Platinum Tips for Governessing - 1 to 30

Thanks to all those who contributed ...

1.              It's hot, take shorts.
2.              Buy some water boots at Big W etc. Because you are going to be swimming or walking through mud at some stage littered with prickles, sticks and the kids will be begging for you to come. 
3.              Before you head to your new job, ask the parents what each child is into and buy then a book (reading, information or puzzle) on the subject.  A great little gift to give them on the first day in the schoolroom when you are getting to know them.
4.              Make sure during the interview stages that you pick a family that you think you'll be able to get along with, pay isn't everything.
5.              Get to know your family well before you go, become Facebook friends and all of you share videos of you and your life.
6.              If there is stuff you can't live without make sure you can take it along. I was allowed to take my dogs and it made life much easier.
7.              The kids education is your job.  Get to know them, have a giggle but remember they need to respect you when you say no. 
8.              If you think they're the wrong family for you or you won't make a good match, trust your instincts.
9.              Take a digital camera.  You will have some amazing photos to take home
10.         Go buy yourself a cheap laptop under $1000 to take with you.  Also get a Telstra prepaid wifi dongle that connects to an external aerial.  If you get phone service on property you can use it.  Or you can take it with you to town and use it when you are in for school events.
11.         Get a hobby ...take up blogging, you can share your adventure with your friends and family.  Remember don't use the work families real names, use a codename. For some good govies blogs check out or or
12.         If you have questions read the GovAust Govies Page 
13.         Shops are far away .. take personal and medical supplies to last 10 weeks.  It saves any embarrassment you may feel when shopping with your boss or coming home in the same car.
14.         Remember to take different size cases.  You need one to toss in the car when going to town for a few days for a school event.  The car will be packed up so big case won't fit for town trips.  I bought some Gidgee Smith Chest Bags  Medium Size  I can wipe the dust off and it squashes well.
15.         Pack a set of clothes for every occasion.  Clothes to get grubby, town clothes, race day clothes.
16.         Choose a job and area which appeals to you ... family and friends will have different ideas but in the end you will be the one going there.
17.         Get to know govies on your school.  Your all in the same position and will be great for social support.
18.         Pet calves always leave a warm disgusting mess at the door.  Look before walking.
19.         Feeding pet calves is not nearly as much fun at the end of the year as it was at the start.  By this time the kids will have abandoned the chore to you.
20.         Afternoon walks can keep you sane and keep the weight off from all the yummy food you are eating 5 times a day.
21.         Your bosses bedroom is always a long way from dogs who bark all night.  
22.         Take a alarm clock / radio that your MP3 player can connect to.  Drowns out barking animals, it will be great to wake up to music.
23.         The outback doesn't have many radio stations so bring music.
24.         Power blackouts take a long time to fix in the outback ... bringing a windup torch saves on batteries.
25.         Be prepared to not see much TV if you are sharing with the family.  The TV may be dominated by cartoons, news and weather.  Get a family member to tape your favourite shows and post them.
26.         Give the family space, throughout each week, in the afternoon and night to spend time as a family.  The parents need to have conversations which don't need to always include the governess.
27.         Smoko (morning and afternoon break) may look fantastic but after you have put on a clothing size the budget will be drained.
28.         Telstra Blue Tick mobile phone is the only type that get decent service along the roads and in town.  Talk to your boss or other govies about what they recommend.
29.         Buy a pair of boots that pull on and protect your feet.  My Baxter Boots, I can't live.  
30.         At some stage you will have to squat behind the car to go to the toilet ... so get use to that thought now.
 Do you have any to add?   already have thought of more for the next installment.  While even I don't agree with everyone of these it is great to have such a wide range of opinions.

1 comment:

  1. Great! Disagree with the buying of presents though, especially initially. Agree with getting to know the family a little before you arrive, and swap a photo or two, but not become facebook friends until you leave- i always feel a bit clostrophobic, there is very little privacy on stations, and i don't like the kids thinking they know everything about me. Number 7- couldn't be more correct. Definitly suss out internet/phone options before you get there. Definitly. 13- wise. 17- will make the difference between a good time and a hard time. TAKE EVERY SOCIAL OPPORTUNITY YOU CAN GET! There are few chances. TV: i've had 4 govie jobs. no tv the first, tv for half a stint the second, tv shared with family 3rd, and tv flashing in and out the 4th, mostly flashing out when its crunch time on your favorite show. You'd be surprised how accostomed you get to no tv though, its not that bad. Space- important for everyone YES. 30, you nailed it. Also get used to toilets breaking down, sadly that can take months to fix...
    My biggest piece of advice... if you're not from the country, don't dream up romantic illusions. Haven't come across a remotely handsome nice young male neighbour yet.