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GEOS Australia Schools Permanently Closed

Earlier today:

The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) says it will protect the 2,300 students affected by the possible closure of a number of English language schools across Australia.

[...]

"If a decision is made by the administrators for the college to close, all overseas students will be protected by the tuition insurance scheme," she [Lynn Glover, director of the VRQA]said.

"This will mean that students will be placed in suitable alternative courses, here in Melbourne, at no additional cost and the VRQA will be supporting that process."

This evening:

The voluntary administrators of eight English language schools say that the schools will not reopen because of the financial situation.

Justin Walsh and Adam Nikitins of Ernst & Young say they are working with the federal department of education and state government departments to find arrangements for the 2300 international students.

The administrators were continuing to investigate the nine companies operating under the GEOS name and hope to provide a further update on Wednesday, Ernst & Young said in a statement on Monday.

"We've very quickly worked through the options to keep the schools open, but were unable to do so," Mr Walsh said.

"That included speaking with the Japanese parent."

The interesting bits, however, are this:

The authority discovered that directors of GEOS have been diverting revenue from its Melbourne business, to support the operations of its other companies both in Australia and overseas.

And this:

But it is believed the GEOS group owes creditors tens of millions of dollars and will struggle to operate without significant help.

Back in Japan, GEOS is trying to downplay the closures and act as if nothing has happened. GEOS schools in Australia in trouble? We don't know what's going on. They just use our name under license. Everything is fine in Japan.

This just doesn't pass the smell test. How is it that eight schools, all taking in new students and seemingly operating without a problem, suddenly close and end up in voluntary administration overnight?

How do you distance yourself from the Australia schools while taking their money? What will GEOS say if the administrators in Australia find what they think are unusual money transfers? GEOS Australia and GEOS Japan may be two separate legal entities, but they are connected by the GEOS brand--a brand that is quickly tarnishing.

What does it say about the company when they post a few measly lines on their website saying everything is OK and not to worry? More information would do much to squash rumours about the company's health and mollifying any complaints its customers may have.

But it's too late for that. The schools won't be re-opening. As a student or employee of GEOS, you can't help but wonder if this isn't Nova all over again.

Japan: 

Comments

I read in some book somewhere that the Japanese saw business as a form of warfare.

It didn't say who the enemies were, however.

I've concluded that the truest enemies of any company are its employees and customers, which is why GEOS is giving as little information as possible to either them.

Although, unlike Nova, Geos hasn't been slapped with sanctions limiting its ability for new sales, they've been hit with another kind of "sanction" if you like, that is, the news of GEOS Australia going bankrupt. They're going to find it much harder to get new students in Japan now, and much harder to retain staff. As long as the management continues to mumble, obfuscate and pretend that everything's OK, morale will quickly decline, having a further knock-on effect on customer confidence.

Coupled with the supply of cash from Aus being cut off, it looks like a downward death-spiral from here on in. Hold onto your seats and prepare to bail.

As the former DoS, as of yesterday, of one of the GEOS schools in Australia, I can say with authority, that if it hadn't been for the fact that Japan was in financial trouble and as such sifening off millions of dollars from Australia to try and save operations there, we would still be opperational. The Australian schools all had plenty of students and were making money, but all of that money has found its way to Japan with the biggest problem being they have also taken the fees paid by future students, leaving nothing to pay for the running costs here! It makes me incredibly angry that Japan are claiming no responsibility for this, but of course it is also no big surprise. However with the cash cow now gone I can't see that the rest of the GEOS opperations can last. If you have anything to do with them in Japan or another country I would strongly advise getting out now!

What will happen with the Homestay families? Very nice that the students will find a new school, but who is going to pay the homestay families? Should we just tell the students to leave our house?

No problems. Just claim the unpaid weekly fee as an operating loss in your annual Taxation return.

What a wonderful world we have woven over the last 10 years!!!!

Heads up please GEOS Australia students and staff. Right now personal details, banking details (and, in the case of students, photocopies of passports and documents with student signatures) are sitting in unlocked filing cabinets in the GEOS schools. In the Sydney GEOS case many of those cabinets are in the public area of the staff room. Hopefully the administrators will quickly move to secure the data but in the meantime be cautious.

I know you're angry mate and your sentiments and conjecture on GEOS and its bare-faced cheek in distancing itself from GEOS Australia are entirely spot on but please, as a former DoS, watch your spelling ..."opperations", "sifening", "opperational"!

There seems to be very little at present apart from the short piece Shawn posted. Maybe a lying, dodgy global Japanese business isn't newsworthy in Japan (?)

I would encourage any students and GEOS Australia staff to cc Japanese news outlets with any grievances they send to GEOS Japan. Hopefully this will ensure accountability for Head Office actions in creating the bankruptcy through mismanagement. Hopefully it will also prevent any more students being left stranded in another country and make sure they enroll with reputable companies for overseas study - not cowboys.

