[permaculture] FW: Income from Permaculture

permaculture.biz darren at permaculture.biz
Wed Jul 23 20:45:55 EDT 2003

-----Original Message-----
From: Miltech [mailto:miltech at bigpond.com] 
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 7:47 AM
To: 'permaculture.biz'
Subject: RE: Income from Permaculture
Hi Darren
Yes there will be a list of teachers that PIL endorse to teach APT.
And I think that PIL will eventually be a self regulating industry body.
Are you a member currently?  We are coming up to an AGM and would like
to see as many permies in there as possible.  If not please join and
voice your views.
Go to the web site and down load the membership form and send it in
along with your nomination for a position.  It would be good to have you
on the board. 
-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture.biz [mailto:darren at permaculture.biz] 
Sent: Wednesday, 23 July 2003 11:40 PM
To: 'Miltech'; permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org; permaculture-oceania
Subject: Income from Permaculture
Hi Janet, 
I don’t see what is so strange about being called a Permaculture
professional. And yes Janet you are a professional as you have
demonstrated. Just the same as any person deriving an income (remember
the ATO doesn’t discriminate on what is income!) from Permaculture is.
My wife is an actor who contributes financially to our family – nothing
so unusual there. I’ve been independently making my living as a
permaculture designer and contractor for over ten years now having
decided at age 25 that this was the career path I wanted to go down. I
am now at a stage where I certainly can’t imagine doing anything else.
Perhaps I am a rarity in doing so – others out there can comment as to
their own situation. Sure being professional means that you’re doing
something for the money – I certainly am – how else do I pay the
mortgage, this internet access, utilities etc. etc. I wish I could use
LETS to do this – but I can’t say I’m hung up about it. If some in the
movement have hang-ups about this or associated issues then that is
their right – as it is mine to do as I’m entitled. As for the failure of
relationships etc. due to money issues – well that’s life in all
quarters. After my foray up in Maleny last year I did a new business
plan that determined a path of lower income generation (and lower hourly
rates) as a result of better management practices, reducing operating
costs and by living more frugally and sustainably. The analogy here is
of a system that is reaching maturity requiring fewer inputs and is more
stable and predictable after years of preparation, amendment and
The crux of the issue as I’ve raising it is this. I, for example, work
to abide by ethical standards of practice as a businessperson. I also
chose to operate as a permaculture-based business – which to me means
that the Permaculture Ethics frame the context of my business and its
products and services. I regularly get asked about my qualifications and
what professional memberships I have – and for some potential clients
who are forking out sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars based on
my advice it is important that who they are dealing with has some form
of peer approval – as would a surveyor or civil engineer. I’m sure I
have lost work over it – not a lot – but any is enough. 
I must say that the being on the edge of society is somewhere I have
always tried to stray from being – as I state on my website – “Our
mission has always been to help raise the profile of permaculture design
to the point where it becomes an unconscious practice as opposed to a
marginal methodology.”  Being on the edge is good for a while but it
soon wears thin – the road of those who have jumped into Permaculture,
Landcare, Volunteering and other passion-fuelled modalities is littered
with roadkill. Being a radical is ok for some but it doesn’t help
convince a sheep farmer struggling to keep his family farm. As many of
us know our simple approaches can be all the difference. We need to
break down any barriers that exist to mainstream what we are doing
without losing the integrity of what we are on about – its clear to all
of us – but not clear at all to anyone else out there. 
Is professional certification of permaculture practitioners something
that PIL or others are looking at doing – it would appear a natural step
– or is this the stuff of bureaucratization – something that is
historically counter to the paradigms of permaculture. 
What are other people’s perspectives? Especially those who are making a
living or part of their income from permaculture.
Anyway its been a long day on the CAD – another sheep property!  I have
no problem counting sheep I can tell you.
Yours and Growing,
Darren J. Doherty
Applied Diploma of Permaculture Design, (Education, Site Design, System
Establishment & Implementation) Permaculture Institute (1995)
Permaculture Design Certificate, Permaculture Institute (1993, 1995,
Whole Farm Planning Certificate (Train the Trainer), University of
Melbourne (1995)
permaculture designer @ permaculture.biz
a. 103 Casey St, East Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, 3550
p. 613 5444 1068
f. 613 5444 0621
e.  <mailto:darren at permaculture.biz> darren at permaculture.biz
w.  <http://www.permaculture.biz> www.permaculture.biz
-----Original Message-----
From: Miltech [mailto:miltech at bigpond.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 4:37 PM
To: 'permaculture.biz'
Subject: RE: [permaculture-oceania] Accredited Permaculture Training
The Institutionalization is a big issue.  Do we create what we want to
get away from? Or do we remain outside the mainstream with them picking
out all the easy to adopt or softer options and leave Permaculture with
all the hard options with the loss of balance and becoming less and less
attractive?  I don’t know who coined the phrase “Permaculture by
stealth” I think it was Geoff Lawton but that is what we have to do.  I
am of the mind that whatever we need to do to turn this thing around we
should bloody well do and bloody quickly.  
The term “permaculture Professionals” is a strange one as professional
usually means doing it for money
it also has the connotations of doing
it well and we all know they are not necessarily the same people.
Permaculture has this core of people who still shudder and squirm at the
mention of money as an exchange system.  And I understand where they are
coming from. Money for its own sake and as the measure of success is an
ugly, ugly thing. Yet it is a fact that no pc property around here has
ever failed or suffered from any natural disaster but plenty have failed
because of the financial realities of the current dominant system and
failure of relationships and often both.
A permaculture professional to me is one that knows their stuff, sticks
to the ethics, walks their talk and can maintain their own quality of
life without sacrifice (be sustainable) using all the exchange systems
available ( money, barter, trade etc).  At this stage I am no
professional as Mick has to work off farm to support what I do in and
for Permaculture.  I know my stuff and I think I walk my talk but I
can’t trade that to the council for rates
even though I donate many,
many hours to community projects.  I am a Permaculture Practitioner
looking to becoming a professional.
The original education system of Permaculture is a very successful and
wonderful thing and its value must never be diminished.  It has been a
strong arm but now we want two arms and inevitably there are going to be
those who want to set themselves up as centers of education
dissemination.  In the past some of these have been criticized by their
peers for being something they are not and the higher the profile the
larger the complaints.  I have heard things like “

