Permaculture Australia (PA) is pleased to announce the introduction of incorporated memberships.

The memberships will enable local permaculture organisations and enterprises to join Permaculture Australia as organisations with formal affiliation and representation in the national permaculture entity.

This is an important milestone in the development of Permaculture Australia as a representative and effective voice for permaculture nationally. It will assist in facilitating better communication as a national movement and network and cooperate in developing support systems and services for local groups and initiatives around Australia.

Why incorporated memberships?

The primary reason is to provide a national umbrella to facilitate better communication and networking on a national level.

The permaculture movement in Australia has been somewhat fractured with individuals and groups doing great work in their own areas, but often in isolation, with no means of effectively connecting with groups and initiatives elsewhere. As members of a national umbrella organisation we can more effectively share and harness our collective wisdom, experience and aspirations to support each other and promote permaculture to the wider community.
Permaculture Australia is still evolving, and having formal membership of permaculture groups and organisations is an important part of this process.
Some of the opportunities that could emerge with a solid incorporated membership base may include:

  • improving our credibility for effective advocacy
  • becoming a forum for permaculture groups to identify ways that PA can support grassroots initiatives.
  • negotiating a group insurance policy

In the future, incorporated members may wish to establish or participate in a representative PA Council. Member-based organisations might wish to explore formal ways to affiliate their own members more directly with PA.
Also, many grants require demonstrating a broad representative community base, and as such the members of member organisations are counted. This increases the likelihood of success.  Where access to funding requires DGR status (Tax Deductible Gift Recipient fund, ie. PermaFund) it opens the potential for local member organisations to partner with PA for those applications.
For any of these above initiatives to be seriously considered, an incorporated membership base is the first practical step.

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Permaculture Australia board members meet with Permaculture Victoria’s management committee members to discuss how our organisations can work together. Top row from left: Richard Pang (Permaculture Australia) and Warwick Bone (P. Vic.). Bottom row from left: Guy Stewart (PA), John McKenzie (Permaculture Australia) and Mal Boyd (P. Vic.).

Who can become an incorporated member?

Any group or entity that is incorporated as an association, cooperative, company or trust can apply provided they satisfy at least one of the following incorporated membership criteria:

  • permaculture ethics are central to their aims and objectives as stated in the organisation’s constitution
  • permaculture practices are central to the organisation’s operations and activities, which would be stated in its constitution and/or annual reports or website.

This form of membership can apply to local permaculture groups and associations, permaculture-focused community gardens and city farms, transition groups, bioregional organisations, permaculture institutes, social enterprises and private businesses.

How does incorporated membership work?

Incorporated member organisations will nominate a representative who may:

  • have login access to member-only areas and functions of the PA website to promote their organisation and it’s activities
  • set up and moderate a web presence on the PA website for their group, such as a blog or discussion group
  • have voting rights at Permaculture Australia general meetings
  • be eligible for election to the PA (Permaculture International Ltd) board of directors
  • be eligible for all other rights and privileges of PA membership on behalf of their organisation
  • communicate information and ideas between their organisation and Permaculture Australia.

A nominated representative for an incorporated member organisation will need to:

  • be a responsible member of the organisation such as a committee member, director, office bearer, manager or other position of responsibility AND
  • have completed a PDC or have an APT qualification at the level of Certificate III or higher.

There are currently three different levels of incorporated membership available, with different annual membership fees.

  1. Small non-profit membership based organisations with up to 100 members. These may include incorporated associations, non-profit sharing cooperatives and companies limited by guarantee. These organisations will have one voting representative.
    The annual fee for this category currently is $60, or $55 with automatic annual renewal.
  2. Larger non-profit membership based organisations with over 100 members. These may include incorporated associations, non-profit-sharing cooperatives and companies limited by guarantee. These organisations will have two voting representatives.
    The annual fee for this category currently is $85, or $80 with automatic annual renewal.
  3. For-profit and profit-sharing incorporated entities such as companies, profit-sharing cooperatives and trusts and all non-membership based incorporated entities (include both for-profit and non-profit) such as trusts. These organisations and entities will have one voting representative.
    The annual fee for this category currently is $85, or $80 with automatic annual renewal.

Applying for incorporated membership

Please download the application form below then fill it out and email to:
Our board will then attend to approving your application, and will contact you.

A few FAQ…

We have a local permaculture group but it’s not incorporated, how can we join?

You are welcome to nominate one or more members of your unincorporated group to become an ordinary or associate member of PA and be the voice of your group within the organisation. If in the future your group incorporates it can then apply for incorporated membership.

I have a registered business name but am not incorporated, how can I affiliate my business with PA?

As a sole trader or partnership conducting a permaculture business or enterprise, you are most welcome to join as an individual ordinary or associate member. As a member you can then promote your business and services on the website and participate in PA member activities.

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