Permaculture Cairns is still a young group having formed in August 2007, but there’s no limit to our ambition and determination to contribute to strengthening the Permaculture movement in our region of the world and beyond.
This year the Australasian Permaculture Convergence (APC10) will be hosted in the beautiful Wet Tropics township of Kuranda, 30 km west of Cairns.
The website www.apc10.org contains the latest updates on speakers and events to be held during our 4 – 5 day gathering. The theme: Getting Australasia Ready; Permaculture Solutions for a Changing World, reminds us that this an opportunity to gear the movement up in preparedness for both the extremities in natural perturbations in climate as well as peak oil and other rapid and dramatic declines in resources.
Some very high profile individuals have agreed to attend including the former Governor General of Australia, Major General Michael Jeffery.
General Jeffery is the current Chairman of the volunteer group Outcomes Australia that recently launched the “Restoring Our Landscape” initiative, an effort to convince 120,000 farmers to change their practices. General Jeffery hopes that within a decade a third of Australia’s farmers – and eventually all – will have stopped using artificial fertilisers, dramatically boosted vegetation species, substantially reduced or ceased irrigation and adopted a more holistic, natural approach to farm management.
This convergence will feature innovators from within the Permaculture movement and several people who are working alongside us – who have ideas and solutions for practical integration in our own repertoire of skills and practices. Some of the world–class speakers we have lined up include:
Eugenio Gras – A Mexican Integrated Agricultural System Designer, Developer and Educator with formal qualifications and extensive experience in Industrial Engineering, Permaculture, Dairy Management and Processing Geo-Biology. Eugenio will be in Australia at this time as an Instructor for the 2010 Regenerative Agriculture Workshop Series to be held throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Petra Schneider – The founder of an Indonesian NGO who has coordinated recovery efforts in Aceh, Bali and East Timor. She has written books, and toolkit materials to be easily accessible to guide the permanent and sustainable restoration of communities.
Gerry Gillespie – Founder of the ‘City to Soil’ program in NSW is committed to reducing green waste in urban landscapes. Householders’ organic waste is collected to make high quality compost. It enables the community to be part of the solution of falling levels of organic materials in agricultural soils.
Tony Coote – Mulloon Creek Natural Farms has been demonstrating Peter Andrew’s Natural Sequence Farming water management techniques to reverse erosion in streams and hydrate floodplains, using structures and vegetation to restore the natural hydrology and biodiversity that once existed.
Dr. Christine King – Developed the ‘Building Resilience in Rural Communities’ tool kit and has led major RD&E capability and capacity building projects for Queensland’s agricultural industries. With ACIAR / AusAID she facilitates agronomists, economists, and social scientists, working with farming families, to solve agricultural, resource management and livelihood issues in Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Daryl Taylor – Daryl and Lucy Taylor, and daughter Maggie, have learned about the opportunities for Permaculture solutions having lived through the Victorian bushfires in Kinglake. Daryl’s career spans 20 years of community development and is currently fully engaged in the post-February 7th Black Saturday Firestorm recovery and rebuilding process.
A unique workshop for professional educators is being convened. This day-long workshop for school teachers will be led by Janet Millington who will be joined by other Australian and International educators including co-author of the Outdoor Classroom book, Carolyn Nuttall. We are happy to announce that Queensland Education teachers attending the education stream of the conference will receive a copy of this groundbreaking & essential book for creating Outdoor Classrooms within schools. Other notable educators on the day will include: Dean Turner of the Crossing Land Education Trust, Aaron Sorenson and Dan Deighton from The Living Classroom, Penny Pyett Permaculture educator in TAFE, Virginia Solomon, co-contributor to the establishment of Accredited Permaculture Training and Leonie Shanahan who has set up nine successful school gardens in South East Queensland The professional development day will empower teachers to use Permaculture design principles for: a whole site school plan incorporating a garden of appropriate size for their needs and capabilities; a School Environmental Management Plan; links to school gardens and curriculum opportunities; and understanding links to opportunities outside the school gate including outdoor education; TAFE accredited training; certificates/diplomas in Permaculture and related fields.
APC10 will be a festive and celebratory event honouring the work of our past and looking forward to the future. Themes emerging for discussion at the Convergence include the future of formal and informal education in Permaculture; the movement’s structure and voice; tackling governance and policy settings on issues that matter such as population and climate change responses; and the regeneration of Australia’s agricultural landscapes.
Permaculture Cairns is involved in a wide range of projects with partners in our transition network. We’ll proudly showcase many local projects and initiatives, as well as put into practice our ethics to reduce waste and go local. Our menus will feature the succulent, quality produce grown on the Atherton Tableland and Cape York farms. And local musicians including a very special performance from the Deadly Award winning local Kuranda Reggae Band Zennith will get everyone on their feet.
Our venue is the Candlenut Steiner School 5 km north of the Kuranda village. The beautiful natural setting, wide open spaces and brand new facilities will be available so that we can contain the entire Convergence programme on site including meals, entertainment and our own APC Bar, The Wet Topics. Camping will be in small clearings within the rainforest or you can consider hiring a Wicked Camper at a discounted rate for APC Registrants. There are local hotels/resorts in the area.
We urge you to talk to our sponsor Experience Cairns as Andrew and the team are huge supporters of APC and members of our Steiner School community. They would like to offer you a personalised booking service to get the most out of your visit to the Tropical Far North at the best discount price available. They’ll help you with flights, van rentals, and booking eco-tours. A shuttle bus service will be provided daily to transport people to and from the airport, Cairns CBD and Kuranda village to the site on demand.
The Barron River is a comfortable 5 km walk where swimming is very safe from our coastal crocodile friends.
We haven’t forgotten the kids. Permi-Bubs and Permi-Kids will care for everyone young. Professional carers in the schools new kindergarten facilities will provide childcare. An extension of the home, the Steiner kindy is nurturing and safe. The kindy is enclosed with its own playground, kitchen, laundry and bathrooms, sleeping room, in and outdoor play spaces. Permi-kids will be doing workshops, dance and drama, playing with wildlife, and lots more.
We’re really doing all that we can to make APC 10 affordable and worthwhile. Already sponsorship is making a huge difference to overall cost of hosting APC10. Several Permaculture businesses and individuals have chipped in helping us cover hiring, transport, printing and all the other costs associated with managing a 4 – 5 day event.
If you can, or know of any business that would be interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact us to discuss the opportunities. We have Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze level sponsors – all are highly valued, as they really will make APC10 accessible to our community.
For those interested in making the journey north one to truly remember, there are a string of pre and post APC10 events, including a 2 week residential Permaculture Design Course with world renowned Permaculturist Darren Doherty, to be held at FreeRange Permaculture’s small acreage demonstration site Rosella Waters.
Lastly, if you are planning to come to APC10, please book your flights as early as possible as it will be school holidays at that time.
Visit the Official APC10 website at www.apc10.org and watch for updates and developments in the program. Email the organisers at apc10.2010 (at) gmail.com