Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Course

A 12 day intensive experience with one of the leading permaculture exponents and teachers, John Champagne.

John has taught almost 50 Permaculture Design Courses in Australia and overseas in his over 10 years of teaching. He is supported in this course with qualified, experienced teachers such as Aaron Sorensen, Daniel Deighton, Kathleen McCann, Dean Turner and Julie Davies as well as other guests.

The course is taught at a purposefully, permaculture designed education centre in the Bega Valley with onsite accommodation options. Site visits to a variety of properties applying the Permaculture Principles, from urban to hectares demonstrates the diversity of permaculture theory and strategies.

The course is a mix of theory and practical and covers climatic and landscape differences, issues and strategies.

Completing a face to face 12 days course is a wonderful opportunity to create space for yourself in a busy world. During the 12 days you will learn through interacting in a supportive social environment with ample opportunity for discussion and group work. Through the design exercises and other practicals you will be able to apply your new knowledge while at the same time being able to ask question and get clear immediate answers in a safe and friendly environment.

One of the longest running permaculture courses in NSW and one of the best. Join us for a course that will change your life.

2021 Autum PDC (14 day course)

2021 Autum PDC (14 day course)

A Limestone Permaculture Design Certificate course offers real time examples of a successful design process and transitioning sustainable living systems on a successful working permaculture principled homestead! This is the backdrop for your PDC learning experience…!
https://www.limestonepermaculture.com/permaculture-design-certificate
Dates: Feb – 27th & 28th, Mar – 13th & 14th / 27th & 28th, April – 10th & 11th / 24th & 25th, May – 8th & 9th / 22nd & 23rd,

Lead teacher > Brett Cooper of Limestone Permaculture – https://www.facebook.com/LimestonePermaculture/
7x Guest specialist teachers – https://www.limestonepermaculture.com/pdc-guest-teachers-bio
3x offsite Permaculture farm visits
Loads of Demonstration
Hands on Learning

BEGA HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

BEGA HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

A full HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT course taught by Educator, BRIAN WEHLBURG of Inside Outside Management.

– Improve your profitability with sound Decision Making and Holistic Financial Planning
– Learn to use animals as tools to create positive change
– Improve soil health and biodiversity
– Learn to monitor the ecological health of your land.
Holistic Management provides a solid foundation for Regenerative Agriculture.

Four 2-day sessions, 4-8 weeks apart
Session dates

Session 1 November 3-4
Session 2  November 30 – December 1
Session 3 January 19-20
Session 4 February 16-17

BATHURST HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

BATHURST HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

A full HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT course taught by Educator, BRIAN WEHLBURG of Inside Outside Management.

– Improve your profitability with sound Decision Making and Holistic Financial Planning
– Learn to use animals as tools to create positive change
– Improve soil health and biodiversity
– Learn to monitor the ecological health of your land.
Holistic Management provides a solid foundation for Regenerative Agriculture.

Four 2-day sessions, 4-8 weeks apart
Session dates
Session 1 September 15-16
Session 2 October 27-28
Session 3 November 24-25
Session 4 December 8-9

Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Course

Experience Permaculture course (PDC course) in Australia at Noosa Forest Retreat, a 160 acre holistic permaculture community & education centre in the United Nations accredited Biosphere of Noosa Hinterland, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Learn from a team of 6 experienced Cutting Edge permaculture teachers and specialist presenters, led by community teachers, Ian Trew (Bachelor Psychology & Health Science) & Christina Laurikainen (Bachelor Environmental Science).

You will benefit from our collective community experience, inspiration & valuable knowledge. Individual attention after class and post course to offer you best Permaculture course & ongoing journey possible.

Specialist presenters on Urban Permaculture, Syntropic Farming, Governance & Community, Fungi, Mindfulness Training, Natural Movement, Food Preservation, Cell Grazing, Holistic Management & more.

Live on and enjoy a grass-roots developing Australian Permaculture community in the beautiful subtropical Noosa Hinterland, Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Noosa Forest Retreat community and education center is a living example of a small group working together to develop sustainable, nutritious permaculture food systems in a shared natural environment.

Noosa Forest Retreat Community is being developed to nourish mind, body and soul while looking after the greater body of the earth. Learn to design and implement sustainable systems for yourself & others.

At the Permaculture Design Certificate Course you will gain valuable skills in landscape design, how to evaluate the soil, grow nutrient rich food, life changing bio-hacks to achieve peak health & vitality and much, much more.

