PA Life Members

Permaculture Australia has hundreds of individual, professional and organisation members working and volunteering in permaculture at the local, regional and global level. Our members are involved in permaculture teaching, advocacy, food security projects, international aid, water & waste management, disaster preparedness and response, landscape and permaculture design, to name a few.

We would like to acknowledge our Life members of Permaculture Australia, listed alphabetically below. These members have have substantially contributed to the permaculture field in Australia and internationally (and continue to do so).

Colin Endean

Photo and bio coming soon.

Robyn Francis

Robyn Francis has worked throughout Australia and internationally since 1983. Robyn was the founding director of Permaculture International Ltd (PIL) in 1987, editor of the Permaculture International Journal, designer and creator of Djanbung Gardens and founder of Permaculture College Australia. She was also involved in developing and the early delivery of the Accredited Permaculture Training™ (APT) vocational permaculture qualifications. Robyn walks her talk on her property, Djanbung Gardens in northern NSW and is passionate about all things permaculture.  She has dedicated the past four decades empowering people to be effective agents of change and her students include some of permaculture’s leading teachers and activists.

You can read more about Robyn in our interview with her here:


Russ Grayson

After discovering the first two permaculture books in Tasmania in the late 1970s, my journey in permaculture really started when Robyn Francis, then a Sydney-based permaculture educator, walked into the Sydney radio station where I was doing news and current affairs. We produced a series of short pieces on the design system. I also did Robyn’s first Permaculture Design Course.

Over the following years, and with Fiona Campbell, I was involved with Permaculture Sydney and associated with the Permaculture Epicentre, Sydney’s permaculture hub in inner urban Enmore. There we cut and pasted together with the team the Permaculture Sydney newsletter (later to become the Permaculture Web), Permaculture Sydney’s quarterly publication.

Moving on from editing a specialist newsletter for the then-emerging environmental industries sector, the organisations I worked for might not have been directly concerned with permaculture, however they had an affinity with it.  With the revegetation agency, Greening Australia, I became community liaison; at Calmsley Hill City Farm in south-western Sydney I was a landcare educator. Following that was my work as program manager and development educator with the international development NGO, APACE (Appropriate Technology for Community and Environment) on a food security and farmer education program in the Solomon Islands, and project managing a small business startup/metals recycling project based in Lae, PNG.

Back in Sydney, collaboration with Darren Phillips, Morag Gamble, Fiona Campbell and others gave birth to the national community gardens network, now called Community Gardens Australia. Later, that experience proved valuable when I took on the community gardens and landcare coordinator’s role with the City of Sydney, a role social enterprise educator, Ernesto Sirrolli, told me was really that of a ‘civic entrepreneur’ assisting community groups make a start in urban food production.

Other food-related roles came as a team member of the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance. With Brisbane Food Connect social entrepreneur, Robert Pekin , ACT fair food advocate Michael Croft and food systems educator, Nick Rose I was one of the team who in 2010 started the food advocacy organisation, the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance. Around that time I worked with food hub, Sydney Food Connect,  as a regional collection point coordinator.

Fiona and I ran an urban Permaculture Design Course  in Sydney through the 1990s via our agency, PacificEdge Permaculture.

My background in print, radio and photojournalism steered me towards a role in permaculture journalism. My Diploma in Permaculture Design was awarded in the media speciality. Following the cessation of the print journal, Permaculture International Journal in 2000, with Fiona Campbell I set up a new website and print newsletter for Permaculture Australia as it moved into the post-PIJ period.

As well as  working in communications for Permaculture Sydney, Community Gardens Australia, Sydney Food Fairness Alliance, the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance and Permaculture Australia at different times I maintain an interest in the history of the permaculture design system and blog about permaculture on my Permaculture 3.0 site on the online publication, Medium, where I also write on travel in a van.

On two occasions, spanning a number of years, I served on Permaculture Australia’s board of directors. In 2016 at the permaculture convergence in Perth, Western Australia, I was awarded the ‘permaculture elder’ status. My story was published in the book Permaculture Pioneers.

Watching permaculture evolve over the years I see how it changed and I also see how it can play a valuable role, both individually and socially, as we enter a period of economic, political and environmental instability. The blend of people who make permaculture what it is might be quarrels at times but they are a creative bunch who give birth to good ideas. It is from them that permaculture has become a platform of ideas and characteristics upon which its practitioners develop useful applications.

You can read about a story we did with Russ here.



David Holmgren

David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. Since then he has developed three properties, consulted and supervised in urban and rural projects, has taught/lectured globally and written multiple books. His writings over three decades span a diversity of subjects and issues but always illuminating another aspect of permaculture thinking. At home (Melliodora in Hepburn, Central Victoria), David is the vegetable gardener, silviculturalist and builder. David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependent consumerism. He is passionate about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability, the focus of his seminal book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability and his Future Scenarios work has seen him recognised as a significant thinker about the “Energy Descent future.” After a decade of significant international travel, David is no longer flying   and has been touring Australia sharing his Aussie Street presentation and promoting his new book, Retrosuburbia.