Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Navigate / search

Our Story

Andrew and Tara met in Australia working on the Executive Team in a large social services NGO – Tara in marketing and Andrew in enterprise and strategic development.

Sitting in a café one morning we shared our restlessness and frustration with lack of progress. We were passionate about justice and equality and were fed up with bureaucracy.

Three hours later we had the outline of a business plan written on a napkin for a new social venture – The Dragonfly Collective.

We started up in Melbourne in 2012 advising and supporting NGOs and social enterprises to enhance their impact for homeless people, disabled people, the environment and asylum seekers. But we were still restless.

In 2013 we set out to explore what social justice meant internationally. We signed up for a Masters in Social Innovation in Vienna, packed our lives into two suitcases and travelled to 24 cities in 12 countries across Europe, Africa, North America, Central America and South America. This gave us an international perspective on how people were dealing with poverty and disadvantage, the success and the failure.

In Tanzania we volunteered with a pre-primary school that operates not only as a school, but provides food, health care and clothing to the local village. In Washington DC we visited an educational café starting conversations about social justice through art, music and literature. In Vienna we met the founder of a social enterprise café staffed by ‘grannies’ on the pension designed to facilitate intergenerational connections and reduce poverty in old age. We met change makers all over the world – people committed to creating justice, empowerment and equality for others.

We took that inspiration and spent seven years in the UK, working with social enterprises and charities. We started up new projects, including a new social enterprise hub for marginalised people with a social enterprise idea. And we researched and developed new frameworks for collective impact (cross-sector collaboration) and social enterprise business model development.

In 2020 we returned to Australia and hope to share our learning from Europe with Australian social enterprises and charities.

We still have the napkin we scribbled on in the café that day. It’s a reminder that if you’re passionate about your vision, there is no beginning too small.