Donations Appeal for Permafund’s 2020 grant round

Donations Appeal for Permafund’s 2020 grant round

Dear Donors, Key Supporters and the Permaculture Community. 

Permaculture Australia’s Permafund is very grateful for your thoughtful, kind and generous donations over the past days, weeks, months and years. 

We are pleased to announce that the focus of Permafund’s 2020 grant round will be on the recovery from extreme weather events, including bushfires, plus designing for disaster in preparedness for the future. The recent crises here in Australia and internationally demand a response and a donation to Permafund is a meaningful way to contribute.

Permafund Chair, John Champagne of Bega Valley explains, “Permafund has been active over the past eight years assisting small NGO’s around the world with their permaculture initiatives. It’s important now to focus on the crisis we’ve experienced from extreme weather events and assist local permaculture groups effectively assist their communities in this time of need.”

Echidna hunting for water during the bushfires

The total of the donations made to Permafund at present is just short of the amount that triggers a micro grant round.

The Permafund team is calling for donations to help boost this total as high as possible before the 2020 grant round is opened for applications.

By making a one-off donation or setting up a regular donation on this website you will be supporting communities with funds to assist them to recover, restore and prepare for the future.

Essential water tanks destroyed by fire

We thank you in advance for your kind donations to support this important appeal.

Permaculture Australia’s Permafund team welcomes suggestions for partnering in fund-raising initiatives.

Donations to Permafund (Permaculture International Public Fund) of $2.00 or more are tax deductible in Australia. Many thanks.

For further information please contact

Bushfire debris on NSW South Coast beaches

The multiplying effect of donations to Permafund

“Every donation received has a multiplying effect in many countries around the globe and demonstrates the permaculture spirit of goodwill and sharing: …Rosemary Morrow

EVERY YEAR tax-deductible donations to Permafund change lives, both in Australia and around the world.
Permafund, the fundraising arm of Permaculture Australia, annually awards much-needed grants to organisations to fund permaculture-related projects.
Permafund patron, Rowe Morrow said, “Every donation received has a multiplying effect in many countries around the globe and demonstrates the permaculture spirit of goodwill and sharing”.

Permafund patron, Rosemary Morrow.

“The generosity of donors to Permafund has enabled the support of a raft of meaningful community projects in Australia, Africa and countries such as India, Haiti, Indonesia and beyond.
“The feedback Permafund receives from grant recipients illustrates what a massive difference even small donations can make to help communities alter their circumstances”.
For example, in Orissa, India, a project to reintroduce the long-forgotten practice of growing millet as a sustainable, staple alternative to water-hungry rice crops was made possible through generous donations to Permafund.
Feedback received: ‘Thank you Permafund for supporting this small but ambitious plan.’ G. John, THREAD Siddharth Village, Orissa, India.

Tribal women sorting the successful harvest of ancient millet varieties for sharing and sowing in their villages

Meanwhile in Kenya, Africa, hundreds of children participated in school tree planting projects to help counteract widespread deforestation, with support from Permafund.
A grateful message received said, “Greetings from the OTEPIC Kenya project. Hope you are doing fine, we are fine too working in our garden and also teaching more on permaculture to the communities here also the school tree planting project is doing great, it is wonderful seeing so many children happy about it” …Philip Odhiambo Munyasia, OTEPIC Project Coordinator

OTEPIC project students, their teachers and parents helped plant 5000 propagated trees.

And, in Indonesia, school children are learning how to plant and maintain permaculture gardens, harvesting fresh, tasty food for healthy eating at the  Sekolahku-MySchool project, Indonesia

“Children helped create this food garden at the Sekolahku-MySchool project, Indonesia.

One hundred percent of all donations received are allocated to projects like these. From an individual donation to giving the proceeds from a fundraising event or even a recurring corporate contribution, there are many ways ‘permies’ and supporters of permaculture can contribute to Permafund.
Rowe Morrow and her team of volunteers raised $1500 recently during a six-day residential course, Permaculture in Precarious Places, in the Blue Mountains, NSW. It was an example of an activity with more than one function:

  • a face-to-face gathering,
  • a learning opportunity
  • a fund-raiser.

It was a fun and productive way of supporting the work of Permafund.
Permaculture co-inventor, David Holmgren, his partner Su Dennett as well as Richard Telford and Oliver Holmgren of Permaculture Principles generously tithe ten percent of the profits from the sale of their products and publications to Permafund, a much appreciated contribution.

