Kingsley Educational Pty Ltd
|Throughout this Web site: = Australian; = Christian; = new/updated; = Special.|
= Early (age 3-9); = Middle (age 7-15); = Senior (age 13-18); = Parents; = Everyone
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|... That leads me to want to explain a few things to you about our dear old "Oz". Just thought you might not know these things and might need to know.
Home truths about AustraliaOz is the wide brown land. It has a population less than that of California in a land area as large as continental USA. Less than one fifth of Australians have any church connections. Even less attend a church regularly, and even less are what you might call committed Christians. The country has been in drought for nearly a decade and many of us are struggling because of that. Also home educators tend to be the only families working on a single income (or less), in a society where two incomes is very much the norm.
Home educators in Oz fall into two categories - non-Christians who usually "de-school" and don't buy curriculum at all, and committed Christians (by far the larger group). Therefore of a population of 20 million Australians, home educators would be between 0.1% and 0.5% (no-one knows actual statistics). It is rare for there to be more than one home educating family in a postcode (zip code).
There are NO home education stores as such in Australia - no shop fronts. There are a few home education suppliers, all of whom operate mainly by mail order. Four have been going 15 years plus, of which we are one. Others spring up from time to time but have a high attrition rate. Usually none of us import what any of the others import, because it is unlikely that any one of us would sell more than ten copies a month of any one thing. Even for a New Zealand distributor to cut even when an Oz distributor has the same lines is unlikely. Excluding single-curriculum promotions, each state has one or two conferences per year if at all.
Australia Post is quick, reliable and efficient considering the distances involved, and mailing within Aust and across to New Zealand is a good way to go. On the other hand freight charges across the "big puddle" (Pacific Ocean) are enormous - sea mail is totally unreliable.
Current problem for all importers is that users can easily access information on the internet and US Dollar prices look so good! They don't take into account all the costs of exchange rate, freight, local tax etc so don't even buy from the distributors who did all the work of supplying info. A related problem is that some publishers keep doing revisions leaving orphaned curriculum items on far-flung importers' shelves - unsaleable but too expensive to "Return to sender."
Well, those are the gloomy facts but we are far from gloomy about them! We can testify that God is very good and we have been able to keep providing the service we would want to receive ourselves. I hope though that this helps you understand our situation here.