Notice of 2021 Annual General Meeting

Notice of 2021 Annual General Meeting

Notice to members of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Permaculture International Limited (trading as Permaculture Australia) to be held:

  • Tuesday 13th April 2021, 5.00pm AEST at the Australasian Permaculture Convergence, Camp Kindilan, Cnr. Days Rd. and German Church Rd. Redland Bay, QLD 4165 or via Zoom (see instructions in Agenda)

Members are recommended to read the Annual report including Financial statements before the meeting. Note that the Annual Report is for Jan 1-Dec 31 20120 and so the 2021 AGM accepts the 2020 report. The meeting will cover AGM business as per the following Agenda.

Northey Street City Farm – host of the 2021 APC

Northey Street City Farm – host of the 2021 APC

PA members Northey Street City Farm (NSCF) was founded in 1994 by a group of local residents to grow their own organic food. After negotiation with Brisbane City Council, they were given the use of flood-prone land that was cleared of buildings after the 1974 floods.  The Farm has grown steadily over the more than 25 years since then, in land area and in the number of activities, with the history documented in this slideshow

NSCF now lease the 2.5 Ha site in inner -city Windsor, on the banks of Breakfast Creek. From a mostly bare site the Farm is now a green oasis with over 1500 mature trees and shrubs, around 80 raised garden beds, worm farms, chicken runs, bee shed and demonstration plantings. The plantings include a native cabinet timber woodlot, native useful plants windbreak, riverine rainforest, a variety of bamboos, and subtropical and tropical fruit trees.  They are also the host and organisers of the Australasian Permaculture Convergence, to be held in Brisbane in April 2021. Thanks to Ronni Martin for providing this insight into Northey Street City Farm.

A month in the life of the ‘farm’

In a typical month we have regular public activities like the Organic Farmer’s Markets every Sunday, City Farm Nursery open every morning except Mondays and informal playgroups and Earth Arts twice a week.  Our youth education program consists of school visits, homeschool programs and the Earth Kids program during school holidays. Adult education Sustainable Living Workshops are held most Saturdays, and PDC and other courses on weekends. Four times a year we have an evening event with music and food stalls, including the well-known Winter Solstice Festival. Of course, there are also all the behind the scenes regular activities like maintaining the site, making compost, keeping bees and chooks, and growing food in the forest gardens, allotments and market garden. These activities are reliant on keen volunteers, some of whom have been coming to the Farm regularly for years.

Permaculture ethics and principles core component of the farm

NSCF Cares for the Earth by promoting local food production, restoring native vegetation, green waste recycling and organic practices. We promote local food production by providing demonstration gardens to show various growing techniques; workshops to provide skills for use in people’s own backyard; allotments where people can grow their own; and an Organic Farmers Market to improve access to organic food in urban areas, and to provide a market for farmers. We have an Environment Action Plan which reviews our activities each year and plans further improvements. The goals of the Environment Action Plan include reducing water and resource use, minimising waste, enhancing biodiversity, and using renewable resources. For example, we have rainwater tanks, solar power and hot water systems, and use organic growing methods. We apply Care for People through our participatory organisational structure using consensus decision making. This encourages participation from our volunteers and members as well as our staff. We Share the Surplus by providing shared free lunches three days a week.  Excess Farm produce is given away on a ‘share table’. Free events like the Wednesday talks & Earth Arts activities for kids give something back to our community. We try to assist other community groups with advice, a stall at the Markets, or a venue for their events.

Engagement with First Nations Communities and knowledge

In October 2016 a Decolonisation Action Group, made up of volunteers including staff and Management Committee members, was formed at the Farm. The group’s purpose is to build partnerships with First Nations peoples and organisations; to build respect for First Nations culture and understanding of the history of colonisation; and to provide opportunities for First Nations people to learn from our education programs, to be facilitators/ teachers on our education programs, and to gain employment at NSCF.

The DAG organises activities which:

  • Acknowledge that we are on Turrbal land
  • Mitigate the harm done by colonisation to the land and its people.
  • Tell the stories of the history of this place and people.
  • Support engagement with First Nations people.
  • Create a space to hear First Nations stories.
  • Create a culturally safe place.
  • Employ First Nations people to show we value diversity, acknowledge inequity and to learn from and value their knowledge and skills.
  • Explore the links between Permaculture and First Nations knowledge and culture.

