by Dorothy Davis in Bulletin 10 of 2020.

Common Ground Camperdown (photo: Mission Australia)

It’s the five-storey orange and grey building with balconies, on Pyrmont Bridge Rd, opposite the old Children’s Hospital and Sterling apartments. Common Ground Sydney provides housing for long-term homeless people and people on low to moderate incomes in inner-city Sydney. The accommodation is based on the successful Common Ground model from New York, providing permanent homes and on-site support services to help people achieve health and stability and to increase their ability to live independently.

Common Ground would welcome volunteers who can offer support and friendship to its tenants. There are many opportunities to help through for example:

  • working in the community gardens on the site
  • providing recreational and cultural programs (art, music)
  • offering cooking, personal skills and educational/computer training
  • joining in Friday morning breakfast at the wonderful kitchen on the ground floor!
  • helping walk pets
  • or just chatting …
Common Ground Camperdown (photo: Mission Australia)

The building has several wide balconies with raised vegetable and flower beds for the use and enjoyment of the residents. However, a volunteer (or two) is needed to help in the management of the garden beds, and to encourage further involvement by residents. Tools and watering systems are provided!

Any Glebe Society member who would be interested in volunteering or would like further information can contact Dorothy, Community Development Subcommittee ( or Kyle, Community Development Office, Common Ground (

The support services at Common Ground are managed by Mission Australia. The ‘Addi Food Pantry’ operates from the site, providing low cost, rescued and stocked food grocery items. The Pantry is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 pm to 4 pm and all are welcome.

A bit more on Common Ground

In total there are 104 units. All units have been built to be fully accessible. The building has been designed to achieve a 5-star Green rating. The Common Ground model includes a 24/7 concierge (reception) service which provides security and welcome for residents and visitors to the building; on-site tenancy and support and health services; and a diverse social mix. Tenants can keep pets! The building is not recognisable as social housing or as an institutional building but rather as a contemporary and comfortable place living environment. The building provides an important transition in scale, height and materiality between the existing heritage-listed Alexandra Dwellings and the 11-storey Johanna O’Dea tower.

Glebe Cook Book

During the COVID-19 lock-down in Glebe, a weekly drop-off of foodie ingredients – fresh vegetables and fruit and some cooked meals – inspired local residents to dig out old recipes and invent new ones. And to share food, ideas and friendship with neighbours. The outcome is a small booklet In the Mix – Recipes and Tips by Glebe Cooks, with 30 nourishing, simple recipes using everyday ingredients, illustrated with beautiful still-life prints by a South Australian artist.

The cookbook is now available for a small donation (contact Dorothy by text on 0417 240 603). Any proceeds will go to local neighbourhood support.

Acknowledgements: Food Relief Project, Glebe Youth Service, Glebe Assistance Partnership Program, Mission Australia, and volunteers.