Permafund grant applications now open

Permafund grant applications now open

Permafund is pleased to announce the 2020 funding round is now open for applications.

What type of projects can be funded?

This year our focus is on the theme of resilient communities.  This means permaculture projects that prepare a community to withstand and recover from disasters such as fire, food shortages, cyclones, drought and disease will be viewed favourably.  Permaculture projects are more important than ever to help keep communities safe and strong. Applications are welcome from community groups in Australia and overseas. 


How much can I apply for?

Generally, we will distribute 5 to 10 grants of up to AUD $2000 (about USD $1360) in each grant round. Applicants are asked to be prepared to discuss their proposals and provide referees where required. 

The funds available are limited so please understand that not all applications can be approved for funding in this grant round. 


How do I apply?

The Grant Application form and Guidelines are available in PDF and Word documents below.

2020 Draft Grant-Guidelines (PDF)

2020 Draft Grant-Guidelines (WORD)

2020 Application-Form (WORD)

2020 Application-Form (PDF)

Please send the completed form and any supporting documents to before the closing date of 30th August 2020 (by Midnight Australia Eastern Standard Time). 


When will I know if my grant was successful?

Successful applicants will be notified by October 30th 2020.




Where can I send any queries?

Any questions can be sent to Mr Jed Walker, Grant Coordinator at 


We look forward to receiving your application. 



Making an ‘eco’ exit

Making an ‘eco’ exit

“Taking responsibility for what happens to us at the time of our death is our final gift to the earth”, David Holmgren, Retrosuburbia

Virginia Solomon

Composting is composting – we know how it works.  Could permaculture systems include composting us, after we die? That might not be so far away. Read more from PA Board Director & volunteer Virginia Solomon about making an ‘eco exit’ that incorporates the permaculture ethics. 




Once  I visited an industrial composting system dealing with the (horrendous) ‘collateral’ of battery chicken farming. It was a confronting experience. As I processed the awfulness of this particular composting system, it made me think. If thousands of chicken remains can be processed scientifically and returned to the earth, could something similar be done with human bodies?

Compost bays

Then, a few years later, some friends of mine were demonstrating how they set up their composting system. It was one of those 3-bay numbers with a cubic meter in each bay, but they had worked out precise quantities of everything and could show that it would in fact compost everything completely. My friend was a lab technician at a school. One day a fox was killed in front of their house, and she decided to lay it out on a freshly made compost heap in the hope that the composting process would clean up the fox’s skeleton and she could use it as a model in the science lab. So she arranged the creature carefully, covered it up and waited.

Three weeks later she returned to inspect the progress. Nothing remained of the fox other than its teeth, and part of the uppermost jawbone. The rest of the animal was an outline of white ash and a bit of fur. These stories demonstrate that human remains could be safely and scientifically composted. 


Composting burials

The state of Washington recently legalised composting burial with the world’s first facility for composting burial being developed that could process about 900 burials per year. According to Recompose (a US based outfit promoting the composting of human remains), the composting process sequesters carbon and saves the atmosphere a tonne of carbon dioxide per body when compared to cremation. I have not, however, been able to find a legal composting service in Australia.

Eco resilience – one of the garden areas at Virginia’s property.

Personally I would like to be composted and spread on my own garden. I realise this is not everyone’s idea of a perfect next phase, but at present it isn’t an option anyway. What other possibilities are there in Australia, if one wants to make as little footprint on leaving as we have been striving to make during our lives?

There is a very interesting exploration of the science and statistics behind alternative burial  systems in an article in the Conversation from January this year. The author, Emma Sheppard-Simms, also explores the relative costs of departing gracefully, and points out that the technology utilised by Recompose is likely patented which would make it expensive to duplicate. Perhaps there is an opportunity to develop another system? Composting is composting after all. We know how it works.


Natural burials

Natural burials have been growing in popularity, and there is a comprehensive guide developed by Gathered Here which directs people to funeral directors and find places or spaces in cemeteries. It doesn’t, however, suggest how one might avoid the funeral part and just arrange the burial.

