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The Australian Disease and Dragonflies

Richard Flannery in his essay ‘The Australian Disease: on the decline of love and the rise of non-freedom’ writes: ‘ . . . in present day Australia, it doesn’t matter what you do or what you have done, so long as you conform to power. The only true crime in an ever-more bland Australia is to not conform . . . to speak out is to be declared a rat, a party renegade, and a political naïf. To not speak out is to be rewarded with endorsement and promotion . . . it is the Australian disease’ (Quarterly Essay Issue 44 2011).

Dragonflies inspire non-conformity. They question order and the correct way to fly.

They can hover, fly backwards, loop the loop and fly faster than any other insect.

They don’t wait for others to lead the way – dragonflies were one of the first creatures on the earth to fly.

They persevere – dragonflies pre-date the dinosaurs and can stay in the air all day without landing.

They can see multiple perspectives simultaneously – they have about 30,000 lenses in their eyes with 360 degree vision.

They embrace diversity – there are about 5,000 different species of dragonflies all over the world.

And even more significantly they transform – starting off as an ugly nymph living under water, they become beautiful dazzling flying creatures.

Inspired by the dragonfly, collectively we want to make a difference.

We believe (and have first-hand experience to back up the belief) that many organisations suffer from a disease that combines conformity with blandness to produce mediocre outcomes for clients and customers. Conformity and blandness also combine in several ways to produce indifference to visible and invisible poverty, social exclusion and injustice in a land of plenty.

To challenge (think critically), imagine (incubate ideas) and transform (celebrate solutions) is one antidote we believe to the disease of conformity and blandness.

Welcome to The Dragonfly Collective . . . there is much more to come!

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