On May 14, Permaculture Australia (PA) launches a new initiative designed to improve how the organisation works and to take PA forward in these fast-changing times.
At May's 2017 annual and visioning meeting, the inaugural PA Representative Council will be formed.
Now, expression of interest (see form below) in participating in the Representative Council are being called for from members.
The intention is to have an initial group of 12 to 15 members representative of different geographic regions (such as the states) as well as diverse fields of permaculture practice and expertise.
A Council to meet the challenges of changing times
PA faces challenges, both in meeting members' aspirations and in growing the organisation's membership and functionality.
A part of that challenge is to avoid the burnout that comes when the Board of Directors tries to do too much with too little support. This is not an uncommon thing with voluntary, community-based organisations. At worse, it risks their continuity. At best, it reinvigorates them with new people, new ideas and new energy. Permaculture Australia is aiming at the latter outcome.
The Representative Council would better distribute the workload of Permaculture Australia and make the organisation more effective. The enthusiasm and energy that would come with the Representative Council would build broader member involvement as it would be both nationwide and diverse. Broad geographic and practice representation has not always been possible or practical on the Board of Directors.
Rather than create another layer of bureaucracy, it is the intention that the Council would be an inclusive team of people with a firm commitment to the permaculture idea. The Council would focus on boosting the presence of Permaculture Australia as a truly representative, national body for the permaculture design system and on benefiting the community of permaculture practitioners in general.
A functional Council
Although the shape and role of the Representative Council will evolve once it is formed, preliminary thinking suggests it would:
- work with the Board of Directors in developing and enacting strategic and shorter-term plans
- plan, cost and develop specific projects to be undertaken by PA
- explore funding, fundraising and grants that could enable and support PA activities and projects
- undertake PA support functions for APCs (Australasian Permaculture Convergences) and IPCs (International Permaculture Convergences), plus initiatives such as the Next Big Step for permaculture, the international initiative to structure permaculture as a truly global movement
- support the management and promotion of International Permaculture Day
- work with the Board in developing policies and codes of practice for permaculture
- cooperating with the PA Communications Team, promote PA and its grants assistance scheme, Permafund
- form working groups for specific tasks and support existing PA working groups and committees.
Inaugural PA Representative Council members would further refine the actions and responsibilities of the Council and the election procedure for future members.
The time to act is…
The concept of a PA Representative Council was first discussed in the Permaculture Australia email discussion group in 2010-11, following APC-10.
We encourage you to make an expression of interest in participating in the Representative Council if you have the motivation to further PA and permaculture as both a social movement and community of practice.
Your expression of interest in participating in the PA Representative Council can be submitted by Friday 31 March 2017:
- emailed to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
- or complete and submit the form below.
EOI form for PA Representative Council