Permaculture Design Course (PDC) Modular Format

Permaculture Design Course (PDC) Modular Format

Follow your passion and immerse yourself in this Modular Permaculture Design Course held in the Beautiful Byron Shire. In this hands-on course you will discover how Permaculture principles can develop resilient systems, contributing to environmental, social and personal well-being. Through gaining a clear understanding of these principles you will be able to apply them to your everyday life and surroundings – from a small home garden to commercial production.

You will learn how to design, build and maintain abundantly productive food gardens within sustainable human settlements and be shown how to work with an appreciation and understanding of nature’s patterns and cycles. There is an additional focus upon practical activities in the garden including no-dig gardening, seed saving, plant propagation, food forestry, Hugelkultur, tree maintenance, animal care, composting and more…

The course takes place over 14 days held as individual short modules on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year. The foundational 72 hour International Permaculture Design Course (PDC) curriculum is covered – plus loads of hands on experience and field trips. This modular course is designed to support flexible, part time learning with the opportunity to complete all the modules within a 4 – 12 month period depending on your availability to attend each one*. Upon completion of all 14 modules you will graduate with a Permaculture Design Certificate. The PDC course is held twice a year. The modules can be enroled in seperately but to take advantage of price savings, enrol in the PDC rather than in each individual module.

2020 course dates are:

Fri 28th Feb – Permaculture Ethics, Principles And Patterns with Bunya Halasz
Sat 29th Feb – Plant Propagation And Seed Saving with Bunya Halasz
Sun 1st March – Introduction To Permaculture Design with James Nash
Fri 27th March – Soils – Organic Management with Joey Venables
Sat 28th March – Trees And Perennial Crops – Creating Food Forests with Bunya Halasz
Sun 29th March – Vegetables – Integrated Organic Production with Bunya Halasz
Fri 1st May – Water Systems For The Home And Landscape with James Nash
Sat 2nd May – Settlements – Sustainable Housing And Appropriate Technology with James Nash
Sun 3rd May – Animal-Integrated Production Systems with Sharon Gibson
Fri 29th May – Community Design And Social Permaculture with Erin Young
Sat 30th May – Group Design Project with James Nash
Sun 31st May – Individual Design Workshop with James Nash
Sat 13th June – Ecology – Weeds, Pests And Diseases In The Garden with Joey Venables
Sun 14th June – Design Project Presentations, Locavore Feast And Celebration with Bunya Halasz and James Nash

The course will incorporate field trips to the award winning Mullumbimby Community Garden, Urban Food Forests, Intensive Permaculture Production Systems, Bush Permaculture gardens and Natural Forest Ecosystems.

The teaching team, led by Bunya Halasz, have a diverse, complimentary and deep range of experience and skills.
Other Tutors Include: Sharon Gibson, James Nash, Erin Young and Joey Venables

This course offers a great introduction to permaculture and is suitable for anyone concerned with the environmental and social challenges around them who wants to help develop positive solutions. It would also benefit students interested in studying Permaculture Certificate III or IV with Byron Community College in the future.

AHC42116 – Certificate IV in Permaculture

AHC42116 – Certificate IV in Permaculture

Grow your permaculture know-how into a richly rewarding career and immerse yourself in sustainable living and organic farming practices, right in the green heart of Northern NSW.

This course is designed to expand your permaculture knowledge and skills to acquire the resilience to adapt to a rapidly changing world. At the end of this course you will be qualified to work as a project supervisor and designer for permaculture design projects. Your new found expertise will also open the door to other wide ranging career paths such as working in community development locally and internationally, aid projects, integrated food production or design for sustainable living. The program balances theory, practical, structured and self-directed learning with assessments throughout the course designed to navigate your progress.

The course will kick-off with half day college orientation (Wed), followed by a 3-day (Thurs-Sat) intensive course conducted at Djanbung Gardens, Nimbin, as a residential immersion experience. From week 2 the course will be held on Thursdays and Fridays at the Mullumbimby campus.

You Will Learn:

Organic soil improvement
Planning and implementing permaculture works
Harvest and storage systems
Management of permaculture seed banks
Approaches to sustainable community and bioregional development programs
Costing a project


Three day intensive permaculture fundamentals at Djanbung Gardens at beginning of course, followed by

Thursdays and Fridays 9am to 3.30pm
No classes over school holidays

This course is Austudy Approved.