Host and vision for 2021 APC

NSCF has an organisational Goal of ‘fostering the growth of the Permaculture movement’ and hosting the APC is an ideal way to work towards that. It is also a great way for us to contact other permaculture practitioners in the region and to raise our profile nationally.  When we developed our proposal to host the APC back in 2018, we were confident that we had the skills and experience to put on an event like the APC – no -one predicted the difficulties involved with a global pandemic!

“Our vision for the APC is that it will be thought-provoking, educational, and fun. We have allowed free time each afternoon and social activities in the evenings so that participants can meet new people and catch up with friends. We’ve tried to balance the program to include Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share topics so there should be something to interest everyone each day.

One of my personal highlights will be attending workshops on topics I know very little about and stretching my mind a bit.  I am looking forward to the keynote speakers as well, as each is covering a very different topic from their different background and experience.  As a member of the Permafund Committee, I’m also looking forward to ‘our’ workshop as well as learning more about permaculture in very different contexts in some of the other workshops.  And on the local front, learning about how people have implemented permaculture in different parts of the country is also fascinating.  A final highlight for me at the APC’s is always the chats at mealtimes or around the campfire in the evenings.

Ticket sales for APC close on 1st April 2021

We encourage everyone to join us at the APC and to buy their tickets soon. We will be closing ticket sales on 1 April to give the caterers time to prepare. We will be operating under a COVID-safe plan at the APC, which means that we have to cap the numbers at 200 overnight guests, and take other social distancing measures. However, this will be easy on the site which has lots of outdoor seating areas and 200ha to spread out in. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the APC due to government restrictions we will offer full refunds. Purchase your tickets here (and PA members get a great discount too).

My motto? “Be nice and grow things”

My motto? “Be nice and grow things”

Rod Hughes had been working in environmental management for nearly three decades, including half of this time in his dream job running the Swan River Trust before moving into permaculture. After leaving work to study a Diploma in Permaculture with Ross Mars at Candlelight Farm, he joined Perth City Farm as Farm Manager, and started a consulting business, Leafcutter Permaculture.  He is also a PA professional member. Martina Hoeppner of the PA Education Team chats with Rod about starting out in permaculture, the impact of accredited training, and his life motto – “be nice and grow things”!


Could you tell me why you left your job and how you got into permaculture? 

I had always been drawn to the natural world and had grown veggies about the place since I was a kid. I picked up a second-hand copy of Permaculture One and then was given the Designers Manual. This crystallised my thinking and I committed to doing a PDC at wonderful Fair Harvest in Western Australia. I followed this up by doing the Advanced Certificate with Ross Mars and Graham Bell, did two permie earthworks courses (one at our place in the Chittering Valley) and then decided to take the leap, quit my job and enrolled in the Diploma in Permaculture. My whole career has been in figuring out ways for us to have good lives while either keeping the environment good or making it better.  I became increasingly impressed with David Holmgren’s thinking and how permie concepts can be applied to pretty much all aspects of our lives.

You have a Diploma in Permaculture now. How is it helping you in your current work?


Doing a series of design projects with other Diploma students really helped give me confidence to start offering design services to others.  So I set up my Leafcutter Permaculture business. I’m now really enjoying engaging with folks in helping them design garden systems which are nice places to be, grow good food and help heal planet earth. I find the design process really creative and love that your skills grow with each project.  I am very happy to keep doing that, with a view to getting more involved in rural and peri-urban projects.

Of course, having a permie background is a great help in my role as Farm Manager (other job of dreams) at Perth City Farm, which was built all those years ago by some seriously clever permaculture thinkers. The teaching angle emerged for me this year and I feel extremely honoured to have been on the PDC teaching team at Fair Harvest for the first time in January.  I have just started offering permie workshops at City Farm – something we will definitely build in the year ahead.


What would you say to someone who is just discovering permaculture and interested in working in this field?

As I stress to clients and students, permaculture is so much deeper and wider than growing veggies.  But getting engaged in growing good food is a great place to start because it connects to so many other aspects of our lives.  So…come and volunteer with me in the garden at City Farm! I would tell anyone to read lots, do an intro [to permaculture] course, read lots more, then do a PDC – it will change your life!


The last year has been an interesting one. Has this changed your thinking about permaculture?

I don’t think the pandemic has changed my thinking about permaculture at all.  I have been convinced for a very long time that being kind to each other, looking after mother earth and ensuring fair share is critical to our survival.  My motto: “Be nice and grow things”. 

