2019-2020 Permaculture Design Course

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Nov 16 2019 – May 17 2020    A 14 day course over 7 weekends from spring through to autumn. This extended format gives you time to take what you’ve learnt each session, thoroughly digest it all, absorb the sometimes life-changing content, and grow together as a learning community through these seasons. 

This PDC engages and immerses you in design examples ranging from intensive urban to rural. The base is our outdoor learning space at Murrnong, with easy access to the many features of applied permaculture design on the property. David Arnold is the main tutor throughout the course, with David Holmgren, Beck Lowe and others as guest tutors.

Each day has a mix of teaching and discussion. Through a series of design exercises you will be supported to prepare a retrofit plan for an existing building, or design a new building, and then to prepare a permaculture landscape plan for the land around that building. You might choose your existing home and garden, or a project you have in mind, as the subject for this design work. We workshop the development of these plans in small groups, supported by tutors. You get to consult with your tutors and fellow participants for your building retrofit and for your landscape plan. You also get to act as consultants with the tutor and other participants, helping each of your companions to think through their projects. 

On completion of the course you will receive a permaculture design certificate, and become part of the worldwide permaculture movement. Here are some things that previous participants have said about the Murrnong PDC.

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What will I learn in the course?

You will gain analysis and design skills, an understanding of our domestic and human ecology within the global context and an understanding of how our landscapes function. You will experience solutions and strategies that are already being developed, and gain an understanding of the methods being used to achieve this.

We look at how houses can be designed or modified to be energy efficient and comfortable, and how home gardens and farms can be set up to be productive, healthy and attractive spaces for the people and animals that live there. You will learn to identify how buildings and landscapes work, and ways to modify this so they work better, and require less external input.

You will be special guests at exciting permaculture sites, each quite different, to gain an understanding of the scope and scale to which permaculture can be applied. Within these sites we engage with elements ranging from intensive urban to rural homesteading, farming, forestry, ecological building and energy efficient retrofit, and from long established to under recent active development.

We will see and discuss how any permaculture is a combination of people and place, an expression of the culture of the people doing it. You can join our culture of earth care, people care, and fair share, with pragmatic and respectful solutions, to create a world that we want.

See more about site visits here.

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The topic areas cover these seven domains of permaculture action, left, with particular focus on solutions to the practical challenges we face in our own efforts to re-localise ourselves, our families, and our communities.



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The principles of permaculture design are explored and returned to throughout the course. For more information about these principles and the permaculture domains, (and an answer to ‘what is permaculture’) see Richard Telford’s permacultureprinciples.com



Course Details

Tutors: Click here to learn more about David Arnold, David Holmgren, Beck Lowe and other presenters.

Food: Fruit and nuts from the Murrnong orchard are supplied with morning and afternoon tea.

We all contribute to the shared lunch. This becomes a highlight and an inspiration for what we have each been able to produce at home, or source locally.

Produce grown and made at Murrnong Farm is available to purchase.

Camping: For each PDC weekend, overnight camping is possible, by arrangement. See some of the range of spaces available at Murrnong for camping, here.

The weekends:

Nov 16 & 17, Dec 7 & 8
Feb 15 & 16, Feb 29 & Mar 1, Mar 21 & 22, Apr 18 & 19, May 16 & 17

(We understand that occasionally someone will have a dates clash. If you have to miss more than two of the days, we see about catching you up.)

Course days run from 9am to 4.30pm (you are invited to come for a cuppa beforehand at 8.45).

Where: Murrnong Farm is easily accessible by road or train, just at the end of the Violet Town main street, here, a very walk-able 1 km from the train station. We carpool to access other sites.

Earlybird discount: $1150 if you book before June 30 2019

Cost: $1250 includes 14 days covering all topics required to award you with your Permaculture Design Certificate & give you the thinking tools to develop your own permaculture life practice. 

Friends’ discount: $2290 full PDC for two if you pay together.

If you have done a PDC before, and want to do this one, contact us to discuss a possible discounted price.

If you wish to apply for a concession place, please write to us outlining your reasons and circumstances. 


or reduce bank fees by contacting us for our bank transfer details. We are happy to discuss staged payment if that helps.

Contact us to discuss
 Cecilia or David 0428 981 679
email: murrnong@gmail.com

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