APC15 — Date Claimer!

Australian Permaculture Convergence (APC) 15 — Date Claimer!
An entry for your diaries/calendars:
Sunday 19th April 2020 – Permaculture Festival at Northey Street City Farm (Brisbane, QLD)
Monday – Thursday 20-23 April 2020 – Australian Permaculture Convergence at Redland Bay, South Moreton Bay (35 mins from Brisbane – accessible by public transport).
Tours of Northern NSW and Southeast QLD will follow the convergence.

APC14 — a convergence to remember

Canberra in autumn. It might have started overcast, cold and blowy but the skies brightened, the wind dissipated and the cold vanished as APC14 — the 14th Australasian permaculture Convergence — got underway.
Here’s a-photo essay of the event…

News from IPC (International Permaculture Convergence) in India

Story and photos by PA member, Robin Clayfield, January 2018

The IPC in India recently was a feast of colour, culture and fabulous Indian cuisine with interesting presentations, much networking and diverse learning opportunities as 1200 people from over 70 countries gathered for the week near Hyderabad.
The two day Conference was held at an agricultural research college on the edge of the city and was brimming with Indian farmers. 350 people had travelled around the globe to be be part of the event and other came from all over India.
Robins Stall at IPCRobin set up a small stall with her books, card games and resources and get to be set up in between Indian seed sellers and traders of Indian crafts and baskets.
She also made a valuable contribution to the Conference by presenting a panel titled ‘Are Women Leading the Change’ as the finale program item for the weekend. One of the sub themes of IPC was ‘Women Leading the Change’ so, as a female pioneer in Permaculture and Social Permaculutre Robin felt well placed to gather key women from different cultures and backgrounds and address this interesting question. The panel that joined Robin was made up of Starhawk, Vandana Shiva, Rowe Morrow, Robina McCurdy, Padma Koppula and Beatriz Ramirez Cruz and was later joined by Robyn Francis and two Indian Women Farmers who’s names aren’t with us to be published.
Robin began by inviting the audience to stand up, thank each other and acknowledge the positive change they were already involved in creating, even if it were just by being there at the Conference and taking the good energy and learnings home.
Panel of Women at IPCRobin then asked the panel to share on three points:

  • one way they felt they were personally contributing to change in the world
  • areas where they felt women were leading the change
  • comment about the qualities being modelled by women that they felt were vitally important to positive change

The whole session was inspired by Robin contemplating the theme of ‘Women Leading the Change’ and noticing that a very high percentage of the acknowledged pioneers of Social Permaculture around the globe were women, so they are the ones she invited to join her.
The Indian women farmers were magnificent at modelling the empowerment and passion of women who are standing up in India and now becoming more able to be heard.
Robin ended the session by asking everyone in the audience to contemplate one word that described a quality they heard expressed by the panel that they felt was really important to them. She then counted to three and everyone called them out all at once, inviting more of those qualities in the world, in their lives and in their home communities. A great end to the Conference. Look out for a link that will be available soon of the Live to Air Telecast of the panel session.

Robin Facilitating CoLab
Robin and Andy Goldring facilitating

The Convergence was held at Polam Farm, a two year old Permaculture designed system that has received much support from volunteers to establish, especially in the months leading up to IPC. For five days 450 people were feed, housed in tents, cared for and given so much access to workshops, talks, panels, demonstrations, traditional living skills, films and networking time as well as many amazing and diverse cultural performances in the evenings.
Robin was kept very busy with offering or being part of many sessions including a workshop on ‘Teaching Permaculture Creatively as a Grassroots Action’ which saw the smallish thatched roof workshop space bulging with about 60 people.
Narsanna Jumping
She was on the panel for ‘Open Government and Sociocracy’, was a lead facilitator in the three CoLab afternoon sessions (which drew together those interested in an ongoing collaboration of people wanting to better respond strategically and collectively as a global movement) and also offered the now traditional ‘Jumping’ session as a finale for the Convergence. There is a photo here of Robin and Andy Goldring facilitating the first CoLab session using a ‘web of connection’ and also one of Narsanna, the principal organiser of IPC India, JUMPING his intention for future Permaculture Involvement.

Australians and Ego Lemas at IPC India

Robin with several of the Australians and Ego Lemas from Timor Leste at IPC India.

Robin Clayfield is an international teacher, facilitator and author who is passionate about healthy groups, organisations and communities, their structures and governance and most importantly, their facilitation and group dynamics.
She presents and consults all around the world to support global health, well-being and whole systems change through using Permaculture, Social Permaculture and ‘Dynamic Groups’ methodology.
Robin is a Permaculture Pioneer and Elder who has lived at Crystal Waters Permaculture Eco-Village in SE Queensland, Australia since 1988. Her books and resources include ‘You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat It Too’, ‘The New Permaculture Principles Card Game’, ‘The Creative Community Governance and Decision Making Resource Kit’ and the ‘Creative Process Wild Cards’.
She is also the co-author (with Skye in 1995) of ‘The Manual for Teaching Permaculture Creatively’ plus several resources and card games for teachers and facilitators.