The ashes of Virginia’s mother

Before my mother died, she told us that she wanted no funeral and no permanent memorial of any kind. She wanted to disappear and only remain in memory. Of course that is not possible as she was an artist who is outlived by her paintings, and we had to celebrate her life in some way  So, we had a giant afternoon tea plus gin, and invited everyone who had ever known her, but that was for them, rather than for her. In order to bypass the funeral director industry, and in the hope of remaining useful after death, she left her body to the University of Melbourne Medical School. There is a guide to the universities that take bodies for medical education. Once again, not for everyone, I imagine.



Coffins & the funeral industry

Jarlanbah Community graveyard, natural burials in a regenerating rainforest

In 2019, Australian Seniors’ Cost of Death Report found the average cost of a basic burial is $8,048, and a basic cremation costs $3,108 on average. The other issue that has environmental implications is the container in which one’s body is placed. Coffins are often made of laminated timber and sometimes even lined with lead. They have metal fixtures and fittings and, if a viewing is in order, will have synthetic satin linings and stuffing. Plywood and cardboard coffins exist, as do shrouds, and some people like to be laid to rest in other vessels such as cars and boats.


But of course the impact of the container adds to the impact of the body. Space in cemeteries is filling up, land is precious, so vertical burials are also now being practiced.

To return to Retrosuburbia and the chapter on Home Death, I had always thought that the funeral ‘industry’ was heavily regulated but, to quote David Holmgren again: “There are endless options with very few rules and regulations for funerals… very little is required by law.”  It varies from each state & territory, and even wthin these borders, so it may be worth doing some local enquiring. 


Bequests and wills

Planning for one’s exit and preparing one’d legacy is a very personal thing. A funeral and burial is one part of it, but there is also your will. How can you ensure that your life’s work continues, that your philosophical approach is respected and that you continue to be remembered the way you want to be? It is a delicate issue, but for any individual or organisation that has benefitted from a bequest or endowment, it is a source of profound gratitude. Many organisations, including Permaculture Australia, accept bequests, and stipulations can be included for how you wish the money to be utilised.


Additional information 

If you are in a position to gift a portion of your estate, Permaculture Australia would honour your gift and invest it in continuing to support permaculture nationally or via Permafund, supporting small grant projects globally.  Details including suggested wording for your bequest can be found here or contact for more information.

Retrosuburbia: the downshifters guide to a resilient future, by David Holmgren shows how Australian suburbs can be transformed to become productive and resilient in an energy descent future. It focuses on what can be done by an individual at the household level (rather than community or government levels), including a chapter on Health, Disability and Ageing. Copies can be purchased here or via one of the PA supporters offering a 10% discount to PA members.


Additional reading

Eco burial grounds and home funeral options on the rise

Ashes to ashes, dust to compost: an eco friendly burial in just 4 weeks





Limestone Permaculture: permaculture principled homesteading

Limestone Permaculture: permaculture principled homesteading

PA professional members Brett, Nici, Trae & Bronte from Limestone Permaculture Farm, are based in the picturesque Stroud Road Village on the mid-north coast of NSW. The property kicked off in 2010 initially as a project to move rural, design & create a productive small acre permaculture farm. Ten years on, the farm demonstrates that a thoughtful design process, based on permaculture ethics & principles, is essential to achieve a balanced, healthy & bountiful farm, homestead & garden.  PA’s Kym chats with Brett and Nici about permaculture living, the importance of community networks & the determination to continue to build resilience, skills and sharing


Tell us about the journey of Limestone Permaculture.

Our awakening began around 2003 when Nici became increasingly unwell with an immune-related illness whilst we were residing in Newcastle. This fuelled our need to provide a more organic life for our family & re-ignited Brett’s childhood gardening upbringing. So it started with growing, eating & living organically and grew ‘in abundance’ to encompass sharing, community gardening, researching and not long after… permaculture! In 2020 we are enjoying working as a family on our beautiful farm providing permaculture principled education & demonstration, homesteading skills & farmgate Co-op fresh produce. We also implement permaculture principled projects within our community, schools & wider region. For us at Limestone Farm, permaculture means embracing a ‘Whole of Life’ living system with an essential ‘Evolving Design Process’ at its core, fundamentally striving for a naturally sustainable & resilient life, guided by Permaculture Ethics & Principles. In addition, permaculture organically & mutually integrates human needs with climate, landscapes, plants, animals, structures & community.”


