Our Story: Battling Adversity to a Dream Life in Bali

We are Cheraine and Ollie, and we are Staffroom.

We help teachers create a job and life they dream about.


"Even before we met, I battled adversity. As a child I overcame bacterial meningitis and had to learn how to walk again after being in a wheelchair; as a teenager, I struggled with severe depression; in my 20's I was struck with an auto-immune disease and divorce, and in my 30's I reached rock bottom. My relationship had ended and I was heartbroken, my real estate business in Queensland, Australia was forced to close due to a state-wide natural flood disaster, leaving me with $100,000 of debt, and resolve to NOT declare bankruptcy!

I literally remember driving down the highway with tears streaming down my face, thinking to myself that I should just run my car off the road into a tree and end it.

I didn't though. My Dad had passed away recently and I could not leave my Mum all by herself. I had to go on, to be there for her" - Cheraine

I moved to Melbourne and started working in Recruitment. I worked for a global mining and IT company and perfected my skills in recruiting. After working so hard in real estate and having owned two properties, a block of land and a BMW, I was back to square one, with zero assets. This time with $100k in debt.

I set up another startup business, helping skilled migrants find employers to sponsor them in Australia, and volunteering with AMES, helping new migrants find jobs. It was successful until the Australian government cancelled the 457 skilled migrant visa - overnight my business was no longer viable.

Again my health collapsed. I found myself in agony whilst at a wedding in country New South Wales. I made it through as one of the speakers for the happy couple, flew straight back to Melbourne, dropped my bags in my apartment and went straight to the hospital. 

The constant battle with my health made me realise that I was on the wrong path.

I had to do something. I had to change my life.

At the wedding, I had met a couple related to the groom. They were both international teachers and had spent four years in China, and then four years in Thailand. It sounded so exciting! It was then and there that I made the decision to change my life. To get my teaching qualification and become an international teacher, travel the world and have an adventure!

Ollie and I connected on the magic of Tinder... yes, really! We chatted about our startup businesses (he had his own startup marketing company), entrepreneurship and I shared my plan to be an international teacher.

Fast forward a few months and he resolved that he would become a teacher also, and enrolled in his Masters of Primary Teaching at Melbourne University. We decided we would spend the next ten years in Australia, then go and live a life of adventure together until we found our dream place to settle.

Alas, my health failed again. After a year of pain, I was diagnosed with the spine of a 70-year-old woman (I was 37!) and needed emergency spinal surgery on my neck. I was forced to take a year off work to recover, and did not get out of bed for three months!

We were turned down by the bank for a car loan, and getting a mortgage was impossible due to being on one-year teacher contracts in Australia.

We had no money and no opportunities.

This was the final straw. We could not wait any longer to live our dream, we had to do it now!


We made a strategic plan for our own careers to launch straight into the international teaching circuit and went to the Search Associates job fair in Melbourne. We both secured teaching roles with an IB school and ended up in Surabaya, Indonesia (which neither us nor any of our friends and family had ever heard of!). We travelled around Java and used to laugh that we were the only Australians that had never been to Bali! Our first trip over to Bali and we were hooked on 'the island of the gods'. We had finally found our dream place.

Again, we strategised to land our dream jobs in beautiful Bali, and we made it happen. 

After having two (yes, two!) contracts cancelled due to the pandemic, we created our digital business. In only six months our sales have skyrocketed from $0 in June 2020 to over USD $13,000 for the month in December 2020. We have created a successful, profitable business and now have the financial freedom to leave teaching, if we choose.

The gods of Bali island have certainly smiled upon us.

We have found our dream place in Bali, and live an AMAZING lifestyle, unparalleled to anything we've ever had in Australia.

We are proof that you CAN create a job and a life you love - even coming from massive adversity.

We've done it.

Now, we help other teachers do it as well.

We spoke to hundreds of international teachers about what their biggest pain points are, and we created solutions to their problems.


PROBLEM: I want to leave teaching, and I've thought about starting my own business, but I'm not sure where to start.

SOLUTION: We created the Staffroom Digital Business Coaching program which teaches you how to set up your own profitable, successful online business.


PROBLEM: I want to apply for my dream job that's just come up at my dream school, but I don't know how to SELL myself or my experience in my resume.

SOLUTION: We created our signature Resume Package which is designed with a 3 point approach to selling your amazing skills and experience so that schools will find you irresistible!


PROBLEM: I'm not quite sure what I should do next, and I need some help to feel more confident about my teaching and leadership experience.

SOLUTION: We created our signature Coaching Session to magnify your confidence and give you crystal-clear clarity about your path moving forward.


PROBLEM: I want to apply for jobs with schools directly, especially those that hire Non-Native English Speaking teachers, rather than search through all the job boards.

SOLUTION: We created the Staffroom $1 Job Club - a curated list of international schools that support the hiring of Non-Native English Speaking teachers.


Whatever your problem with landing your dream job, or building your dream life is, we have the solution.


We’ve both had extensive careers ourselves prior to transitioning into education - in recruitment, marketing and sales.

We are experienced teachers in international and Australian schools & universities, teaching IB, IGCSE & Australian curriculum.

Combined, we have Master's degrees in Business Administration (Executive) and Primary Teaching, Graduate Diploma's in Strategic Foresight and Careers Education & Development, plus Bachelor's degrees in Business, Commerce & Teaching.

We know exactly the kind of challenges you face in your education career because we’ve faced them too.

Let us help you create a job and life you dream about!

Are you ready to create the job and life you've dreamed about?


P.T. Staffroom Education Services is a registered company in Indonesia.