APC14 final call for submissions

The APC14 team have got some great submissions in already for APC14 convergence happening from 15-19 April 2018, There workshops, presentations, a display section, a children’s education area as well as the inaugural ACT Permaculture Festival happening on Sunday 15 April 2018.

1 January 2018: abstract deadlines due.

What are your ideas?

Get your submissions for an activity you would like to run now, to help the programming team pull it all together.
Please outline your presentation in 150 – 200 words. Include:

  • presenter’s name(s)
  • working title
  • if a panel, include the names of panel members
  • the domain(s) and cross cutting themes your content will mainly focus on
  • type of presentation (discussion, participatory group work, hands-on, lecture, experiential, mixed, other)
  • any technology or other resources required (eg data projector, music, access to outside areas etc)
  • limits (if any) on numbers attending
  • anything else we should know
  • presentations should be either 25 minutes or 45 minutes. Please indicate the length of your presentation, with final time determined once all submissions provided and the timetable is developed.

Useful deadline info

15 December: Abstract deadlines due.
15 January: Notification of acceptance.
15 February: Final papers/outlines due for publishing etc.


  • presentations and final submissions of full paper will only be accepted from participants who have formally enrolled in the convergence, so you will need to ensure you have registered and paid by 15 February 2018 to be included
  • your full paper, presentation or workshop outline and outcomes must be submitted by 15 February to enable all presentations to be published and made available to participants at APC14
  • deadlines will be strictly adhered to
  • send your information by completing the form by following the link below or via email to APC14 at apcfourteen@gmail.com


See you there — APC14 in the ACT

Five days of permaculture festivity and fun kick off on Sunday 15 April next Autumn with the ACT Permaculture Festival at Canberra City Farm.
That’s sure to be a motivating introduction to the four days of the 14th Australasian Permaculture Convergence that follows. CONNECTIVITY is the theme and the attendance of permaculture practitioners from across the country is sure to make that happen.
The Convergence will be based at Greenhills Centre in Cotter, starting Monday 16 April and ending on Thursday 19 April 2018. Tours, workshops and courses will follow across southeast NSW.
The Permaculture Festival is open to the public. Permaculture Convergence attendees are expected to have completed a permaculture design course or equivalent, or to be participating in a design course.

Register now for APC14

Permaculture Australia member special

$595 includes — convergence, shared accomodation and all meals.

Inhabit launches IPD 2017 in Sydney

International Permaculture Day 2017 in Sydney got underway with a well-attended showing of the permaculture film, Inhabit, at the  Randwick Community Centre.
As people came into the hall they were greeted with the music of Charlie McGee of the Incredible Vegetable Sound System whose permaculture-themed songs were appropriate for the day.

The introduction

Yummy food, brewed coffee and a variety of teas welcomed people as they took the time to socialise before the film. Interesting were the number who cycled to the event, one woman making the hilly ride from Bronte.
Representing Permaculture Australia, I briefly introduced the film and permaculture though more than a few there were already familiar with it, especially those who had attended the courses and workshops at the community centre. We looked at what permaculture is, what International Permaculture Day is and what Permaculture Australia is.

The film

Inhabit is a film about permaculture from the US. Themed around food production and environmental improvement and around 90 minutes in length, the film visits farms, suburban gardens, community gardens and a rooftop farm in the city that grows hydroponically.
What stood out is how many of those interviewed placed what they were doing in a philosophical framework. It was clear they had thought through the why and what of their work. Philosophy, we know, is about understanding the purpose, the methods, the contexts of what we do. It frames our work. Philosophy is no stranger to permaculture, as the film demonstrated.

After the film there was a group discussion about it.

The discussion

Following the film, attendees broke into three groups for a discussion around three focus questions, on per group. These were:

  • what did you find interesting in the film?
  • what motivated the people appearing in the film?
  • what projects could we do or what projects do you know of here?

This is what Fiona Campbell usually does with films that she shows at the community centre as part of her role as Randwick Council’s sustainability educator. It’s a successful tactic that lets people think through what they have seen and talk about it.
There was time for announcements at the end of the discussion. Virginia Littlejohn, from Permaculture Australia’s Permafund, reminded people that with the end of the financial year coming up, now might be the time to take advantage of Permafund’s tax-deductible status. I mentioned that the local, Clovelly, branch of Bendigo Bank would hold a Sustainability and Social Impact Forum at the Hub on 7 June with speakers on ethical/philanthropic investment and finance, affordable housing solutions, sustainable architecture, community gardens, environmental protection, composting, solar energy and permaculture.

The food

The discussion continued over supper — tasty corn fritters and pea and fetta fritters with a variety of dipping sauces; sliced capsicum, cucumber and raw beans for dipping; fruit salad; carrot cake; brewed coffee and teas.
A woman who attends many of the events at the community centre told me she had said to her husband not to make dinner for her because she knew that at the events Fiona organises attendees are well fed.

The evening

Seeing the people there, watching the way they discussed the film and how they socialised made me realise that International Permaculture Day is an event that brings people together and through which they become acquainted with the design system.
Mixing the learning opportunity with the opportunity to network and socialise around simple, good food has proven a successful formula.
Now, it’s on to International Permaculture day 2018.

View trailer

INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective from Costa on Vimeo.