Monthly Archives: January 2015

Press Release: Permaculture celebrates its Tasmanian origins

Permaculture is a design system for sustainable living and land use that was conceived in Tasmania 40 years ago by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Permaculture One published in 1978 to world wide acclaim, coincided with an explosion of interest in organic gardening & farming, renewable energy, and other aspects of positive environmentalism that many people think have just happened in the last few years.

DavidandOliver

Over the decades permaculture teachers, designers and activists have been riding these peaks and troughs of mainstream interest. Ironically, media and public interest in permaculture has been highest when there is uncertainty and contraction in the economy. In the lucky (and richest) country in the world where our food, water, power and governance structures continue to function permaculture has often just seen as a cool form of lifestyle gardening or alternatively some weird counterculture ideology.

But Permaculture may also be Australia’s greatest intellectual export influencing positive environmental and social change all over the world including establishing deep roots in poorer countries where the mainstream economy has failed to provide for people’s basic needs. In previously rich countries such as Spain and Greece permaculture strategies for self and community reliance are exploding as the mainstream economy continues to decay under a burden of debt.

Although permaculture was conceived in Tasmania it was in Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast of Queensland that the permaculture movement first got going and has remained strongest. Although it is said the Australian “cultural cringe” that anything important comes from overseas was killed off in the 1970’s, maybe it lingered on in Tassie, at least in the case of permaculture.

Today a new generation of social media savy permaculture teachers and activists are raising the profile of permaculture. The 12th Australasian Permaculture Conference and Convergence at Penguin on the NW Coast is attracting some of the pioneers including David Holmgren. Second generation “permies” such as Oliver Holmgren will also be there making connections to the growing numbers of younger people interested in shaping their own futures with permaculture.

Back in the 1970’s it was David’s Environmental Design thesis that became Permaculture One. Although less well known than his older co-originator Bill Mollison, David (now 60) is now one of the globally influential writers on the converging global crises of climate change, peak oil and economic contraction and how permaculture thinking and action can allow us to make a graceful descent adapting to a world of less.

The location of this event is also a quiet homage to fourth generation Tasmanian, Bill Mollison (now 87) who, despite ill health continues to live and write from his farm at Sisters Creek. One of the urban myths about permaculture doing the rounds in Melbourne, is that David Holmgren might be the original Australian exponent of permaculture, but that it was started by the much older American(!) guy Bill Mollison!! It just goes to show that the cultural cringe might not be dead and that it is time for Tassie to reclaim Permaculture as its greatest intellectual export.

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Gallinulla studio – post permaculture convergence working party

Gallinulla is 40 acres of agricultural land, which is in the process of transformation into a bird haven, restored remnant rainforest, budding food forest, pademelon breeding ground, swamp forest, and

Food garden – which has been guided by the loving and dedicated hands of Richard and Carolyn Donaghey.

kim-cob1From April 2014 another phase of Gallinulla saw its first inception – with the gathering of 30 + like minded souls to help build a strawbale, cob, and timber frame studio with the aim for it to be a residency for artists/people with ecological interests, and a retreat studio for myself.

The structure has been built and the first layer of render has begun.

We are looking for 6-8 dedicated humans (as a maximum per day) to help begin building the earth floor for the building. It involves making/stomping cob and kim-cob2layering onto the gravel ground. There also will be scope in learning some basicearth straw rendering, lime rendering, and to provide a general overview of how the building arrived at its current stage.

We are providing meals and tent accommodation in a wwoofing type arrangement.

Please email kim @ kimkerze@hotmail.com or call 0402775794 for any questions and dates you would wish to participate.

We are looking ideally for people to stay a minimum of 2 days, from the 13th of March onwards, continuing for 7 to 12 days depending on the response and the numbers of people.

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APC12 Registration Date Extended to February 15th

Important-Announcement Dear fellow Permies,

After receiving several submissions from the wider Permaculture community and much discussion by the organisers, in the spirit of flexibility and adaptability and especially People Care, we have responded by extending the registration closing date for APC12 to February 15th. We will not be able to accept registrations after this date.

