Winter Permaculture Design Certificate PDC Course at the Permaculture Research Institute, Australia


“The problems of the world are becoming increasingly complex but the answers remain embarrassingly simple” – Bill Mollison

David Spicer and Salah Hammad are joining forces in this year’s Winter Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course at The Permaculture Research Institute, Australia with a guest lecture from Geoff Lawton. It will run for two weeks from Monday the 6th to Friday the 17th of July, 2015.

As a 72-hour course, the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course allows you to be the change you want to see in the world. Our PDCs are centered on Bill Mollison’s Permaculture Designers’ Manual. They provide an introduction to Permaculture design as a science that can create abundant ecosystems sustainably in backyards, a small farm or on a larger broad acre landscape.

This PDC will be taught at Zaytuna Farm, home of The Permaculture Research Institute in The Channon, Northern NSW. As one of the leading Permaculture demonstration sites in the world, Zaytuna Farm has a range of functioning systems including water harvesting, food production, and a very productive animal husbandry. All of these elements will add to the learning experience and make this course a very rich experience and one not to be missed.

To date, thousands of permaculture designers have been certified through this course. They now comprise a global network of educators, ecological activists, individuals, and groups of committed people working together to change the way we view and design into our landscapes. These Permaculture designers influence major corporations and create new business alternatives.

This Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course covers sustainable living systems for a wide variety of landscapes and climates. It includes the application of Permaculture principles to food production, home design, construction, energy conservation and generation, and explores alternative economic structures and legal strategies supporting permaculture solutions.

Specific topics include:

* Theory and principles of permaculture
* Concepts and Themes of Design
* Systems thinking and Methods of Design
* Pattern Understanding
* Understanding the impacts of climate and landscape.
* Trees and Their Energy Interaction with the Ecosystem.
* Water
* Soil
* Earth Working and Earth Resources
* Designing for Different Climates, Humid, Temperate, and Arid
* Aquatic Design
* Alternative Nations
* Appropriate Technology
* Eco-friendly house placement and design
* Energy conservation techniques
* Recycling and waste management
* Organic food production
* Water harvesting and management
* Ecological pest control
* Drought-proofing
* Soil rehabilitation and erosion control
* Livestock
* Aquaculture
* Windbreaks and fire control
* Practical Designing Exercise

The foundation for this course is the Permaculture Designers’ Manual by Bill Mollison. It is included in the tuition and students will receive it the first day of the course.

Students are invited to bring details of their sites or potential sites to consider during the course.

Course Instructors

David Spicer
David Spicer’s approach to design and education is based on a proven emphasis on practicality, having over 15 years experience in Permaculture education working and teaching with Bill Mollison at the Permaculture Institute (Tasmania) and Geoff Lawton, the Managing Director of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and Zaytuna Farm. He is renowned for his ability to explain concepts and ideas simply, getting to the basics.

David previously worked as farm manager of the renowned Tagari Farm and Zaytuna Farm in northern New South Wales.

He has taught and worked extensively within Australia and internationally on various projects, covering five Australian states, Morocco, Jordan and Palestine covering a broad array of different climate zones. David is a valued member of the team headed up by Geoff Lawton.

He has the distinction of being Registered Teacher #5 with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia.

David currently serves as Lead Consultant and Educator for

Salah Hammad
Salah’s passion for sustainable food production started while working with struggling small farmers in Jordan. The experience exposed him to the urgent need for an alternative approach. This was when he decided to make the transition into a career in Permaculture following a 10-year long career in the food industry. During his career, Salah has led and trained large teams in different food production related projects and setups, including manufacturing, service and sales. Salah is now designing, teaching and living Permaculture at the Permaculture Research Institute, Australia as a farm manager.
With experience in dry arid, temperate, and subtropical climates, covering both urban, rural and broad acre setups, and with co-teaching experience with world-leading teachers including Geoff Lawton, Rhamis Kent, Alex McCausland and Miles Durand, he is aiming to empower individuals and communities with permaculture tools that will help them meet their needs and care for the earth.

