Common Ground is a First Nations not-for-profit. We’re working to shape a society that centres First Nations people by amplifying knowledge, cultures and stories.

What we do

Robin Japanangka Granites, 2020

Amplify and back First Nations voices

We bring together people and stories to create content and experiences that inform and advocate.

Embed First Nations knowledge across systems

Right now we're focused on creating change in the education system and the legal system. We make resources for schools, run campaigns and back advocacy work.

Strengthen cultures for future generations

We work with a range of partners, collaborators and communities to record cultural stories in new ways. We’re building on over 80,000 years of strong, community-driven storytelling.

Our vision

A society that centres First Nations people, knowledge and self-determination in everything.

Our work

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Common Ground works on unique and impactful projects to achieve our vision. Our projects centre First Nations storytellers and communities in innovative ways, bringing knowledge as old as time into digital spaces.

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Our story

Filming for First Nations Bedtime Stories, 2019

Common Ground exists to bring connection, truth and deeper understanding through storytelling.

Australia is built on a story that ignores its true history. We face many challenges, but ignore many of the solutions that First Nations people hold.

Since 1788, Australia has been largely shaped and governed by colonial narratives and systems of power. These systems do not consider First Nations voices and solutions. The work we do at Common Ground is about changing these systems so they centre First Nations ways of thinking, being and knowing.

‘Systems’ are the large, broad parts of something – rather than the individual, one-on-one aspects. When we talk about ‘systems’ of society we are talking about the processes, institutions or structures that shape the way we live. Like government, education, media, business, the legal system and dominating societal norms. These systems are shaped by the narratives and mindsets that people hold.

Our world was (and continues to be) colonised through storytelling. Stories have the potential to divide us, but they also have the power to strengthen connection and community.
– rona glynn-mcdonald

The consciousness of wider Australia is shifting. More and more people understand that they have missed out on the opportunity to learn from and connect with First Nations people and cultures.

Common Ground launched in 2019 with a website bringing together First Nations knowledge, cultures and stories. We have continued to evolve as a place of storytelling and education, to create opportunities for First Nations people to be authors on our terms.

We create content and educational resources. We work with First Nations communities to record old stories in new ways. We develop strategic partnerships in different systems to deliver unique and impactful projects.

First Nations people are the original storytellers, and Common Ground is building on a journey 80,000 years in the making.

Our artwork

Kaltu Kaltu is my father's name. It is also the name of a seed that can be made into bread. This is good food. My father was born in a place called Angatja, under the blue mountains named Murpu. There are many of these seeds there which is why he was called this.
– rupert jack

Rupert Jack is a senior Pitjantjatjara man from the APY lands. With the help of Ernabella Arts and Rupert, we've created a digital version of Kaltu Kaltu to tell a story in our brand. You will see it across our website and social media.

Like the seeds in Kaltu Kaltu – we are sowing truth, knowledge, culture and connection into the fabric of society.

Kaltu Kaltu by Rupert Jack