Typical GEOS DOS, pick, pick, pick instead of being supportive of a good hard try....I just don't know.......

Media coverage is low because the media don't want to give yet more bad press to the Japanese and reduce consumer confidence further during these economic times, unless someone forces them into it. Media coverage of the Toyota recall has been much more muted in Japan than overseas.

Greater coverage in the Geos situation isn't likely to happen until such time as Geos Japan looks like it has to crash, which the media don't want to be seen as instigating. As things stand, there weren't many Japanese consumers who got burned in this, although those that have been are hopping mad. Geos is hoping that they can paper over the cracks in consumer attitudes here at home. If they are able to to manage that, then major coverage of the Geos situation is unlikely.

Excellent observation. I hadn't factored in JAL or Toyota It wouldn't be good for the public's psyche, especially if it involves foreigners exposing improprieties.

There's been sparse coverage in the Japanese media. The stories basically regurgitate the facts: 8 schools closed, voluntary administration, 2300 students affected. No mention of GEOS siphoning off money to Japan. A report on Jiji.com made a reference to financial difficulties (資金繰り悪化) which makes it sound like the schools ran themselves into the ground. I agree that the only way this will garner more coverage will be 1) more scrutiny from the press in Australia, and 2) following the money trail and finding some damning evidence that even the press in Japan can't ignore.

Shawn
Let's Japan.org::Blog

Shawn, I'm one of the laid off Australian staff. I believe that there are a number of people working hard to collect said evidence as we speak and to expose this to the Australian media. The level of anger here is high and we are not going to let it rest.

Good luck to you! If it becomes a big enough issue in Australia, the press here in Japan won't be able to ignore it. You'll help inform GEOS employees here, too.

It seems there are a few laid off staff posting comments here. I'd like to help get the word out. Contact me via the Email Let's Japan page or email letsjapan at gmail if you're interested in contributing something or have some information share.

Shawn
Let's Japan.org::Blog

I am an ex teacher of Nova, and now GEOS Australia.

Let's think back to 2007, when Nova was borrowing money off-shore in order to pay their staff. After a while that all became too expensive and suddenly all the schools were forced into closure. Let's look now to the present, and you'll see history repeating itself. In September and November 2009, GEOS Melbourne staff received their pay late, which came at a time when the Japanese mothership was in strife. An audit was done in Australia (at the request of the manager), the books were in order, and Melbourne continued as always.

However, before too long, Japan strengthened considerably and it was back to business as usual. I don't believe for a moment that the Japanese arm of the company can continue to operate in this way, and I suspect that its demise will follow that of the eight branches here in Australia.

The lesson learned? Don't borrow if you can't afford to - there are people's lives and livelihoods at stake.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2010/s2807781.htm

This is a report on the ABC about GEOS Australia. Interesting how they say that GEOS Melbourne had been caught funnelling money "overseas" - which country I dare ask?

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As an Aussie ELICOS teacher, I feel for the staff and students of GEOS. I experienced the 'supernova' in japan, and understand how shocking and awful it is.
This issue is getting a fair mention in the Aussie press (number 2 most read article in the age today), but it doesn't surprise me that it's muted in japan.
Another lesson is that if your school even HINTS at paying you late-- run!!
Those of you in GEOS Japan, start brushing up your resume and get on out of there!

Spell check wouldya!

Dare I say it, but let us face it, none of the eikaiwa employers of thousands of people would be in as much trouble today, as they are, if the Union had not forced SH on them. What damage has the Union really done? Think about. When you really think abou it, they have made things tougher for eikaiwa to keep people in jobs.

I totally agrre with you coburgsavoyman. The General Union wanted to get one over on the eikaiwa industry so badly that they instead ended up screwing over the teachers they said they were protecting. Yeah, teacher can really afford 2 years of back payments to the health insurance. Thanks alot GU...I dont need or want your fucking help. All the General Union has done is NOTHING but waste everybodys time and create chaos for teachers and schools in Japan. Its better the GU was disbanded.
Im glad freechoice was around to do some good and get article 8 removed. Alot of good the GU did for us.

HEY!! Any GEOS teachers and staff in North America, Europe, and elsewhere....chyme in and let us know whats happening in your locations. Surely, not all the illegal and funny business was only happening in GEOS Australia.

My personal opinion is that the Union is responsible for the demise of Nova Corporation. I could ring their necks.

Hmm. So far the union have been unsuccessful in that endeavor...
But this'll be another chance for them to show how absolutely useless they are as a union.
Teachers, beg for food!
Teachers, we won't tell you you can't be evicted.
Teachers, we don't know what's going on! But we'll shake our fists angrily until we do!

Reading back over that, a bit harsh. Maybe they did tell NOVA teachers that they couldn't be evicted.

Either way, anyone who has ever lived in America or the UK will know that the GU is not a Union, just a bunch of disgruntled ex-employees.