 is trying to take
over Pc” or ”they think they own Pc but they aren’t that good.”  So,
many kept their heads down.  There was no measuring stick no course
assessments no evaluations no standards.  And didn’t they scream when
Bill simply asked for a demonstration that the whole curriculum be
covered.  It is time that those who have the qualifications (as listed
by their peers), who have developed good systems and who have happy and
successful students stuck their heads up and say “We do this here and
you can come and get some from us if you want to”.  Then we can move
forward.  If we stay in this comfortable country and snipe at each other
the rest of the world will wash or blow away before we can help.  
Australia needs to be a centre of excellence of education in
Permaculture and that system should spin off excellent practitioners
that make a difference.  If the new APT is half as successful in doing
that as the original system then I will be very happy.  The new system
gives us access to funding and those that otherwise would never come our
I could go on Darren but I must get back to work.  Happy to discuss this
with you.
-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture.biz [mailto:darren at permaculture.biz] 
Sent: Wednesday, 23 July 2003 3:04 PM
To: 'Miltech'; permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org; permaculture-oceania
Subject: RE: [permaculture-oceania] Accredited Permaculture Training
Hi Janet,
Your response was like gypsum to the turbid mind – it gathered all the
floccules.  One negative about all of this all of the new (and constant
obsolescence of) acronyms we’ll have to cram ourselves with. 
My spin is that it appears that this whole process, together with David
Holmgren’s new and very important work, signifies a shift to maturity
for our movement and its (inevitable if to survive) move into the
mainstream. The only danger is with rampant ego’s and stupid and
unnecessary politics. Cooperation not Competition is the key.
Maintaining a transparent process I agree is the only way to go. What we
have to sell in Permaculture is extremely potent and promises much for
those who grasp it. The more people we can get the message to (who want
to hear it) the better. Forums such as these present an excellent
platform to keep many of us (at least those connected) informed in very
democratic and free debate and discussion. 
The next question that comes to mind revolve around Institutionalisation
of Permaculture professionals – such as with other professionals – I
know that over some time this issue has been raised – however with all
of this mainstreaming of some part of Permaculture education system I
would anticipate better conditions for the development of such bodies.
I’d be keen to hear people’s thought’s on this issue. 
Thanks again Janet. 
Its raining inches gently down here – we need about 3 weeks of it

