Permafund Patron awarded the Order of Australia medal

Permafund Patron awarded the Order of Australia medal

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We are thrilled to announce that Rosemary (Rowe) Morrow has been awarded an Order of Australia medal (OAM) on 26th January 2021 for service to permaculture.

Permaculture is probably the world’s greatest people’s movement while being embraced from every place and people. This award celebrates this movement. It is perhaps Australia’s greatest export.” Rowe Morrow

For almost 40 years Rowe has worked extensively with communities in Africa, Central and South East Asia and Eastern Europe, including conflict zones and those experiencing the serious effects of climate change.

“This is wonderful news for Rowe to be acknowledged for her many decades of permaculture work around the world and especially with refugees and communities recovering from war. Rowe did her PDC with me in 1987, what an inspiration,” Robyn Francis, Permaculture Elder & Educator

Rowe has been recognized as a permaculture pioneer, was a previous Permaculture Australia Board Director, and is one of the Permafund patrons.

“Rowe has made such a huge contribution to permaculture in Australia and internationally – as an educator, author, teacher, mentor and international permaculture projects – including as our Permafund patron. The award is a great acknowledgement for the work she’s done and continues to do with communities across the globe”, Kym Blechynden, Permaculture Australia.

When not working overseas, Rowe is based in Katoomba, NSW and is an active member and co-founder of Permaculture for Refugees (pictured below) and Permaculture Blue Mountains. She is also passionate about making teaching sustainable and encourage others to succeed her as teachers. Her books include the Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture and the Earth User’s Guide to Teaching Permaculture.

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More information:

PA’s Permafund provides small grants to community permaculture groups across Australia and internationally. Since 2012 we have provided 54 grants in 16 countries. Donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia. Find out more including how to donate here.

Permaculture 4 Refugees South East Asia is a network of permaculture aid workers in Australia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and the Philippines, including members of PA’s Permafund. We work in partnership with local NGO’s to support permaculture training and resource development in displacement and crowded urban settings.

‘Fair Share’ Friday – two new Permafund projects

‘Fair Share’ Friday – two new Permafund projects

PA’s Permafund is thrilled to announce funding for another two grant projects thanks to funding from the Quaker Service Australia (QSA)

Firstly, introducing the Organic Food Kenya Project (OFK). The OFK believe in sustainable permaculture models that are integrated into a community’s culture and traditional methods of agriculture. Their motto “give people a fish, they eat for a day, but teach people to fish, and they eat forever”, aligns with their focus on providing education and support to reduce poverty and food insecurity.

“These are long term investments in the skills and assets of community members to be able to successfully participate in the course and gain lifelong knowledge. It is OFK’s firm belief that the best investments are in people and their success.”

The funding provided via PA’s Permafund will support community training in permaculture, positively impacting on 3000 community members, including women and children.

Our second new project will be implemented by the Rwanwanja Youth Innovation Group (RIYG) in Uganda.

Since permaculture came to the Rwanwanja refugee settlement, many people are impressed with it, especially youth because they are able to capture and adapt it. Parents are learning from their children and many backyard gardens have been created, though COVID-19 has had some impact

The funding provided via PA’s Permafund will assist RIYG to expand the permaculture activities already happening. This will include planting trees to protect the soil and provide food, composting, permaculture training, rain water collection &, establishing backyard gardens to support the monthly food ration.

More information:

PA’s Permafund provides small grants of less than $2000 AUD to community permaculture projects across the globe. Since 2012, we have funded 54 projects in 16 countries that support food security, seed sovereignty, regenerative farming practices and water harvesting thanks to your generous donations.

Donations over $2 in Australia are tax deductible and are a great way to enact the third permaculture ethic ‘fair share’. We have a further six projects on our waitlist we’d like to fund at the start of 2021, for more information including to donate click here.

PA’s Permafund supports a beekeeping project in Kenya

PA’s Permafund supports a beekeeping project in Kenya


The team from the OTEPIC Peace Project, represented by Coordinator, Philip Odhiambo Munyasia, thanks donors to PA’s Permafund for their support in promoting permaculture in Kitale Kenya.

In 2020, OTEPIC received a $2,000 Permafund grant for a beekeeping project.  This included establishing ten bee hives initially and training a core contingent of 70 local community members in beekeeping. A further 100 community members are being introduced to beekeeping as a means of generating personal incomes and reducing local poverty.  Youth leadership training is ongoing.


As an alternative local farming enterprise, beekeeping is already creating employment at a low level.  Four people are working on the bee project while learning to build bee hives to sell to the local market. Farm yields have also increased due to the availability of bees as pollinators.

OTEPIC’s apiary was established in April ’21 providing ongoing beekeeping business management training and demonstrations for members of the Biddi community.  By December 2021 members of the community will be sharing roles for the collective management of the apiary and the surrounding bee attracting gardens and food forest. 

Honey has been harvested twice already with a beeswax and propolis extraction process to be established by the end of 2021. Hives have been bought collectively and are being managed by OTEPIC project community members as a group demonstration site at the Upendo garden. 

To keep the bees in good health for the long-term sunflowers and nectar rich flowers have been planted, water sources made available and bee feeding stations are set up when required. 