Our residential Permaculture course will gently guide you through the life changing Permaculture journey, providing all the support and encouragement you need. You will obtain the overall knowledge, confidence and skills to offer a range of permaculture, farm & garden services and consultations.

You will also obtain permaculture design skills and professional network contacts to save thousands of dollars creating and implementing detailed healthy sustainable property designs for your self, family and friends.

You will be able to make an income offering permaculture design, implementation & maintenance services to others as a business.

If you are interested in integrated natural health, community development/living and personal development, then the Noosa Forest Retreat PDC is for you.

Inspiring, supporting and empowering you to help make the world a better healthier place for all beings!

NORTHAM, WA  HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

NORTHAM, WA HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

A full HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT course
– Improve your profitability with sound Decision Making and Holistic Financial Planning
– Learn to use animals as tools to create positive change
– Improve soil health and biodiversity
– Learn to monitor the ecological health of your land.

Holistic Management provides a solid foundation for Regenerative Agriculture.
Four 2-day sessions, 4-8 weeks apart
Session dates are
Session 1 August 18-19
Session 2 September 22-23
Session 3 October 20-21
Session 4 January 12-13

KOYUGA HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

KOYUGA HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

A full HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT course taught by Educator, BRIAN WEHLBURG of Inside Outside Management.

– Improve your profitability with sound Decision Making and Holistic Financial Planning
– Learn to use animals as tools to create positive change
– Improve soil health and biodiversity
– Learn to monitor the ecological health of your land.
Holistic Management provides a solid foundation for Regenerative Agriculture.

Four 2-day sessions, 4-8 weeks apart
Session dates
Session 1 August 11-12
Session 2 September 8-9
Session 3 October 6-7
Session 4 November 17-18

This project is supported by Goulburn Broken CMA through funding from the Australia Government’s National Landcare Program. If you are a property owner in the Goulburn Broken region you may be eligible to access funding to assist with 60% of the course fee

Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Course

We need to create a vision. We need to change the climate of our minds. We need to rebuild our inner landscapes. We need a positive, solution-focused way of thinking. We need to be inspired, and we have to act. We need to heal ourselves, our landscapes, our relationship with nature and our culture & communities. We need to learn how to reconnect with nature so we can mimic it in the design of our present and our future.
The Savour Soil Permaculture Design Course is committed to turning you into a better designer. The learning outcomes for this course have been built around the design framework to achieve this goal. ​Come delve in Holistic Decision Making, Permaculture Design and Keyline Design as an ordering framework to not only read our landscapes but design for a regenerative future
Limited to 15 participants to maximise learning outcomes
Cost: Early Bird: $700, Full Price: $1000

LISMORE HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

LISMORE HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT COURSE

A full HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT course taught by Educator, BRIAN WEHLBURG of Inside Outside Management.

– Improve your profitability with sound Decision Making and Holistic Financial Planning
– Learn to use animals as tools to create positive change
– Improve soil health and biodiversity
– Learn to monitor the ecological health of your land.
Holistic Management provides a solid foundation for Regenerative Agriculture.

Four 2-day sessions, 4-8 weeks apart
Session dates

Session 1 July 30-31
Session 2 August 27-28
Session 3 October 15-16
Session 4 November 12-13

Robyn Francis: permaculture pioneer, designer, educator, presenter & innovator

Robyn Francis: permaculture pioneer, designer, educator, presenter & innovator

PA’s Kym chats with Robyn about preparing for the changing climate & pandemics, the importance of respecting Indigenous knowledge and local food security projects to build community resilience.

Can you tell us a bit about your long & varied career, including how you got into permaculture?

I came across permaculture in 1977 when I heard Bill Mollison speak at an Organic Festival near Sydney, promoting the soon to be published, ‘Permaculture One’. I had just returned to Australia after five years travelling and living in Europe and Asia learning about traditional cultures, farming and survival skills. I was back in Australia looking for land to do the self-reliance thing. Permaculture was a natural next step, bringing all my ideas and interests together as an integrated philosophy and methodology. Over the next six years I experimented from the book on my herb farm on the NSW mid-north coast, where I was also involved in numerous community projects and the Rural Resettlement Task Force (multiple occupancy & intentional community movement). In 1983 I left the farm, did a PDC (which was the first women’s PDC) then moved to Sydney in 1984 to get permaculture going there – the rest is history.

