Member Update – CERES Community Environment Park in Melbourne

CERES are excited to host some powerhouses of Permaculture in Spring 2018. Robin Clayfield will be visiting over two days in November to share her skills and experience in facilitation and group dynamics. Robin has pioneered social Permaculture and dynamic decision-making around the world and brings her passion for creating deep change through effective, dynamic group work and co-operation between groups. More info and to book: Social Permaculture and Dynamic Group Decision Making
Rosemary Morrow is one of Permaculture’s pioneering women. For almost 40 years Morrow has worked extensively with farmers and villagers in Africa, Central and South East Asia, and Eastern Europe. She has especially dedicated much work to the people of war-torn nations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Bosnia and Afghanistan. This two-day workshop on 8th & 9th of December focuses more on personal and group skills than growing plants, however the natural environment is always considered: Challenges & New Frontiers in Permaculture
Besides lots of other short courses in between, CERES’ 26th Permaculture Design Course starts on Wed 6th Feb 2019. The course is a mix of classroom presentations, workshops, design exercises, practical exercises and visits to properties to see Permaculture in action as well as a catered weekend away. The course content and approaches to teaching and learning is directed by a group of leading PDC teachers and practitioners. This 100 hour course is delivered by a range of professional, practicing permaculturists including David Holmgren, Joel Meadows, Kat Lavers, Donna Livermore, Peta Christensen and Earthcare Permaculture’s Graeme George. Payment plans can be arranged. More info and to book your: Permaculture Design Course

Member Update – Ostii Ananda

Ostii lives in a sharehouse in Brunswick in Melbourne, Victoria. I have been privileged to stay in a spare room for 3 days in exchange for helping in the garden. Ostii is a sharewaste host i.e. he has compost systems and accepts others’ food waste. He has around 25 people who come and drop off their waste. He decided to hold a working bee to both get a heap of work done in the garden and to teach sharewasters how to grow food. They got to see a finished compost pile made with sharewaste food scraps:
sieved compost made from sharewaste food scraps
Once sieved on an old metal ironing board with a metal mesh, the result was a beautiful soil amendment we added liberally to the weeded, forked, and wetted garden beds. We mulched and then planted vegetable seedlings purchased from Ceres:Urban-gardenIn one bed we added dripper pipe on top of the mulch to help ensure adequate moisture through the hot summer:
We had a lovely shared meal afterwards to cement new friendships. It’s great to see this sharewaste concept forging new community.
Ostii has been into the Permaculture way of living for about 10 years and applies this to his own business. His passion is “Web and digital strategy mentoring for health, earth, and heart focussed entrepreneurs and enterprise.” He has been working with David Holmgren for the past 3 years or so. Check out his website for more info; Ostii works mostly from home where he regularly dashes out into the garden for screen breaks.

Post by Dylan Graves

Member update – APT Courses From WA Now Available Nationwide

Candlelight Farm, in conjunction with Skills Strategies International, are now offering Cert I, Cert II, Cert III and Diploma Permaculture courses, as well as the Permaculture Demonstrator Skills Set for those who wish to teach CI and CII in schools or community organisations.
CI and CII have been developed with VET in schools as the focus. Bold Park School in WA is currently delivering CII, and there have been three workshops for teachers this year, explaining the courses and outlining the benefits for schoolchildren. Interest is growing so it is only a matter of time before other schools offer these too.

School teachers who have done a PDC are able to deliver CI and CII, but there is also the Demonstrator Skills Set which involves 4 units from CIII to provide some good background knowledge and skills for VET delivery.
CIII Permaculture is ideally suited to those who have undertaken a PDC and wish to broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding. The course is very practical-orientated and students learn about propagation, pest control, irrigation, construction, soils, site assessment, impacts of weather, organic crops, permaculture products and integrated plant and animal systems. Fifteen units are typically undertaken over one year.
The Diploma Permaculture is a course for those who wish to become designers and consultants. Twelve units are undertaken over a year or so, and include both rural and urban designs, managing projects, strategic planning, field research, managing soils and erosion, advising clients and using particular species in design work.
We can also provide Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment for those practitioners who have a wealth of knowledge and experience but have not been able to undertake a course so far. You can RPL for CIII, Demonstrator Skills Set or Diploma.
For more information, RPL application forms, or details about buying particular units or whole courses so they can be offered in other states please contact Ross Mars on

Member update – 150 PDC milestone

Robyn Francis celebrated the teaching of her 150th Permaculture Design Course (PDC) that happened on July 7-21, 2018 at Djanbung Gardens in Nimbin. Permaculture Australia would like to add its congratulations.

