Permaculture Design Course 2018-08-10T12:43:27+00:00

Permaculture Design Course

PDC #26 Starts Wednesday 6th February 2019

Permaculture is a process for designing sustainable communities and is derived from permanent agriculture and permanent culture. Permaculture is a combination of traditional wisdom, modern science and technology and a detailed understanding of natural processes. Permaculture provides practical solutions to current unsustainable living standards, generating life styles which minimise our impact on the environment.

Permaculture is a design system based on ethics and principles which can be used to establish, design, manage and improve all efforts made by individuals, households and communities towards a sustainable future.


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 as well as a catered weekend away. The course content and approaches to teaching and learning is directed by a group of leading PDC teachers and practitioners. This 100 hour course is delivered by a range of professional, practicing permaculturists including David Holmgren, Joel Meadows and Earthcare Permaculture’s Graeme George.

CERES PDC graduates may be able to gain credits towards components of accredited Permaculture qualifications subject to a relevant RTOs’ RPL policies and procedures.  You are encouraged to speak directly to RTOs to clarify this.

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David Holmgren

David HolmgrenDavid 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.

Graeme George

graham_georgeGraeme 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 Permaculture Melbourne’s “Syllabus for Permaculture Design in Cool Temperate South Eastern Australia”. He served on Permaculture Melbourne’s Committee of Management for many years, was a founder of the Yarra Valley Permaculture Group and is currently Coordinator for the Yarra Valley Group’s weekly Organic Farmers Market at Healesville.

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 and the American Society of Mammalogists. 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.

Joel Meadows

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

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.

Adam Grubb

Adam Grubb - credit is a permaculture designer and Co-Director of the Melbourne based urban permaculture consultancy, Very Edible Gardens PTY LTD (VEG) ( with Dan Palmer and Nathan Edwards.  Adam came to permaculture largely through a concern about Peak Oil, an issue in which he was active for many years as founding editor of the global energy news clearinghouse starting in 2003, and co-founder of community radio 3CR’s Food Fight show about food issues also in 2003.  Adam took a PDC in 2004 with Darren Dorerty and David Holmgren and others in Bendigo.  In 2006 he was involved in the first permablitz — a volunteer backyard makeover day — and has been a long time facilitator of the now global permablitz movement (

In 2007 he was a caretaker of permaculture co-orginator David Holmgren and Su Dennet’s property Melliodora, and he has collaborated with David on his Future Scenarios work (  He has been involved with over 50 urban, community garden and small acreage permaculture designs and implementations, and in the last two years has given somewhere around 100 workshops and presentations on permaculture related topics such as energy literacy, peak oil and climate change strategies, permablitz, the science of compost for kids, backyard ecosystems and organic pest control, living soils, soil geology, useful weeds, fermented foods, alternative economic models and integrated urban permaculture systems.

Peta Christensen

Peta ChristensenPeta 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.

Tiff Bollhorn

Tiff BollhornTiff has over a decade of experience working in Outreach Environmental Education with children, schools and in the community. She has a Masters in Environmental Education and Communication which sent her on a new trajectory seeking creative and innovative ways of engaging in the field and in day to day living. After becoming a mom and completing her PDC, Permaculture has helped provide Tiff with a solid ground for positive, beautiful practice in life and work.

Inspiring her work in the Children’s Playspace at CERES and as a school-garden teacher, Tiff hopes to continue her Permaculture journey in co-creating spaces for imaginative learning and living.

Ben Habib
Ben Habib - SoundCloud avatarDr. 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.

PDC #26 Starts Wednesday 6th February 2019

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Participants will be provided with access to an online portal with resources as well as a resource folder and permaculture textbook. There is an expectation of attendance to all sessions for completion of the certificate. Where classes are missed they can be made up in another course stream.

Be prepared for classroom work and work in the field. Excursions will be in the course schedule and participants will need to be dressed in outdoor gear to protect against the weather.

PDC #26 Starts Wednesday 6th February 2019

Book Online

CERES PDC #26 starts Wednesday 6th February 2019

Book now at CERES Reception – 9389 0100 or online – 

Book Online Now

Course Length:
15 Wednesday  evenings 6.30 – 9.30pm
Some Saturdays and Sundays 9.30am – 5pm

CERES Community Environment Park

Full fee $1895 | CERES member/concession $1775

Payment info:
Payment in full is required upon enrolment to secure a place on the course. Please contact us on 9389 0100 should you not have access to a credit card as payment can be made by cash, eftpos or cheque via reception.  Should you be keen to attend and warrant consideration for a payment plan, please contact Luisa below.

Class size:
Limited to 20 students.

PDC 25 Schedule

Give Luisa Cardamone a call
9389 0124
Send her an email