Once upon a time, in an isolated corner of one of the most remote countries on earth, a little girl fell in love with French.
Soon, she set off to discover the world, which eventually led to her living in Paris. For her, the centre of the universe.
Upon returning to Australia in 2007, Katrina started tutoring French on the side and discovered she loved helping people, and that assisting them to learn French was an absolute pleasure.
Katrina loved a coffee herself, so she decided to start teaching French to groups in cafés around Brisbane.
She felt that learning a new skill as an adult should be a pleasure rather than a chore, so she set about creating a relaxed and inviting atmosphere in her classes.
The business grew and grew and in 2012, Katrina received a helping hand.
A young lady with a keen interest in colour and design arrived in Brisbane, all the way from Pau, in south-western France. Her name was Deborah.
Teaching French came naturally to Deborah and she also loved the design side of the business. Pretty soon Deborah realised: she was having fun!
Over time, Deborah and Katrina realised the limitations of the textbooks they were using, so Katrina had a bit of a think and convinced Deborah they should write their own.
Most of the time, it was a breeze. Katrina wrote the words…
And Deborah got creative.
Sometimes though, it felt like everyone else was having all the fun.
Even the normally cool-headed Deborah was biting her nails at times.
But they got there in the end, and this is when Lingua Franca started to really take off.
That Christmas, Lingua Franca decided to break new ground by moving into a place of their own - the nest. They set about decorating it a bit like a café, as they wanted to retain the relaxed feel of their lessons.
Pretty soon, the Lingua Franca students started to get itchy feet, so overseas trips were added to the schedule.
In 2015, along came Elsa, a Frenchwoman who had fallen in love with an Aussie. Luckily, they chose to make Brisbane their home.
Elsa had a way of explaining things that really engaged people which made her a great tutor.
Then in 2016, there was cause for huge celebrations. Lingua Franca was named the Telstra Queensland Micro Business of the Year, and all the hard work paid off.
This is Lingua Franca today. Now you know our French story, why don’t you come and start one of your own?