There are many examples of permaculture principles at your property – what are your favourites?

Some of our favourite principled design elements include: Catch & Store energy: our outdoor woodfired oven that gives us at least 3 days cooking from one initial burn. Design from Patterns to Detail: the orchard on water harvesting contour swales, provides a range of fruit year-round and is an evolving habitat for our farm’s wildlife. Use Small & Slow Solutions: the duck pond doubling as a silt trap that overflows into a series of smaller swale silt traps for slowing water movement, collecting nutrient dense silt/soil for re-use in surrounding gardens. Use Edges & Value the Marginal: the Hybrid Shade House for tender sub-tropical production that doubles as the Quail Amazon. Integrate Rather than Segregate: the main poultry run that integrates duck layers, duck breeders, chicken layers, exclusion grow tunnels, firewood storage and micro food forest.and not to forget Produce no Waste: the ‘Gentleman’s Pissatorium’ that inoculates hay bales in readiness for hot composting.


Your website talks about building a positive future for yourselves as well as the community. How important are community networks and what activities are you involved in?

Permaculture micro farm, Gloucester High school. Photo credit: supplied by Limestone Permaculture

Our regional network groups are the anchor to build community resilience & a skilled & sharing community! We have many hard-working groups including other permaculture educators, Permaculture Hunter, Young Farmers Connect, Hunter Organic Growers, Slow Food Hunter Valley, local Landcare groups… just to name a few. These groups along with Limestone Permaculture & our local town groups underpin our community engagement, inclusive planning, local skill development & volunteer strengthening. Our latest community initiative is the design, planning & implementation of a Permaculture Micro-Farm at Gloucester High School (NSW) with stage one earth works nearing completion.


It’s been a rocky 2020 so far for many. How has this impacted on your property – and did you make any changes in your property design?

Aerial photo of Limestone Permaculture. Photo credit: Limestone Permaculture

There is no doubt that the last twelve months has many reassessing their current way of life and future goals. Debilitating drought, devastating bushfires & pandemic isolation has proven to be an important time for observation, analysis & interaction. The pandemic reinforced our determination as a family unit to continue to upskill & educate ourselves, make & create, grow, produce, preserve and share all that we do. It also further emboldened our passion for resilience, yet reaffirmed the importance to be part of a supportive & regenerative regional network. During the drought & bushfires, the overall design held true and it made for a great opportunity to take note of the farms various systems & elements, what survived, what thrived and what failed.

Some of the changes we made and are still making include:

  • Additional north to west facing deciduous trees to eliminate afternoon summer sun
  • Additional bio-fertiliser barrel spreaders & overflow water storage to enhance water security & soil life
  • Overhead Animal Arbours to promote shade in summer and expand growing areas
  • Additional exclusion tunnels to assist shading annual crops as part of the function.


You’ve been doing Zoom presentions for community groups during the pandemic and in lieu of payment, asked for groups to donate to Permafund instead – thank you! Why did you choose to donate to Permafund? 

Apart from charitable groups & individuals, Permafund offers those making a living from their Permaculture Ethical & Principled Businesse to share the abundance on another level, not unlike sharing produce and knowledge within your community. We may not always have the opportunities or capabilities to assist with projects outside of our region but donating through Permafund, which is part of our Fair Share Ethic, is a way we can help to support those that can. This support assists projects to ‘Care for the Earth’ & ‘Care for People’ & life in general.


What is coming up for the rest of 2020 – and any final messages?

With only one PDC to complete this year due to restrictions & our shortened time frame, we are undertaking various on-farm projects & expanding upon our food production. We are constantly upgrading the farm to also enhance the experience for future students & visitors alike. Our usual busy schedule of farming, homesteading, educating, consultation, regional projects and community support continues as does our passion for knowledge & experience! We see 2020 as an opportunity for reflection and positive change for many. Daily life is no longer as dependable. We all feel the need for safety & degrees of self-reliance. From healthy soils to a healthy gut (and everything in between), we are making it our business to pass on as much of our knowledge & skills as possible to hopefully enable others to live healthier & happier lives.

