2019-20 PA Directors and Support Teams

Meet the directors and support teams

Meet the directors of Permaculture Australia accepted at the April 2019 Annual General Meeting:

  • Virginia Solomon — Chair — Education liaison — VIC
  • Wendy Marchment — Secretary — VIC
  • Cally Brennan — ACT
  • Ian Lillington — VIC
  • Kym Blechynden — TAS

Virginia Solomon (Chair) — Victoria VirginiaSolomon

Virginia has been involved with Permaculture since the early 1990s. Since 2003 she has been working with many others on the development of Accredited Permaculture Training (APT) and she comes to the Board at a time when APT is coming of age. She has worked as a teacher of Permaculture Design Courses (PDC), and of most levels of APT including 5 years of Certificate I to Year 9's at Eltham College and another 4 delivering Diploma there. She has managed and facilitated many courses and programs over the years and has been involved in the course writing of APT at each of the 5-yearly reviews, culminating last year in the endorsement of 66 unique permaculture units as part of the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management (AHC) Training Package. Virginia is a founding member of the Permaculture Educators' Guild and a passionate advocate for quality education in permaculture in all its forms.

She has served on the Board once before, has been President of Permaculture Melbourne (now Permaculture Victoria) and Convened Australiasian Permaculture Convergence 8 (APC8) in 2005. She has worked with others, notably Robin Clayfield, in the training of teachers for APT and she brings to the Board her skills in strategic planning and facilitation.

Virginia recently retired in order to focus on mentoring and supporting others, and to enjoy her grandson and her garden. She lives in NE Melbourne (Eltham) with her husband, has 3 grown up children and a grandson, and has a large, productive garden and a rambling friendly house where visitors and guests are always welcome. She is a patchworker, a cheesemaker, an eco-dying enthusiast, a shoemaker (only for herself) and a dressmaker.

Wendy Marchment — Secretary — VictoriaWendy headshot

My permaculture journey started in the early 1990s whilst living in Adelaide. Shortly thereafter I joined Permaculture SA, moved to suburbia with a young family, and set about establishing a permaculture garden and doing a passive solar renovation. Moving to Queensland in 2005, I finally did my PDC plus Cert III Permaculture at Northey Street City Farm, where I volunteered and later became PDC Coordinator and the Education Coordinator. Really enjoyed teaching PDCs, workshops and APT but circumstances took me back to the university sector in late 2011 as the Manager, Institutional Research position at Deakin University's Geelong Waterfront campus. I was the inaugural Convenor of Permaculture Geelong from 2014-16 and organised/taught part of the 2015 Geelong PDC.

After a 30 year career across 7 universities, and on the committees of various organisations, I have experience in many aspects governance and compliance. In addition to the above, my qualifications include a BSc, MBA and Cert IV TAA.

Cally Brennan — Australian Capital Territory

Cally's photoDr Cally Brennan has been involved with permaculture since 2009. Cally manages a small permaculture business in the ACT; Canberra Permaculture Design and Education, which offers a range of garden advice and design services, based on permaculture ethics, techniques and principles. She has presented numerous talks and workshops on permaculture and sustainable gardening.

Cally was part of the organising committee that put together Australasian Permaculture Convergence 14 (APC14) in Canberra in April 2018. Her role included financial modelling for the event, coordinating all of the bookings, and managing the relationship with the venue.

Previously she coordinated PermablitzACT, a group that undertakes 'backyard blitzes' for its members, to convert suburban blocks into productive edible gardens, using permaculture design principles.

Cally also has a long background in the public sector working on energy and climate change policy and research. She also has a PhD from the University of Melbourne in a field relating to anthropology, music and connection to culture and place. She lives in Canberra with her partner and their 6 year old daughter together with their two dogs and a rather greedy resident possum. She loves working in their productive garden and paints pictures in her spare time.

Ian Lillington - Victoria

Ian Lillington has been involved in permaculture organizing, activism and teaching since the early 1990s. Working alongside David Holmgren and learning from Bill Mollison, Ian is passionate about urban food forests and natural building. When asked what his favourite topic to teach in a PDC was, he said it was the importance of applying permaculture’s ethics and principles to every aspect of life.

Based in Castlemaine, Victoria, Ian and his partner Marita build energy efficient homes and eco-renovate older houses by adding insulation, solar panels, rainwater tanks and orchards. At their straw bale home, they are developing a food forest and a community of like-minded people.

Ian is author of an introduction to permaculture “The Holistic Life – a Beginners’ Guide to Permaculture”, and is editor of many of David Holmgren’s books, especially ‘Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability’. He’s also featured in the anthology – “Permaculture Pioneers” and wrote the chapter on Permaculture in the “Encyclopedia of Sustainability”

Ian participates in National and International Convergences, and has trained sustainability teachers at the National Centre for Sustainability, and teaches at CERES – the environmental park in Melbourne, in Castlemaine and in London and Hong Kong.

Kym Blechynden - Tasmania

Kym has worked for nearly two decades in Public Health, food security and nutrition in Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific with the UN, INGO’s and the Red Cross. She has been a previous PA Board member, spent six years teaching at the University of Tasmania and is the current President of Permaculture Tasmania. Kym has completed a PDC and teacher training in Permaculture, was the co-coordinator of Permablitz Tasmania and has been involved in different community activities including teaching on Intro to Permaculture courses and skills share events. She’s recently returned from two years living in Kuala Lumpur where she worked on emergency health and nutrition projects across the Asia Pacific region and is now based in West Tamar, Northern Tasmania. In addition to her experience working with community groups/volunteers and international aid, Kym is interested in greater networking and collaboration between Permaculture associations across Australia.


Staff

PA operates in the virtual world i.e. there is no physical office. There are 3 very part time paid contractors:

  • Kym Blechynden: Administration and Memberships Manager/Social Media and Marketing Administrator
  • Kiran Charles: Webmaster
  • Boyd Attewell: Accountant

Teams

Education (formerly APT) Team

Team members include:

  • Terry Avery
  • Sue Brunskill
  • Chris Carroll — Convenor
  • Keri Chiveralls — Board of Directors liaison
  • Bronwyn Elliott
  • Robyn Francis
  • Pamela Gurner-Hall
  • Beck Lowe
  • Ross Mars
  • Lorna Pettifer
  • Taj Scicluna
  • Virginia Solomon
  • Wendy Marchment

Contact: [email protected]

Permafund Team

The Permafund (Permaculture International Public Fund) is managed by a dedicated committee of Permaculture Australia member volunteers from around the country. The teams main function is to manage the grants process and promote Permafund to the wider permaculture community and beyond.

Team members include:

  • John Champagne
  • Bruce Zell
  • John McKenzie
  • Chris Carroll
  • Alexia Martinez
  • Jed Walker
  • Miles Durand 
  • Ronni Martin
  • Kym Blechynden — Board of Directors liaison

Contact: [email protected]

Fundraising and Supporters Team

Team members include:

  • Christine Carroll
  • Virginia Solomon
  • Ian Lillington — Board of Directors liaison

Contact: [email protected]

Finance Team

Team members include:

  • Boyd Attewell — Accountant
  • Cally Brennan — Treasurer, Board of Directors liaison

If you would like to volunteer with Permaculture Australia, please email: [email protected]