Daryl Hannah Attending Major Permaculture Conference in Cairns

Media Release

Daryl Hannah, attending major Conference in Cairns

Actress, film maker and leading environmental campaigner, Daryl Hannah will arrive in Cairns to attend a major conference to discuss permaculture design and education in September this year.

The Australasian Permaculture Convergence, APC10, is an anticipated biennial event to be hosted in the Wet Tropics town of Kuranda, a 40 minute drive from Cairns and gateway to the Atherton Tableland food bowl.

Hannah is passionately committed to practicing a low impact lifestyle.

From her small footprint, passive and active solar home, complete with grey water systems and organic garden in California, to being an early adopter of biofuels, Daryl Hannah has been actively spreading the good news of how well it all works and how good it all feels to be part of the solution for over two decades.

She has become one of the most influential sustainability advocates, reaching millions with her message. She has inspired countless individuals to become more informed and pro-active about the natural world and the part we all play in protecting it.

She has produced, hosted and shot numerous green TV appearances including pieces for CNN International and Good Morning America. Hannah has become an outspoken advocate for ethical and environmentally sustainable lifestyles on news programs in both the progressive and the conservative media.

Hannah will be the Key Note speaker at the Gala Dinner of the upcoming APC 10 Convergence in Cairns, September 24-27th.

Other confirmed speakers at the event include the Former Governor General of Australia, Major General Michael Jeffery; Permaculture Co-Founder Mr Bill Mollison and SBS Television’s Costa Georgiadis, of Costa’s Gardening Odyssey.

Hannah is also looking forward to completing her Permaculture Design Certificate at a two week residential course under the instruction of leading Permaculture designer/trainer, Mr Darren J. Doherty near Mareeba in early September.


Media Contact:

Anne Stephens – APC10 +61 (0) 417 266 345 / +61 (0) 7 4053 2899


  1. Its interesting to see her coming down to Australia for APC10. One of the things I haven’t seen within the Permaculture movement is very much concentration on energy. An excess of energy tends to make systems (living systems) chaotic. However for our modern lifestyle and the lifestyle we are accustomed to having, we need an excess of energy. This normally comes to us in the form of electricity, or petrol and natural gas. Without these our lives would be extremely different (and difficult! We all know moving 10m3 of mulch with a shovel that took only 30s to be delivered is hard work).

    Darryl Hannah was one of the “celebrity” speakers/backers at David Blumes press conference in the US a few months back to speak about the production of biofuels as part of a drive to get the US off foreign oil. She was there alongside L.Hunter Lovins and is a supporter of biofuels, primarily in that press launch case, ethanol. On my PDC with Geoff in 2008 we essentially ignored energy and biofuels were only discussed in a negative sense. I side with David Blume and Darryl Hannah on this, I think good design can be used for the production of biofuels in the same way it is for food forests and other living systems.

    David Blume puts forward his ideas well in his book (tome, but very readable) “Alcohol can be a Gas” and his first book version was prefaced by Buckminster Fuller back in the early 1980s after the first oil shocks. He suggests approaches such as growing cattails in sewage to both grow fuel and purify the waste water stream and then this could be enhanced by pumping some of the CO2 from the brewing process into the cattail bed to enhance the growth further (the lower part of the plant is high in starch). They produced over 2000 US gallons of ethanol from one harvest from an acre of marsh, far in excess of the 250-300 that corn produces.

    What do others out there in the Permaculture world think? Biofuels have been utterly vilified in the press but to most people this conjures up ideas of monocrops of corn or rainforest clearance to grow palms. David’s ideas are a world apart from this and Permies should easily relate to his concepts as he himself is a Permculturist. We all see and appreciate the difference between a monocrop farming system and an integrated one such as Joel Salatins so why not extend that concept to integrating energy crops into our designs?


  2. HI Andrew

    Essential oils can be extracted with a still but you would have more luck with a process like freeze drying as this really pulls out the oils. We did this some years ago with roses and man the first extraction was always incredible. Big upfront costs though, not as straightforward as a still which can be cobbled together very cheaply. The length of the column will directly influence the proof of what can be extracted, shorter makes lower proofs, long ones will take the purity out to fuel grade (> 180 proof, or 90%) this can then be blended with petrol as in the E85 engines. Or directly burnt in the engine with some small mods.