Additional information

Limestone Permaculture are a professional member of Permaculture Australia, the national permaculture member based organisation. Not a member? Sign up and join us here today.

PA’s Permafund has provided dozens of small grants to permaculture community projects in Australia and internationally. Donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia and can be set up as recurring or one off donations.  Find out more including how to donate here

Limestone Permaculture provide property tours, design consultancy, permaculture courses (PDC and intro courses), school farm tours and a farm gate stall. For more details check out their website, Facebook and Instagram page(s).  Watch and listen to more about Limestone Permaculture via the Happen Films podcast and short film below.






Beck Lowe: Frugal, productive living is a fulfilling way of life

Beck Lowe: Frugal, productive living is a fulfilling way of life

Beck Lowe is a permaculture practitioner, educator, writer and editor from central Victoria. She’s been teaching permaculture for almost two decades and written in various publications including Pip magazine. She is also David Holmgren’s editor, in particular with RetroSuburbia, and manages Melliodora Publishing, which produces a small range of permaculture related titles. In her spare time, she spends as much time as possible on her farm. PA’s Kym chatted with Beck about life during COVID,  permaculture as a solution, & living a frugal, productive & fullfilling way of life.


How did you get into permaculture? 

I first got into permaculture in the mid-90s. Prior to that, I had gone straight from school into activism, protesting again the destruction of old growth forests amongst other things (I got my year 12 results in jail!). The world is full of things to protest about, and consequently my life was very focused on the negative. So discovering permaculture was a revelation for me – an articulation of a positive way forward, focused on the solutions rather than the problems. I’ve been on the permaculture path ever since. Permaculture is about creating a life that is resilient, regenerative and fulfilling, whilst respecting and working with nature.


David Holmgren and Beck Lowe.

You have a big involvement with Retrosuburbia, including editing the book and teaching. What advice would you give to those starting out, or who think permaculture is only possible with land and/or money? 

Yes, RetroSuburbia has been a very big part of my life for quite a few years now! It has an emphasis on doing what you can, where you are. Permaculture is a mindset and a way of life – there are opportunities for everyone, whatever their situation. I would encourage people to look at the case studies on, especially the rental properties, and immerse themselves in the ‘Behavioural Field’ of RetroSuburbia for inspiration. And visit some community gardens – these provide great spaces, and community, for those who can’t grow food at home. I don’t want to gloss over the fact that many things can be easier with more money, more space and greater security of tenure, but creativity and flexibility can blossom in any situation. Most Australians live in urban areas, so that’s where the transformation has to happen.


You’ve recently donated to PA’s Permafund – thank you! Why did you choose Permafund?

The permaculture ethics are intrinsic to what I do. Although I earn well under the average Australian wage, a permaculture lifestyle is relatively frugal and I’m conscious that I’m very wealthy by global standards. So it felt right to share some of this income, especially as my increased workload in recent times has left less time for volunteer activities. Once I made a decision to donate, Permafund was pretty much a no-brainer – it is a charity that aligns with my ethics and outlook on life and is run by volunteers with the maximum amount of money going directly to grassroots projects.


One of your many hats is teaching permaculture and volunteering with the PA Education team. How important is permaculture education as part of building more resilient communities? 

I think permaculture education is critically important in building resilience – but this doesn’t necessary mean formal education, it might be kitchen-table-chat-type education. There is no one way that permaculture education should look. Diversity is key: some people respond best to one-to-one interaction with mentors, others to hands-on practical activities, others to formal course structures. This is the idea behind the RetroSuburbia Trainers and Facilitators Workshops. Rather than specifying a particular course format, we aim to give participants the tools and inspiration to tailor formats and activities to suit the groups they work with.

I have been involved with Accredited Permaculture Training for many years as it provides outcomes that other delivery platforms can’t. For instance access to funding and formal certificates recognised by a wide cross-section of society. That said, by far my favourite way to teach permaculture is on PDCs: a tried and tested format that has inspired so many people from all over the world for decades. It is long and/or intense enough to take participants on a real journey of discovery.


It’s been a rocky start to 2020 for many – has life changed much for you with COVID-19 restrictions?