Smart and Skilled funded places may be available for this qualifications – please call the college for more information on 02 6684 3374

RTO NO:90013

AHC33816 – Certificate III in Permaculture

AHC33816 – Certificate III in Permaculture

Are you interested in learning permaculture skills to help make lives, homes and communities more sustainable? We offer the opportunity to immerse yourself in sustainable living in the Byron Shire, the green heart of the North Coast. Make like-minded friends in this highly practical course as you gain experience and confidence to transition your life and the lives of others towards a better future.

You will learn and be inspired by natural ecosystems, holistic philosophy integrating organic farming, animal systems, natural building, food preservation, systems thinking, community development and more. This course is the ‘trade equivalent’ qualification that prepares you to operate in a skilled and independent manner developing and operating permaculture systems.

The course will combine time in the classroom and out onsite at our purpose designed 1-acre permaculture site located at Mullumbimby Community Gardens (MCG) for hands-on experience.
During the course, you will be required to participate in weekly or fortnightly practical work at the MCG. Maintenance tasks include chicken care, watering seedlings and beds, turning compost and maintaining paths.

Byron Region Community College is a registered training organisation offering this course with the support of Mullumbimby Community Gardens (MCG) and Permaculture Australia.

You Will Learn:

Permaculture Principles and ethics
Integrated plant and animal systems
Seed saving and propagation
Establishment of urban permaculture systems
Planning and design of food forests and orchards
Building and installation of permaculture structures
Crop planning, maintenance, harvesting and cooking
Installation and maintenance of permaculture water systems
Plant, pest and disease management
Landscape and map interpretation
Soil health and soil types

Career and Employment Opportunities Include:

Urban and rural property design and implementation supervision
Permaculture and environmental information services
Development and management of sustainable land-use systems
Environmental management and community development programs
Education and training in permaculture and environmental management
Facilitation and coordination services
Eco-tourism enterprises and operations


Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9am to 3.30pm
No classes over school holidays

This course is Austudy Approved.

Smart and Skilled funded places may be available for this qualifications – please call the college for more information on 02 6684 3374

RTO NO:90013

Exciting Accredited Permaculture Education Opportunities

Story by Chris Carroll and Virginia Solomon, February 2018
Qualifications in Permaculture are now available through the national Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package.
The package, that’s available for delivery Australia wide, incorporates Certificate I, II, III, IV in Permaculture and the Diploma of Permaculture.
This means that:

  • registered Training Organisations (RTOs) can begin to offer this training
  • schools can be offering recognised qualifications to their students and training their staff to teach it
  • students looking for accredited Certificates and Diplomas can press the RTOs to add this training
  • qualified permaculture people can do the same and offer to be employed to teach them at the same time.

Don’t forget that Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is one of the pathways into this training so, if you have background and experience, think about converting these to a nationally recognised qualification.
It is up to all of us to get the word out… nothing boosts supply like a demand!
If we approach the providers, if we ask for the training, if we agitate for permaculture qualifications being included as desirable knowledge in job ads, it will happen.
Seeing the expansion of permaculture education around Australia and internationally is very exciting!

APT information sheets

Download the APT information sheets:

For more information

Please email Permaculture Australia’s Education Working Group at for more information.

Where to do a Permaculture Diploma?

A PA member recently requested to know some options for where/how to do a Permaculture Diploma. In Australia, the options are:

Qualifications accredited in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF):

  1. Accredited vocational training in Permaculture => AHC52115 Diploma of Permaculture. Available at:

Awards that are not accredited in the AQF but which have a long pedigree as internationally recognised study with an experienced mentor:

  1. The Diploma in Permaculture (
  2. Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute offer a diploma (

Notes to consider:

  • The Diploma of Permaculture (AHC52115) is intended for people working in communities, designing large projects, teaching and training to this level, strategic planning at a relatively large scale and local government/business initiatives etc. The Diploma of Permaculture is an 18 month (3 semesters or equivalent) course where participants are trained to be job-ready for a managerial career in permaculture. They are likely to be working in a leadership capacity for organisations, groups, or enterprises and in jobs involving a whole system approach to planning, design, management and implementation of integrated permaculture projects and programs, permaculture community programs, and the operation of permaculture enterprises.
  • Options 3 & 4 are non-formal, non-accredited awards available more generally and linked to the knowledge and teacher-pupil relationship of the PDC whereas Options 1 & 2 are accredited certified training (ie something where the endpoint is a career/job in permaculture).