  3. G’day,

    Thanks for the note Pete….I for one always enjoy the discussion around BioFuels….simply I see that they have a great future though in decentralised, integrated production system alongside a raft of other technologies including that of Jean Pain’s and others, especially syngas integrated with forestry/aquaponics and biochar production. We have a client in California who is testing some of Dave Blume’s production claims around Typha communis L. as this has the potential to be the effluent fuelled/cycling sugar cane of the temperates from an ethanol production perspective. I personally have seen some great small and un-lauded examples of farmers growing their own fuels and yet again doing what some experts say isn’t possible or economic when its actually quite the opposite. Power on! Ciao, Darren

  4. I saw your article Tim and the comments so decided to get the book/video to check it out for myself. I have an electric motorbike, a Vectrix which goes like the clappers but with a range of 100km is more for city/personal use. Am impressed by Dave Blume’s work tho the sociopolitical implications mean an uphill battle with the corporations. I had some data on Typha spp used in wetlands from Holland 20 years ago (lent it out and didn’t get it back!!) and they certainly concentrate starch in the rhizomes. They also accumulate heavy metals so this has implications for using them in the human waste stream and after alcohol production using the mash in animals or bio-accumulatory systems. Regardless the potential for decentralised alcohol production with a range of materials looks more than promising. Perhaps we can kick off some wider interest in Cairns.
    cheers Harry

  5. Hi Harry, thanks for the feedback. If you are up in Cairns I’d have thought you’d be well placed to try out many species in that climate (including sugarcane of course). As far as I have been able to find out work on using the Typha species to its full potential is still in its infancy and exploring this avenue would be of great value as the use of wetlands and multiple functions (wastewater and/or blackwater treatment) removes any of the usual argument in regards to food vs fuel.

    As you would have seen in Davids book he always approaches from the Permie angle, multiple function, stacking and a longer chain of uses for the raw materials to extract as much use and value as possible. Is the PRI in NSW doing any of this at all now? Its been 2 years since I was there. I know they invested a great deal of capital into solar panels and batteries, a similar amount would be required for ethanol infrastructure (still, masher, pumps) but it would yield a far greater energy dense (and flexible) result. Usable in both cars and generators (which can still be used to charge batteries if needed). There are also fuel cells that are designed to run on ethanol as the fuel feedstock.

    If you want to read some of the literature about the potential of running ethanol (Octane of 105) in a vehicle you could try this link to some research done in the US.

    This paper deals primarily with alcohols, ethanol and methanol but shows in fairly easy to read format that the thermal efficiency of ethanol engines is better than diesels and far better than petrol engines meanign you drive further on less fuel and the emissions are a fraction of those found in petrol exhausts.

    Some vehicles manufactured in Brazil run ethanol only as it is clean and powerful when used in an engine designed to utilise it so this is a technology available today. Its not the perfect fuel, cold starting is a problem especially in temperate climates but this is also a fuel that can be retrofitted to existing vehicles. Replacing the 1.5bn existing vehicles with electric cars is not a realistic option. That said, driving less might be a good idea too :)


  6. Good Morning,

    As a passionate advocate for Human Rights around the world for over 20 years, I have found that in addressing the issue of the environment, we need to find solutions to poverty. The impact of poverty in third worlds, and our own, is one of the largest negative impactors on our environment.

    The issues of environment and poverty are linked and until we deal with both issues as a “package” we will face repetative “neighborhood” solutions versus worldwide sustaining solutions.

    International Legal Human Rights Advocate

  7. Firstly, I agree wholeheartedly with K.vonKrenner’s comments above and secondly there is potential for industrial hemp to provide a resource for bio-fuel as well as many other products currently made with petrochemicals

    I look forward to the conference and sincerely hope that there are many positive outcomes from the event.

    “We are the ones we have been waiting for” Hopi Elders

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