There were no big fundamental changes to my life – but restrictions did result in a lot more screen time with a greater workload and many more online meetings! Some courses I was involved in were adapted for online delivery; others were put on hold. There was a huge rush from the RetroSuburbia team to get the book online, to enable it to be accessed by as many people as possible at a time where it could have the most impact – this was very successful, but also very stressful. On a personal level, COVID-19 has reinforced to me that I have made good life choices. As the crisis hit, I felt resilient and empowered, with a strong sense of being rich in the things that matter: I have food in the garden, skills and knowledge to share, and a community of like-minded, supportive people (and no worries about what to wipe my bum on!).


There has been a huge interest in permaculture and calls to ‘not return to normal’. Will this interest continue – and how can we advocate for ongoing change?

Before and after – the transformation of Beck’s property

The increased interest in food growing, permaculture and Retrosuburbia has been inspiring and exciting, but even the panic buying and stockpiling exposed the lack of faith people have in the current systems. COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for many; a chance to reassess life and make changes. And critically, COVID-19 has shown that change is possible – not only from the bottom-up, with people rediscovering household food production and the importance of community, but also from the top-down, with those in power making big changes when they regard the situation as serious enough.


I would love to think that we won’t return to ‘normal’ and will voluntarily transition to a more resilient, sustainable, regenerative and connected society, but I don’t think this will happen easily. I suspect more people will be forced into frugal ways of living by the financial fallout of the crisis rather than by making the transition voluntarily. Whether change is forced or voluntary, the permaculture response should be the same – offering tried and tested solutions. The best way to advocate is to lead by example – go about our permaculture lives and through that, show people what is possible. And we need to articulate that frugal, productive living is a fulfilling way of life: meaningful work, more time with family and loved ones, more dirt under the fingernails… That said, there is a role for more formal advocacy too; we definitely need more permaculture voices in the mix as society grapples with the crisis.


What is coming up for you in 2020 and any final messages?

Melliodora Publishing is launching its first novel – 470 by well-known permaculture writer Linda Woodrow. And Brenna Quinlan, Richard Telford, David Holmgren and I have been working on a picture book adaption of David’s ‘Aussie St’ story which will also be published this year. I’ve been working on a permaculture animal book for many years, and this should see the light of day soon too. All going according to plan, another PDC is about to start through the Castlemaine Community House, and the RetroSuburbia Trainers and Facilitators Workshops should be running again soon. On the farm, I’m doing lots of work on my water systems and making the most of the recent rain by planting more trees.

My final message? Especially in this time of crisis, permaculture people are some of the most important people in the world – we have the skills and knowledge to guide people through the transformation to a more localised, sustainable and resilient society. Keep up the great work everyone!


Additional information

Beck is a professional member of Permaculture Australia, the national permaculture member based organisation. Not a member? Sign up and join us here today.

Retrosuburbia: the downshifters guide to a resilient future is the latest book by David Holmgren and edited by Beck Lowe. Described as part manual and part manifesto, the book shows how Australian suburbs can be transformed to become productive and resilient in an energy descent future. It focuses on what can be done by an individual at the household level (rather than community or government levels). To obtain a copy of the book check out our supporters Permaculture Principles and don’t forget to use your PA 10% member discount too.

PA’s Permafund has provided dozens of small grants to permaculture community projects in Australia and internationally. Donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia and can be set up as recurring or one off donations.  Find out more including how to donate here

‘Fair Share’ in action

‘Fair Share’ in action

“The ethics earth carepeople care and fair share form the foundation for permaculture design and are also found in most traditional societies. Ethics are culturally evolved mechanisms that regulate self-interest, giving us a better understanding of good and bad outcomes”, Permaculture Principles


Permaculture ethics: Fair Share

The Permaculture ethic of ‘Fair Share‘ is related to setting limits and redistributing surplus in times of abundance. The icon of the pie and a slice of it represents the taking of what we need and sharing what we don’t, whilst recognising that there are limits to how much we can give and how much we can take.

There are many ways we can enact the ‘Fair Share’ ethic – including  donating surplus income to your organisation of choice including PA’s Permafund.


Fair Share: supporting Permafund

Permafund provides small grants to permaculture community projects in Australia and internationally. Dozens of project have been funded supporting seed banks, water harvesting, permaculture training, food security projects and composting toilets to name a few.

