As a mother of four school-aged children, education is a top priority for me. Being in the right catchment zone for the best school has a huge effect of where we live. I know this is an issue that faces many families in urban areas.
In rural and remote areas, however, this doesn’t happen. Often the schools are too far away to travel to each day. So thousands of families utilise distance education and School of the Air as a means of accessing primary and often secondary education.
Of course, this isn’t just a case of plonking a child in front of a computer for six hours a day. A parent, teacher or governess is required to plan and supervise the daily lessons.
For many mothers, juggling school work and station duties just has to be done. But for those who want to and can afford it, hiring a Governess is a great option.
This paid role is often taken by European girls on their Gap year as a way to experience the Outback.
Many Aussie girls take positions too. Especially the adventurous and those with an interest in education. Many go on to study teaching afterward.
My new novel The Outback Governess follows Paige a special needs teacher from Victoria who takes up a Governess position in Outback Queensland for three young children. She has no idea just how much and how quickly she would come to love the dusty, dry country, and the family who desperately need her.
Logan was heartbroken when his wife died, leaving him to raise their three children with the help of his aging parents on their remote cattle station. To avoid the constant reminder of the love he lost, he works on a mine in Mt Isa, meaning he only sees his family week on, week off.
But then tragedy strikes and Paige and Logan are forced to work together to look after the children, alone on the station. As well as being their teacher, Paige also becomes a substitute mother and teaches Logan how to be a parent again. A role he has avoided since losing his wife.
Can Paige bring the family back together or have the wounds of the past cut too deep?
It’s out 14 November but is available now to pre-order here: http://www.books2read.com/TheOutbackGoverness
Sarah Williams spent her childhood chasing sheep, riding horses and picking Kiwi fruit on the family orchard in rural New Zealand. After a decade travelling, Sarah moved to tropical North Queensland to enjoy the heat and humidity and run around after crocodiles.
When she's not absorbed in her fictional writing world, Sarah is running after her family of four kids, one husband, two dogs and a cat. She helps to run the local writers centre and supports her peers achieve their publishing dreams.
Sarah is regularly checking social media when she really should be cleaning.
You can find her online at:
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