There are many social and economic factors that cause division among communities and bee keeping has helped to bring people together to exchange and share, promoting unity and diminishing the divides of political and resource-based disagreements and conflicts.

The project has its challenges including transportation of materials, bee hives and volunteers to the working site. The unpredictable rainy season has affected the swarming season which helps add colonies for the bee hives. There wasn’t enough shade when the hives were first installed so fast-growing trees are being grown around them. 

A lot has been learned during the project planning process, which has served as a reminder to look at how each element is connected to the others and the importance of looking at whole systems and the complete vision when planning one aspect.

Members of OTEPIC and its neighbours have learned from every step of the installation of the bee keeping project and will be able to replicate the process in future projects. They have been inspired by the experience of collaboration and exchange with other regional projects such as the Garden of Hope project and will continue to look for these opportunities, Monitoring and evaluation of the project is ongoing. 

Donations to Permaculture Australia’s Permafund over $2 are tax deductible in Australia and support environmental and community building projects like the OTEPIC Beekeeping project. Find out more including how to donate here.

Competition time

Competition time

Thanks to the fabulous folks at Permaculture Principles we have copies of the beautiful 2021 Permaculture Calendar to give away throughout the rest of 2020. Filled with inspiring images & practical examples, the calendar showcases photo contributions from the broader permaculture community, including many of our PA members.

How to enter:
  • Sign up or renew your PA membership AND
  • Post on social media a photo and a short blurb (50 words or less) about one (or more) of the permaculture principles or why you’ve joined up with Permaculture Australia. When putting up your post make sure you tag @PermacultureAustraliaofficial and #permacultureaustralia so we can see your post to be eligible.

Don’t use social media? That’s fine – you can send your answer to us via email hello@permacultureaustralia.org.au with ‘calendar competition’ in the subject line.
We have six (6) calendars to give away between now and December 1st. Competition winners will be drawn on the 1st Oct, 1st Nov and 1st Dec respectively. We look forward to your responses.
Good luck!
More information:
Permaculture Australia members can also purchase a copy (or three!) of the calendar and receive a 10% discount as a PA member here. 100% of profits from the Permaculture Calendar are generously donated to PA’s Permafund to support permaculture projects across the globe.

PA’s Permafund has run five grant rounds since 2012 – funding 38 permaculture projects in 14 countries around the world. We are funded entirely by donations, read more about the different ways to donate here. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Fair Share Friday: Building community resilience with permaculture

Fair Share Friday: Building community resilience with permaculture

Thanks to your generous donations, PA’s Permafund has supported 59 projects in 17 countries. Each month we’ll bring you a wrap up of some of the projects being supported, so you can follow their progress and fantastic outcomes.

They say a picture tells a thousand words, so scroll through and check out the photo updates shared from Sustainable Communities Kenya. The team have been busy training farmers in organic farming skills, with more activities still occurring before the crop harvest occurs in July and August, and “are happy how our farmers have benefits so much because of the Permafund grant.”

The IRDS Project team in India have completed the training for fifty rural tribal farmers in growing tomatoes, brinjal, beans and castor oil and provision of seeds. This included a focus on eco friendly farm inputs, low cost crop tonics, and intercropping. Criteria used to determine the farmers included: young, has interest to try new methods in agriculture especially the integrated agriculture, allocate time to training and other project related activities, and has land to practice the new permaculture skills.

“IRDS expresses its sincere thanks to PA’s Permafund for their partnership. The farmers are taking care of their cultivation crops now, and they are happy to raise various crops in their lands that will ensure diverse crops and various out come as a result for their sustainable livelihoods.”

The reality and impact of COVID in India, was shared in the project update from Aranya India, with many team members, family and the project communities negatively impacted by COVID directly.

“The situation here isn’t as great. Many of our family, friends , staff and the farming community have been affected with COVID. We have started working on the one acre permaculture projects, however couldn’t continue with the sudden resurge in COVID cases. The villagers shut their boundaries and are not stepping out of their homes whatsoever.  However, we have managed to work a little bit with the help of our ground level staff and volunteers. As the monsoon is nearing, we have procured the plants for plantations and earthworks have started.”

And finally, we are thrilled to introduce a new project in Zambia. The Youth Empowerment for Development Initiative (YEDI) plans to train rural communities to improve land, become more resilience and sustainably produce food using permaculture principles.

The scope of the project is ambitious, aiming to not only teach permaculture but also to train local leaders to nudge farmers towards ‘climate smart agriculture’ where traditional beliefs at times hinder the adoption of sustainable practices. (For examples of such beliefs see Considering Religion and Tradition in Climate Smart Agriculture: Insights from Namibia).


Permafund will follow YEDI’s progress with interest, as its goals of land conservation and permaculture ideas may provide lessons for many projects in such hot, subtropical areas with limited rainfall.

For more information:

PA’s Permafund provides small grants for permaculture projects implemented by community organisations across the globe. Since 2012, we have supported 59 projects in 17 countries, thanks to generous donations. Permaculture Australia is a registered charity and registered environmental organisation, and donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia. To find out more, including how to donate here.