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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.

conference and retreat VENUE

Commonground is set on beautifully regenerated bushland, just over one hour's drive or train ride north of Melbourne and 15 minutes from Seymour by car. The tranquil bush setting, sustainable design and homely feel of the Venue make it ideal for community-based, social action and environment groups to hold workshops, share ideas and plan for the future.

Below are the types of groups regularly hosted at Commonground:

  1. Marginalised - low income, women, youth, self-help, Aboriginal, disability, migrant groups

  2. Environmental - nuclear free, forest, land care, climate change issues

  3. Social justice - international aid agencies, refugee groups

  4. Community issues - rural challenges, migrant, advocacy, community organisations and associations.

If you are unsure if your group or organisation will meet our criteria please contact us

Venue features

Commonground offers meeting spaces and accommodation in two main buildings: the Wedge and the smaller Octagon. One or both can be used by groups staying at Commonground. Bookings can range from day workshops to two week long retreats.

The Wedge is our main venue, which is an earth-constructed passive solar designed building that can accommodate up to 27 guests, spread over 10 rooms. All bedding can be supplied. There are many bathrooms distributed throughout the building.

Features of the Wedge include:

  • Large meeting space with room for 30 chairs in a circle

  • Breakout spaces for smaller group activities

  • Open fire and relaxed seating area

  • Commercial kitchen and full catering equipment

  • Dining room, crockery and urn

  • Environmentally conscious design, including solar power, solar hot water and rainwater tanks

  • Outdoor spaces for group exercises or games, including grassy area, seating, and a basketball and volleyball court

  • Childrens' play area, including trampoline, sandpit, swing and treehouse

  • Large dam for swimming

  • Access to 95 acres of beautiful bush, shared with kangaroos, wallabies and abundant bird life

  • Optional tours of Commonground's organic gardens and orchards or native bush.

The Octagon can accommodate 10 people in simpler facilities, with a small kitchen and composting toilets.

Additional services for your group

Commonground supplies a range of multimedia equipment including wireless internet, a digital projector, whiteboards, and access to printing. 

Commonground also provides catering to groups, or self catering with access to full commercial kitchen facilities and equipment. Special dietary requirements can be catered for with sufficient notice.

We can also provide facilitation services in liaison with the Groupwork Institute of Australia facilitation team. This can include strategic planning, conflict resolution, team building, training in group work skills, and other facilitation support.


The Conference Centre (the Wedge) is regularly booked out 8-12 months in advance for weekends so please get in touch well in advance. Midweek bookings may be able to be accommodated with less notice.

Enquire here about booking Commonground.