When John Champagne and Claude Marmoux invite local folk in the Bega area to their Open Gardens events once or twice a year, together they raise $1000 for Permafund over a weekend.

From Cameroon and Kenya in Africa to East Timor, India, Pakistan and Nepal in Asia and Haiti in the Caribbean, there is great potential to assist many more projects and regions with funds raised.
Chris Evans wrote, “That’s great news and many thanks on behalf of Himalayan Permaculture Centre and Sunrise Farm, Nepal”  which received a Permafund microgrant to help rebuild essential shelters.

Reconstruction of Sunrise Farm in Nepal after the earthquake.

“We’ve just had our first small harvest at the schools and the local business community were happy to start purchasing using the community currency. We are hoping to see it grow and grow”, said William O. Ruddick, Founder, Grassroots Economics Foundation.
“Fresh produce grown by the students provides organic food to trade in their community”.

Fresh produce grown by the students provides organic food to trade in their community — Grassroots Economics, Kenya.

Your donations or tithes of $2.00 or more are tax deductible as Permafund, (the Permaculture International Public Fund) has Deductible Gift Recipient status.
The new Permaculture Australia website has made donations to Permafund online easy.
Multiply your dollars today by donating to Permafund for its grants program.
Permafund, the planet, its people and the environment will wholeheartedly thank you for it.

Learn more about donating to Permafund

Donations of $2.00 or more to Permafund are tax deductible.



Permafund Review – Report


From Left:  Boyd Attewell – Sydney northern beaches, John Champagne – South Coast NSW, Jed Walker – Blue Mountains,  John McKenzie – Melbourne

We had a fabulous three days at Katoomba, a lot of work got done, relationships renewed and local walks explored. It was a very productive time and definitely worth making the journey.
Five members of the Committee participated, four in the room – Jed Walker, John Champagne, Boyd Attewell, John McKenzie, and the fifth, Christine Carroll via skype.
One non-committee person participated; Lachlan McKenzie via telephone. Lachlan lives in Darwin and previously worked in East Timor with Permatil a local NGO.   (Lachlan and John are not related)
Our conversations meandered widely but hopefully this offers a clear summary.

We acknowledged the committee members

As well as those mentioned above, others who have helped the Permafund committee have been Virginia Littlejohn, Alexia Martinez and Bruce Zell. Most of us have been on the committee for the past 2 years, all as volunteers and as a team we have a substantial breadth of skills, knowledge and contacts. We are a widely spread group with direct links to many local groups; Pc Blue Mtns, Pc Sydney North, Pc Melbourne, Pc Noosa, Pc Cairns and the informal permaculture community around Bega.
We considered our options for attracting more committee members and agreed to put that call out at APC12, that we need more people to share the work and help permafund grow.

We reviewed the Small grants program

This has been our main activity for the past two years. Two grant rounds have been done, in late 2012 and early 2014. A total of $13,000 has been distributed as $1000 and $500 grants.   Fifteen grants have been made to community projects around the world, four in Australia and eleven in seven other countries; Indonesia, Pakistan, Kenya, India, Haiti, Cambodia and New Zealand. A wide range of activities have been supported; food gardens in orphanages, community plant nurseries, resources for training centres, farmer field schools, welfare for rare breed sheep, etc   All were selected on the basis of criteria set be PA and criteria from the office of Environment Australia.
Expenses have been kept to a minimum, currently the only expense for the fund has been the bank fees of around $200, meaning approx 98.5% of the distributed funds have reached the community applicants.
Some projects took the opportunity for more communication with Permafund, seeking our advice and mentoring and some good relationships have been started with local communites. We can see how this contribution can be valuable, perhaps more valuable than the grant money.
We agreed the small grants program appeared to have provided useful assistance to needy communities, that it was an operation within the capacity of the committee, that it has been a substantial achievement for the committee to set up and was worth continuing with.
We considered some weaknesses in the small grants program and discussed options for improvement:


