Darwin Permaculture Design Course

The Permaculture Design Course enables participants to understand permaculture in its essence and how it applies to all aspects of our lives, our food production and our environment.

filler for includes

12th to 24th July 2010
A full time two-week intensive course, 9am - 4pm most days, though times will depend on activities. Sunday 18th is a rest day. Internationally accredited curriculum. Cost: $750 inclusive (cheap!)

growyourown@y7mail.com.au or ph 0407 168200

Permaculture is the integrated and holistic design of sustainable communities. It draws on natural patterns and how ecosystems function to increase diversity, resilience, recycling and production whilst focusing on the permanence of our society ? protecting and improving soil, the environment and our communities. Permaculture creates localized systems that are compatible with the people, landscape and climates. It treats all parts of our living and needs as a holistic system rather than separate systems, with all parts being vital and integral to the whole.

Permaculture Design Course graduates will be able to apply permaculture and create designs for dwellings from flats to large rural properties and from different climates: tropical, sub - tropical and temperate. Throughout the PDC we will be looking at and practicing different techniques to achieve our design goals.

However, it is not just the knowledge of design and techniques that are important, as permaculture is centered around creating a different means of how we live, how we interact with the environment, how we produce our needs and how our society functions. It is an important alternative for people looking for a way to live more responsibly, more respectfully and more in balance with their surroundings. Sooner rather than later we need this to be the mainstream, not the alternative.

The Permaculture Design Course in Darwin will look at all climates, but will be locally based with an emphasis on tropical living, tropical agriculture and gardening and the tropical environment surrounding us.

Course Outline

The Permaculture Design Course will be fun and interactive, though by the end of the two weeks feelings of impending brain explosions due to information overload are inevitable! A focus will be on group discussions and drawing on the knowledge of the participants. Theory will be presented through many forms; verbal, illustration, slide show and practical, and various field trips will also be included to show different examples of tropical permaculture in action. Participants will also be putting their learning into action through designs, practicals, presentations and even role-plays.

Permaculture Design Course Topics will include:

  • State of play - where the world is at and where we want to go
  • Ethics and Principles of permaculture
  • Design techniques used in permaculture including zones and sectors
  • Natural Patterns and how we use them
  • Permaculture in different climates ? tropical, subtropical and temperate
  • Water security and water use
  • Soils
  • Home gardens and agriculture
  • Seed saving and nurseries
  • Animal Systems
  • Orchards and Tree crops
  • Housing - low energy design, local materials and retrofitting
  • Renewable and sustainable energy
  • Reusing and recycling household and society waste
  • Developing sustainable and local based communities
  • Developing sustainable and local based economies

Permaculture Design Course Facilitators

Lachlan McKenzie is a permaculture junkie. After completing his PDC in 1994 in Burra, South Australia, he practiced permaculture for many years in S.A., W.A., and Tasmania. In 1998 - 99 Lachlan undertook a training apprenticeship at Djanbung Gardens Permaculture Centre with Robyn Francis as well as a Creative Facilitation Course with Robin Clayfield and Skye at Crystal Waters. His permaculture adventures took him to East Timor in 2001 where he ended up living for 5 years working with a Timorese and internationals providing training and setting up demonstration sites. This culminated in the writing and production of a Permaculture Guidebook for East Timor with Timorese Permaculture expert Ego Lemos and the local NGO Permatil, along with many other training materials. A second accompanying facilitators book was written with IDEP Foundation as well as an educational DVD during his year long stay in Indonesia, where he worked in Bali and Aceh.

Lachlan now resides in Darwin and is working to help set up Lakeside Drive Community Garden in Alawa, permaculture gardens at Millner Primary School and providing permaculture and organic gardening workshops with other Darwin specialists.

Emma Lupin sailed around the tropics with her partner Jon for many years before settling in Darwin. She worked as a chef and enjoyed making food from the local foods available at the time. She has completed a PDC with Geoff Lawton and is a keen permaculturalist, gardener and local food promoter. She currently works at Alawa School Farm as the kitchen coordinator of their School Kitchen Garden Project, and is helping facilitate the current series of organic gardening workshops.

Lia Gill is a born and bred local horticulture expert (as well as being an accomplished artist). She has worked with the CSIRO grafting and taking cuttings of plant specimens and has run a market stall for many years selling plants she propagated herself. Lia completed a PDC last year in Darwin with Rosemary Morrow. She currently works at Alawa School Farm as the garden expert of their School Kitchen Garden Project, and is helping facilitate the current series of organic gardening workshops.

Chris Constable has worked in forestry and horticulture for many years. Over this time he moved towards more sustainable techniques and developed an interest in Permaculture. He completed his PDC 3 years ago with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton and since then has practiced permaculture wherever he lived. He now resides in Darwin and is especially keen to work in NT communities. He currently is working at Bagot community helping to set up a community garden.

Michelle Shugg is a renowned top end architect and sustainable landscape designer. She co runs In-scape-out landscaping and teaches at Charles Darwin University. Michelle completed her PDC last year with Rosemary Morrow.

Course Location

Base camp will be Nightcliff Uniting Church with its fantabulous new community garden The Mulch Pit. We will do most of the course and practical work there but will also visit many other places around urban and rural Darwin.

Course Provisions

The course will include lunches, snacks and drinks. Any participants with special dietary requirements will be happily catered for and the food will be prepared utilizing local organic produce as much as possible. Course notes will be provided for participants. Transport to and from field trip is also included, and we will help facilitate car pooling/transport to and from Nightcliff each day.


The total cost is $750 for the two weeks. This can be paid in total or as payment installments (please arrange this with us first). The PDC is part of the education component of the Lakeside Drive Community Garden. The community garden is supported by Charles Darwin University (CDU) and part of this support is the processing of workshop fees. CDU will send an invoice to you with payment options including on-line, EFT, cheque, credit card or cash. If paying by cash, please bring your invoice and pay over the counter at the Uni Info shop. All of the personal information that you give is protected by general CDU privacy laws.

Please Bring;
Note pad and pens
Appropriate clothing for practical work
Drink bottle for water refills
An open mind

growyourown@y7mail.com.au or ph 0407 168200

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