Additional information

Rod Hughes is a professional member of Permaculture Australia, the national member based organisation in Australia. Sign up as a member here today to join hundreds of members across Australia advocating for permaculture solutions.

Martina Hoeppner is a professional member of Permaculture Australia and an active volunteer with the PA Education team. More information on the Accredited Permaculture Training, including the Diploma of Permaculture completed by Rod, and the PA education team can be found here.

Perth City Farm is a 26 year old half hectare urban farm that provides space and opportunities to build community connections, and educates and enables people to live sustainably.  Further information on how to volunteer with Rod and the team can be found here.

Notice of 2021 Annual General Meeting

Notice of 2020 Annual General Meeting

Notice to members of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Permaculture International Limited (trading as Permaculture Australia) to be held:

  • Thursday 30th April 2020 at 8.00pm AEST via Teleconference (see instructions in Agenda)

Members are recommended to read the Annual report including Financial statements before the meeting. Note that the Annual Report is for Jan 1-Dec 31 2019 and so the 2020 AGM accepts the 2019 report. The meeting will cover AGM business as per the following Agenda.


New Directors

PA’s AGM took place on Sunday 14th April 2019. The main business besides approving the annual report is accepting a new Board of Directors for the 2019/2020 year.
The new Board is now Virginia Solomon, Wendy Marchment, and Cally Brennan who all stood again. New comers are Ian Lillington from Victoria and Kym Blechynden from Tasmania. More info on the Board of Directors as well as the volunteer teams can be found here.
Permaculture Australia thanks Ronni Martin, Keri Chiveralls, and Dylan Graves for their tenure on the Board.

Notice of 2019 Annual General Meeting

pil-logoiNotice to members of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Permaculture International Limited (trading as Permaculture Australia) to be held:
Sunday 14th April 2018 at 11.00 AEST at 103 Thompson Crescent, Research, VIC (private residence of Virginia Solomon), or join us via Teleconference (see instructions below)
Members are recommended to read the Financial and Annual reports before the meeting. Note that the Annual Report is for Jan 1-Dec 31 2018 and so the 2019 AGM accepts the 2018 report. The meeting will cover standard AGM business as per the following Agenda.

Here are all the relevant documents

If you are unable to attend the AGM, you can still vote (All proxies are to be returned by email to the Secretary by 11.00 am AEST Saturday 13 April 2018.). Here are the instructions on how to vote via proxy and the form for you to complete to nominate your proxy voter:

You have until 11am Saturday 13 April to nominate someone as a director of PA:

Click on the tabs for more information…

[accordion][accordion_element title=”Election of Board of Directors”]
Notes on the election of Board of Directors:
Under the Articles of the Company, a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 7 Directors shall be appointed. The current Board have expressed a strong desire to support new Directors, to maintain diversity of representation and to achieve the full number of 7 Directors. The roles of Secretary and Treasurer will also need to be filled, from within the elected Directors.
All nominees must be nominated by two other members. Nominations can be received in writing before the meeting or when the item is considered during the meeting. If you cannot attend in person please use the attached proxy form to make nominations or to offer an expression of interest to accept a nomination to the Board.
If you are not attending in person, you may join the meeting via Teleconference call. (See instructions below) The Teleconference will be opened 10 minutes prior to the commencement of the meeting allowing the secretary time to verify members as they join the call.
[/accordion_element][accordion_element title=”Instructions for using Teleconference facilities”]
Telephone numbers for joining a conference call
The participants join the meeting by dialing the toll free number or one of the city telephone numbers listed below – as appropriate for you, then the enter the access code as directed.
1. Dial into the conference:
Dial-in Number: (02) 8077 0530
Australia: Access Code — 324972
International Dial-in Number —
2. Join the online meeting:
Online Meeting Link:
Online Meeting ID: enews

  • At the scheduled date and time of the meeting, dial into the conference line. When prompted, enter the Access Code followed by the # key.
  • To join the online meeting, click on the meeting link listed above and follow the prompts to join the meeting.
  • For 24/7 customer service please call 844-844-1322

For Inquires:

[/accordion_element][accordion_element title=”Election of Directors to the Board”]
If you would like to be active in the PA organisation and help its development over the coming twelve months and beyond, it important to:

  1. Make sure you are a current financial member of Permaculture Australia and
  2. Consider whether you may like to nominate to become a Board member or if you would like to nominate another qualified permaculturalist to become a Board member (with their prior agreement).
  3. Attend and contribute to the AGM in person or by teleconference.
  4. If you are not available on the AGM date, you can submit your proxy vote beforehand.

