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Bill Mollison, co-founder with David Holmgren of the permaculture design system, first describing it in the 1978 book, ‘Permaculture One’.
‘Permaculture Two’ followed within a year (both Tagari Publishers). Bill, a Tasmanian from the Bass Strait coastal fishing village of Stanley, has had a chequered working life including stints as forester and fisherman. He later worked in scientific research in the environmental field and joined the University of Tasmania as senior tutor.
It was then that the fateful meeting with David Holmgren occurred. Bill left academia at age 50 to travel and teach the new design system, offering the first Permaculture Design Course in Tasmania before taking it to mainland Australia and, later, overseas. In the late-1980s Bill set up Tagari Farm near Tyalgum, in the Northern NSW subtropics, home to his Permaculture Institute. After some years he returned to his home island, Tasmania.
With Reny Slay, Bill published the still-in-print ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ and, in 1988, his opus, ‘Permaculture – A Designers Manual’, still widely regarded as the definitive work on the permaculture design system. ABC television broadcast a number of video productions in which Bill featured. The four-part ‘Global Gardener’ series of the mid-1990s popularised permaculture.
Bill’s biography was published as ‘Travels In Dreams’. Bill’s wit, humour and story telling has entertained many at the same time as he taught them.