Opening the EPICentre in Enmore, Sydney 1986 Bill Mollison & Robyn Francis (Damian Lynch in background)

What have been some of the highlights, and also the challenges?

Some of the highlights in the early years would have to be the IPCs (International Permaculture Convergences) I attended, especially a) IPC-1 in 1984 with the earlier pioneers, collectively laying the foundational agreements for the permaculture movement, the PDC and role of the Permaculture Institute b) IPC-2 in 1986 which brought together Fukuoka, Bill Mollison and Wes Jackson.
Another highlight were the two visits to India as Bill Mollison’s assistant, including co-teaching India’s first PDC in 1987, and Bill’s mentoring throughout the 1980s.  The exchange visit to Cuba in 2008, visiting 40 projects throughout the country, designing Jarlanbah (NSW’s first community title ecovillage), working with Aboriginal communities in NT and on the Murray River, teaching the first PDC’s translated into Mandarin in Taiwan and China and so many more. My life has been overwhelmingly full of exceptional experiences and opportunities to meet, learn from and work with amazing people and to see inspiring projects in so many parts of the planet.

 

There have been many challenges along the way, working long unpaid hours with sporadic income; turning up to teach PDC’s elsewhere with little or no basic resources and finding creative solutions (like the time I was provided with a little toddlers blackboard and half a chalk!); having the courage to jump into unknown and precarious situations and think on my feet; being let down and having to extend myself even further to get the job done; and recovering from a couple of major burnouts which helped me find more balance in my life and establish clear boundaries. There were also the positive, yet very demanding challenges of negotiating the labyrinth of bureaucratic requirements to create the Accredited Permacuture Training and deliver it successfully for 11 years here a Djanbung Gardens. I accept challenges as an opportunity to grow and even the most difficult have provided valuable lessons to take forward.

 

You’ve been active in food and seed sovereignty projects in your local area –  why are projects like these are so important?

Building bioregional and local resilience is critical for moving forward, and as we’ve experienced, for surviving shocks. Over the years I have sought to balance my national and international work with grassroots action in my local community. I’ve used my community facilitation skills to guide collaborative processes and especially the initial meetings in 2009 that launched ‘Sustainable Nimbin’. The three priority areas identified were food security, energy and transport. I joined the Nimbin Food Security Group and mentored the involvement of my APT diploma students in these initiatives including raising awareness and conducting community surveys and consultation. The Nimbin Food Security group was a dynamic team of committed people under the umbrella of the Nimbin Neighbourhood Association. It has brought exceptional results including two local weekly farmers markets, a food processing library, seed exchange. With Robina McCurdy a series of workshops brought together farmers, food producers and retailers to identify challenges and opportunities. We formed a food co-op within a week to take over the local organic green grocers store in town when the owners closed it down.

We see much more local produce in local stores and cafes, farmers and growers that once struggled to make ends meet are earning a sustainable living, and a there has been a surge in small food processing enterprises. For the past five years we can source 80-90% of our food from within a 30km radius, including staples like our local Nimbin Valley Rice, Nimbin dairy products, local grassfed meats, tofu from local BD soybeans, coffee and a long list of fresh fruit, veg and other produce. During the fires last November and the pandemic lockdown, the community has been exceptional in the many ways people and organisations have pulled together, helped each other and ensured everyone was cared for.

 

Djanbung Gardens, from a barren cow pasture in 1993

Bushfires, droughts and the pandemic have shown community resilience and preparedness are crucial. Can you describe how you’ve designed Djanbung Gardens to cope with disasters and also any changes being made?

When I was searching for land, the capacity to design for disaster resilience and climate change were key factors. Not just the property but the location, climate, and community were all top considerations on my list. Where I am in the Nimbin valley is well above 1:100yr flood level, classified as low fire risk, sheltered topographically from severe wind loadings, has the highest rainfall area in NSW and I am easy walking distance from the village.  Although I designed fire breaks into the property, fire has not posed a major threat or concern until last November, when Gondwana rainforests on Nightcap that have never burned were on fire and hundreds of friends evacuated from the Tuntable valley, just over the hill. This was a wake-up call and for the first time in 25 years we went through a full fire prevention cleanup and preparation, and are revising our plans regarding future fire vulnerability.  We can experience massive rainfall events around here, with the greatest so far being 515mm in 24 hours. I designed our water systems to cope with this degree of flow through the property to prevent flash flooding and water damage. The water collection systems  (dams and tanks) are designed with the capacity to get us through historic droughts however we will be augmenting water tank storage in the future as dry seasons are lengthening and getting hotter.