It has been a substantial workload to run the grant rounds. There’s been plenty to do and given we all have busy lives some tasks took a while to get done. We’ve been lucky that so few problems have occurred but we acknowledged improvement in our systems was possible. We agreed it was very difficult to expect one person to do it all and we confirmed our strategy of sharing project liaison tasks around a few people. We agreed that having one or two more people on the committee would help.
We acknowledged a gap in the coordination of the money transfers and agreed more oversight and communication was needed in the phase between proposal selection and transfer of the funds.
We acknowledged the file storage on the PA Google drive was not up to date, and this needed more attention.
We acknowledged we have little to show of the work from a couple of the projects and we need to maintain involvement with all projects.
We agreed that getting together for face to face meetings was a good approach for planning and reviewing and we set an aim to do it more frequently, hopefully as an annual event.
We considered the option of offering larger grant amounts and reducing the number of projects being supported. This would allow more impact for an individual grant and less grants to manage, allowing more time for mentor support or other committee activity.
Two projects were discussed in detail; a community planning project by AEE in Haiti and a publications project by Permatil in East Timor. We agreed these were very worthy projects and should be on our list for consideration in 2015, both financially and in non-financial ways.


We celebrated the donations received in the past two years but also recognised that $13,000 is not a lot of money, that we could aim higher. We considered some income generating ideas;

  • selling seeds,   street stalls selling garden produce
  • holding dinners, lunches, morning teas, open house days, film nights, speaking tours, collaborations with local groups
  • seeking more donations, crowd-funding, business sponsorship, bequests,
  • having a benefactor or high profile person speak for us,

Publicity and information

We agreed it would be useful to have some more publicity, articles written and more promotional materials – leaflets, powerpoint, internet, articles on the PA website and PA e-news, in Pip, ect.   We planned how to participate and promote at APC12.   We considered collecting film and photographs from the work supported by our grants. We could connect with PDC teaches sharing stories of Permafund grant projects.

We reflected on Permafund’s role within Permaculture Australia

Permafund is a committee of the PA organisation. It meets each month on a skype call and reports to the PA Board. It administers PA’s Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) fund, distributing the funds raised and undertaking the reporting requirements to Environment Australia and the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC). The three members currently registered as the funds ‘responsible persons’ are John Champagne, Chris Carroll and John McKenzie. One burden the fund puts on PA is the obligation to have an annual Audit and the cost of this is something the Permafund account may need to contribute toward in the future.
The benefit to PA of the Permafund committee’s work and the small grants program is a good-news story and supports PA’s effort to establish a name for itself for doing things and facilitating permaculture actions.

PA News — December 2014

Report compiled by John McKenzie, PA director, December 2014


News from the Directors

The 2014 AGM for PA was in August when new directors were elected.

Meet PA Directors:

  • Taj Scicluna (Melbourne)
  • Annaliese Hordern (Nimbin)
  • Morag Gamble (Crystal Waters)
  • Guy Stewart (Nimbin)
  • John McKenzie (Melbourne).

Departing are Drew Barr (Melbourne) and John Champagne (Bega). Drew and John both did a huge amount and are greatly missed but fortunately both are continuing in their committees, Drew on Accredited Permaculture Training (APT) and John on PermaFund, so they’re still deeply involved.

Interested in being involved with PA?

Anyone interested to be involved either at Board or on committees is welcome to contact the secretary — Taj on 0450 375 528
[button_link url=”” target=”blank” style=”blue” title=”” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]Meet PA directors 2014-2015[/button_link]

PA Annual report 2013

The PA Annual Report for 2013 is available on the PA website. This is the first time a PA Annual Report has been available for public distribution and it’s another step on the journey of PA being more open and accountable.
[button_link url=”” target=”blank” style=”blue” title=”” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]Download PA Annual Report 2013[/button_link]

10410423_888201857861356_9021364139610472683_nPA at APC12 — 9-12 March 2015 — Penguin, Tasmania

The PA Board is talking with the organisers of Australiasian Permaculture Convergence 12 (APC12) about:

  • presenting an update on PA’s journey of formation and to reference the discussions on this from the Cairns APC  in 2010
  • holding the 2015 AGM for PA at APC12.


PermaFund – Small Grants 2014

On International Permaculture Day the Permafund Committee notified seven community organisations that their request for a Permafund $1000 grant had been approved.
This year they were all international projects:

  • a small community nursery for bamboo production in Haiti, for AEE Haiti
  • support for a community training centre for rural skills in Cambodia, for Ockenden, Cambodia
  • resourcing a farmers & NGO network, in dryland Tamil Nadu, for FRSD in Madurai, India
  • an irrigation installation at a farmers training centre, for THREAD, in Orissa India
  • a food garden for an orphanage, for Umaja Orphanage, Kenya.