Geoff Lawton is an internationally-renowned permaculture educator, consultant and practitioner. He emigrated from England to Australia and later studied Permaculture with Bill Mollison in Tasmania. He established the Permaculture Research Institute at Tagari Farm in New South Wales, Australia, a 147-acre farmstead previously developed by Mollison. PRI was eventually moved to Zaytuna Farm, in The Channon, where it continues today.

Since 1985, Geoff has designed and implemented permaculture projects in 30 countries for private individuals and groups, communities, governments, aid organizations, and multinational corporations. He has taught the Permaculture Design Certificate course and designed permaculture projects in 30 countries.

Why do a PDC at The Permaculture Research Institute, Australia?

“Because it’s a permaculture paradise with amazing people sharing their knowledge and wisdom.” – Heli

“Zaytuna Farm is an exceptional place to study permaculture because it is a highly dynamic environment, perpetually changing according to new observations and responses to observations, as well as newly perceived efficiencies and benefits. Extra plus points are that the Channon area is one of great beauty and surviving diversity, and the farm seems to be on the path as a station for many experts in different fields, adding into the rich offering. The spirit of evidence-based learning is planted firmly there.” -Gabrielle

“It’s great to learn about swales and then go out and see them functioning” – Konstanitine

“So many things! To be introduced to permaculture its great to be surrounded by it “ – Andrea

“A PDC held at Zaytuna Farm gives you the enviable opportunity of not only seeing the theory of Permaculture in action, but the optional experience of getting your hands dirty by being involved in the daily activities of a working Permaculture paradise. I found the daily opportunity of working alongside and interacting with those at Zaytuna strengthened my practical skills and allowed me to learn more as they patiently answered my millions of questions. My advice if you get the chance to do a PDC at Zaytuna? Go for it!” – Leanne

“I traveled from Europe to Australia to learn Permaculture at its birthplace. A PDC (Permaculture Design Course) here offered me the theory and practical application from one source. To see and feel applied Permaculture for more than ten years is not so easy to find.” – Heinrich

“Zaytuna is a fantastic place, has a nice atmosphere and we can learn a lot while watching and helping in the early mornings. The teachers have a lot of experience to share and are always happy to help”- Angelica

“Zaytuna Farm is an ideal site for attending your PDC. AS it is a working Permaculture farm it has lots of examples of techniques that you learn in the PDC, so you can see them in action. EG. There are many food forests in various stages and have been established using different strategies and plant mixes. The importance of placement of elements e.g. animals and plants are seen and felt on a working established farm. There are examples of larger main crops, and smaller backyard sized vegetable gardens, and with many different types of animals, you get a complete picture. To top it all off, the design of buildings, energy and water harvesting methods can be experienced in this beautiful setting. I think it is a great learning environment.” – Karen

Course hours: 9am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday (15 minutes break in morning and afternoon, and 30 minutes lunch break). Weekends are off, and self-catered.

Meals: This course is fully catered with breakfast, lunch and dinner provided plus morning and afternoon tea. On weekends, students are to cater for themselves.

Included in your fee is Bill Mollisons’ Designers’ Manual valued at $114

Accommodation and other Details: Camping accommodation will be available.
Information on directions, accommodation/facilities and Visas can be found here.

An early bird discount is available if the fees are paid 21 days before the course starts making the total $1,790 AUD.

No prior knowledge is necessary to take our Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Courses.

For more information and to book please see the course listings or contact Salah: education (at)

The Permaculture Research Insitute

PRI Zaytuna Farm functions as a model farm (in development) and permaculture training facility. Geoff and Nadia Lawton, world-renowned permaculture educators and consultants, lead the project. Much of Geoff and Nadia’s time over the last few years has been spent away from the Institute, consulting and helping set up projects in diverse locales around the world. Seeing the worldwide demand for knowledgeable permaculture consultants and teachers increase exponentially, as fuel and fertiliser prices skyrocket and the effects of climate change, soil depletion and water shortages begin to hit hard, priority and focus is now shifting back to the Institute, where growing the training program will increase the output of quality teachers to help fill the growing need for them.

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