Our greatest disaster challenge is climate breakdown, these other shocks are simply symptoms of the big one. Climate resilience has been a guiding factor in my design and our operations, however the rapidity of climate change and it’s manifestations is relentlessly accelerating. The last three summers have been exceptionally severe with extreme dry and heat, and progressively more severe each year — even tropical vegetables have shrivelled despite regular watering. Most of our summer production now needs to be under shade so we’ve built bamboo shade structures over part of our gardens. This is a big topic, and apart from what we doing on Djanbung, the most critical part of disaster preparedness is collaborating on a community level.

There has been a lot of media coverage about cultural burning and the importance of First Nations and Australian Indigenous knowledge for caring for country. How do you incorporate learnings from the local Indigenous communities into your permaculture activities?

I think local knowledge is incredibly important and unfortunately so much has been lost. This bioregion has been intimately micro-managed for tens of thousands of years and there’s much for us to learn. Relationships with our local elders and original communities need to be developed with deep respect and it’s not simply about taking their knowledge for our own use. Relationships need cultivation and nurturing over time to build trust. Here we have been in contact with our local mob since the outset, being gifted the name of our permaculture centre by the senior Lore/Law) keeper of the Bundjalung Nation. Part of building this relationship is getting to know some language, the ‘real’ names and stories of local mountains, rivers and special places, our local bushfoods and their seasonality, these are all integral to cultural learning, it’s not only about fire.
Caring for country, which includes cultural burning, demands an intimate daily relationship with the land, the local plants, animals, seasonal cycles, it’s not a one-size fits all or single cart blanch recipe. In this part of the country there was historically very little burning, mainly used to maintain marsupial pastures in the open forest of wider valleys and small targeted burning of the walking trails along the ridges to keep them open. Here we are in wet rainforest country and many of our forest ecosystems have never been burned culturally or by natural causes (until last year’s fires). In drier country there’s already strong evidence that cultural burning is effective and reduces fire vulnerability while keeping the ecosystem healthy and wildlife abundant. Listen, learn and observe.

What are the most important issue(s) we are facing as a at present – and how do you see permaculture positioned to respond to these?

This is a big question… our biggest challenge is halting the accelerating biospheric destruction favoured by governments and their corporate sponsors/beneficiaries. The problems we face, such as climate, social and economic breakdown are symptoms of the deeper rot of the growth-obsessed consumer society. As permaculturists we can respond on many different levels and in many different ways. We mustn’t lose sight of diversity, including the diverse situations people find themselves in and what factors they can immediately influence and change in their daily life, in their work, in their community and on a political level. We have a huge opportunity right now to reach out on a community level, especially as we deal with the aftermath of drought, fire, flood, pandemic, and we know there’s more in store. The single most important thing we can do is to reach out to our neighbours, regenerate community, not only for self-reliance and resilience, disaster preparation and response, but for abundance, conviviality and inspire through creativity and celebration. And we can all lend our voice to support others regionally, nationally and globally as ambassadors for the earth and for justice.
What does 2020 have in store for you and Djanbung Gardens and your other ventures?
2020 has been a difficult and challenging year with the pandemic forcing cancellation of some major courses and events and we seem to fall between the cracks regarding eligibility for government financial support. Despite some financial hardship, we have so much to be grateful for and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else during such times. I feel safe here and know we have created a place to survive these shocks and am surrounded by a caring and supportive community.
This is an important time of transitional change for me on both personal and professional levels. We now have three generations living here at Djanbung so there’s the inevitable ongoing adjustments in living arrangements and our physical environment for my twin grandkids as they grow. Most of my peers have retired many years ago and I’m not ready for that yet, although on some fronts I intend to slow down to make space for other things I’ve not had time to complete or embark on. We are in the process of planning our collective priorities for the coming years and decades here at Djanbung, it’s a work in progress. The one constant in life is change, it’s how we respond that’s important.

Where can I find out more?

Check out the range of permaculture courses (online and face to face), property tours and events by Djanbung Gardens and Permaculture College Australia here. Permaculture Australia members get a 10% discount on courses offered by Djanbung Gardens and the Permaculture College Australia.

Not a member of PA? Sign up here to access a great range of member discounts and to help us advocate for permaculture solutions.