David Arnold, BA, Dip Ed, Diploma of Permaculture
After his PDC in 1991, David started by permaculturing his back and front yards in West Preston, Melbourne. He has been developing Murrnong since 1996. Along the way he has done permaculture design and development work across North East and North Central Victoria. Through these various projects he developed skills and expertise in design and development for home self-sufficiency, farm planning, farm scale tree and shrub landscaping, farm forestry, homestead orcharding, tree crops, ecological building, energy efficient retrofit of existing buildings, and even a dabble in publishing when he conceived and produced the Permaculture Calendar.
David was born in 1963 at Hay on the riverine plain in western NSW. His childhood and primary school years were spent on a sheep station near Carrathool called Gundaline, that his father Charles managed. In the 1970’s the station was bought by a US based agribusiness multinational, and converted by heavy earthworks to broad acre irrigated row cropping. As a child David observed the farm and these changes, usually when taken along as gate opener and companion for his dad. The remnant natural qualities – of what had been a rich pastoral landscape since long before European settlement – were more appealing to David than the increasingly industrial agriculture. In the 1970’s the food self-reliance of the isolated homestead settlement, with vegetable garden and orchard, was fast giving way to weekly (180km return) shopping trips. Parental lessons about economy and care of things were still strong.
Occasional work at his family’s farm near Violet Town in the 1980’s gave David opportunity to interact with that landscape and experiment with tree planting to improve the rural landscape. This lead to his more consciously permacultural journey that began in 1990.