Permaculture Teacher Training – Byron Community College

Permaculture Teacher Training – Byron Community College

September 24 @ 8:30 am September 30 @ 5:00 pm

Want to inspire others to learn about permaculture? Join us for a seven-day intensive teacher training course that’s been designed to empower you to become an effective and creative permaculture teacher. During this course we will cover a sequence of steps to help you learn how to communicate clearly and confidently when teaching permaculture to others. Suitable for people of all abilities, these skills are also transferable for teaching/facilitating in other disciplines. We look forward to training the next generation of permaculture practitioners. The course covers: * Develop confidence in teaching using a range of skills, techniques and tools * Strategies and methods for the different topics in permaculture * Opportunities to practice and monitor what you learn * What is presently known about best teaching practices * How teacher behaviour and language can affect learning * What is known about learners and how to reach/motivate them effectively * Practical experience and knowledge of international permaculture curricula * Developing a PDC curriculum with a group of learners * New and emerging Permaculture content This course is the internationally accepted training course for permaculture teachers following the curriculum of Rosemary Morrow. Run in partnership with Byron Community College, certificates will be issued by Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute.


September 24 @ 8:30 am
September 30 @ 5:00 pm
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Byron Community College

Cnr Burringbar and Gordon Street
Mullumbimby, New South Wales 2482 Australia
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02 6684 3374

Permaculture teachers training – reflection from Ballarat

It’s amazing how life leads you on particular paths – whether you call it destiny or a calling or a simple twist of fate. Halfway through my Permaculture Design Certificate course I realised that teaching this “stuff” is one of the things I would like to do in my new career. A few teacher training courses, both residential and on-line, drifted through my web sphere, but every time there was something in the way. Until suddenly, one day, the earth, moon and Saturn aligned and this one in Ballarat popped up. (Said alignment is very relevant in biodynamics.) In addition, Ballarat is a close neighbouring town to us, so besides the social significance, there’s also the reduction in travel as a plus point.

So, there I found myself in Ballarat on a balmy sunny Saturday afternoon, at Steve Burns’ Chestnut farm in White Swan road, outside Ballarat, together with a group of people almost as diverse as you can get, going through those awkward informal introductions, quietly wondering what I let myself in for. However soon we were sitting in the balmy sunshine enjoying a cup of tea, getting to know everyone in relaxed circumstances. He’s got a good selection of tea, our man Steve, not to mention his collection of home-made preservatives and elder flower cordial that he hides in a cold dry room under the classroom.

CN - classroom

Classroom setup at Chestnut farm

Our formal activities started with a tour of the inner part, let’s call it zones 1 and 2 and a bit of 3, of Chestnut farm. Instead of describing everything in detail, I will let the photos tell the story.

Our training started in earnest on Sunday morning at 8:30 sharp. From day 1, in our role as teachers, punctuality was, in typical permaculture style, understatingly emphasised and imposed, without you realising it was happening. Our classes started at Chestnut farm, but then were moved to Invermay community hall. The hall was much less farmy and a bit impersonal, but as the week carried on, it turned out to be a blessings in disguise. As a cold wet spell settled in for quite a number of days, the massive hall with its fully equipped kitchen and separate dining room came in very useful for breakaway sessions and even large group physical activities.

PTT - Lisa explaining menu

At Invermay hall, Lisa explaining the menu and where the food came from. We never went hungry, that’s for sure!

Our teachers for the course were Rosemary (Rowe) Morrow, amazingly experienced and widely travelled permaculture elder, teacher, speaker author and do-er, and Brenna Quinlan, multi-talented (that’s an understatement) illustrator and permaculture educator at Milkwood, while Steve Burns and Penny Tomes managed all the admin without a glitch (well, not that we were aware of… I’m sure behind the scenes they had their “fair share” to deal with.)

PTT - Rowe Morrow

What a privilege to work with and be taught by this inspiring, enthusiastic, spirited stalwart of permaculture – Rosemary Morrow

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would encounter the term “meta“ outside of IT (where I’ve dealt with metadata since the nineteen-whatevers…). But a lot of our learning was based on meta-teaching, where we would teach ourselves using the methods and tools we were learning about. Using some seamless and at times hilarious co-teaching methods very effectively, Rowe and Brenna weaved us like mats between our roles as learners and teachers.

PTT - Rowe roll play

Rowe demonstrating role-play through doing role-play

One minute you would be absorbing an approach, and the next minute you would be using that same approach to convey some related (or totally unrelated) concept to your co-learners. All throughout the permaculture ethics, principles, theory, practices and so forth were emphasised and used as examples.

PTT - Bazza

Bazza – let’s call “him” our slightly (mmm…) bogan alter-ego.

It was so refreshing – coming from a very formal educational background and an industry where powerpoint dot-points are king – to go through six days of intensive training without a single slide. We experienced so many teaching styles and such a wide array of teaching tools!

PTT - Brainstorm

Our teaching methods brainstorm – which has become one of the token items of our class

As the course progressed, we did more and more micro-teaching – short little bursts of teaching, applying every thing we learnt, and even more. Rather quickly, the rallying call of the course became “micro-teaching is awesome!” (Mmmm… I should have made a little recording of that one – words can’t do it justice.)  I wonder if Brenna and Rowe knew what they let themselves in for when Brenna introduced the slogan? Because later almost everything became “awesome” (with a slight bazza-ish infliction).

PTT - awesome

Micro-teaching is…. awesome!

