Permafund – Making Connections

Permafund – Making Connections

Many would say Permaculture is simply about making beneficial connections… all sorts of ways. Here at Permafund we want to make a connection to International Permaculture Day. It’s a day each year to celebrate and promote the many and varied aspects of Permaculture to the wider community all over the world.

It’s always on the first Sunday of May and was the founder of the movement’s birthday, so is also an opportunity to honour Bill Mollison for his enormous contribution and vision.

Why not use this day to put on an event and raise funds for Permafund?

Permafund is the name of our 8-person volunteer group who manage Permaculture Australia’s tax deductible fund. We receive funds in the form of gifts and donations…..then we send them out to needy permaculture projects through small grant rounds. As a group we’ve been together for just over 10 years and in that time have funded 64 projects in 16 countries.

This is where we need your help. We need to raise more funds so more can be done. If you are a Permaculture group, a business or a caring individual, why not consider organising a fundraiser for Permafund for International Permaculture Day?

Here at Brogo Permaculture Gardens on the far south coast of NSW we have an Open Day with all proceeds to Permafund. We open our home and property to the public with guided tours, a cuppa and a delicious lemon muffin. There’s lots of good chat and information shared.

Tickets are $35 per adult with around 30 people coming to each tour which raises almost $1000 for Permafund. That’s half a $2,000 Permafund grant for a needy community project

Making connections again, celebrating Bill by giving your time to educate the public that then benefits a project is a Win! Win! Win scenario.

There are lots of creative ways to raise funds… only by your imagination!

With this year’s International Permaculure Day being on Sunday May 7th, we have 3 and a half months to plan something…..please. We here at Permafund want to also make a connection and appeal to Permaculture Australia groups, businesses, members and the broad Permaculture Movement to do something beneficial together and assist those that need a hand. It sure would put a smile on Bill’s dial.

For more information please contact

John Champagne

Permafund Chair

Great news for trainers wanting to deliver accredited permaculture training

Great news for trainers wanting to deliver accredited permaculture training

The newly reviewed Permaculture VET qualifications, skill sets and units are now published on the National Training Register, which means they are available for use by registered training organisations (RTOs).

With the release of the new permaculture training package there has been a major change to the requirements for trainers to deliver accredited permaculture training.

The old package rules for trainers were that you needed to hold at a minimum the qualification you were delivering or a higher qualification. This meant that if you had done your training outside of the Vocational Education Training (VET) framework you couldn’t deliver training no matter how experienced or dedicated a permie you were.

Now with a PDC or other training, relevant industry experience (relevant to the units you teach)  and a Trainer and Assessors qualification the door is open.

This is great news as it has been a case of not enough training organisations offering permaculture and not enough qualified trainers. Hopefully with these changes we will see more permaculture in schools, more funded courses and an increase in permies all round.

Below is advice to Registered Training Organisations about requirements for permaculture trainers.   (Ref. page 14 AHC release 9.0 Companion Volume V1.0 Jan 2023 (User Guide – Permaculture).pdf‘).

The Training Package Delivery and Assessment states that:

• RTOs must ensure that both training and assessment complies with the relevant standards.

In general terms, training and assessment must be conducted by individuals who:

  • have the necessary training and assessment competencies
  • have the relevant vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered or assessed
  • can demonstrate current industry skills directly relevant to the training/assessment being delivered
  • continue to develop their VET knowledge and skills, industry currency and trainer/assessor competence.

Permaculture as a discipline is characterised by some general characteristics, including the Ethics and Principles.

The three key ethical principles identified as underpinning permaculture are:

• Earth Care

• People Care

• Fair Share (set limits and redistribute).

These principles align with rejection of exploitation of the planet, ethical growing

and harvesting of production and regenerative production beyond the principles of organic sustainability.

The Permaculture approach is based on the understanding that everything is inter-related and inter-dependent. A system is composed of related and dependent elements which when in interaction, form a unitary whole. A system is simply an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex whole and inspired by nature.

Permaculture addresses all aspects of human culture, not only food production but how we build, how we organise ourselves and how we utilise all our resources, including human resources.

It is important that these fundamental principles and understandings are applied across all levels of training in permaculture as they are key to understanding and applying permaculture for targeted work outcomes and social development.

Training and assessment in permaculture must be conducted by individuals who understand and live by permaculture ethics and principles and integrate them into their training and assessment practices.

Types of relevant experience and background for permaculture trainers and assessors can include (but is not limited to):

• Permaculture Design Course (PDC) – a globally recognised training course sometimes called a ‘certificate’, although not accredited as such in Australia. PDCs vary substantially, but a good course would normally furnish participants with a syllabus or topic list that would correspond to the knowledge criteria of units of competency in permaculture.

A good example is  A Syllabus For Permaculture design in South Eastern Australia compiled by Graeme George for the Permaculture Educators Guild.

• Experience working on permaculture-based projects

• Permaculture Internships

• Other permaculture qualifications and courses including Advanced Permaculture Courses, Permaculture Teacher Training Courses and other specialist training offered by several permaculture training providers

• Nationally accredited permaculture qualifications.

