Meet the directors
At the PIL AGM in July, three new directors, Christine Carroll, John Champagne and Beck Lowe, were elected and three, Terry Avery, Robyn Francis and Kat Szuminska, were re-elected from the previous year. At the August meeting Cameron Little also joined the Board. Here the directors introduce themselves and share reasons for their involvement.
I am based in West Gippsland, near the town of Warragul. I am currently the convenor for our local group which was formed four years ago and is growing. I have had an interest in Permaculture from the mid 70s but only started to play an active part in the community and “walking the talk” when we purchased our property 11 years ago.
I see permaculture poised on the cusp of being taken up by mainstream society and building on the strong foundation laid down by past and current custodians of the knowledge and skills. Especially I see this happening through APT and a reinvigorated PermaFund. To this end I want to contribute as much as I can to promote permaculture and give back to the community.
Kat Szuminska (Treasurer) — Blue Mountains
Kat experiments with all sorts of innovative, sustainable and playful design at home and at work including community gardening, coworking, and running permaculture & sustainabilty related courses and workshops.
"I joined Permaculture Australia at a time when energy levels were a little low, and its been rewarding to help make small changes that help facilitate capacity at an organisational level and see the organisation growing again. Permaculture organisations everywhere need everyday ordinary skills to be put to work together with permaculture ethics and principles; the doers really do decide!
I’m delighted to have been able to do my bit in supporting the national permaculture community by serving on the board, and its terrific experience to be able to work alongside some of the top people in the field."
The next AGM is coming up soon, so throw your name in the ring and see what happens next...
I am based on the Sunshine Coast Queensland and have been a member of Permaculture Noosa and the Maroochy Community Permaculture Group for some years and also, more recently Transition Nambour and Nambour Community Gardens Inc.
Our groups work together very effectively, initiating and supporting short and long term permaculture projects, providing permaculture information and education for the community, staging events and exchanging volunteers and resources.
I trust that skills with communications, grant writing, working with other volunteers and facilitating permaculture events will be useful for Permaculture Australia.
I returned to the board (after a 5 year break) early last year primarily as the APT representative, replacing Tim Winton. My key APT committee role is developing and administering systems for licensing new Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) as APT expands to include TAFE’s and community colleges. I also bring to the board a working knowledge of the organisation’s history, legal structure and obligations, plus over 30 years experience in community governance, to support the evolution of PA as a representative and inclusive national organisation.
I am interested in exploring ways Chaordic (chaos/order) principles can be built into the core structure and operation of PA to facilitate organic evolution and self-organisation from local to national levels of action.
I live in Central Victoria on a permaculture property I have been developing since 1998. I work in permaculture education through ‘Cydonia Permaculture’, running Accredited Permaculture Training (APT), PDC’s and workshops. I first joined Permaculture International after doing my PDC in the mid 90’s and have always been proud that the permaculture community has a national organisation with a structure that allows for tax deductable donations and holding the copyright of APT. I have been thinking for a while that I should give some more concrete support to the organisation, so when the opportunity arose to join the board this year I took it.
This is a time of transition with ongoing discussions about the role and organisation of a peak body for permaculture in Australia, so it is an interesting time to be so involved with Permaculture Australia/PIL. I am also particularly interested in the APT part of the organisation, being an APT trainer myself.
I’ve been involved in the movement for almost twenty years. I am a member of Permaculture Sydney North and the Co-ordinator of its local group of members for the Northern Beaches area, Permaculture Warringah Pittwater Manly (PWPM).
I offered my services to fill the vacant position on the PA/PIL Board earlier this year. I feel that it is of vital importance for our movement to have a sustainable and vibrant national body with a clear direction and support from the membership base to pursue agreed outcomes that together to commit to achieve for our common good.
I am particularly interested in contributing to the Memberships Team and to leading the Governance Team for PIL in its transition to becoming a truly representative and responsive Permaculture Australia. I would welcome contact from any member or prospective member of PA.
I’ve had an informal continual dialogue over the past 6 years with permaculture friends Bruce Zell & Ian Lillington about the need for leadership within the movement in Australia and the lack of ‘elders’ to provide advocacy on the national stage and heal rifts that occur between individuals. Known now as the ‘Amigo Troika’, we attempted to flesh out discussion broadly to locate a structure that could accommodate a Peak Body that was both democratic and truly representative of the many elements that exist within the movement.
Permaculture International Limited was in the process of changing the name to Permaculture Australia as a move to become that Peak Body. I joined the Board to get a better understanding of what it does and gauge the potential for this to happen.
Permafund interested me, so I also wish to contribute to its enormous potential to fund useful permaculture projects both here in Australia and overseas.