[permaculture] Permaculture Research Institute of Australia

Claudia Joseph permie at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 13 16:53:01 EDT 2007

Dear Robyn,
I appreciate your thoughtful an calm clarifications of our existing  
and ever-developing permaculture network.
Sincere thanks,

On Jun 12, 2007, at 4:39 AM, Robyn Francis wrote:

> On 12/6/07 3:21 AM, "Sean Maley" <semaley at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Who now has the rights to the "International Permaculture  
>> Journal"?  This
>> could be useful for international Permaculture fund raising.
>  The journal ceased publication in yr2000 when our government  
> introduced GST
> which would have meant a $6000 unplanned-for tax burden on pre- 
> subscription
> sales - the risk of insolvency was too great so the mag went onto  
> the big pc
> compost heap of history. However the organisation Permaculture  
> International
> Ltd still exists.
>> When you say "most pc institutes are run as trusts", I hear you  
>> saying
>> "Permaculture Institute" and "Permaculture Research Institute" are  
>> trusts.
>> I'm quite certain they are charities.  Charities are restricted from
>> furthering one group or individual's agenda ("conflict of  
>> interest" bylaw
>> clause requirement; financial support not limited to a small group  
>> per tax
>> filings; beneficiaries not a limited class; etc).  Since this is a  
>> discussion
>> about Permaculture, the issue of democracy is redundant.
> Sorry, I was most definitely NOT just referring exclusively to the
> institutes you quote. I repeat, many permie institutes (and there  
> are heaps
> of them around the planet) are set up as trusts (a legal structure  
> heavily
> promoted by Bill). Trusts by their inherent nature are not  
> democratic unless
> the parent trustee entity happens to be a democratically structured  
> legal
> organisation. In the absence of this, the appointed trustees have  
> absolute
> control, even in a charitable trust, and even charitable trusts can be
> operated for personal gain with a smart accountant (please, please  
> don't
> misconstrue this last statement as an oblique accusation about any  
> specific
> individual or organisation, once again I am simply stating facts about
> trusts and how they operate or can be manipulated, for example under
> Australian law).
> I will state however that the inherent lack of democratic process  
> in trusts
> is definitely one of my issues with the Permaculture Institute and the
> policy changes about PDC's & teachers made without any consultation  
> with the
> wider pc community. In the early years of pc these decisions were  
> thrashed
> out at IPC's and recommendations made to the Institute. This system  
> operated
> on goodwill but the democracy of goodwill without a legal framework  
> can be
> easily dismissed.
> I state the above not in any form of derision or negativity but  
> simply as
> fact.
> I, and many other international pc trainers have also helped people  
> in other
> parts of the planet establish local and national bodies for  
> permaculture
> work, not all call themselves institutes and not all are trusts. Legal
> structures and requirements vary from country to country.
> I simply feel that if we want to discuss the possibility of a pc  
> portal or
> any form of central entity it should be based on a democratic  
> membership
> framework with membership being people who have at least a PDC and are
> actively practicing/teaching pc.
>> ------------------------------------------
>> The PDC and Teacher Registration:
>> ------------------------------------------
>> If you all agree with the start given to you in the Designer's  
>> Manual, why
>> can't you begin there?  Perhaps by submitting your own notes, a  
>> better
>> understanding can be achieved with the Permaculture Institute.   
>> How far will
>> they go to require the Designer's Manual content and nothing  
>> else?  Until you
>> fully test the edge, you don't really know the edge.
> Sean, after receiving PDC certificates from the Institute for 17  
> years for
> over 70 PDC's including co-teaching with Bill, in 2002 I was suddenly
> informed I'd have to register and so sent in a course outline and  
> program
> accordingly. My application was rejected because my course program  
> taught
> subjects in the wrong sequence and not in the order they appear in the
> Manual. The check-list of the Manuals table of contents with a  
> tickbox next
> to each is the methods of 'judging' an application. Permaculture  
> experience,
> track-record and teaching ability is immaterial in this process. I  
> wrote a
> very polite and thorough response to the institute demonstrating  
> that all
> the key areas of the Manual were covered in my courses and never  
> received
> any reply. I am not prepared to send in a lie sheet with a  
> fictionary course
> program designed so that all the check boxes can be easily ticked  
> off. I
> provide an excellent PDC and have produced many outstanding  
> teachers and pc
> designers in the past 25 years.
> I continue to teach PDC's internationally (the July course here  
> will be my
> 98th PDC) but my key focus now-days is on post-PDC advanced  
> training and the
> more in-depth Accredited Permaculture Training Certificates &  
> Diploma. (see
> http://www.permaculture.com.au)
> I keep on pioneering new edges of permaculture, especially in the  
> area of
> education and training to support new permaculturists in their  
> journey and
> help them fast-track the processes of gaining the additional  
> knowledge and
> skills that can't be imparted in a 72 hour course, to be more  
> effective
> agents of change.
> I share this not as argument but simply stating where I am coming  
> from in an
> honest response to your posting.
> Regards
> Robyn
> -- 
> Pathways to sustainability through
> Accredited Permaculture Training™
> Certificates III & IV and Diploma of Permaculture
> Erda Institute Inc
> PDC - Permaculture Design Course
> Advanced Courses:
> Working with Diverse Cultures and Sustainable Aid
> Sustainable Settlement and Ecovillage Design
> Advanced Design Skills
> Training And Assessment Cert IV (teacher training)
> Robyn Francis
> International permaculture design &
> sustainability consultant, educator & facilitator
> Djanbung Gardens
> Permaculture Education Centre & Demonstration Farm
> PO Box 379 Nimbin NSW 2480
> 02-6689 1755  /  0429 147 138
> http://www.permaculture.com.au
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