Permaculture Design Course

Next Available: Wed, 06 Feb 6:30PM
3.0 hours
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Permaculture Design Course

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** Next Course commences on Wednesday 6th February 2019

The CERES PDC covers the whole design course curriculum with extra time for urban issues and reading the landscapes of cool temperate south-eastern Australia. Our course follows the Permaculture Educators Guild Syllabus. The course is a mix of classroom presentations, workshops, design exercises, practical exercises and visits to properties to see Permaculture in action including one catered weekend away to Castlemaine. The course content and approaches to teaching and learning is directed by a group of leading PDC teachers and practitioners. The course is delivered by a range of professional, practicing permaculturists including David Holmgren, Joel Meadows and Earthcare Permaculture’s Graeme George

Participants who complete the course will earn a CERES Permaculture Design Course certificate and credits toward Certificates III & IV in Accredited Permaculture Training.

Course Length: 15 Wednesday evenings 6.30 – 9.30pm 9 weekend days 9.30am – 5pm  

*Thanks to Anja Williams for the photo - PDC 2018

Trainer Profiles...................................

David Holmgren

David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. Since then he has developed three properties, consulted and supervised in urban and rural projects and presented lectures, workshops and courses at a wide variety of events and venues in Australia and around the world. His writings over those three decades span a diversity of subjects and issues but always illuminating another aspect of permaculture thinking.

At home (Melliodora in Hepburn, Central Victoria), David is the vegetable gardener, silviculturalist and builder. Within the international and growing permaculture movement, David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependent consumerism.

As well as constant involvement in the practical side of permaculture, David is passionate about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability, the focus of his seminal book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. David's book Retrosuburbia was released in 2017.

Graeme George

Graeme lives on a 5 ha property near Healesville in the Yarra Valley where he  runs a small market garden and heritage fruit orchard in a bushland  setting. He has a background in conservation biology and the captive breeding of endangered wildlife, has been teaching  Permaculture Design and Applied Permaculture courses since 1994 and is  compiler of the Permaculture Educators Guild “Syllabus for Permaculture  Design in South Eastern Australia”. He served on Permaculture  Melbourne’s Committee of Management for many years, was a founder of Permaculture Yarra Valley and the weekly Organic Farmers Market at  Healesville.

In  2004 he developed and for several years taught Permaculture by Distance  Education as a second year subject for Charles Sturt University’s  degree in Ecological Agriculture based at Orange. He has been a Seed  Saver for many years, and is also a member of Birds Australia, the  Australian Mammal Society, the American Society of Mammalogists and  local landcare and environment groups. His publications on the  evolution, zoogeography and conservation of New Guinea’s marsupials  earned him a Master of Applied Science degree in 1994.

Graeme  has a passionate interest in the application of Permaculture concepts  to land use patterns and has travelled widely across Australia studying those.

Joel Meadows

Joel Meadows is an energy auditor, sustainable transport consultant, environmental educator, designer and maker in steel and wood, cooker of food, avid gardener and musician. Joel has worked for private, government and not for profit organisations and runs his own business – the Green Hand Institute. Joel lives with his family in Castlemaine – Central Victoria, where he is working on a permaculture house and property.

Kate Pospisil

Kate is a passionate gardener, cook and urban farmer. Inspired by the adventures of Tom and Barbara from The Good Life, Kate grows and tends a large veggie garden, raises chooks and keeps guinea pigs and bees on an‘almost quarter acre’ block in Melbourne’s northern suburbs with her family.

Kate is a registered Landscape Architect and permaculture designerwith over 15 years’ experience in a diverse range of landscape projects and has worked in a range of employment settings including small and medium design firms, a large engineering company and as a sole practitioner.

Kate completed her PDC at CERES in 2009 and in2013 established The Urban Pear, a designpartnership with WendySkala. The Urban Pear has given Kate the opportunity to explore her passion for permaculture and landscape architecture and the connection between the landscape and the way we eat and live through workshops, presentations, design and education.

Kate is a member of the Permablitz Designers Guild and Transition Darebin

Donna Livermore

Donna Livermore is an educator, biologist, permaculture & gardening teacher and community activator. She is passionate about living a life of good health, sustainable abundance and with a strong connection to the environment and local community. Donna has an on-going commitment to school education through her work in sustainability and biodiversity education.