Yours and Growing,
Darren J. Doherty
Applied Diploma of Permaculture Design, (Education, Site Design, System
Establishment & Implementation) Permaculture Institute (1995)
Permaculture Design Certificate, Permaculture Institute (1993, 1995,
Whole Farm Planning Certificate (Train the Trainer), University of
Melbourne (1995)
permaculture designer @ permaculture.biz
a. 103 Casey St, East Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, 3550
p. 613 5444 1068
f. 613 5444 0621
e.  <mailto:darren at permaculture.biz> darren at permaculture.biz
w.  <http://www.permaculture.biz> www.permaculture.biz
-----Original Message-----
From: Miltech [mailto:miltech at bigpond.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 11:54 AM
To: darren at permaculture.biz
Subject: RE: [permaculture-oceania] Accredited Permaculture Training
Sounds great Darren.  There will be introductions to the new APT in all
regions.  They are going to be named COWs (course outline/overview
workshops )and we will have smaller ones and yes you guessed it they are
CALFs.  No risk that there will not be information, the only risk is
that one system or the other will act in an “exclusive” way.  I will
continue to make it all inclusive but also to rigorously insure that the
quality of ATP is maintained at a high performance and ethical level and
this may appear exclusive at times but without the qualifications and
proven outcomes
. forget teaching APT.
If you have a Cert IV in Workplace Teaching and Assessment that’s great,
if not best to get one ASAP or wait till we can get Pc specific ones up
and running
I don’t see a good reason to wait really.  Then the next
thing is to RPL to Cert IV in APT.  Assessors will do that free for
first 6 months with only charge to the RTO for Admin (quite a
significant fee I may add to folk who trade in potatoes and eggs.)  But
we can’t afford to work for more than 18 months for free to see this
thing happen. 
I have had calls about I did the PDC
I did this
I did that
now you want
me to pay for
No I don’t.  Those who do not see the value should remain with the
original and well-functioning system.  Those who realize the further
opportunities and those who saw the threat of Pc being taken over by
establishment rather than our own representative body can support us.
-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-oceania-admin at lists.cat.org.au
[mailto:permaculture-oceania-admin at lists.cat.org.au] On Behalf Of
darren at permaculture.biz
Sent: Wednesday, 23 July 2003 3:08 AM
To: Permaculture List; PC_oceania
Subject: [permaculture-oceania] Accredited Permaculture Training (APT)
Hi Janet,
Thanks for the reply – as I expected you answered all the questions –
you are indeed a great teacher!!
We had Lisa and Bill Mollison stay over here in Bendigo the last few
days and we discussed this whole issue at length – with their
perspective’s mirroring yours. Naturally they are interested in seeing
more information as to the course (s) content and mechanics – as we all
I expect that there will be those (such as you and I) who will have feet
in both camps – especially those (such as myself) who have faith in the
PDC (registered with PI or not) and the PIL approved courses.  
As a side note it was good to see both Lisa and Bill in good health,
brimming with ideas and a passion for each other and the future. Bill’s
still as naughty as ever

Lisa Heenan (my wife) and Bill made a heap of
Kim Chee – Lisa swearing never to take Bill shopping again!! We also
took them on a tour of the local Gravel Hill Permaculture Gardens which
they both enjoyed and thought were great (as they are!). The mere
mention of a wild paddock of Licorice put Bill into a state of joyous
apoplexy – so off we went and gathered a heap of huge roots and seed
from this little known ½ acre stand here in Bendigo (originally planted
by Chinese Miners in the 1800’s and now a stable monoculture). 
We’re still enjoying the Kim Chee!!
Yours and Growing,
Darren J. Doherty
Applied Diploma of Permaculture Design, (Education, Site Design, System
Establishment & Implementation) Permaculture Institute (1995)
Permaculture Design Certificate, Permaculture Institute (1993, 1995,
Whole Farm Planning Certificate (Train the Trainer), University of
Melbourne (1995)
permaculture designer @ permaculture.biz
a. 103 Casey St, East Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, 3550
p. 613 5444 1068
f. 613 5444 0621
e.  <mailto:darren at permaculture.biz> darren at permaculture.biz
w.  <http://www.permaculture.biz/> www.permaculture.biz
-----Original Message-----
From: Miltech [mailto:miltech at bigpond.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 7:08 PM
To: darren at permaculture.biz
Subject: FW: [permaculture-oceania] Nationally Accredited
PermacultureTraining (APT)
Hi Darren,
This is my response to your question on the Oceania list.  I sent it off
to the list a couple of days ago
.I think and it hasn’t come up yet.  So
I am sending direct to you.  If it does not come up on the list maybe
you know how to make the response public.  I don’t really understand how
the list works.
-----Original Message-----
From: Miltech [mailto:miltech at bigpond.com] 
Sent: Monday, 21 July 2003 1:19 PM
To: 'permaculture-oceania-admin at lists.cat.org.au'
Subject: FW: [permaculture-oceania] Nationally Accredited
PermacultureTraining (APT)

Hi All, 

Thanks Darren for your congratulations and support. And yes it is an
exciting time for Permaculture everywhere.  

