After his PDC in 1991, David started by permaculturing his back and front yards in West Preston, Melbourne. He has been developing Murrnong, just on the edge of Violet Town, 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 orchards, tree crops, ecological building and energy efficient retrofit of existing buildings, and even a dabble in publishing when he conceived the Permaculture Calendar.
The trees have grown, Murrnong has become a farm, and has become David’s main occupation, with a stall at regional farmer’s markets most Saturdays, farm tours, courses and workshops.
David co-originated the idea of permaculture with Bill Mollison back in 1976, and wrote Permaculture One as his honours thesis. As well as being a highly capable practical person – gardener, builder, environmental engineer – his impressive list of publications have provided much of the intellectual and practical foundation of permaculture. His most recent book, RetroSuburbia, is a pleasure to read and is a helpful companion to this PDC.
Master of Sustainable Agriculture, BSc, Diploma of Permaculture
Beck has been practising permaculture since completing her PDC in 1994. In that time she has been doing permaculture in rural and urban areas, and on community projects such as Gravel Hill Gardens in Bendigo. She lives near Heathcote in central Victoria on a 40-acre permaculture farm with food forests, milking and meat goats, poultry and other food systems, as well as areas of native vegetation. She has a special interest in animals in permaculture, and in ecological systems. She has written for various publications including Permaculture Activist, Pip Australian Permaculture magazine and Earth Garden’s City Permaculture. Beck loves tutoring on PDCs and also runs Accredited Permaculture Training. (Her website includes the blog of her 2015 visit to the very hardy original wild apple forests of Kazakhstan.)
In 2007 Grahame moved with his young family back to Northern Victoria where he grew up. Since then he and Lisa have been working to transform a 1.2 hectare property on the edge of their small town. They make their living from this property, Katamatite Garlic, with their small commercial production, and with property tours. Although Grahame has been a student and practitioner of permaculture for many years, and the property is evidence of that, he completed his PDC in 2017 and found it to be a very rewarding and affirming experience. He is a ‘people person’ who loves plants and particularly loves soil.
Jade and Charlie Showers
Charlie Showers has worked in agriculture, soils, geology and natural resource management for close to 20 years however for the last 5 has started to use that knowledge to build a fairer food system in North East Victoria. He and Jade co-founded the Beechworth Food Co-op in 2014, and undertook a research tour of Vermont USA’s food system in 2015. As a geologist Charlie became curious about resource depletion and then working in environmental economics he came face to face with the limits of endless economic growth. This lead Charlie and Jade to permaculture. They have used permaculture design to guide their development of Black Barn Farm since 2016.
Jade is a skilled communicator and a force of nature. With big energy, big ideas, and perhaps big expectations, she is well qualified to discuss the challenges of balancing hopes and dreams with reality.
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