We realise it is a large financial outlay, especially getting all the way to Tasmania, and we send heartfelt thanks to all of you who have already committed. We also totally appreciate and understand that some people would like to see the program before making a decision to attend. Originally we had January 31st to give us enough time to get everything properly organised. We are keeping the closing date for presentation proposals at January 31st, so we’ll spend the first week of February putting the first draft of the program together so you can see what an amazing line-up we have to look forward to.

If you are still undecided, we hope this will help you in your decision-making. We look forward to welcoming you to Penguin, we really do want to see as many of you as possible at this exciting event.

Also, please remember we have had to place a cap on registration numbers due to venue restrictions and logistics. If this number is met, we will announce this and no further registrations will be accepted within the extension period.

Sue, Julie, Eric, Carol, Robin, Mike, Richard, Nick and Caroline – your APC12 Organising Committee

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Want to attend APC12 but have no PDC or similar?

Reseed-mosaic

INTRODUCTION TO PERMACULTURE

If people would like to attend the APC12 but feel they don’t have the backround in permaculture, the organisers have provided this preliminary course for you…

2 day course: 8th and 9th March 2015 prior to APC12

RESEED Centre
30 King Edward St, Penguin, Tasmania

Permaculture is an ethical system for designing sustainable, healthy and self-reliant communities that will flourish long past peak oil and financial crisis.  Permaculture was developed here in Tasmania and has been called one of Australia’s greatest intellectual exports. Discover the principles of Permaculture yourself during this 2-day course. A participatory mix of theoretical sessions, group exercises and practical demonstrations will introduce you to various design principles and techniques that you can apply to any environment, rural or urban, to help you lead a more sustainable, enjoyable, responsible and healthy lifestyle.

The course will be facilitated by experienced local permaculture practitioners Nick Towle and Caroline Smith.

Cost: $125 or equivalent in CENTS/other local currencies.

Includes morning/afternoon tea and
comprehensive notes via your USB

Enquiries and Bookings:

Further details from Caroline Smith:
smith.caroline81@gmail.com 0438090464

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APC12 – only 3 weeks left to register!

Deadline for registration and presentation proposal is Jan 31st.

This may seem a little early, but as a small group of busy volunteers, we’ll need plenty of time to organise the conference to make sure it is the best it can be.

Register at http://www.apc12tas.com/register-now/

Send presentation proposal to: http://www.apc12tas.com/program/call-for-presenters/

Our planet is going though the most rapid rate of change in its history, and we timeface a future of surprises, threats and opportunities. We in the permaculture community have a key role to play in both mending the present and creating our preferable future.

To be part of this future we need to take stock of where we are as a design system. That’s why Australia’s permaculture community of practitioners is coming together in March on the shores of Bass Strait in beautiful Penguin, Tasmania, for APC12. Here we will reflect, take stock and re-imagine permaculture’s role in a future that can be different from the usual depressing, business as usual scenario, and energise ourselves for the tasks ahead.

In keeping with the theme of Honouring the Past, Transforming the Future, we have a range of exciting presenters – high profile as well as new voices of all ages, who will inspire us with presentations, workshops, participatory activities, performance, posters, video and art work.

We are placing a strong focus on deepening our collective understanding and ability to work across the seven interconnected ‘petals’ (domains) of the permaculture flower.

We’ll be challenged by the ‘Big Picture’ – where have we come from and what is the role of permaculture in this critical time in Earth’s history, the Anthropocene Era.

We’ll hear about extraordinary projects and ways of living that have made a real difference to the lives of people both at home and overseas.

We’ll discuss permaculture education, both formal and informal, in the light of new knowledge about education for sustainability.

We’ll be challenged to think deeply about our broken economic system and hear exciting insights into new systems.

We’ll learn from people’s practical experience.

We’ll have a very special event to honour our Elders.