For further information, please go to the Permaculture Australia website or email or

Permaculture Service Awards Nominations are now open

Permaculture Service Awards Nominations are now open

Do you know an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the permaculture community?

Nominations are now open for the Permaculture Service Awards
Recognition of Elders
Recognition of Community Service
Innovation and Changemakers
Nominations are open until Midnight Sunday 26th February AESDT

Nominate Now!

Awards will be presented at the Australian Permaculture Convergence, in Adelaide in April 2023
The awards will be announced at the APC and presented to those in attendance. Recipients who are not attending the APC will have their awards delivered to them. The presentations will be live-streamed.

2023 Permafund grant round closes & gift appeal opens

2023 Permafund grant round closes & gift appeal opens

Applications are now closed for the 2023 Permafund grant round. Submissions have been received from organisations in Australia and countries around the world including The Philippines, Nepal, India, New Zealand, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Successful applicants will be informed in March 2023.

At this giving time of year, a gift to the Permafund will help support the many organisations who have applied for funds for their various projects. For example, 

Permafund Chair John Champagne explains  “We’ve received many more applications than we have funds available for which demonstrates the global need that Permaculture inspired projects constantly face.”

“We’ve started a conversation about privilege in and around permaculture circles lately and communities coming together to raise funds for Permafund offer us all an opportunity to assist those in greatest need and manifest our Third Ethic of Fair Share.”

Fundraisers such as open gardens and community events to support Permafund’s micro grant program are a wonderful help and are very much appreciated.

All gifts, tithes and donations made by individuals and businesses to the Permafund that are over $2 are tax deductible in Australia and are warmly welcomed.  

Contributions to the Permafund can be made here.  Many thanks. 

For more information and to share fundraising ideas for Permafund please contact

Positions vacant: Join the PA team

Positions vacant: Join the PA team

Permaculture Australia is the national member-based permaculture organisation in Australia, governed by a Board of Directors.  We currently have two (2) vacancies on the Board, to commence in mid-January 2023. The position(s) is for a period of four months, with the option to renominate at the AGM to be held in April 2023.  The position of ‘Director’ is voluntary and applicants must be a current financial member of PA to be considered for the role(s), and located within Australia. You can read more about our current Board of Directors here: and sign up to PA here if not a member

Why join as a PA Director?

PA is in an exciting phase, with solid foundations having been set and significant growth in memberships and funding over the past year. Since early 2019 the Board has increased the hours and number of part-time paid positions which has helped enormously in relieving the Board of many operational tasks. Whilst COVID has presented challenges to many people and in our communities, it has also brought a large resurgence of interest in permaculture which is exciting. This is an excellent opportunity for those who are interested and would like to apply their skills and experience while contributing to permaculture in Australia. 

What’s in It for You?

  • Get actively involved in helping take PA through to the next phase of development and shaping our direction
  • Develop skills in the governance of a Company, which is also a national charity and environmental organisation
  • Support provided including an allocated ‘mentor’ and an opportunity to shadow more experienced team members.
  • Develop your work experience, resume, networks and skills.
  • Flexible volunteer hours that can be completed online from anywhere in Australia.

About the role(s):

We are looking for general Board members (x 2) and someone who’s interested in being Secretary from the 2023 AGM. Ideally, you’d have skills in one or more of the following areas: project management, governance, strategic planning, fundraising, media, marketing, volunteer management, budgets, and/or financial modeling.  Full support will be provided including an allocated ‘mentor’ from the current Board, and an opportunity to shadow more experienced team members.
PA is a virtual organisation with meetings and work activities conducted predominantly online. Applicants must be experienced in/or willing to learn the use of Zoom and Google Suite, including email and Shared Folders.

Requirements and commitment:

The time commitment is at least two (2) hours per week plus a monthly online Board meeting. Applicants must have a reasonable internet connection to access online documents, and have read the document What Does Board Membership Involve? Our Board follows the
Permaculture Ethics and Principles in all activities and has a Shared Agreement all volunteers must agree to. 
As this is an Interim position, this is an excellent opportunity for those who may be new to a Board role and would like to gain some experience while contributing to Permaculture Australia.

For more information:
Inquiries are welcome and should be directed to either Donna Morawiak, Treasurer of Permaculture Australia at

How to apply:

To be considered for the role(s) please send a copy of your resume and brief cover letter (no more than one page) outlining the skills you would bring to the role and why you would like to join the PA Board of Directors. 
Applications should be submitted to before Friday 16th December 2022.

We look forward to hearing from you.

What do some of our past Board members say?

“It has been my privilege to work with a succession of fabulous teams. PA is a wonderful organization with a serious and professional side, as well as a fun and joyous side as we work with our partners and friends in communities all over Australia.” Virginia, Chair of the PA Board

I’ve found the Board supporting and welcoming with diverse, interesting volunteer work. I’ve enjoyed researching and learning about aspects of governance whilst applying skills from my professional background”, Wendy Secretary of the Board

“I’ve joined PA as a new Board Director and the Permafund Liaison and am looking forward to supporting Permaculture projects in Australia and overseas”, Greta General Board