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Parramatta Online Newsletter

 

Reporter: Zuzi Fort

If you are like me and maths is your nemesis, then Felicity and Anthony Tannous are the answer to your prayers. Of course, it is too late for the likes of me (or who knows, perhaps I too can still be saved) but there is hope for my daughter. Though she is only two I am already dreading the moment she'll come to me with a maths problem from school. After all, no parent wants to fail in helping their child. So, I am thrilled with meeting Anthony and his wife Felicity, who are going to make my life much, much easier.

This husband and wife team is on a mission and from all reports they are unstoppable. They have only been operating for six years but during that time have made quite a name for themselves, have tackled the big boys of the industry and helped many children and parents. Children are given a new feeling of confidence and their parents have been saved from going prematurely grey.

The idea is quite simple - making maths help accessible and easily understood.

It started with the couple (Felicity a primary teacher and Anthony a high school teacher) realising that far too many parents could not afford tutoring for their children and didn't have the necessary know-how to tutor their offspring themselves.

Together these two educators and children lovers came up with a program that was simple to follow, comprehensible and affordable. And we all know there is strength in numbers so the fact that this small company now has over 25,000 students across Australia makes it a formidable force in the education field.

Of course, like all of us, Felicity and Anthony are only human and therefore have their individual weaknesses - and it's always nice to find someone to share your weakness with. Felicity and Anthony found each other and together they indulge their weakness, which is also their strength. They are just so passionate about helping kids and may take things a bit too much to heart, may give too much away, dedicate too much of themselves and their time to the cause of education. But if passion for helping children is a weakness, I admire it and hope I have it myself.

So what are the teaching duo's strengths (apart from their passion)? Well, they are obviously well educated and have an extensive knowledge of education, the way it works or doesn't work, and the way it could and should work. They have a great affinity for parents, having three children of their own and have compassionate hearts that reach out to everyone in need. And they are both hard-working, driven individuals for whom work doesn't finish when they leave the office.

With that attitude it is easy to see them going from strength to strength and achieving their goal of helping "an enormous number of children attain their potential and producing a teaching model for other states".

According to Anthony, in ten years' time he hopes to have software for other subjects (English is already on the drawing board), he also wants to draw other similar companies in line to make education clearer and more affordable. And he would like to be able to relax more and spend as much time as possible with his family.

So has this pair of education mentors done anything extreme? Yes, yes and yes. It may not be jumping off a building but it required as much courage. Felicity and Anthony have taken on the big guys, fighting the heavies in their battle for a good education, which they both feel, is a right not a privilege. Anthony and Felicity hope to work their magic from within, slowly changing the education system and education industry.

And if you think that's tough, how about the planting of the seed of love and passion for education in children's minds. That is extreme but, according to Anthony, when you reach children at the right age, when they are still young and impressionable, it can be done - but it has to start at home.

And finally, Felicity and Anthony try and tackle the problem of the disadvantaged kids. They work closely with various organisations to help underprivileged children, providing sponsorships and donations and supplying their software to the poorest parts of Australia.

What do Felicity and Anthony indulge in when they are not fighting the bullies amongst the education companies or helping underprivileged children, or thinking of new and better ways of teaching? They just take the kids to a park or a beach and enjoy being a family. And, of course, they play games and develop educational strategies. (They just can't help it!)

As for Parramatta, where the Tannous family works, they find it a vibrant place, alive with potential and teeming with opportunities. In fact, Anthony believes it's the real hub of Sydney or even NSW, and there is nothing outside Parramatta which you cannot find in Parramatta.

And finally (my favourite question) what do these successful people live by, what is their life motto?

"Always strive to produce happiness and success for others."

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