Above all, APC12 will be a space for us to meet, re-connect, affirm each other, debate, learn, argue, inspire and re-energise ourselves for the hard work we all do to make the world a better place.

To make this a truly amazing event and set directions for the future, we need you to be there!

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A glimpse of what’s happening at APC12…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image18379393Here’s just a small selection of some of the many exciting presenters coming to the Convergence in March.

This is in NO way a final program and new people are being added every day.

If you would still like to submit your proposal for consideration, please do so by the 31st January. We will begin developing the full program and timetable from February 1st.

Hannah Moloney & Anton Vikstrom, Tas

The power of making good shit happen: Radical homemaking, community development and digging holes

Hannah and Anton from Good Life Permaculture are part of the younger generation of permies doing amazing work. They will talk about the importance of people DOING positive things (inside and outside of their homes). To answer the question “What are the critical future global and local challenges we are facing and how can permaculture provide solutions?” Hannah and Anton answer: “through doing good stuff, that’s how see it!”

April Sampson-Kelly, NSW

How art succeeds in interpreting permaculture ideas

April will be exploring a wide range of art forms: Realism, Semi-Fictional and Fictional forms and how they can be applied to better inform permaculture design and practice. Innovative and inspiring.

Russ Grayson & Fiona Campbell, NSW

The Anthropocene: what role can permaculture play?

This is one of several presentations considering the ‘Big Picture’ of the place of permaculture in the world. The Anthropocene – the Age of Humanity – recognises humanity’s dominating influence on all earth systems. This is something we have to accept, so the question becomes: “what role can and should permaculture play and how”? Russ and Fiona will consider the history and possible futures for the permaculture movement and the challenges it faces in these critical times.

Robin Clayfield, Qld

The ever-popular Robin will treat us to two presentations. The first is

Social design and the culturing of permaculture

Robin will engage the whole group on the first morning through processes for gently ‘breaking the ice’, discovering patterns and history within the movement, bonding of all sectors of permaculture, honouring of our Elders, using our permaculture principles to embellish and improve our ‘social design’ for our home regions, groups and time together at the Convergence. This is designed to bring alive the ‘culture’ in permaculture and inspire ongoing connections and inspiration for the rest of the Convergence.

Secondly, Robin will present on

Expanding the edge of teaching permaculture creatively

This presentation aims to support the continued up-skilling of permaculture teachers in a way that reflects the principles of permaculture.

Robin will also facilitate the traditional jumping activity to close the Convergence.

Gary Burke, WA

A synergistic match: Permaculture and sustainability-informed economics, accounting and policy

Gary’s presentation will be one of a number relating to the need to reframe economics and finance. As Gary puts it, “It would be a great chance to spiral beyond the conceptual cage of contemporary economics and accounting”

Bruce French, Tas

Maintaining and using diversity for sustainable food crop production

Bruce has done remarkable work in creating the Food Plants International database, which currently has over 26,800 edible plant species and is the largest in the world. Bruce will discuss the importance of the value of using locally adapted plants that are grown in a sustainable fashion with sound agro-ecological principles.

John Champagne, NSW

Permafund – it’s about fair share

John will talk about the Permafund, a charitable trust under Permaculture Australia. The trust gathers funds which are distributed to worthy permaculture projects both in Australia and overseas by the Permafund Committee.

Other presenters focusing on overseas applications of permaculture are Terry Leahy (NSW) who will show his film on permaculture in Zimbabwe, and John McKenzie (Vic) on Sri Lanka.

Guy Stewart, Qld

From Learning to Livelihood

Guy will present his journey from being a student at Djanbung to permaculture project work for grant funds, to achieving now full time stable, ethical employment creating ethical work opportunities to sustain ourselves, our communities and the permaculture movement. Inspiration for us all.

Open Spaces

The program will include Open Spaces – times for people to gather for in-depth discussions on:

  • Permaculture Australia
  • Permaculture education and APT
  • Leadership in permaculture
  • APC13
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