Edmund Rice Education Australia - Flexible Learning Centre Network

Common ground for relationships

The concept of “common ground” applies to all who choose to participate in an EREA FLC. Adults and young people alike commit to participate in a learning environment that is democratic, relational and operates through key principles.

Relationships at an EREA FLC are based on a respect for personal dignity and recognition of difference. An emphasis is placed on the peaceful resolution of conflict and spirituality is recognised as a universal human experience. Within this understanding of spirituality is the belief that all individuals are unique and gifted.

Rather than being rule governed, an EREA FLC uses principles which are agreed upon (established common ground) as a basis for respectful social engagement amongst the EREA FLC community.


The four common ground principles utilised by the EREA FLCN are:

  • SAFE and LEGAL, and

Albert Park FLC utilizes the following common ground principles:

  • Respect
  • Responsibilities
  • Rights
  • Relationships

The principles are used to guide group relationships. These principles represent broad directions for group practice and establish a common ethical framework which promotes appropriate learning and personal relationships.

The consequence of operating within a common ground set of principles is that all group participants, whether they are EREA FLCN staff or young people, are accountable for their behaviour. Within this framework emphasis is placed on providing opportunities for the articulation of issues and their resolution. Considerable time, sensitivity and skill are often required to allow for briefing, challenge and registration of on-going expectations.