Hot from the pages of thumbrella.com.au

International student numbers up year on year

Latest figures from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the year ending November 2009 have shown a year-on-year 17.7 per cent increase in full fee-paying international students.
As of November last year there was a total of 629,618 enrolments and 362,926 commencements with the vocational education and training (VET) sector drawing the highest volume of students with a 36.7 per cent share.

The two largest source countries for enrolments across the entire student sector were China and India with shares of 24.5 per cent and 19.1 per cent respectively.

Emerging student markets were evident in: Saudi Arabia which experienced 63 per cent growth, Vietnam with 51.4 per cent and Phillipines 42 per cent growth

Question: so has the sector collapsed since November 2009?

I like to think of the chicken and the egg scenario. Nova Corporation was a big heavy weight. Union stepped in, Nova started to struggle, went under (thanks a lot), and then, many things started to happen, including the world recession. Lesson to be learned is that Unionism has a domino effect, if you really think about it. Dare I say it, but I say Union butt out, and release Sarhashi to do what he did best, which was to gives us all easy jobs. Life was good, until the Union butted in, and what happened next? The biggest collapse in Corporate Japan's history.

You can disagree with the Union all you like. That's up to you. However, Nova was already losing money hand over fist long before the union got it's way with the Shakai Hoken thing. Nova got around that quite well, as far as I can see. However, their plan of attack for countering business losses which had nothing whatsoever to do with the union was to open lots more small schools in daft places and then sit on their hands until there was hardly any money left. What finished them off was the METI action against them which came as a result of consumer complaints, again little to do with the union as far as I can see.

Have your say on unionism by all means, but try not to rewrite history while you do so.

Where are all the comments from 'in the know' managers and ex-managers of the Australian GEOS schools? It's great to read comments posted by teachers and DoSs but aren't the managers the ones that truly know what was going on in terms of the financial situation of each college? What about the fact that some colleges were paying almost 40% commission to their agents? Surely this needs to also be considered rather than just saying that the schools were doing well because of large student numbers.

Remembering that GEOS was promoting itself as GEOS Oceania, we might cast our eyes across the Tasman and have a look at the March 2009 NZQA report on that NZ group:

http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/nqfdocs/provider-reports/8532.pdf

You will note that NZQA provide clear information about ownership and later make some reference to "ongoing financial management issues"

My personal opinion is that the Union is responsible for the demise of Nova Corporation. I could ring their necks.

Sorry, I think that's absolute crap. The Union may indeed have made matters worse, but given the limitations that were imposed Saruhashi should have abandoned his megalomaniac dream of establishing a Thousand Year Reich-... sorry, one thousand NOVA branches, and focused on ensuring that there were enough teachers in the five hundred or so branches they were operating quite profitably to ensure that every student who paid for lessons could actually reserve them. NOVA could easily have survived the SH problem had the CEO and the bootlickers he surrounded himself with not been such a bunch of short-sighted, fraudulent, useless pricks.

Say what you want about unions. I have never joined one and never will. However, to say the union caused Nova to go down? Pure stupidity! Do you understand the difference between correlation and causation? Just because the rooster crows when the sun rises does not mean the crowing caused the sun to rise!?!

Nova was rotton to the core and companies fail all the time with unions and without. Nova would have failed with or without the union and your mindless job would have ended anyway.

Thanks for posting the audit from the NZ government, it clearly states that GEOS New Zealand has an overseas owner. Im just hoping that that information likes this comes back to bite that lying, fraudster kusunoki in the ass in the near future. What a dirtbag to deny ownership of his overseas schools.

I wonder how Kusunoki sleeps at night after releasing his absolute rubbish letter???

I'm surpised that it might be considered spam when I am an ex pincipal of an Australian school and my opinion stands

How can kusunoki have the audacity to deny ownership??? He is one of the Directors of each and every Australian and NZ school. As a Director he personally signs the audited accounts.

It would be interesting to discover the mechanism by which the money was removed from the schools, as well as the time frame involved. Was it Aussie managers or Japanese staff who pushed the button and sent the money over, or could the accounts be directly accessed?

Slightly apart from that, there seems to be a sub plot in all this. Did Geos Japan know that the schools would go broke when they withdrew the money, or didn't they know? If they didn't, why not? If they did, why would they send the schools broke?

One explanation in the case that they didn't know might be due to friction with Australian management leading to bad information. Another explanation might be that they gambled on higher sales in the New Year sales period that didn't eventuate.

In the case that they did know, one explanation might be that Geos Japan are so broke that they felt they couldn't avoid doing this, and so deliberately sacrificed the Australian schools. In this case, people who say the end is nigh for Geos Japan might well be right. A second alternative, however, is that Geos Japan's owner was losing control of the Australian schools, couldn't handle it and decided to send the schools broke out of spite. In this scenario, the demise of Geos might take a little longer.