I am proud to have been one of the team who has worked the new
Accredited Permaculture Training (APT) to this point.  It came as the
result of discussions and Pc conferences, convergences and gatherings
since 1993.  After accepting nomination to the board of the Permaculture
International Limited I joined the team as the QLD representative.
There are also representatives from SA, NSW and Vic.  We began
immediately after the endorsement at the Pc gathering in Nimbin last
August and received word of the acceptance of the package last week.
Our excitement is that it is not only a world first but that it is an
education package that can and must be continually contributed to, and
re-evaluated by, the industry body (all practitioners of permaculture).
Into the structure of the ATP will be built the flexibility and
inclusiveness that is the substance of Permaculture itself.  When the
board selects the RTO to work with, it will be one that has proven
experience, credibility, flexibility, and can think and act “out of the
box”. Our fear was always that an organization that did not meet those
criteria would achieve National Accreditation in front of our own
industry body. 

But there is a long way to go before we start delivery (2004) and the
flesh needs to be put onto the skeleton and that is where we need the
input of practitioners.  Already we have had offers from permaculturists
that we know follow best practice and we need more.  If anyone would
like to contribute please contact PIL with a sketch of your relevant
expertise.  There will be opportunities to write and trial modules.
There will be a structure put in place that will ensure good delivery,
assessment and graduates who are capable.  This will be far more
stringent than the teacher registration required by the Permaculture

That brings me to your question Darren.  How does the PI feel about the
National Accreditation of APT?  As a proud director of that body also, I
am happy (reasons stated above).  I am also happy with the system that
has been in place for so long.  I feel there is room for both and that
National Accreditation was inevitable and that it is best done by a
representational body in Australia FIRST. But it is also very important
to ensure the continuance of the PDC and the Pc Diploma as it is.  All
Permaculturists know that diversity and flexibility is a strength.  We
now have the opportunity to work within and without the mainstream.  It
would be a sad day indeed if the 2 week PDC no longer wove its magic and
lifted the hearts and minds of students to places they had only glimpsed
in dreams.  The system developed by Bill Mollison and carried out by the
Permaculture Institute has taken Permaculture to where it is today, with
300,000 known graduates working currently on 4000 projects in 120
countries.  Permaculture has improved the lifestyle of countless
thousands and repaired land and restored hope.  The original structure
created all the practitioners and teachers we have now and led to the
establishment of all the groups that work away in their own localities. 

With so much work to do all over the world there is no time to see
competition, only to see that now we have another prong to our fork,
another string to our bow, another way to Care for Earth, Care for
People and Share Surplus. One system can feed into the other.  They are
not necessarily mutually exclusive.  Both have benefits and drawbacks
(“Everything works both ways”.)  There was some resistance at first to
the Permaculture Institute’s requirement of teacher registration and now
we get 3 requests a day.  There is no question that either system wants
to “own” Permaculture.  That possibility has long past.  It belongs to
the world and those who want to create a future that we choose rather
than the one we just “get”.  Now we just have to promote what we believe
are the real solutions and if we have observed that we need to come at
it through another way then that we must do
 and we did! 

We can choose to support one system or the other or both.  It is all
good; we just have to get out there and do it

together, as a team, as a

Bill and Lisa are traveling and writing at this time.  They have been
kept informed of the progress towards the APT package and will no doubt
make a comment when they return home and/or complete the next book.  I
am hoping they will make regular contributions to the PIL newsletter
“The Planet” which has performed some of the roles played by our
well-loved PIJ.  It is important that the work that PI does is known.
The institute supports overseas projects, offers scholarships, promotes
Pc education and many other things that have gone unspoken and unknown
for several years. 

I look forward to the next National Convergence and in the meantime,
invite everyone to a gathering at Pc Noosa March/April 2004. 

Please contact me if you have any comment or question and I will
endeavour to act on them. 
Janet Millington
miltech at bigpond.com
Eumundi Crayfish Farm
Permaculture Noosa (Pres)

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