We ended the course by teaching a class to the whole assembly what our group-designed PDC syllabus would be, why it was good, the process followed and so on. What? teach? class? These five star performances resembled (and in some cases outshone) game shows, theme parks, TV shows (sir David Attenborough even made two appearances) and a Greek goddesses get-together to discuss what interventions are needed on earth (simulated grapes, wine, and authentic dress , headgear and all). I have to slip in a morsel of pride – we actually got the group to “teach” (convince) themselves why our syllabus and approach would be “awesome!” (oops, there it is again…)
Although, the course was full-on – 8:30am to past 9:00pm every day, plus some after- and before hours preparation – there were so many fun and energising activities in-between, the majority with a meta-teaching aspect built-in, that time flew and energy levels were pretty high most of the time.

This one is hard to express in words, so I’ll just put it brief – there was an absolutely fantastic amazing group of people on this course. Everyone pulled together, worked together, grew together with so much mutual respect and support. So to my now co-teachers, I just want to say an “awesome!” thank you and looking forward to co-teach with each of you somewhere were destiny, a calling or a simple twist of fate let our paths cross again.

PTT - Suchi and certificate

Receiving my certificate from Suchi – my co-teacher on our pairs assignment, who made me realise that even ethical money can be a fun topic

About (101 Articles)
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp, I now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife, two children and two dogs. My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Farming, include sustainable living, surfing, horse-riding, a wide variety of music, dancing, nature, birds, reading, Christianity and a few other things which I never get to…

Teacher Training opportunity

Rowe Morrow & Hannah Moloney will lead a permaculture teacher training in Ballarat from Saturday evening Nov 17 to Friday Nov 23, 2018.

Rowe will also then be attending the Yandoit Shindig and PEG gathering on the 24th & 25th. Most of the regular permaculture teacher training events on the permaculture calendar are in NSW so we’re very pleased to create this event in Victoria. Permaculture Australia will receive the majority of funds raised from the event, which is being run by Ballarat Permaculture Guild Inc.
To apply, email for an application form. Registration will not be through the BPG website but by direct application.
This course is designed to provide the necessary skills and confidence to deliver the internationally recognised Permaculture Design Certificate curriculum to students anywhere. Students will be able to develop a curriculum, structure a short or long course to maximise student learning, and design effective learning resources. By the end of the course all participants will have had the hands-on experience of a range of teaching methods and strategies, and will understand how to inspire and engage learners in a way that results in deep and meaningful learning.

Rowe has a very student-centred approach so if your experience so far has been lecture-style delivery, this could be a great opportunity to learn some new approaches. Even if you’ve been teaching for some years and are quite comfortable with your own teaching approach & style, attending this training could be a fabulous networking & collaboration opportunity as you’ll be working in small groups with the other students. You’ll learn more about existing colleagues and get to meet some of the ‘up-and-comers’!
There are two scholarship places available at the reduced fee level of $400. These will be awarded based on additional information provided by students who can show how their completion of this training will advance permaculture and their communities. What that looks like will be different in every case. Students might, for instance, show how they will create significant community benefit or introduce permaculture to a new cohort of learners. Letters of support from relevant stakeholders will strengthen a scholarship application. Scholarship applications will be received until October 1st and successful applicants will be contacted shortly thereafter.
Please note that if you enrol, you are required to attend ALL sessions. There have been issues on previous courses with students opting in and out of various sessions depending on their interest, perceived competence or need to deal with other business or pressures. If you know in advance that you can’t attend all sessions, please don’t enrol. Make arrangements to have pressing business dealt with by others so that you can focus fully on this great opportunity.
Course fee is $800 and includes:
6 days training & group work, including evenings (9am – 9 pm)
class notes & resources
morning and afternoon tea & supper
catered lunch & dinner on-site
Course fee does not include accommodation or breakfast. There are nearby accommodation options ranging from camping to hotels.
More about your teachers…
Rowe Morrow is an internationally renowned Permaculture Teacher who has written numerous permaculture books, including The Earth User’s Guide to Teaching Permaculture and Permaculture Teaching Matters. She has taught the Permaculture Design Course (PDC), and her popular Teacher Training Course, throughout Australia as well as in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She has co-taught with Lis Bastian, co-founder of the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute, for the last decade. Both she and Lis are passionate about teaching permaculture in a range of contexts, from communities and organisations, to business and government. Rowe is particularly interested in teaching permaculture in war-torn countries like Afghanistan, as well as countries facing major social or economic challenges, like Portugal, Spain and Greece.

Hannah Moloney grew up on a city farm in Brisbane (QLD) growing herbs and has over a decade of hands-on experience in designing, building, managing and doing projects around urban agriculture, small-scale farming, permaculture and community development. She has a post-grad diploma in Community cultural development, completed her Permaculture Design Course in 2008 and since 2009, has been teaching permaculture across Australia with the likes of the Southern Cross Permaculture Institute, the Permaforest Trust (which has since closed) and Milkwood Permaculture.In 2011 she completed a Diploma of Permaculture with Eltham College. In recent years Hannah has had the pleasure of teaching alongside some of the most celebrated permaculturalists in the world including David Holmgren (co-founder of permaculture), Rosemary Morrow and Dave Jacke (US author of Edible Forest Gardens). In 2015 she was awarded the Tasmanian ‘Young Landcare Leader Award’ for her work with Good Life Permaculture and co-establishing Hobart City Farm.