A super post with super questions. Particularly as the second half 2009 GEOS plan was working towards off-loading the schools onto the market from March/April 2010. Rationale was to get the big $$ value out of the schools and back to Japan. GEOS/Australia "relationship" would have continued to mutual benefit of GEOS Japan/agents/the new local owners. But something definately went pear-shaped around about Xmas. And I'm not in the know to that. (Except u could sort of taste something in the air at school). C'mon team, spill the beans!!!!!!

Ha well if we go with the war analogy, the main tactic of the GEOS army in the war in Australia was to charge in, then suddenly march out again, leaving behind many casualties while at the same time saying "The general is not responsible for the actions of his army- in fact they weren't even our army, they were just using our uniform."

Just found out that GEOS teachers in Japan, well after the news story had broken, received a letter explaining that GEOS Australia is in fact a completely different company that is simply licensed to use the name.

Now that's odd I was a GEOS teacher in Japan and we were very much given the impression that not only were the overseas schools part of the company- but in effect they were the more successful brother so to speak. Hell we were constantly told how well they were doing as a blunt instrument to motivate us to work harder. Now suddenly they are not even a distant cousin???

Such a convenient backflip of position- it makes me soooooo mad!

You could pass on these comments and most certainly this website blog to Mariko Kusunoki, his daughter who is just as evil as he is. She's on facebook, the skinny runt that looks like a monkey! She'd love this!!!!

A number of managers including myself, now ex-GEOS Australia manager have posted comments on this blog regarding this, it is all here....

With regard to home stays, each state is different in deciding whether or not assistance will be forthcoming from each respective state governement, however at this stage, it looks very likely that each state governments will intervene and meet homestay debts, apart from Queensland, who at the moment are playing hard ball.

Here's an extract from the ASIC database. Go down the page and look at the documents lodged on 26/11/09..yep. a
388I for a company controlled by a foreign company. Snack on that!!! Are we stars or are we stars!!!

PS Tx ASIC, you are stars too!

ASIC National Names Index

Australian Securities & Investments Commission Index of corporate and business names

Extracted from ASIC's database at AEST 20:24:48 on 03/02/2010
Name GEOS MELBOURNE PTY LIMITED
ACN 075 972 753

ABN 43 075 972 753

Type Australian Proprietary Company, Limited By Shares
Registration Date 14/10/1996
Next Review Date 14/10/2010
Status ** UNDER EXTERNAL ADMINISTRATION and/or CONTROLLER APPOINTED **
Locality of Registered Office Brisbane QLD 4001
Jurisdiction Australian Securities & Investments Commission

These are the documents that ASIC has most recently received from or in relation to this organisation. Page numbers are shown if processing is complete and the document is available for purchase.
Date Number Pages Description
01/02/2010 7E2679089 2 505U Notification of Appt of Administrator Under S.436a, 436b,
436c, 436e(4), 449b, 449c(1), 449c(4) or 449(6)
26/11/2009 026147802 32 388 (FR 2009) Financial Report
388E Company - Appoint Change Name/address of Auditor
388I Financial Report - Small Proprietary Company That Is
Controlled By a Foreign Company
05/06/2009 1F0245400 3 484B Change to Company Details Change of Registered Address

Yes, love your work... told ya, only a matter of time. Ernst and Young getting on to this, they must have been inundated and this is the next path for them, Kusunoki goin' down baby, he goni' down

bring in it on

Send it to head office in japan to freak them out.
Also tell them you will send it to the Japanese media.
Go on mate do it!

Just did an ASIC search on

GEOS MANAGEMENT SERVICES PTY LTD

the unit which would probably been handling finanacial matters with Japan. Yep, 26/11/09 the unit also lodged a

388I Financial Report - for a Small Proprietary Company That Is
Controlled By a Foreign Company

You can see where the control of these Australian Ptys seems to lie.

I still think you shoul send it to head office.
I work for them in japan now and they are lying to
staff and students.

On the wall of the school is a big letter saying they
have nothing to do with overseas schools.
I hate this grubby company.

I'll dot it. What's the best address?

Be as it may, GEOS appears to be in trouble, but how many of you out there beleive that the trouble would be a fraction of what it is, if it were not for the Union pushing SH?

Come on! You know it to be true! Whose with me? Down with Unions, and let's give Eikaiwa operators a fighting chance!

http://money.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=281720
Australian Ptys :::::::
What is a proprietary limited company?
(Rules in Australia.)

A company has a separate legal existence, distinct from its owners, managers, operators, etc. It also has its own income tax liability, separate to your personal income tax.

that may well be true but when the directors are pooling all the money and sending it to Japan, it makes it awfully difficult to have an accurate P&L, especially when no principal has direct control of their individual finances.

There is one school in Japan that is wanting to hire only blondes, with blue eyes. To heck with it, and I know I throw caution to the wind, but I am for it, IF THAT IS WHAT THE JAPANESE CONSUMER WANTS. Let's keep the focus on jobs please. So what about PTY LTD, this, that, the other thing. Jobs, easy jobs, for all PLEASE, Geos or no Geos.