Two organisations had difficulty in arranging their bank account,  a community garden program in Southern Mexico and a community gardening training program in a medical institute in Cuba. These were worthy projects and we’re still hoping they can resolve their issues and be able to receive this grant.
We would like to thank all who have donated to PermaFund in the past two years, their generosity has allowed PA to provide the small grants program and support permaculture initiiatives in some of the world’s poorest communities.  We particularly thank:

  • Richard Telford
  • David Holmgren
  • Su Dennett
  • Caroline Smith and
  • Kerry Dawborn.

Permafund review — 2-4 January 2015 Hazelbrook NSW

Invitation and call for opinions. PA is holding an open meeting to review the fund’s progress and consider activities and direction for the coming year(s).
Our last gathering was in Katoomba in 2012 where the small grants program was initiated. Since then PA has distributed $11,000 in grants to 14 community projects in Australia and around the world.
This upcoming gathering in Hazelbrook will consider the impact and effectiveness of the small grants. We will hear from grant recipients, from PA members and from people active in permaculture and community development. The event is open and people are welcome to attend or submit an opinion for consideration. It will be a time for welcoming new ideas and involving new people.
Cost for meals and accommodation is expected in the range $50-150 (Members) or $70-170 (non members) depending on venues.  Payment will be on arrival but anyone thinking they may attend please lets us know ASAP to allow arrangements with venues.

For further information and registering:
  • Jed Walker ph 0407 433 181 e:
  • Boyd Attewell ph 0417 991 499 e:

[button_link url=”” target=”blank” style=”blue” title=”” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]PermaFund gathering and review details[/button_link]

APT training package and Agrifood Skills Australia

Agrifoods have commenced a project to include Permaculture qualifications in their Agriculture, Horticulture & Conservation (AHC) Training Package. This is the ‘scoping’ phase – describing jobs within the Permaculture sector and the associated skills and knowledge required, then mapping this to existing training packages to identify the gaps where new training components are needed. The development of the new components is expected to begin in early 2015.

To followup on APT issues contact Taj on 0450 375 528.

PA's December 2013 eNews

Networking with local permaculture groups around Australia

Networking permaculture groups and individual permaculture practitioners across Australia has been one of the roles of Permaculture Australia. Now, with Permaculture International Ltd having morphed into Permaculture Australia (PA), we’re getting serious about it.
pip-logo-largeThat’s why we’re sending you this, our first PA online newsletter. Along with our website and our association with Australia’s soon-to-be new permaculture magazine, PiP, we see the PA eNews as one of the main means of enacting networking opportunities Australia-wide.

Contributing to this eNews

So, here’s the idea. PA’s web services team are to pull together PA eNews on a regular basis. The actual frequency is still up for discussion but it could be every couple of months to start.  All you need do is send us news, stories, photos and whatever you would like included leaving sufficient time to place it in the PA eNews under a proposed section ‘Local group’s news’.
Your material could be short commentary pieces that would fit the eNews format or it could be a couple of descriptive, introductory paragraphs linking to an article, photo, video or sound file on your own website. If you don’t have a website we can put it up as a blog post on the PA site. You can see that posting stuff in the PA eNews is a way to drive visitors to your website, your social media and to your organisation.
Here’s where to send your material, PA website support, Fiona Campbell:
Join us in compiling a new directory of Australia’s permaculture groups
People want to find permaculture organisations near where they live and, sometimes, further afield.
Would you let us know your group’s correct contact details if the address where this email has been received is incorrect?
You can pass that info to PA email support, Ian Lillington:

Here’s to a productive and progressive 2014…
the PA team

 In this edition…

  • Permaculture Australia news:
    • PiP Magazine
    • Life membership for David Holmgren and Sue Dennett
    • New 2013-14 Board for PA
  • Permafund news
    • Permafund micro-grants now open for 2014
    • How to donate to Permafund and support awesome permaculture projects
    • Who is on the committee?
    • Other networking news
  • Accredited Permaculture Training news
    • re-acreditation
    • the committee
    • other education news
  • PA members courses and events listing
  • PA members directory listing
  • Networking event – the Australian City Farms & Community Gardens next national gathering in Hobart, 21-23 March 2014

[button_link url=”” target=”blank” style=”blue” title=”” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]View PA December 2013 eNews[/button_link]