In 2009 Caitlin and Tim visited a very special community house in Tallinn, Estonia that inspired them to create a community space in Newcastle. In 2011 they shared this vision with Miriam and Andy, who also had a vision for a ‘commons’ – a community-owned space. Together the four people began dreaming about what this space would look like and what would happen there. Then, like a wheel of cheese rolling down the hill, they began to collect more people. Other amazing Novocastrians (soon to be commoners) began to appear out of the woodwork to offer their ideas, dreams, skills and gifts.
In September of 2012, this community, now named ‘the Commons’, entered into an agreement of trust with Hamilton Wesley Uniting Church to use the top floor of Fellowship House on Beaumont Street. We painted, sewed, rescued abandoned furniture, built bookshelves and a cafe, and purchased equipment and stock. Somehow from nothing (ok, through a great deal of hard work) a people’s library, fair trade cafe and arts space appeared!
We launched in November 2012, took a break over Christmas, and have now returned to be bigger and better than ever! We have a growing community of commoners, volunteers, and groups who call the Commons home, and what a home it is!