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.
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 email@example.com
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.
He was tireless in his service to, and ‘needling of’ permaculture and its design process. Dan is sadly missed as a fearless questioner, a passionate connector, and strong and fragile a spirit as the living systems he loved.
Donations of support for his young family can be made at GO FUND ME
If you, or if someone you know is struggling with mental health, don’t wait – get help now. Talk to a friend, reach out and visit to Beyond Blue
The 2022 Permaculture Australia Annual General Meeting was held on the 23rd April at Research, Victoria and online.
Congratulations to the following Board of Directors who have been appointed for 2022/2023:
Toad Dell, Queensland
Debbi Long, Victoria
John McKenzie, Victoria
Donna Morawiak, Queensland
Jed Walker, New South Wales
Huge thankyou to the outgoing Directors, Wendy Marchment, Greg Rodwell and Sophie Thompson. Big thank you also to Virginia and Stephen Solomon for hosting the AGM at their residence. It was a gorgeous Autumn day which was perfect for a pot-luck lunch outside post the AGM followed by a tour of the house with a Retrosuburbia perspective. The property is one of the Retrosuburbia case studies and is undergoing further changes to ease the load post retirement from paid work.
Special thanks and acknowledgement was given to Wendy Marchment with a bouquet of flowers, on her work as Secretary over the past four years. In particular, on getting PA’s compliance and governance systems up-to-date, having established many templates and processes including the Directors’ induction checklists which will make the transition easier and smoother for incoming Boards.
Tackling our ongoing climate crisis means adjusting the behaviours, attitudes and relationships we hold with the environment and with each other. It’s not just tech solutions we require but deep cultural shifts. It won’t be a single action but the collection of many small and sweeping changes that sets us up for success or failure and culture is the bedrock of behaviour.
We’ll be exploring through a variety of speakers how shifting culture from mainstream society, whether ancient or modern, can help change our current climate path. With special emphasis on first nations ways of knowing and being, drawing from lands managed in sustainable and regenerative ways prior and post colonisation, we will explore what a new space of cultural emergence might look like. An emergence that is appropriate, equitable and listens to the needs of the land and the people.
What does it mean to be a custodial species in our environment?
What is culture? what is good culture and what does it mean to reclaim our cultural practices?
How can we contribute to meaningful cultural emergence as ethical and responsible consumers?
These are a few of the questions we’ll be exploring in depths over the three days of this seminar, with many more exploring the themes of right relating, impacts of colonisation, moving beyond helplessness, cross-cultural dialogue and breaking the binaries we live within.
All profits raised from this event is going towards a specific land back fund for First Nations Aboriginal people.