Keep it simple. That's all I ask.

If anyone really wants to put the shit up these people send it to the teachers at the schools too. Can't remember off the top of my head what the all-japan email address was for GEOS? It ends in @geos.co.jp though. Individual schools are SCHOOL@geos.co.jp for example. Will go have a look and see if I have it. I wonder if I've still got the president's email too.. That would be awesome.

Coburgsavoyman, we're in complete agreement again. So what if schools want to hire blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauties? It's a business for crying out loud, and these things SELL, and provide JOBS for hard-working teachers. If only the Unions could get their heads round this, and LAY OFF, things would be MUCH BETTER.

All that's needed beyond this is for people to recognise when trolls are hijacking message boards, imitating other posters, and leading things astray. That way, things stay on topic, so that truth and fair, accurate information can be disseminated out there more efficiently.

I'll dot it.
I still think you shoul send it to head office.
bring in it on
Got'em reponse
he goni' down

Hey everyone! Shall we play a game? You all seem so bored.
See how many spelling mistakes and typos you can find in this thread.

Jerry said: “Coburgsavoyman, we're in complete agreement again. So what if schools want to hire blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauties? It's a business for crying out loud, and these things SELL, and provide JOBS for hard-working teachers. If only the Unions could get their heads round this, and LAY OFF, things would be MUCH BETTER”

Coburg says: “Thank God someone can see common sense Jerry, and thank you for your most informative post. If only the whiners and moaners could get their heads around this, then, well, life in Japan would have by far more opportunities”

Blimey, not another ex-GEOS DOS on the prowl!!! I can feel a newsletter coming on or maybe, god forbid, an un-paid staff meeting. Get me out of here and over to Seek.com, please.

Hi Ex Geos, is it possible for you to please email me the letter that you received saying that GEOS Australia is completely separate to the GOES Corporation? I would appreciate it so much if you can send the attachment to: hyper56@hotmail.com as soon as possible, thanks ! :-)

Mate, as a former ...who cares...GET A LIFE! Fancy commenting on someones spelling in a totally unrelated discourse, you must be one fun guy (or girl)

Were you really a farmer? Nice...

I´m just sick of all of this, How can they think we (old staff) don´t have documents to prove GEOS is the same as GEOS N.A, GEOS Europe, GEOS Asia and GEOS Oceania all together? What about the marketing offices such as GEOS Mexico, GEOS Turkey, GEOS Brazil, GEOS Taiwan and so on... what about emails, Pictures of the meeting, msn, and skype conversation that clearly state the GEOS Japan was taking all the money from Australia... Be prepared GEOS, it is just a matter of finding a good lawer to show what has happened in the last year. Mr. K, we had enought of your terrible Speach!!!!

Now that I don't have my GEOS teacher job here in Australia I am planning what to to fill in the next t few months. And I thought I might pop in to the English Australia organised (yes, they do have time for this type of work on top of coping with 2 to 3 thousand student relocations right now) ANZ Agent Workshop in April. Good opportunity to meet lots of agents and net up. Anyway, I had a look at the 3 day conference fee. Sorry EA, at $5.490 its just a little too rich for me.

Report from The Dominion Post (NZ) 3/2/10
Please note the ownership claim.

The fate of up to 400 language students hangs in the balance with reports that their schools' parent company has closed its Australian schools.

This week, eight Australian schools owned by GEOS in Japan closed but the fate of the company's schools in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch remained uncertain, GEOS Auckland manager Stuart Binnie said.

The New Zealand schools are owned by GEOS in Japan but registered here. Between 300 and 400 students from up to 25 countries are enrolled in the three schools, which employ 20 to 30 staff.

If the schools closed, the students' fees would be refunded or they would be placed in another English language school, he said. "I would guess there would be a lack of confidence in the brand name."

An industry insider said the New Zealand GEOS schools would probably lose students rapidly "now that the reputation of GEOS among the international agents who supply the New Zealand schools with students has been compromised".

Wellington students Yin Li, from China, and Christian Demangel, from Chile, said yesterday that they had not been told of possible closures. Mr Demangel moves to Christchurch next week to study English at another GEOS school but understood his pre-paid fees, of about $4500, were safe in a trust account.

GEOS-listed fees for English language courses are between $340 and $360 a week.

The Qualifications Authority estimates overseas students studying in New Zealand inject about $1.5 billion into the economy each year.

Although Mr Binnie and staff in Wellington said Australian and New Zealand offices of GEOS were separate entities, a website advertising the schools links them in an "Oceania" grouping. According to the website, GEOS International has a "large and rapidly expanding network of high-quality" English language schools in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania.

The possible New Zealand closures follow the recent deregistration by the Qualifications Authority of two private Auckland training centres for non-compliance.

