Men’s Programs

Common Ground is our renowned 9-week facilitated men’s program

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Mens Wellbeing ‘flagship’ program is Common Ground.

Common Ground is a 9-week facilitated course that offers a powerful way for men to explore in a group setting, their challenges and have the conversations that they need to have – in a supported and non-judgemental way.

There are profound benefits when men have the space and time to discuss the things that matter to them, with other men.

Common Ground groups provide a safe, non-confronting atmosphere that supports your personal growth and raises awareness. Common Ground offers an opportunity for men to gain new perspectives on issues and on life, with other caring and informed men.

Common Ground Program

Your Common Ground Facilitators

Common Ground Facilitators are men from our community with extensive experience in men’s work.

All Common Ground Facilitators have all attended Common Ground program themselves, so they know what it’s like to be in the program.

Usually a Common Ground program has up to twelve participants and three facilitators. Each facilitator has received training and bring their own unique experience to support the men.

Typically a Common Ground group will explore topics such as relationships, sexuality, masculinity, fathering and more.
Common Ground runs for nine evenings – lasts a lifetime!

What Men Say

  • Shane, Ocean Shores

    The nine week Common Ground process had a profound effect on my life. It gave me deep connection with other men, healed my wounds with my father and helped me to see the "stories" and belief systems which had been programmed into me which I allowed to run my life. The facilitation was excellent with three facilitators for twenty men. Being delivered over nine weeks gave time for strong bonds to be welded between us. We still meet weekly after 2 and a half years.

  • Michael

    I learnt what being a man really is, I don’t judge others and I respect their beliefs, this has changed my outlook on life.

  • Les, Gold Coast

    After completing the Common Ground Program in 2009, I found that I now had a group of men that shared I level of trust with that I had not experienced previously. I also gained a Brother, and to this day, that man is my best mate. Thank you to Men's Wellbeing for providing this Program, and in particular, thank you to the 4 men who Facilitated and Lead our group through the process.

  • Nick, Moorooka

    Thanks to my Common Ground mates and the support of Mens Wellbeing I went from feeling alone and 'shattered' to a feeling of connected and 'mattered'. I learnt simple skills which have helped me communicate better, given me a sense of community and appreciation of myself.

  • Warren, Mitchelton

    I completed a Common Ground course in 2006 and through this I discovered that I was not alone, that fallibility is OK and that we all have more in common than we can possibly imagine.

  • Andrew

    I'm on the Common Ground course right now. It's been life changing already and we're only in week 4.

  • Rossco, West End

    I was looking for more depth & guts to interactions with men (something more that conversations rotating around Booze, Sport, & degrading Women). Common ground provided that depth & more, helping me to being honest with myself. The first time in 50 years I've felt fully heard & also been fully present for others. I now have many solid Men friends from all walks of life, good men.

  • Craig, Manly West

    I did Common Ground in 2015 after attending my first Mens Gathering. I didn't realise until I did the course how fulfilling and humbling it is to be able to connect and share my stuff with my men's group. My group has been together over 12 months and I still get that same feeling of satisfaction and connection at every meeting.

  • Dave, Melbourne Bayside

    Common Ground provided me an opportunity to understand and connect with myself, and other men, in a deep and meaningful way. I felt listened to, supported and encouraged throughout and departed the experience feeling inspired and motivated. Seeds that were planted continue to blossom, as do the friendships I have made with my group peers. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Benefits of our Common Ground program.

Feel more grounded and present
Experience more intimacy and connection
Develop closer relationships with others
Experience a safe environment to share and be heard

Your Investment

The Free Info Night is of course FREE.

If you decide to join the group, your deposit is just $40. This $40 secures your place in the Common Ground Course and can be paid at the Free Info Night or online here.

The balance of the course fee is due in week four and your balance is self-assessed using a sliding scale; meaning those of us who earn more – pay more, and those of us who earn less – pay less.

This allows us to always provide a man a place on the program, even if he is in very difficult financial circumstances. And by the way, we don’t ask you to tell us your income. That is private to you, the sliding scale works on trust.

You know what your household income (after tax) amounts to, so we ask you to contribute according to the table below.

Note that even men on low incomes are asked to invest something, to make their contribution and their commitment.

Common Ground Program

Household Income

Per-week After TaxSign-on FeeWeek 4 FeeTotal
Under $500$40$50$90
$501-800$40$190$230
$801-$1200$40$390$430
Over $1200$40$630$670

Upcoming Common Ground Programs

Location
Info Night Details
Program Start Date
Location: Brisbane South (Coorparoo)
Info Night Details: 07/02/2023 7:00 pm
Program Start Date: 14/02/2023 7:00 pm
Location: Gold Coast (Currumbin)
Info Night Details: TBA
Program Start Date: TBA

This program is currently full. You may still register your interest in case a spot becomes available.

Location: Ipswich
Info Night Details: 08/03/2023 7:00 pm
Program Start Date: 22/03/2023 7:00 pm
Location: Melbourne (Fortnightly in Richmond)
Info Night Details: 16/10/2022 7:00 pm
Program Start Date: 23/10/2022 9:30 am

This program is currently full. You may still register your interest in case a spot becomes available.

