We bring together knowledge, cultures and stories to create content and experiences that inform and advocate.
Right now we're focused on creating change in the education system and the justice system. We make resources for schools, run campaigns and support advocacy work.
We work with a range of partners, collaborators and First Nations communities to develop new ways of celebrating and strengthening culture so it can be shared with future generations.
Dreamy is a collection of sleep stories created by First Nations storytellers. These soothing tales will help people of all walks of life to quiet their minds, connect with our land, and drift off into dream. First Nations people are the original storytellers.
Facing the Numbers explores the human stories behind the statistics of First Nations disadvantage in the criminal justice system. We are working with First Nations filmmakers to share the stories of individuals and families. Facing the Numbers is a systemic advocacy campaign and we are collaborating with First Nations justice organisations to drive meaningful action. Watch this space!
The First Nations Bedtime Stories is a key project from Common Ground, designed to maintain and strengthen First Nations cultures. Each year we work with First Nations Elders and knowledge custodians to share non-secret Dreaming stories with the next generation of Australians through short films.
Common Ground exists to bring connection, truth and deeper understanding. Our work creates impact by centering First Nations people, knowledge and cultures in this society, so that First Nations people can have control over our futures.
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, knowledge and solutions. The work we do at Common Ground is about changing these systems so they centre First Nations people, and our ways of 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 governments, education and media organisations, businesses, and the dominating societal norms and behaviours. These systems are shaped by the narratives and mindsets that people hold.
Talking about changing systems, or ‘systems change’ means focusing on conditions that hold these systems in place.
Like the story of the seeds in the Kaltu Kaltu artwork seen in our branding - we are sowing truth, knowledge, culture and connection into the fabric of society, so it may grow into a better future for our communities.
“We must share the truths of our past, the lived experiences of the present, and the rich cultures across our continent to break down the divides between non-Indigenous Australians and First Nations people - and find common ground.” - 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 First Nations people, and connect.
Common Ground first launched with a website bringing together First Nations knowledge, cultures and stories. We create content, educational resources and share stories. We have continued to evolve as a First Nations not-for-profit. We work on a range of digital platforms, cultural storytelling projects and strategic partnerships in different systems.
First Nations knowledge and cultures are a rich asset for Australia. We are the original storytellers and knowledge holders since time immemorial. Together we can shape an Australia that centres First Nations people, so that every person can thrive.
Our branding features an artwork by Rupert Jack. Rupert Jack is a senior Pitjantjatjara man from the APY lands. Speaking about his Kaltu Kaltu artwork Rupert says:
"This 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".
With the help of Ernabella Arts, and Rupert Jack we've made a digital version of the artwork to tell a story in our brand. You will see it across our website and social media channels.