Authority records show the agency has long-running concerns with GEOS New Zealand's financial management, although it was noted in the last audit at the end of 2008 that the company had made progress addressing the concerns.

According to the company's annual financial statement, the New Zealand branch of GEOS lost almost $900,000 in 2008 after making a profit of nearly $1.2 million in 2007.

English New Zealand chairman Rob McKay said that, even if the New Zealand schools did not close, their reputation would be damaged. GEOS was one of New Zealand's biggest private schools teaching English to foreign students.

Ad Feedback GEOS' head office in Tokyo said its schools outside Australia would operate as usual, but admitted the closures might affect its reputation and student numbers.

Here, extracted from the NZ Comapnies Offices, are the details for GEOS (New Zealand) Ltd. You will note the director details. NZ Companies Office site is sophisticated enough for us to call up all lodged documents, including Annual Financial Statements in full. If you are interested, look at the GEOS NZ 2009 Financial Statements via the NZCO web site. The notes section at the end of the report provide information on the company's links with related parties, you will find it interesting.

Thank you NZCO

Company Number 248543
Company GEOS (NEWZEALAND) LIMITED

Incorporated 28-SEP-1984

Entity Type Company

Previous Names (Names changed prior to 1992 may not be recorded)
Company Name Date Changed
GEOS AUCKLAND LANGUAGE CENTRE LIMITED 20-NOV-2003
AUCKLAND LANGUAGE CENTRE LIMITED 30-AUG-1996

Address Details
Registered Office
Level 6 21 Federal St
Auckland
New Zealand

Address for Service
Level 6, 21 Federal Street
Auckland

Directors
Name Date Appointed:

KUSUNOKI, Tsuneo 07-MAY-1996
4-7-37-2224, Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-Ku, Tokyo, Japan

Share Parcels

Total Number of shares 247,000

Number of Shares 247,000
Shareholder(s) GEOS CORPORATION Shinagawa Ku, Tokyo, Japan

Documents Registered

Date Barcode Description File Size Available
12-OCT-2009 15:00:45 10058382568 Annual Financial Statements 424.7 Kb

etc, etc,etc..see

ww.companies.govt.nz

for all details.

let's not forget that they owe St Marks in Perth $200 K, which come next week when they get served, be ready for them to go down too, it's devastating, but a fact, their wages are being paid with money borrowed, and then its Japan

hi,

i teach in geos thailand. things have been very difficult recently here. i know those teachers in australia must be fuming about the situation there and many of my students here have also asked me questions about what is going on there. my reply has simply been "i don't know the details." because, to be honest, i don't. i know many, many details about the situation here. i know we are all working hard to make the school a success, and improve what has been, for a long time, a flawed system.

the title of my posting is, "please". and the reason for that is, whilst many of you may be very angry at your respecitve schools and at GEOS JAPAN for what has happened, please remember that there are others, unrelated to your situation, who you may bring the roof down on.

i am not asking you not to be angry, i am asking you to show restraint in possibly causing others to join you in your undoubtedly difficult situation.

i thank any of you who understand this.

adam

Adam, you'd be bahts to stay working with GEOS there.

Geos in Bangkok will survive, it only cost 1man a week to run. no problem. If one does arise just pay the teachers 300 baht a day will fix it. But bangkok must continue sending 1000 baht daily to Tokushima!! At any cost. TK

The teachers' office in which I had my desk with just 7 of the 40 or so other teachers at St Marks, Perth contained a collective sum of more than 50 years of time given to that institution. Hard working, dedicated, experienced and professional teachers - why did we stay? We knew something was sick - we didn't know it was terminal! We thought at best it would be sold as a going concern and we'd keep the jobs that supported our families and stay at the beautiful campus we'd made our 'home' at. Nine years I was there myself with little to no thought of the 'parent' company or the management of the finances. I saw the student and staff population triple during that time. Who would pick that as a failing business?
@adam, all your hard work is honourable but you have to understand that some of us are here for justice and to give you fair warning. If the company does go down, your commitment will have nothing to do with it, nor will any of the comments on this site. The only thing that will count is the truth of corruption, theft and incompetance. You have the advantage of foresight here if you choose to pay attention.

First, to those endless ripping on and defending eikaiwa, enough already! Don't you ever get bored with the topic? GO find a playground and go at it.

Just curious what you can make in Thailand doing eikaiwa. Must not be much.

Geos guy there. Nothing on this board is going to change the fundamentals. Incompetent management and tough economic times have almost certainly doomed Geos regardless.

The business model requires a degree of trust because the contracts involved a deal of money up front. Students going to Geos schools now almost certainly those already in the pipeline or those going direct that did not do their homework. Put yourself in the shoes of an agent. Would you want to deal with the problems that would arise if you sent thousands of dollars to a school to have it suddenly going under? Agents, like everyone, want to minimize risk as much as possible. Even if they do not drop Geos completely, they are certainly going to favor other schools whenever possible. They know other agents are going to be wary too. It’s all kind of like a run on a bank.