We are thrilled to acknowledge a small number of our Permafund 2020 donors here (noting there are many more!) while showing the different ways Permafund support can be provided.

Note, this is not a definititive list, and we extend a huge thank you to all of our Permafund donors for their generous support.


1. One off donations

PA member Beck Lowe, 2020 Permafund donor.

Donations can be made any time of the year, including in the lead up to the ‘end of financial year’, for an amount you choose. A huge thank you to PA members including (but not limited to) Beck Lowe, Claude and Helene Marmoux, Permacoach and Milkwood Permaculture who provided donations this EOFY.

The permaculture ethics are intrinsic to what I do. Although I earn well under the average Australian wage, I’m conscious that I’m very wealthy by global standards.  Once I made a decision to donate, Permafund was pretty much a no-brainer – it is a charity that aligns with my ethics and outlook on life and is run by volunteers with the maximum amount of money going directly to grassroots projects,” Beck Lowe


PA members Milkwood Permaculture, Permafund 2020 donors.

We love that Permafund is an effective way to distribute fair share – it’s great to be able to donate to an organisation that we know gets the funds straight to communities and projects that need it,”  Milkwood Permaculture





2. Regular or tithe donations

Set up regular payments to Permafund – for which you choose the donation amount and frequency. A huge thank you to PA Patron & Formidable Vegetable frontman Charlie McGee, Koren Helbig and several other members (who wish to remain anonymous) for donating using this method. Fast, easy and a set amount each week tithed automatically to Permafund.

Charlie McGee, Permafund Patron & frontman of Formidable Vegetable

“When I started making a small surplus from my music, it seemed like the obvious thing to do was to tithe some of my income to Permafund, so that the music could also directly benefit people practicing permaculture on-the-ground… Permafund was a great way that I could give back to the community and adhere a bit more to the ethics of Earth Care and Fair Share”, Charlie McGee, Formidable Vegetable.


Koren Helbig with Gertie the Bantum chicken

“I choose to donate monthly to Permafund as it’s a super simple way to contribute to meaningful impact in Australia and further afield. Permaculture has been such an inspiring force for good in my life over recent years and I’m keen to pay this forward. I love the idea that my small contribution helps fund all sorts of fabulous permaculture projects, and hope these can become a catalyst for positive change for other people and our mighty planet,” Koren Helbig




3. Partnership or business donation

The fabulous folks at Permaculture Principles donate 100% profits from the sale of the Permaculture Calendar each year to Permafund – amazing!

“It has been important for me to ‘walk the walk’, so the entire design process, production and sale reflects the ethics and principles that [the calendar] displays. We have always encouraged community participation in the contributions for the calendar, so I felt the need to give back to the permaculture community. Permafund was set up for this purpose. I hope that our model can inspire others to ‘return the surplus’ and demonstrate our ethics,”  Richard Telford, Permaculture Principles.


4. Event fundraiser using social media or other methods

Facebook has an online Fundraiser tool that has been used by Permafund supporters including the tiny house concert launch of the ‘Climate Movement‘ collaboration with Brenna Quinlan, Charlie McGee and Spoonbill.

PA Life member Robyn Francis also used the Facebook donation option recently for her birthday – resulting in the donation aim being met and exceeded well in advance – thanks Robyn and friends!

Says Robyn “For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Permafund. I’ve chosen this charity because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope that you’ll consider contributing as a way of celebrating with me. All donations to this fund are given out as micro-grants to grassroots community projects making a big difference, in Australia and overseas. Every little bit will help me reach my goal – making the world a better place with Earthcare, Peoplecare and Fairshare”.


5. Donation in lieu of presenter fee(s)

PA members Brett and Nici Cooper at Limestone Permaculture completed *lots* of online workshops & events during Covid-19 restrictions – and requested participants to donate to Permafund in lieu of presenter fees – yeah!  A huge thank you for their generous support and to Permaculture Toowoomba, among others, who made a donation in their name too.

