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Permaculture Australia Survey – A Chance to Have Your Say

Warm Greetings to all members of the Permaculture community,

The idea of unifying the many components that make up the Permaculture movement in Australia is not a new one, but after a rich 30-year history, it is an idea whose time has come. This survey initiative enables all of you that have completed a Permaculture Design Certificate course in that 30 years or are currently active within your local Permaculture group to provide input toward progressing this concept to the next stage.

A brief history that has resulted in the culmination of this survey dates back to the Australian Permaculture Convergence in 2006 held in Melbourne. It began a dialogue that turned into a mateship between Bruce Zell, Ian Lillington and myself (the Amigo Troika) about what we perceived to be the differences embedded between key individuals and groups within the movement. We saw this as holding the voice of Permaculture back in its country of origin in order to refine an ideology that could effectively shape environmental and social capital at a time when the word ‘sustainability’ was on everyone’s lips. Permaculture defines ‘sustainability’ yet our enormous grassroots efforts were not having much impact due to a lack of unity. We were an elephant acting like a mouse and felt it necessary to apply Principle 8, ‘Integrate rather than Segregate’, to ourselves.

We saw APC 10 in Cairns last year as an opportunity to flesh this subject out but wanted discussion beforehand to canvas views. We set up a Google Groups mailing list titled ‘Permaculture Australia’ to encourage this. The results of the discussions in Cairns were by no means conclusive, but rather a positive response to further the idea.

The ‘Permaculture Australia’ Google Groups list continues today and you are all welcome to join to get a better perspective of this issue by reading the past conversations (see Discussions & Pages) and contribute yourself to ongoing ones.

This survey is a product of these discussions as it was felt that many valuable contributors were unable to attend the Cairns Convergence and deserved an opportunity to have an input into this ‘Great National Design Challenge’. It’s a starting point and just one tool that will inform this design process. The survey will close at the end of March and all those that complete their contact details will be forwarded the results.

It’s important that this survey reaches as many PDC holders and active group members as possible. Some of you have mailing lists of your local group, some are Permaculture teachers with a database of former students and some of you have friends you could pass it onto. Please, it’s vital we get as many responses to the survey as we can.

Responses from the survey will remain completely confidential and none of the information obtained from the results of the survey will be shared with any other party without expressed written consent.

We thank you for your contribution and here is the link to the survey:

Kind Regards
John Champagne on behalf of the Amigo Troika.


John Champagne – ph. 02 6402 7306 brogopg (at)
Bruce Zell – ph. 07 4039 0621 brucezell (at)
Ian Lillington — ph. 0488724176 ian.lillington (at)


  1. I’m tired so perhaps I am just getting fired up about nothing. But, it really gets my goat when people bang on about uniting permaculture practitioners, but go on to limit it to PDC holders! Particularly when in the same breath they claim the importance of ‘integration not segregation’. I love permaculture, I am devoting myself to it, and yet I am finding myself less and less interested in being part of the so called ‘community’. Seriously, at some stage the PDC mongers are going to have to accept that PDC’s are not the only viable route to a Permanent Culture or Permanent Agriculture. And the more it becomes an insistence the more people are going to push against it.

    It seriously saps my enthusiasm and makes me think – here we go again heading out into the universe on a lonely road.

    Am I missing something? Is there a secret Masonic handshake that only PDC holders get to know, is there some hidden Pythagorean information one only becomes privy to after a PDC?

    Come on folks integrate, and I don’t mean just in action, I mean in mindset too.

    My 2 cents

  2. Hi Grahame. I guess I should leave the author to respond, but I note it does say:

    This survey initiative enables all of you that have completed a Permaculture Design Certificate course in that 30 years or are currently active within your local Permaculture group to provide input toward progressing this concept to the next stage.

    At the very least your valued involvement in our forum might count? :)

  3. I began to read this piece with interest, but hadn’t read very far when I saw this was a boys’ event.
    I’m not the slightest bit interested in this kind of conversation. In fact, I find it unreconstructed and it makes me very sad to think this goes on with the ethical dimensions of permaculture.

    Heather Formaini

  4. Heather: Boys event? What a load of rubbish. I suppose it’s also racist as the discussion group didn’t include people of a chinese background? Any redheads in the group?….etc.

    Grahame: A PDC is certainly a worthy investment for anybody interested in the Permaculture concepts, regardless of your perceived level of knowledge. By participating in a structured course framework you will discover things that have evaded your research skills. Unfortunately a lot of PDCs are priced out of reach of many, but mine was sub $500, so they are out there.

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