Celebrating 15 years of BROWNS English Language School.
BROWNS English Language School (BROWNS) is this year celebrating 15 years of passion, creativity and support for international education in Queensland. To mark this anniversary, BROWNS celebrated with over 200 agents, staff and industry partners on Friday 10 August.
Rebecca Hall from Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) attended the celebration and said, “I could not be prouder to be here tonight to celebrate 15 years of BROWNS’ success. This night demonstrates what happens when you bring the right people, focus on student experience, and a partnership approach to your business. Success in this sector is not guaranteed and BROWNS has made it through the highs and lows. Congratulations to Richard and to the team.”
Over the 15 years, BROWNS has attained a long list of achievements however Richard Brown, Managing Director, explained on the night it was not always easy. “The year was 2003, I was 23 and my sister, Niesha Brown, was 25 and we were both unemployed. We loved to travel and meet international people from different cultures and backgrounds. We were looking for an exciting industry to get into that we could both be passionate about and the English language industry ticked all our boxes. It was fun, rewarding, full of adventure and opened our minds to all parts of the world. My sister and I packed our bags and jumped onto a plane to Japan. Our budget was small. We stayed in a backpacker’s dormitory in Tokyo for four weeks in the hope to recruit our first students. We were in business suits and everyone else was coming back from a big night out. It was here we recruited our first three students.”
Richard described 2003-2005 as two years of hard knocks. “It was relentless. Nothing was going our way. We encountered many challenges along the way and at times thought about giving up, but because of the support of our passionate staff, loyal agents, pathway partners who believed in us, and students who inspired us, we persevered.”
In 2008 Richard and Niesha realised they needed to differentiate BROWNS from their competitors. “We needed to go about creating the best learning environment for our students, so we reinvested in our facilities, curriculum, student services, accommodation and most importantly, recruiting the best teachers.”
By 2009, even though the industry was experiencing a downturn, BROWNS opened a second campus located in the Brisbane CBD and the international accolades started to roll in for Niesha and Richard’s school. Beginning with the Language Travel Magazine’s (LTM) Star Award for English language school – Southern Hemisphere in 2010, followed by the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards and the 50th Australian Export Award both in 2012.
In 2014 BROWNS branched out into the Vocational Education and Training (VET) space and launched VET courses. “The highlight of the year was opening our Barista@BROWNS program which to this day has been incredibly successful with many of our students getting jobs in the hospitality industry and many of our students going to set up their own cafes and restaurants.”
“With a refocused approach in 2015 we reviewed our strategy back to what we do best, which was teaching English. We opened the High School Preparation program, and we were privileged to sign an agreement with Education Queensland International (EQI) and several independent school partners.”
By 2016, BROWNS opened their fourth campus located on the Gold Coast, dedicated to under 18 learners. Between Brisbane and Gold Coast, they now had 1,000 students. Later that year, BROWNS, in partnership with Access Community Services launched their Syrian Project, offering $100,000 in free tuition to Refugees.
In 2017, BROWNS opened its fifth Queensland campus in Brisbane, launched their innovative digital platform myBROWNS and opened the Primary School Preparation program, now accepting international students as young as six years old.
2018 celebrates 15 years of BROWNS and the Gold Coast hosted the Commonwealth Games. BROWNS was proud to collaborate with Incognitus to offer 100+ student’s employment at the athlete’s village.
“Our journey has been one of passion and perseverance, and it would have never had happened without the support of our staff, partners and students.” says Richard Brown, Managing Director at BROWNS English Language School.