Join my commune!

I recently worked on a story for the wonderful G Magazine on ecovillages and this had me researching and speaking with people who lived in these “intentional communities” around Australia. There was a lot of eye-rolling when I mentioned once or twice (ok, about twenty times) that I wanted to move to The EcoVillage at Currumbin – check it out, it’s amazing – and I may have mentioned to one or two people that I want to live in a commune. So what do you say, do you want to come live communally with me and my just-turned-into-the-devil two-year-old?

Before you roll your eyes at me too, think about it – we can share the child-minding, cooking, cleaning and also the highs and lows. There’s that old favourite proverb about it taking a village to raise a child and, as Mia Freedman recently wrote, the village is missing for most parents, who flounder along doing it all and wondering just how much they’re screwing it all up.

Hence my craving for commune life.

One of my case studies told me about the time he and his wife went overseas, they returned to find their home had been cleaned and aired. And that the community organised a roster of food deliveries when their baby was born so they didn’t have to cook for a month. Now, I’m the first to admit that I live a pretty charmed life and have lots of help from my wonderful family and friends, but I love the idea of living somewhere where there’s so much give – and where you’re expected to be the one giving as well.

There’s one catch, of course, and it’s a pretty curly one: You have to deal with other people. Maybe not in your house, but certainly in your life – and all the time. Those I interviewed for my story all mentioned that this was both the best thing about living in a community, and the most challenging.

There are people out there – sustainability experts, not just the hippy fringe – who say that communal living is the only way our society can survive. Experts speak of the “triple bottom line” of sustainability, which is: environment, economy and community.

What do you think? Could you share your life with others – for better for worse?


  1. Ricketts Rules says

    Chris and the kids are the only ones who truely know all my querks, perks & weird OCD characteristics when it comes to my living space. Would I really want to open myself up that much to other people? Hmmmmm.

  2. Bek @ Just For Daisy says

    Love this! And I’d love to live in a commune of sorts too!!
    We currently live ‘in community’ with about 6 other families. Some are part of our home church and others are neighbours in our tight knit community. We share meals, babysitting, produce, care of pets, etc etc. It’s such a wonderful way to live… and perhaps better than totally ‘living together’. It’s intentional, it’s community based and it’s really great!
    Bek @ Just For Daisy recently posted..On my heart:: Whining and WeaningMy Profile

  3. ibiza-carpinerto says

    We are a commune in Ibiza Spain ,we are looking for new people to come and join us .We have no Religious or political views all we ask is that while you are here you look inside yourself for awareness and be willing to exchange for accommodation and food the work entails cleaning up the place and helping with growing your own food which we have started this year and need help,you can get an idea of us at
    thanks for reading

    • (dt)em says

      Wow, I wish! Maybe one day we will join you – thanks for letting me know about your amazing space. I’ve only been to Ibiza once, but I loved it :)

  4. Michaela says

    The best time of my life was spent in a commune. The word “carefree” has never been part of my vocabulary since. This too is what I yearn for. The Carrumbin community for myself is more of a “gated community” akin to many in USA. I prefer humble. In my twenties we progressed from tents into helping each other erect simple cabins. We definitely did not have council permission :) we swam in the creek. We made huge community meals and money was rarely spoken about. Unfortunately that dream ended when several new members wanted to venture out and rent cabins out. The simple community progressed to be a business. Not particularly lucrative but a business none the less. A sense of freedom was lost. My absolute dream would be to build a community and surround myself with likeminded people. To live off the grid as much as possible…. But it all comes back to having the funds to at least begin. I wish you luck with your community. :)

  5. verna says

    I have a farm and its about 10 acres in victoria australia 10 minutes from town my farm is going to waste i have all this land and water and i want to make it sustainable and a place ppl can camp and visit with no pretence completely off the grid starting from scratch do u think ppl in australia would come and love and experiance this im not sure but i hate to see my farm sotting dormant

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