Loss of confidence, failed business model, tough times, incompetent management, lots of competition etc. are likely to doom Geos. It may take a few months or more, but it is highly unlikely they will make it through this year.

Hi Adam

If you are really teaching for GEOS in Thailand, you must not be making much money, when you have exchanged the baht to dollars. Sure, you can live in Thailand and eat there for less than US $10 a day - but can you really save cash while there? It is probably in your interests to get out before it's too late. Get out and do some travelling, go to an island there and stay for 6 months for probably $1000. JUST GET OUT OF GEOS!

Make no mistake - is GEOS is willing to close the very profitable Australian branches, GEOS HQ in Japan will be more than willing to close any other branches around the world WITHOUT NOTICE. Get out while you can!

Adam,
Please realise that GEOS staff here are fighting for 1000's of dollars worth of salary and long service leave they are owed. These are highly qualified career teachers, some of who worked for GEOS for over 20 years and were given no notice of the closure whatsoever. How's that for loyalty? They will put whatever pressure on GEOS they can, even if it brings the whole empire down!
How about a bit of real sympathy and understanding for them. I don't blame you for playing dumb but GEOS Bangkok, like every other GEOS overseas school, is probably a lost cause already - Kusunoki saw to that with his inept handling of this disaster!
Rob

Please check with your super fund as to what contributions GEOS lodged for you in recent months.

The way I see it Robert you have two ways to get the long service and leave entitlements owing to you and your friends.
1. You can trust to whatever bail-out systems the Australian Government has. THe trouble with that is that GEOS may be bust and MR K in Okinawa with a spare couple of million. When businesses go down, there are two sorts of creditors - quick ones, and slow ones. Staff are ALWAYS slow because they trust to justice. There is already clearly huge injustice. I don't know if Aussie govt will help. Despite the clear injustice, no GEOS Aussie staff has shown the slightest bit of nouse in going international on this.

Only one other country has had mainstream media pick up on the story - NZ. ... which leads to the next option.....

2. Or you can take direct action. The next domino is Auckland and currently the clear word from local management is 'Business as usual - there is a trust account, the money is safe, let's keep on trading. Even though Japan is 'not communicating' This is partly true, and because of the trust account, money is still coming out each week - drip feeding the operation. There is a therefore little money available for creditors - but not for long as GEOS NZ slips below break-even as agents have already bailed. I give NZ 1-6 weeks. And don't forget, as another post has rightly said -on a good day there could be $250 000 in the working account. Money which could disappear instantly when Japan judges it right, leaving NZ staff in the lurch. Right now, it would be a very bad look for NZ to tumble - this would really look like dominos. So it is vulnerable. This means you have some leverage - for a very very very limited time. How would it look if an ex-Aussie staff member turned up with banner in foyer saying 'GEOS is going bust - pay $ XXXXXXX right now (Name the 15 staff who have chipped in for your air ticket) Crude, unfair, but effective. I think you would have your money within 1 day because every student and staff member and maybe media would talk to you. Remember, the plan is to keep the rest of the empire trading and simply write Aussie off. Consigned to the bin of history -like the Nanjing massacre. It NEVER HAPPENED. Your debt collection method is nasty, vindictive, and WILL WORK. As long as you do not leave it too long. Also, ironically, you are more likely to get an organised close down if you Aussies shine your light into the darkness, than if you trust to the timing of Mr K who will similarly steal the staff entitlements here. Pass the hat, get 15 staff to put in $100 and be your own crude debt collector.

History shows that most ex-staff are too stunned, and still naive, despite the clear evidence of theft of student and staff money. It would be different if the whole empire had collapsed - but at this time the rest of the world is determined to trade on regardless. Or will you leave it till you have to go protesting in Japan. No, the cheapest, most logical place to put the pressure on right now is your nearest neighbour. If you get media with you, you will get your money, believe me. Or will you continue to dither?

Of course there is almost certainly no legal liability for NZ to pay you - but it is direct action, more on the line of the sort of thing that Greenpeace does. Don't forget there are agents in Auckland and you can protest their offices as well. And there are high schools that GEOS has groups in.... And there is a union. Direct action will work in a situation where reputation is fragile and the company is vulnerable.

You suggest a lawyer. Forget it, GEOS will have retrenched to Japan by then, or bust. Legal things move at snails' pace. You can apply reputation pressure right now on the next domino, and you can get money - one group of employees at a time. Where has a trust in the law got you so far?

