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Three TerraCircle consultants will feature in a new book documenting people responsible for developing the permaculture design system.

Adult education specialist and TerraCircle associate, Caroline Smith, has been working with Kerry Dawborn to edit the substantial volume of capsule autobiographies. The book is to be published by Holmgren Design Services, the consultancy started by one of the initiators of the permaculture design system.

The book will be launched later this year in different Australian cities, including two locations in Sydney.

A design syatem for sustainable living

Permaculture is a design system for sustainable living. Developed by Tasmanian academic and polymath, Dr Bill Mollison and landscape designer, David Holmgren in the late 1970s, it is broad in application and includes food systems, water and energy efficient building design, community development and much more.

Permaculture has been described as applied systems thinking and counts a great many influences, including the systems ecology work of Howard Odum, Fritz Schumacher’s writings on appropriate technology  Schumacher’s (Intermediate Technology Development Group, which has developed technologies for application in developing countries) and Robert de Hart’s forest food gardens ideas.

In the 1990s the design system made a move into international development, with permaculture-trained practitioners involved in projects in Nepal, Africa, the former Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Cambodia, South America and in providing training in urban agriculture in Havana, Cuba. Permaculture-trained people, then working with APACE (Appropriate Technology for Community and Environment) started their work, now continued through TerraCircle Inc, in the Solomon Islands.

Permaculture has met with enthusiastic acceptance in civil society and now, thanks in part to the nationally accredited certificate and diploma level vocational training in the design system, permaculture is starting to infiltrate professional and even local government areas as its reputation for credibility and utility increases.

Permaculture Pioneers a timely work

Stuart Hill provided inspiration for the Permaculture Pioneers

The initial inspiration for the book came from University of Western Sydney academic and developer of the University’s Social Ecology course, Dr Stuart Hill. His interest was in the motivational and psychological drivers of those who initially developed the design system.

Entitled Permaculture Pioneers, the book will contribute to an outstanding need-documenting the history of the permaculture design system, especially over its first two decades.

TerraCircle recognised

Since their days at APACE, TerraCircle consultants have been involved in food and livelihood projects in the Solomon Islands and PNG that are fully compliant with permaculture design principles although the projects, frequently AusAID funded, were not branded permaculture. In permaculture, it is the use of the principles rather than branding which makes them authentic permaculture.

Those appearing in Permaculture Pioneers:

  • Tony Jansen
  • Fiona Campbell
  • Russ Grayson

all have qualifications in permaculture and considerable experience in designing, implementing and managing permaculture projects.

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