With chickens, worms and a productive food garden in the front yard of her tiny suburban block, Donna is reimagining what it means to live a good life in the city and shares this with others in her local community and through her Instagram page A Good Life in the City.

Ian Lillington

Ian first studied permaculture on a three day intro in England in 1985 and then, while on a contract in Melbourne, met and worked with David Holmgren on a CERES social enterprise project in 1989.

Back in the UK in 1990 , he decided to do a PDC [a 14 day residential with Graham Bell and Nancy Woodhead.  In 1991 he attended at Bill Mollison’s 4 day advanced course in Gloucestershire, and edited Graham’s ‘Permaculture Way’ book and Patrick Whitefield’s ‘Permaculture In a Nutshell’ and was then [early 90s] a contributor to the UK permaculture news.

Much of his permaculture work from 1992-now has been in Victoria and he taught PDCs with David Holmgren and Su Dennett from 1993 to 1996 and at the the Food Forest, Gawler from 1996-2004.  He was also was a guest on early PDCs at CERES around 1994.

In early 2000s’ he wrote The Holistic Life - a book that is an intro to permaculture [now only available as a PDF].   Since 2007 he has been involved in developing and teaching the Castlemaine PDC [on day per week format], now in it’s 15th version and co-teaching with Holmgren/Dennett and Beck Lowe at other central Vic courses.

In 2015-17 he was involved in the Green Education movement via Green School Bali, teaching a PDC there and in Shanghai. He is also a leader with our SE Australia permaculture educators guild, that dovetails with the fledgling IPEN [International Permaculture Educators Network].  

He has also written for PIP magazine and is researching the financial and economic aspects of permaculture. 

Peta Christensen

Peta Christensen has worked in the areas of urban agriculture and community food projects for the past 20 years.  In the early 2000s Peta was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to explore community gardens and markets in low income communities which took her to the USA, Canada, Brazil, Denmark and Cuba. Peta and her family are part of a small community in Fish Creek where they are trying to make their grander permaculture dreams come true.

Ben Habib

Dr. Benjamin Habib is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Ben is an internationally published scholar and blogger with research and teaching interests including the political economy of North Korea’s nuclear program, East Asian security, international politics of climate change. He also teaches on global environmental politics, Australian politics and contemporary China.

Ben is a board member of OASES Graduate School in Melbourne and is an Asia Literacy Ambassador for the Asia Education Foundation.  He has worked previously for Flinders University, the University of South Australia, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and has spent time teaching English in Dandong, China.  In June 2014, Ben completed a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) at CERES Community Environment Park in Melbourne and is now a contributing facilitator within the CERES PDC program, focusing on the application of permaculture design principles to socio-economic systems.

Ben completed his PhD candidature at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia in 2011, after graduating with a B. Arts (Hons) from Flinders University and a B. Arts from the University of South Australia.  He has also studied at Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea.

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What you will learn
  • Introduction to permaculture principles and design principles
  • Reading the landscape, patterns in nature and communities, economic systems & reforms, energy use & flows in design and more
  • How to create a permaculture design for an existing site and client
What you will get
  • A selection of expert CERES Trainers providing expert theory and advice on real life applications of permaculture
  • Access to an online portal with resources, resource folder and permaculture texts
  • Classroom theory, practical examples, site visits and weekends away to permaculture properties
  • Whole design course curriculum including rural and urban systems and reading the landscapes of cool temperate south-eastern Australia

What to bring
  • Be prepared for classroom work and work in the field. Field days require you to dress for the weather
  • Appropriate weather gear eg sunhat for site visits and weekend days
  • Pen and paper
  • Dinner for evening classes - fruit, tea and coffee provided.
  • A yearning for learning!
What to wear


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30 August 2018 • Permaculture Design Course

Completed the PDC course over winter. A lot was covered and all easy to understand and delivered by enthusiastic and knowledgeable lecturers. Also met some wonderful people along the way. Can honestly say that doing the course changed the way I see and now do things now. Nothing too radical but life changing anyway. I will put my kids through the same course when they grow up a bit. Would recommend it to anyone, you won't regret it.


08 August 2018 • Permaculture Design Course

Great content, teachers are all very enthusiastic, energetic and knowledgeable.