[/accordion_element][accordion_element title=”What does Board membership involve?”]
Being a Board member of Permaculture Australia is an unpaid honorary position with the Board requiring the 7 Board members to collectively have a mix of the following skills and abilities.
[/accordion_element][accordion_element title=”How are Directors elected?”]
Under the Permaculture Australia Constitution, members who wish to stand for election to the Board must be nominated by at least 2 other members. If you want to self-nominate and don’t know any PA members, then send a couple of references from people who know what relevant skills you have to offer PA, and PA members attending the AGM can nominate during the AGM if they feel they have enough information about you (you are also entitled to speak to the meeting in support of your self-nomination).
The minimum number of Directors is 5, and the maximum 7. All positions are declared vacant at the AGM, but current Directors can re-nominate. Nominations can be made prior to the AGM, and nominees are encouraged to post information in support of their candidacy on the PA website, including the names of their nominating members.
Nominees can also be nominated by 2 members on the floor of the AGM. Where there are more than 7 nominees, Directors will arrange for a ballot to be held.
PA Board member nomination details
[/accordion_element][accordion_element title=”I’d still like to vote and nominate someone but can’t attend the AGM?”]
If you cannot attend the AGM you can have someone vote on your choice on your behalf, as a proxy. Click the button about proxy voting above.

Nominations so far…

The following people have been nominated for election to the management board of Permaculture Australia. Click on their name to find out more… [more will added here as they are received]

[accordion][accordion_element title=”Virginia Solomon — VIC”]Current PA Director standing for re-election
Supporting statement: why Virginia would make an appropriate board member
Qualifications: BA, Grad. Dip Education, Diploma of Permaculture, Diploma of Training and Assessment Systems, Cert IV TAE, PA Member for more than 15 years
Experience (in Governance & Management): Board Chair since 2016, Member of Education Team of PA, Co-editor APT Assessment Guides Project and Chair of the Review Committee. Member Industry Reference Committee for the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management Training Package. Also many other committees related to Permaculture in Victoria, Environmental Education, Parent-teacher groups, craft groups and conference organising committees.
Permaculture background: Taught on PDCs, taught permaculture at Eltham College to Year 9s (Certificate I) and later to adults (Diploma) as well as working as an RPL Assessor and teaching the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to help train up permaculture trainers. From 2002 has worked on the development of the Accredited Permaculture Training courses including the migration of the courses into the national AHC training package.
What would you bring to PA and the board? I bring history of involvement with permaculture in Victoria and Australia since the late 90s, organisational ability, writing skill, knowledge of the training system in Australia, experience working on strategic projects and working closely with large and small teams. A commitment to permaculture as a way of life and a community of individuals, organisations and enterprises working together for a better world.
[/accordion_element][accordion_element title=”Wendy Marchment — VIC”]Current PA Director standing for re-election
Supporting statement: why Wendy would make an appropriate board member
Qualifications (incl. PDC, APT, & other): BSc, PDC, Cert III Permaculture, Cert IV TAA
Experience (in Governance & Management): numerous committees associated with universities. Have held positions of Chair, Treasurer and committee member associated with Permaculture Geelong, Bicycle advocacy, squash clubs, Child care management etc
Permaculture background: Education Coordinator at Northey Street City Farm 2010-11. Permaculture Geelong Convenor 2014-16, organiser of 2015 Geelong PDC. Member of Permaculture Educators Guild.
What would you/they bring to PA and the board?: organisational skills, teacher perspective, university admin background, expertise in surveys and analysis, report writing skills
Referees: Robin Clayfield, Dick Copeman
Nominated by: Virginia Solomon
[/accordion_element][accordion_element title=”Cally Brennan — ACT”]Current PA Director standing for re-election
Supporting statement: why Cally would make an appropriate board member
Qualifications (incl. PDC, APT, & other): 2011 PDC, 2016 Advanced Permaculture Design, BA Hons, PhD
Experience (in Governance & Management):
I was previously on the organising committee for APC 14, where my roles were financial modeller and venue coordinator.
Previously during my work in the public service I have managed a governance contract for a $20 million big data project, written reports for a Senate Inquiry, and helped measure and audit energy use and emissions across public service agencies.
Permaculture background:

I joined PermablitzACT in 2009 and subsequently coordinated PermablitzACT for a year. After completing my PDC I founded a small permaculture-focused garden design business, Canberra Permaculture Design and Education. I also run workshops on permaculture and sustainable gardening topics.