Location: Sunshine Coast (Noosa)
Info Night Details: 03/10/2022 7:00 pm
Program Start Date: 10/10/2022 7:00 pm

This program is currently full. You may still register your interest in case a spot becomes available.

Location: Brisbane North (Mitchelton)
Info Night Details: 18/09/2022 2:00 pm
Program Start Date: 09/10/2022 2:00 pm

This program is currently full. You may still register your interest in case a spot becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions

The course (we also call it a program) runs one evening a week for nine weeks. Usually there are about 10 men who have decided to take the course and two or three facilitators who run it. Each night different topics are discussed by the group. The important thing to know that there are no lectures or whiteboards and the discussions will often go to places that the participants have never felt able to talk about before.
You pay for the course and that funds it. We keep the costs to a minimum and we subsidise men who have financial hardship where we can. We don't get any government support and this allows us to both be independent of politicians and not be subject to cutbacks.
Well over 1000 men have done Common Ground in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. The program has been running for over 10 years in the Brisbane area.
Yes, for the nine weeks of the course it is a men’s group run by the facilitators. At the end of the course its usual for the men to decide that they will keep meeting and will run their men’s group themselves. Some of the groups formed in this way have continued for many years and they develop a life of their own.
Yes. One of the guidelines for the groups is that participation in everything is voluntary. This means that you won't be asked to "do stuff" that is unsafe. In fact, there are several guidelines that are there to keep everyone safe which you will be asked to agree to. Having said that most men find the program challenging. At times it may bring up feelings that are uncomfortable or we may have to face parts of ourselves we don't like. If it wasn’t a challenge it wouldn't be worth doing would it?
No. It's not religious, political, gay, straight or any other thing like that. The agenda is to get men listening and supporting each other and learning the way to run their own men’s group if that is what they want.
Our community has many valuable members including some men who are same-sex oriented. They are no more or less in number than in general life and many of our members don’t actually know or even ask these questions because it simply doesn’t matter. You will find our community more interested in ‘who you are’ more than your job or who you share your bed with.
Provided that you have attended all the nights of the course if you are not satisfied with value for money then contact the program manager and he will refund what you paid. His email is: cg@menswellbeing.org
Things like: emotions, relationships, sex, fathers and fathering, masculinity. It’s the hard stuff that is usually not explored at all or is talked about superficially. Common Ground gets below the surface.
We run men's groups in two ways: The first we call Open Men's Groups. These are free. The second we call Common Ground men's groups. We try and match the cost to your ability to pay. See the details on this page.
Before each course runs we have an information session which is free and you can go to meet the facilitators who will be running the course and learn more about it. You can also meet other men who have done the Common Ground course. The intro night is usually on a weeknight from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Our standard cancellation policy is published at Terms and Conditions and has has been updated in light of Covid19. If you experience Covid19 symptoms or learn you have been in contact with a known case you must not attend our gatherings. You will receive a full refund. There are many precautions that we take to lessen the chance of catching Covid19 at gatherings. These precautions are incorporated into all tribal group meetings, workshops, ceremonies, and meal times. Precautions will be explained by email before the Gathering, and we will make regular announcements reminding attendees of these precautions during the weekend. You will not need a medical certificate to obtain a refund. All cancellations relating to Covid19 will be refunded in full without question.
Over the nine weeks of the course we get to know each other really well including some of our difficulties. Naturally enough the men give each other support and in many cases friendship as well. Then if the group continues after the nine week these connections grow and deepen.
Have a look at the testimonials. You will see that everyone gets different things but you will notice the common themes of getting connected, regaining control of life, solving problems, becoming a better man/dad/husband, getting happier.
We have a lot of feedback from partners (including some ex-partners) which say things like "better dad" or "I don’t have to walk around on eggshells, he is much less trigger happy". It’s pretty simple: a happier man makes for better life for people he has around him. Have a look at the testimonials.
We are running courses in Melbourne and the Brisbane region including the Gold and Sunshine coasts. If you are in Tasmania, contact Tasmen. Have a look at the booking page for details of dates and locations.
Over 20 years ago a group of Brisbane men ran a men's help phone service. This eventually evolved into the Men's Wellbeing association and the Common Ground program.
Firstly it's facilitated by men who have done the course themselves so they know what it is like to come along to something that's different. Secondly they are trained to deliver the program. Finally, they are not experts or psychologists who are going to tell you how to lead your life but they are really skilled at running groups and supporting men to look at themselves and to connect to each other. It's not a program which sets out to "fix" you, but it will provide a place where you can work on fixing or extending yourself.
It's run by Men's Wellbeing Inc which is a not-for-profit community association. Our tag line is "Men Supporting Men" and that pretty much sums it up. The Common Ground program is one of the things we do. You can look at our website www.menswellbeing.org.
Good question. The answer is probably that as a community association we don't have the resources to advertise. We are glad you have heard of it now!
Well you probably don't need one to survive. However maybe you need one to thrive? A place where you can step back from the pressure, be accepted without being judged and where you can be heard. If you have never been to one then you really don’t know what you are missing. You have got nothing to lose by coming along and finding out!

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