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ABOUT

Commonground is a not-for-profit social enterprise that has been supporting social justice, environmental, disadvantaged and community groups since 1984.

It does this through providing its Venue at subsidised rates for social change groups; its education and training organisation, the Groupwork Institute of Australia; and its Intentional Community, who run the Commonground Social Change Festival.

Commonground is a not-for-profit social enterprise that has been supporting social justice, environmental, disadvantaged and community groups since 1984.

It does this through providing its Venue at subsidised rates for social change groups; its education and training organisation, the Groupwork Institute of Australia; and its Intentional Community, who run the Commonground Social Change Festival.

Commonground is a registered charity and has deductible gift recipient (DGR) status.

COMMONGROUND VISION AND AIMS

Vision:  A just, nonviolent and sustainable world.

Aims:

  1. To provide a conference and retreat venue for the social change movement at the Commonground property, in the bush near Seymour in Central Victoria.
  2. To provide collaborative workplace education and training to help people work effectively together for social change, through the Groupwork Institute of Australia.
  3. To develop a vibrant Intentional Community of people living and working together at the Commonground property.

TAUNGuRuNG LAND

Commonground is very mindful that we are on the ancestral lands of the Taungurung People. We are very honoured to be able to support Koori culture through various parts of our Commonground work. 

History of Commonground

Commmonground is an intentional social change community established in 1980. The founders were a small group of social activists exploring their best collective contribution to the creation of a just and sustainable world.  

Founding members worked in the community sector and had been involved in a range of social action groups addressing a variety of social issues. Most groups were poorly resourced and struggled to work at their optimum effectiveness. In contrast, well funded organisations had access to greater services to support them, and opportunities for reflective time out, training, consultation, facilitation and other resources.

We decided to provide a resource to directly support groups and organisations working for nonviolent social change.  This included many self help groups working with the marginalised peoples of our society.  The focus was to help such groups maximise their practical endeavours.

In parallel to developing a resource centre and support services for the community sector and social change movement was a growing interest in the contribution of Intentional Communities to social change. We felt that, for the sake of the planet, humans needed to learn how to live more co-operatively and to share their resources.  We decided to live as an Intentional Community while developing the social change resource services.

In 1984 the 95 acre property near Seymour was bought and the legal entity of 'Commonground' established. With much passion and idealism, a great deal of naïve optimism, and not much else, we began creating the realities of our vision.

We raised funds from many sources and built a 102 square metre building for use by both residents and guests.  Alongside this, we grappled with the complexities of living in community, raising our children together, hosting groups that came to the Commonground Venue, and facilitating a wide range of workshops and training - no trouble at all! It has been, and continues to be, an incredible journey.

We developed our Vision and Aims early in this journey and they continue to reflect our intentions and practice to this day.

Interested in learning more? Check out our blog posts below...