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 donna.morawiak@permacultureaustralia.org.au

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 treasurer@permacultureaustralia.org.au 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

Permafund grant supports sustainable agriculture training for 50 women farmers in India

Permafund grant supports sustainable agriculture training for 50 women farmers in India

The Panchayat Raj Movement (PRM) was founded in India in1989 by a group of youth activists with the vision to create a society where every human being can live in peace, harmony and respect with each other. They aim to connect various grassroots groups of different backgrounds to form an integrated community.

Over the course of 6 months two staff members from PRM, with the help of 15 volunteers, facilitated the training of 50 farmers from 10 different villages- Aiyavayal, Kurunchampatti, Shanthinipatti, Kadiyapatti, Veerakudi, Kangampatti, Perampur, Surundampatti, Muttampatti and Palaiyaveerakudi.

The initial session was held at the PRM Field Office run by Mrs. Vijaya, a local organic farmer, teaching permaculture skills with a focus on introducing mixed crops into agriculture, digging small ditches for rainwater harvesting, growing herbal plants to make pest repellents and compost making with agriculture waste and promoting perennial crops. The participants gained hands-on experience in making compost, natural pest repellents and setting up worm farms.

The development of better and more affordable pump systems has seen a steady increase in the groundwater consumption in the south of India. The ancient technique of digging ditches for rain water harvesting was demonstrated and is reviving the area immensely. 

Other monoculture farmers have taken an interest in the project and have since experimented with more sustainable ways of mixed farming and natural fertilisation of their crops.  

Now over 150 acres of land have been planted out using permaculture techniques. Soil and water conservation structures are being made and only organic inputs were used.  500 to 750kg of produce was harvested and up to 350 farmers in 10 villages are being made aware of permaculture techniques for land regeneration. 

In addition to this, there was another training day offered by Mrs. Sumathi to teach 30 women how to value add to their millet products. Also, 5 seed banks were established over the course of the project. The monsoon rains were better than expected and allowed the farmers to earn an income from their farming activities. The project achieved its goal and created a larger impact than anticipated. 

Fund-raising activities, donations, tithes and pledges to Permaculture Australia’s Permafund are warmly welcomed and are supporting community projects like this in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Pacific.  One off or recurring tax-deductible donations to Permafund can be made here.  Many thanks.

For more information please contact permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au

Felix Leibelt – Permafund Team

Panchayat Raj Movement (PRM) https://prmngo.webs.com/

The 2023 Permafund Grant Round is now open for applications

The 2023 Permafund Grant Round is now open for applications

Please download and read the Grant Guidelines carefully before deciding if your organisation wishes to apply. 

GRANT GUIDELINESWORD DOCUMENTPDF DOCUMENT

Please email your application form and supporting documents to permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au

The 2023 Application form is available for download as a Word or pdf document.

APPLICATION FORM WORD DOCUMENTPDF DOCUMENT

Applications close at midnight AEDT November 30 2022

Please note that the Permafund grant program is only for projects that benefit or protect the natural environment, which includes regenerative agriculture and education. The Permafund does not fund infrastructure or buildings.

Successful applicants will be informed in March 2023.

For enquiries please contact:

Permafund Grant Coordinator – permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au

The Review of Accredited Permaculture Training almost complete

The Review of Accredited Permaculture Training almost complete

For the past 18 months, a group of Permaculture Educators has been working hard to complete the 5-yearly review of Permaculture in conjunction with Skills Impact, who are the Skills Service Organisation that manages the AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture & Conservation and Ecosystem Management – Training Package of which Permaculture is a part.
There have been many opportunities for engagement with this process and lots of you have participated which is great as it means the resulting Units, Qualifications and Skill Sets will be ‘fit for purpose’. It also means that you will have the chance to participate in and benefit from the roll out of the reviewed courses, if you wish.

Training providers, including those offering the PDC, might be interested in partnering with RTOs to offer some components of this training
 There will be funding available for some programs in some States
 There will be opportunities for those with current qualifications (including Certificate IV in Training and Assessment) to deliver this training
 There will also be opportunities to work with the Education Team of Permaculture Australia to update assessment tools and training materials
 And of course there will be opportunities for study and professional development


In a nutshell, here are the main components resulting from the Review:
 5 reviewed qualifications
 48 units of competency
 13 skill sets

It is exciting to note that many of the barriers between the PDC and the accredited training have been removed, and it is now much easier for teachers and trainers to find work in the accredited system (with a TAE qualification, of course). It is also exciting to note that two of the new skill sets have been specifically developed to bridge gaps:

