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Review of the 10-Week Internship

Photo © copyright Craig Mackintosh

Booked in or considering coming to the 10-week PRI Australia Internship with Geoff Lawton? It might be worth having a listen to what three students thought of their at times challenging but overall very rewarding experience in the January 2010 Course.

Click play below to hear the talk:

Review of the 10-week Internship

Top 5 tips to make the most of the course:

  • The course runs 3 times per year so research the climate and pick the best time of the year for what you’re used to
  • Be prepared to work hard on a REAL farm, it’s not just contained to the classroom like a PDC
  • If you plan to have a mobile/cell phone, get a ‘Telstra Next G’ pre-paid phone. Other phones won’t get reception
  • Bring your own laptop, there is one shared computer for the basics but if you want to blog or use a computer at night you will need your own
  • Let your family and friends know that there is very limited daily access to internet and not to expect to always be able to contact you.

A little about the people in this podcast:

Patrick Blampied – Left a ‘real-world’ office job in marketing to do the internship. Has since found work blogging for this site, teaching Permaculture in his home town and consulting with Nick Huggins.

Paul David Stockhausen – Worked in organic food production for resturants before taking the internship. Has since returned to teach at Hayes Valley Farm in San Francisco. Also got work consulting/implementing straight out of the internship in Australia before heading home.

Nick Huggins – Packed up a successful landscaping business after 11 years in Horticulture. Nick has landed straight back on his feet following the internship by applying the same business skill set that made his landscaping business successful, except this time Round-up isn’t in his tool kit! He has picked up 3 large consultancies so far with good prospects of on-going work. Hear Nick talking to ABC Radio.


  1. Great work guys!
    I will be attending in Jan 2011 and am very excited about the trip. I noticed Patrick had a caravan, did you park it on site and if so were you plugged into power, water, etc?
    Keep up the great work and keep us posted on what projects you all are working on.

  2. Very concise, honest and helpful podcast guys (I envy all your fine oratory talents) and timely since I am taking the July internship. Is the internship at all flexible in terms of some class work being replaced with helping run the farm operations? My interest is more toward farming than teaching or consulting so the teaching and Aid modules are of less interest to me. That said, I guess learning to teach a PDC is a great way to reinforce the concepts.
    I don’t quite follow the “3 days classroom, 2 days practical” since I thought the 5 classroom modules (teaching PDC, perm Aid Worker, Soil Fertility, Water Catchment, and perm for primary producers)were for 5 consecutive days each. Or is there a 3-days class, 2-days practical pattern for the entire 10 weeks? How does that all work? Do you know if the permaculture for primary producers module will be held during the July – October internship?

    Thanks, Matty

  3. Also, is there an internet cafe or wi-fi spot in The Channon one could bicycle to? Does the farm have wi-fi or just plug in internet?

    Is there a chance to work on some natural building projects over the next few months?


  4. Thanks for the comments guys. Im sure Pat & David can answer these question to at some stage.

    Titus Blair: i’ll let Pat answer that one.

    Matty: The running of the farm is so extence that im sure that you could take the raines on some task if your up early enough.
    Im sure once you take the Aid worker and PDC teacher training your mind will change. Trust me!
    As for the schedual of the teaching v prac David will be doing the teaching on your internship with Geoff so ill let that one go thru to him.
    Internet cafe or wi-fi spot in The Channon NOT A CHANCE! its as far from anywhere as you can get.
    The farm has plug ADSL in internet. Its good coverage. NO GOOD for more personal SKYPE meeing with partners if you catch my drift.
    Chance to work on some natural building projects over the next few months will be possible with the final construction of Geoffs new house if not allready completed. Plus the new class rooms and straw bail cabins must be ready to start soon.

    I’ll be down there at the farm during your Internshp so I’ll look forward to meeting you.

  5. Thanks for that guys ive been cruising past every few days to keep up with whats going on Im also on the july Intership. I think my climactic experience will be the reverse of yours though as im coming down fron Cape York in far north queensland so am probably going to freeze to death. As my wife and kids are coming down also we are staying up the road at eternity springs and the kids are going to school at The Channon. Cant wait to meet everyone and get stuck into things

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