I have an advanced permaculture design certificate with Ross Mars and Graeme Bell. At home we are converting our land and building along permaculture principles with the aim for it to become a teaching and demonstration space for what can be achieved through permaculture in the suburbs.

What would you/they bring to PA and the board?: I have enthusiasm and energy, care and compassion. If I commit to a project I will see it through. During my time on the PA Board over 2018 to 2019 I have contributed to the financial management and budgeting of the organisation and would like to continue this work to ensure PA is a viable and sustainable operation into the future.
Referees: John Champagne & Penny Kothe
Nominated by: Virginia Solomon
[accordion_element title=”Ian Lillington — VIC”]
Supporting statement: why Ian would make an appropriate board member
Qualifications (incl. PDC, APT, & other): PDC in 1990. Diploma of Permaculture from Bill Mollison’s institute in 1994. Diploma in the AQF system in 2006, Teacher Training certificate from Rowe Morrow in 2017.
Experience (in Governance & Management):
Ian has been on committees of Management for Housing Association and set up rules and articles of Assoc for a few NGO companies; Also was [many years ago] Committee member of National Federation of City farms in Uk.
Permaculture background:

Ian Lillington has been author, sustainability activist and a networker in national and international Permaculture. Based in Castlemaine, Victoria, Ian and partner Marita, are developing a food forest and is involved in the local permaculture/transition town project called ‘Growing Abundance’.

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 has been a volunteer with PA for many years and also helped to organise and attend International and Australian Permaculture Convergences. Ian teaches at CERES in Melbourne, and in Castlemaine and as a guest on other PDCs.  He also worked for the National Centre for Sustainability, and with the environment shop and “Greener Houses”, a project that promotes eco-retrofits of suburban houses in Melbourne.

Ian brings a long term vision for a larger and better known national organisation, and sees this as going hand-in-hand with his interest in social permaculture and his passion of applying permaculture’s ethics and principles to every aspect of life.

What would you/they bring to PA and the board?: Commitment to a long term dedication to seeing an effective national body for Permaculture in Australia.
Referees: Virginia Solomon and Wendy Marchment
Nominated by: Virginia Solomon
[accordion_element title=”Kym Blechynden — TAS”]
Supporting statement: why Kym would make an appropriate board member
Qualifications (incl. PDC, APT, & other): Bachelor of Science (Nutrition), Graduate Diploma Health Promotion, Certificate IV Frontline Management and TAA, Master of International Health, PhD (commenced)
Experience (in Governance & Management):
2015-2018 Previous Board member, Permaculture Australia including Permafund Liaison and Secretary Permaculture. 2016-present Permaculture Tasmania Executive State Committee – Vice President (2016-2018), President (2018 – present). Various roles in paid employment in management and leadership with government and non government organisations (IFRC, Queensland Health), including working with volunteer& community groups.
Permaculture background:

Kym has completed a PDC and teacher training in Permaculture, and has been active in Permaculture activities with the PA Board and Permaculture Tasmania. She was the co-coordinator of Permablitz Tasmania and has been involved in different community activities including the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge and teaching on Intro to Permaculture courses and skills share events. She is the current President of Permaculture Tasmania, with a Committee of 9 members and 7 newly formed local groups and approx. 230 members.

What would you/they bring to PA and the board?: Kym has worked in Nutrition, Food Security and community development for nearly two decades in Australia, the Middle East, Africa, the Pacific and Asia with the UN, INGO’s and government organisations, including management roles. She has been a previous member of the PA Board, including as Permafund Liaison and Secretary before shifting to Malaysia for work with the Red Cross. Since returned to Tasmania she has been the President of Permaculture Tasmania. Highlights over the last 12 months for PT include growing the membership to 230 members, 7 newly formed ‘PT locals groups’, a strong online presence and member engagement, 9 partnerships with businesses for membership discounts, and regular low cost events being held across the state. 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.
Referees: Virginia Solomon
Nominated by: Virginia Solomon
Signed Wendy Marchment
Company Secretary
Permaculture International Ltd.
Australian Company Number: 003 386 258