natural disasters, health pandemics and other disruptive challenges. Torrens Resilience Institute

4. Put simply, resiliency refers to the capacity of human beings to survive and thrive in the face of adversity. Resiliency Resource Centre

My family have had an opportunity to build up their resiliency muscles this school holidays. After 2 weeks of my youngest son being sick with the flu, the entire family came down with gastro. It was like a rolling wave of sickness that started with me, then gradually engulfed each member of the family, one after another. As I crawled out of bed, my husband was struck, then my daughter. My eight year old was nursing us all for a day before it struck him. Not my ideal family holiday. But amazingly there were positives in it. Adversity brings opportunity to develop excellent character traits. Who doesn’t want their kids to have compassion, be helpful, caring, unselfish, sacrificing, and serve others with love. The whole family being sick meant we all had to look after each other in new ways. We bonded as a family in a new way. We cared for and encouraged each other. I certainly don’t wish for another bout of gastro, but I recognise the value in fighting adversity together as a family. The joy that resilience brings when we all bounce back from illness and charge into our various pursuits. This life will certainly bring trials. We cannot avoid them. As Paul said in Romans “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope”(Romans 5:3-4). Maybe resilience is the new way of understanding this old concept, that those who suffer, who are not defeated by it, can become stronger through it and develop those character traits that make them more able to succeed and prosper in life. So whether it is in your family and children, education, emergency services or whatever field you are in, resilience offers the perspective that says don’t be afraid of adversity, it just might teach you something!

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!

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!

10 tips to transform workplaces | Naomi Simson’s Blog

Check out Naomi’s latest post with 10 ways employees want to see their businesses improved.

10 tips to transform workplaces | Naomi Simson’s Blog.


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

(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.


Planning and development

Website design and maintenance


Social media


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!