Permaculture Designer Skill Set – corresponds to the core skills and knowledge of the PDC This skill set describes the skills and knowledge for working with clients and community to design and develop private, community or enterprise based permaculture systems in rural and urban
environments. Comprised of units:
 AHCPER401 Provide advice on permaculture principles and practices
 AHCPER402 Design a rural permaculture system
 AHCPER403 Design an urban permaculture system
 AHCPER4X3 Select ‘appropriate technology’ for a permaculture system
 AHCPER406 Identify and analyse bioregional characteristics and resources

Advanced Permaculture Skill Set – bridges the gap between Diploma of Permaculture and Bachelor Degree in the Higher Education system
This skill set describes advanced skills and knowledge to help individuals to transition into higher education. The units provide skills and knowledge for planning community governance and developing strategic plans for permaculture projects. Comprised of units:
 AHCPER6X1 Develop a strategic plan for a permaculture project or enterprise
 AHCPER6X2 Plan community governance and decision-making processes

 AHCPER6X3 Prepare a sustainable community and bioregional development strategy

The timeline for the roll out depends on the government processes, but we anticipate that the newly endorsed courses will be available from early 2023. If you are interested in the process or want to familiarise yourself with what has been done, please go to the Skills Impact project page and click through to the areas that interest you. You can find the documents that correspond to earlier stages in the process by clicking on the arrows in the flow chart.

Finally, Permaculture Australia would like to acknowledge the work of the following people and organisations who participated in the Subject Matter Expert Working Group:
 Lis Bastian, Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute
 Fiona Blackham, GAIA Permaculture
 Sue Brunskill, Permaculture Australia
 Rob Fenton, National Environment Centre, TAFE NSW 
 Robyn Francis, Permaculture College Australia
 Graeme George, Permaculture Yarra Valley
 Megan Hall, South Regional TAFE WA
 Julianne Hartman, Byron Regional Community College
 Martina Hoeppner, Permaculture West
 Keri Hopeward, Permaculture SA
 Lachlan McKenzie, International Permaculture Educators Network
 Ross Mars, Water Installations Pty Ltd
 Janet Milllington – Eumundy Community Gardens
 Kushala Prem, Natural Systems Permaculture
 Nicole Steel, Byron Regional Community College
 Karen van Huizen –  Alpine Shire Emergency Management
 Aaron Sorensen, Elemental Permaculture
 Virginia Solomon, Permaculture Australia
 Richard Vinycomb, Byron Regional Community College

And our amazing professional training consultants from Skills Impact
 Ruth Geldard, Industry Skills Standards Specialist, Skills Impact
 Ron Barrow, Writer, Skills Impact and Nestor Consulting

We all look forward to rolling out our new courses and to energetic participation and enthusiasm from permies everywhere.
For further information on the Review and the new components, please contact
education@permacultureaustralia.org.au

Permafund in Action – Mindanao in the Phillipines

Permafund in Action – Mindanao in the Phillipines

Elmer Sayre is a permie on the island of Mindanao in the Phillipines . His application for WAND (Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development Foundation) secured a $2000 grant to teach two PDCs, and also raise thousands of seedlings with farmers so they can grow timber and food as well as sustain a community seed bank.
To support the application, Elmer supplied evidence of previous projects which included Ecosan – a composting toilet, a tree planting project (with accompanying manual), worm composting, vegetable growing and water conservation.
Elmer also gave us a long and in-depth talk on WAND’s work and context which began as a routine background-check interview over Zoom. Mindanao has about the same population as Australia, but as its population is 70 times denser the farming strategies are different.

Elmer explains:
“The farming situation in our area is small farms that we need to develop into a diverse system utilising local inputs. The government might promote tree planting but the farmers say ‘How can we get income from that?’ The smaller ones want short-term income. So we say, you plant vegetables, plant bananas and in nine months you have a harvest, root crops in seven months you can harvest, green leafy vegetables in two or free weeks. Increasing their economic base. Pigs, free-range chickens, they don’t grow big like commercial ones but they are okay”.
The plan is to grow trees for fruit, timber, and seed as well as foods including bananas, sweet potato, and cassava. With the two PDC trainings, the goal is to have an exponential increase in food production as farmers will be using heirloom and open-pollinated varieties. Fertility will come from vermicompost, composted humanure, goat poo, and biochar from rice hulls.
Existing practices will be first be documented and photographed, then compared with post- project snapshots for evaluation. Results will be shared with other Permafund projects.