Robyn has taught 150 PDCs in 15 different countries, plus as many advanced courses in diverse areas of professional permaculture practices including Teacher Training; Community Facilitation; Ecovillage Design; Sustainable Aid and Development;  Social Permaculture; Design for Food Security, and Year-round Food Production. She was one of the key instigators of the Accredited Permaculture Training and has spent 11 years providing full-time accredited vocational training in Permaculture Certificates III, IV and the Diploma of Permaculture. Now thousands of her graduates are doing important work in all continents and climates. Robyn was mentored by Bill Mollison and co-taught with him in the 1980’s.
Robyn has been on the Board of Permaculture Australia for many years and contributed countless hours of her time to the organisation. Thank you!
Here is a video describing Robyn’s work and some thoughts about permaculture:

Member update – Milkwood's new book

PA Organisation member, Milkwood, has recently released their first book called: Milkwood – Real Skills for Down to Earth Living. Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar have co-authored this and share their knowledge about 5 topics they are very passionate about:

• The Tomato • Mushroom Cultivation •
• Natural Beekeeping • Seaweed • Wild Food 

The book is beautifully illustrated (by another PA member) and accompanied by excellent colour photographs that are bound to make you hungry (literally and figuratively)!

Milkwood have generously donated a signed copy to PA and it’s the lucky prize draw for September 2018 for new members who join PA between 1 and 25 Sept.
Why not get your local library to order in a copy, too! The ISBN is 9781743364116

The Permaculture Educators Guild

The Permaculture Educators Guild was formed as a professional guild by a group of permaculture educators in Victoria in 2014 to advance permaculture education in south-eastern Australia and beyond. Though based in Victoria its focus is the south-eastern Australian bioregion, not limited by State boundaries.

Key purposes of the Guild are :

  • collaborative development of a “Syllabus for Permaculture Design in South-eastern Australia”, making it available as a model for other bioregions to adapt and adopt. The Guild sees the Syllabus as a set of guidelines for structuring PDC content — what to teach, not how to teach it, as a contribution to a common language for permaculture design. [The Guild’s syllabus builds on earlier versions developed under the auspices of Permaculture Melbourne’s Educators Group.]
  • promotion of the PDC through vocational training, particularly Accredited Permaculture Training
  • sharing of teaching resources and professional development of members

The Guild is:

  • unincorporated, utilising the support of existing permaculture groups to host gatherings where needed
  • unstructured, with jobs shared among volunteers, no membership fees
  • open to anyone qualified to teach permaculture, actively involved in permaculture education at any level and prepared to contribute to the purposes of the Guild

Through its collaborative structure and its Syllabus, which focusses on permaculture as a design process, the Guild is addressing many of the issues being discussed by the Making Permaculture Stronger movement.
The Guild does not see itself as having any regulatory role in PDC delivery, such as registration of educators or endorsement of particular courses, but aims to develop consensus on the best ways to promote permaculture locally and globally.

The Guild operates at two levels

  1. A GUILD list of current members (those who comply with membership requirements) for the purposes of planning future events, development of policy and teaching materials and discussion of issues relevant to the Guild’s purposes. Guild members communicate by email and regular gatherings at mutually convenient locations.
  2. A NETWORK list which includes those who do not want to be involved in planning and discussion, but wish to be advised of PEG events and the outcomes thereof, via periodic emails. Anyone interested in permaculture education is welcome to attend gatherings without commitment to active participation in the Guild.

Guild membership in June 2018 included 24 educators from Victoria and South Australia, with the Guild’s Network list containing 70 educators from all eastern states.
At June 2018 Guild activities were being managed by:

  • Wendy Marchment — PEG email admin/communications, Library database
  • Virginia Solomon — APT, PA Liaison, Doodle polling
  • Ian Lillington — International & local networking, curriculum materials
  • Graeme George — Syllabus development
  • Susan Hutson — Membership database
  • Joel Meadows — Bookclub

The Guild seeks to collaborate with like-minded groups — PA’s Education Team, our counterparts in Aoatearoa-New Zealand and the International Permaculture Educators Network.
The Guild encourages and looks forward to the establishment of autonomous chapters in other bioregions and has a vision of a network of bioregional chapters developing locally-appropriate materials contributing to the global advancement of permaculture.
For further information about the Permaculture Educators Guild activities or membership, or to go on the Permaculture Educators Network email list please contact PEG Admin
The Guild’s syllabus builds on earlier versions developed under the auspices of Permaculture Melbourne’s – now Permaculture Victoria – Educators Group.