Did Shawn previously post this? (From geos.net) He might have, but I have not seen it. Basically it is a totally misleading statement from Wendy Teraoka and Uri Carnat, Europe and North America Regional Directors. It totally repeats the company line about 'separate companies' It tells prospective students that the closure in Australia was by a completely unrelated company. Where is the integrity of these two regional directors? Are they seriously still suggesting that students sign up to an organisation that has just stolen money and published a half-arsed remedy in Japanese for Japanese students only?. All the vitriol in Australia seems to have been against Mr K. Do the employees of GEOS Europe and North America realise that their bosses have just told outright lies to prospective students? What about a future student who pays for a six month course having been reassured by this offical statement. Where will Ms Teraoka and Mr Carnat when these students are looking for their money back. Blaming Mr K of course.

http://www.geos.net/pdfs/Joint-Statement-Re-GEOS-Australia.pdf

Friday 29th January 2010
Statement re. GEOS Australia
We have been informed that all GEOS schools in Australia have gone into
administration and been temporarily closed. The administrators are Ernst and Young
of Brisbane, and they have announced that they will release further news no later than
17.00 Monday 1st February 2010 (Australian time).
All other GEOS regions are operated by separate companies and each company is
independent financially. You may continue to send your students to the UK, US,
New Zealand, Canada and our other multinational schools - their operations are not
affected in any way.
Ernst and Young has given the following contact information:
Pauline Spitaleri : Tel+ 03-9655- 2539 or email geos.va@au.ey.com.
For information from English Australia contact: easec@englishaustralia.com.au
For GEOS Europe: Wendy Teraoka, Regional Director, wendy@geos-europe.com.
For GEOS North America: Uri Carnat, Regional Director, uri.carnat@geos.net.
For GEOS New Zealand: Suart Binnie, Manager, stuart@akldlang.co.nz
For GEOS Asia: Mr. Eben Lau, Regional Director, ebenlau@geosing.com.sg
Wendy Teraoka
Regional Director, Europe
Uri Carnat
Regional Director, North America

I've been hearing about how the GEOS NZ staff are viewing the GEOS Australia demise.
With worry.
Consumer confidence not good. On Thursday evening GEOS NZ was, I am told, near collapse, with agencies trying to pull students out and all sorts of things going on. Luckily all student fees here are in a trust fund, and released to the schools as revenue as the pre-paid weeks are used up.

On Friday, someone senior in GEOS Chistchurch bought the three GEOS NZ schools. So it looks like they'll continue operating, with most of the students, and not sending profits off to Japan...but all staff are worried and students are confused.
Even so, the local branch is set to merge Elementary and Pre-Int clsasses from the end of this coming week, so that doesn't bode well...

Regarding some of the reports about Victoria 'discovering GEOS Melbourne was sending money overseas'...I am unclear. Did they discover something underhand where the manager was sending money to his/her brother's cafe in Hong Kong? Or did they 'discover' that profits from GEOS schools get sent to Japan? That's not a discovery, that's how these things work, isn't it?

The VRQA found that money had been diverted from the Melbourne school to support other holdings in Australia and overseas.

I don't think it's the way these things work, to divert students' tuition money for other things. Students paid tuition money solely for tuition in Australia, not to support the schools in Japan, inflate the CEO's offshore accounts, or pay for his high-class hookers.

VRQA and student's money response - whether you think it's not how things are done is irrelevant, it did happen

THe whole GEOS business model with thin margins requires very large numbers of students to break even, let alone turn a profit. And it depends on international brand recognition (now a permanent liability due to dishonesty and ruthlessness of owner) And it depends on off country support staff. Finally as a dubious, new enterprise, it depends on agents sticking with the ship. They have plenty of options and would wait at least two years. At the extreme optimistic end of the scale - imagine a halving of numbers. But the accounts show huge ongong lease obligations and the rent would double from 15% of turnover to 40% of turnover. Given the existing thin margins, this would be extremely stupid. For the benefit of the 'buyer' - do a little research into the number of wealthy outsiders who have pumped money into loss-making operations. As part of due diligence - competitor information could be sought and gained - None of them would be particularly bothered by an obvious outsider buying the business as they all know it won't work.

Top marks to the NZ Government for allowing free and easy access to company reporting doscuments via their web site:

http://www.companies.govt.nz

When we try a company search in other countries (eg the US or UK or AUS) we find either poor low-level information (frequently on a fee-for-service basis) or documents are charged for, Good on ya NZ for the transparency.

Hey, media folk, what about splurging some money and having a look at and report on the Australian accounts. Bet your editor could afford a couple of hundred bucks or so...Go, the Adelaide Post..get youeselves a scoop.

...what is the name of this so-called NZ buyer?

A fool and his money are soon parted.

Apparently 'Justin' of Christchurch

I guess this means no money for Aussie (if true)

Letter from Justin Hastroyo to agents. Substance is...'thanks for your support and patience. Thursday 19th Feb school sold. Now will be GEOS New Zealand a separate company. Will offer continued service. And so far there is no mention of changing the name.
Loony or what?

Wonder who bankrolled the new "owners" of GEOS NZ???

Hearsay, do you have a copy of said letter? Name doesn't even show up on a google search and you know if you don't show up in a google search, you don't exist.

Justin Mastoyo is the principal/General Manager of GEOS Christchurch.

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