We acknowledge all First Peoples of this land and celebrate their enduring connections to Country, knowledge and stories. We pay our respects to Elders and Ancestors who watch over us and guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

This space contains images, voices and stories from people that have passed away.

CONTINUE

WHO WE ARE

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

What we do

Amplify and back First Nations voices

We bring together knowledge, cultures and stories to create content and experiences that inform and advocate.

Embed First Nations knowledge

We work to embed First Nations knowledge in the systems that shape our society - through digital platforms, storytelling projects, resource creation and campaigning. We are currently focused on supporting change in the education system by making resources for schools, and through advocacy.

Cultural storytelling projects

We work with a range of partners and collaborators to develop new ways of maintaining and celebrating our cultures. We work with First Nations communities to support them in strengthening culture and sharing it with future generations.

Our vision

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

Some projects we're working on

90% of Australians believe it is important to know about the history of our First Peoples, but only 40% believe they have a high level of knowledge about their history.

Australian Reconciliation Barometer (2020) - Reconciliation Australia

OUR StORY

Common Ground was founded in 2018 by Rona Glynn McDonald, a proud Kaytetye woman from Mparntwe (Alice Springs). After moving to Naarm (Melbourne), Rona met many people who wanted to learn more about First Nations cultures and communities. But there is a critical lack of representation of First Nations people in many aspects of our society. The colonial systems that impact the way we live fail to consider, support and represent First Nations people and the knowledge and solutions we hold. This includes the media, our schools, governments and businesses. 

This has two deeply damaging effects on us all. It prevents First Nations voices and communities from being heard and furthers systemic disadvantage. And because so few non-Indigenous people learn about First Nations cultures and perspectives, the knowledge gap widens.  

Common Ground exists to address these issues by changing these systems and centering First Nations people, knowledge, cultures and stories. 

Common Ground knows that the more people who learn and connect with First Nations people and experiences, the more they will understand and respect our communities. The more we all know, the more we can help shape the systems that govern our lives, so they centre First Nations people, cultures and solutions.

“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

Common Ground first launched with our website that brings together First Nations knowledge, cultures and stories. Here we provide articles, videos, audio interviews, educational resources and many other forms of content for learning. We have continued to evolve into a leading First Nations not-for-profit, with a variety of digital platforms, cultural storytelling projects and strategic partnerships. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and cultures are a rich asset for Australia, for everyone. We are demonstrating how centering First Nations knowledge and solutions benefits First Nations people and everyone else too. Whether it's sustainability, creativity, land care, wellbeing, identity, governance, agriculture, art, fire management, inclusion, biology or history: our community is joining together to embed First Nations knowledge into the fabric of our society.

THE COMMON GROUND ARTWORK

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.

Contact us

get in touch at: hello@commonground.org.au

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