“Permafund offers those making a living from permaculture to share the abundance on another level, not unlike sharing produce and knowledge within your community. We may not always have the opportunities or capabilities to assist with projects outside of our region but donating through Permafund, which is part of our Fair Share Ethic, is a way we can help to support those that can. This support assists projects to ‘Care for the Earth’ & ‘Care for People’ & life in general,” Limestone Permaculture

6. Bequests

PA has been fortunate to receive a numbef of bequests which have been gratefully received.  To assist you with leaving a gift in your will to PA, including Permafund, we have compiled suggested wording and information here. Please contact for further information.

Want to know more?


Donations to Permafund over $2 are tax deductible in Australia with donations received supporting projects in Australia and internationally. More information about Permafund can be found here. We are incredibly grateful to all of the generous donors to Permafund throughout the year for their support – thank you.

The Permaculture Principles website has great examples and information about each of the permaculture ethics and principles, including Fair Share. You can also listen below to Not The End by Formidable Vegetable, which represents the ethic Fair Share and is available on the album Grow Do It. 


Permaculture training and a Permafund grant gets water storage for Amir’s school in Bangladesh

Permaculture training and a Permafund grant gets water storage for Amir’s school in Bangladesh

Permafund Patron Rowe Morrow and Amir Hossain, Coxs Bazar Bangladesh 2019

When Amir Hossain joined a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) on the edge of the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar some people were surprised. One of the facilitators, Rowe Morrow was not.  Amir had not been invited to the PDC but had heard about it and turned up just as it started and sat on the side. He was of course invited to participate.

Jed Walker, from PA’s Permafund Committee talks with Rowe Morrow, Permafund Patron, about supporting the communities in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.


“People like Amir just seem to find permaculture” Rowe says, speaking from her home in Katoomba. “He was so keen and he really got it. Near the end of the course, he came and asked for his personal presentation, not of his home or camp, but the primary school where he teaches. He was glowing with enthusiasm because the application of permaculture principles to that land shouted to him. So he came to our hostel and presented to us one evening and then pleaded with us to come and visit the school where he had already started to implement some work around toilets and grey water.  We were able to visit the school and assisted with planting the first trees.  Amir had the local Imam and mosque community enthusiastic as well.” say Rowe Morrow.


Amir Hossain, Coxs Bazar Bangladesh 2019

When visiting the site he designed for his primary school, Amir’s expression betrays how crucial it is that this plan becomes a reality. The site, a tiny school, several kilometres from the PDC course he attended, had few plantings and no reliable water source even in the Bangladeshi monsoonal climate. The only water pumped from a nearby river was a slurry from the sand mining operations that constantly erode the surrounding rivers and rice paddies, The landscape itself is already denuded of native forest due the encroachment of the huge refugee camp with its human needs for cooking food, shelter and keeping warm.


The Quaker Service Australia partnered with the Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development (BASD) to run the course, with a team of permaculture teachers, including Jed and Rowe. When all of the stakeholders met at the site it was decided that a water tank was critical for Amir’s design to succeed.

Permafund provided a micro-grant of $500 and BASD facilitated the transfer to the village for the new tank. The CEO of BASD, Mr Boniface Gomes, tells us that the water tank is now installed at the primary school site, which is crucial to providing safe water with the upcoming monsoon season and current COVID-19 pandemic.

Cox’s Bazar camp, Bangladesh 2019. Photo credit: Kym Blechynden.

As of June 2020, there are 1772 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Coxs Bazar district (and 40 in the camps), and multiple fatalities reported. With nearly one million people living within a few square kilometres in temporary shelters, the camp is vulnerable to a swiftly spreading outbreak and the imminent monsoon season. The Permafund team hopes that the presence of the water tank and associated permaculture training will assist the communities to respond during this time.



The course Amir attended was one of a series of eight held in Greece, Iraq, Turkey, Bangladesh, and Malaysia for refugees and led by Rowe during 2019/20. Five of these courses were funded by Quaker Services in Australia. One member of the Permafund team, Jed Walker, and Rowe Morrow, Permafund Patron, were part of the teaching team.

PA’s Permafund has provided small grants to dozens of permaculture community projects in Australia and internationally since 2012. Donations over $2 are tax deductable (in Australia) and can be set up as one off or recurring donations. To find out more, including how to donate, please click here. Thank you in advance for your support to PA’s Permafund.