PCA Faculty & Campus

Team of highly qualified and experienced trainers
Team of highly qualified and experienced trainers at Permaculture College
Meet our training team…

The Permaculture College Australia faculty is a dynamic team of qualified and highly experienced permaculture practitioners representing a diverse range of experience and skills. Lead by Robyn Francis, who is regarded as one of permaculture’s leading educators and pioneers, the team is committed to quality training in a supportive community environment. The core team of trainers are supported by a bioregional  network of local specialists, practitioners, projects, enterprises and organisations involved in all aspects of permaculture, organics, sustainability and community development. Read on for faculty member’s bios and profiles.  

Meet the core team of Permaculture College trainers at Djanbung Gardens………
 Robyn Francis
Award-winning international permaculture pioneer, designer, educator, presenter and innovator, PCA’s principal tutor draws on over 30 years of permaculture work throughout Australia and overseas. Robyn was founding director Permaculture International Ltd (PIL) in 1987, Permaculture Education 1989, designer and creator of Djanbung Gardens permaculture education centre and  living Learn-scape and founder of Permaculture College Australia Inc. Robyn was a member of the original National Reference Group which developed the Accredited Permaculture Training™ (APT) 2003-03 and continues to play an important role in the national APT committee and advisory group.

Since completing her PDC in 1983, Robyn Francis has worked as an educator and consultant throughout Australia and in New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Cuba, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Iceland, Germany, France and USA on diverse projects including domestic and public edible landscapes, ecological restoration, landuse planning, urban & rural ecovillage design, regional & social planning, community development & facilitation, with government and corporate clients, NGO’s, community groups, indigenous communities and private clients.

Robyn has taught over 150 PDC’s, over 100 advanced courses, and 11 years of full-time accredited APT training, plus countless workshops and masterclasses, making her one of permaculture’s most experienced educators and trainers.

Qualifications: Diploma of Permaculture (APT/AQF, Hortus Aus), Cert IV in Training and Assessment, Cert IV AWT, APT-ATR, Permaculture Institute Diploma of Permaculture Design. Further info & Robyn’s Bio…

  Janelle Schafer Permaculture teacher, designer & practitioner, with a background in fine arts and horticulture, Janelle has been teaching at Djanbung Gardens for 23 years. She completed her PDC in 1991 with Bill Mollison and Jude Fanton and has been developing her permaculture gardens at Tuntable Ck over the past 20 years. Rich in both teaching and practical experience, Janelle was a trainer/assessor in the APT Cert III and Cert IV in Permaculture courses with PCA for 11 years.  Janelle has served as a director for Permaculture International Ltd and on the PermaFund Committee, and is currently the treasurer and administration manager for Permaculture College Australia Inc. Janelle worked on the National Review Committee for the Accredited Permaculture Training in 2007. Janelle also works as a permaculture design consultant for urban and rural properties, and conducts workshops and accredited training in the NSW northern rivers area . Her specialist areas include Organic Integrated Pest & Weed Management, food forests and orchards, bushfoods and native forest regeneration, permaculture water systems, design for fire and natural disaster and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). Janelle is also passionate about natural dyeing and conducts workshops in this traditional art. Qualifications: PDC, Certificate IV in Permaculture (APT-PCA),Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training, Diploma of Management, Diploma of Conservation and Land Management, APT-ATR, St John’s Cross First Aid Certificate, Certificate of Horticulture, Bachelor of Science.  
Guy Stewart

Guy has been involved in the Permaculture movement since 2006. He is currently a director of Permaculture Australia (PIL) and the PCA management committee.  Guy is committed to returning the surplus from his experience to inspire and educate others. He believes strongly in self empowerment and community resilience as a strategy for responding to the myriad of problems we face. Areas of special interest he teaches include local food security, community development and transition initiatives, renewable energy and appropriate technology and computer assisted design with Sketchup. Guy is a regular teacher in the Permaculture Design Courses at Robyn Francis’ Permaculture College Australia.

Guy has developed a permaculture property to be economically and ecologically sustainable. It’s self sufficient qualities include solar hot water, solar electricity, rainwater collection, composting toilet and hemp insulation. He also works in community development at the Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre on the 7 Sibley St Sustainable Living Hub, progressing the Sustainable Nimbin Community Plan and also works at Rainbow Power Company. This work was recently recognised by the NSW Government and awarded the 2013 Premiers Choice and Community Sustainability Green Globes.  His simple purpose is to live in a healthy environment with the freedom to be creative and loving.

Qualifications: PDC, Diploma of Permaculture, Cert IV in Training and Assessment  
Annaliese Hordern
Annaliese is an inspiring, passionate Permaculture educator, committed to evolving inclusive and interactive teaching styles, fostered by some of the great Permaculture pioneers. She is excited by curriculumm development and designing new learning tools! Annaliese has lived amongst numerous communities globally, many off the grid, contributing to edible gardens, food forests, wildlife corridors, building structures, composting toilets and water harvesting, ecovillage development and localising food initiatives. “I look to pre-industrial cultural ways of being, to blend with today’s technologies, towards the vision of tomorrow”. Qualifications: Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Resource Management), Cert IV in Training and Assessment, Permaculture Design Course (x3), Teacher Training with Rosemary Morrow (x2) and Robyn Francis, Dynamic Groups with Robin Clayfield, Advanced Permaculture Principles with David Holmgren, Sustainable Aid with Geoff Lawton and with Robyn Francis. Annaliese joined the PCA (Permaculture College Australia) training team in 2012, teaching in PDCs and as support trainer for advanced courses with Robyn Francis.  
Angela Skehan
Angela Skehan is a local organic farmer and market gardener sharing a lifetime of experience in vegetable gardening, 15 years as a commercial market gardener and has been Certified Organic since 2008. Her specialist crops include ginger, turmeric, garlic and salad greens. Angela lives on an intentional community in the Tuntable valley. Angela is passionate about the environment and understanding and caring for the soil as the foundation for healthy food. Her enthusiasm, grounded in science and practical experience, is directed to empowering people to grow their own to achieve a healthy level of food self-reliance.  Angela teaches soil, organic gardening, domestic and commercial food production for PCA in the PDC, internships and specialist courses at Djanbung Gardens. She is available to conduct workshops and short courses in the NSW Northern Rivers region. Angela also works as a consultant for local landholders developing Whole Farm Plans integrating the best of sustainable agriculture, organic production techniques and permaculture design and blending time tested traditional and new technologies.  Angela also consults on organic market gardening, soil testing and organic remediation. Qualifications: PDC, Cert IV in Agriculture Organic Production, Associate Diploma of Applied Science  
Melian Fertl, artisan chef
Melian Fertl, artisan chef, Abundance Cafe at Djanbung Gardens

Melian Fertl Melian is a qualified chef and permaculturist, and operates the Abundance Cafe at Djanbung Gardens. Melian is the daughter of Robyn Francis and has grown up surrounded by permaculture, She did her first PDC in 1992 when she was 10 years old. Melian  spent 9 years in Melbourne undertaking her chef’s apprenticeship and working in some of Melbourne top restaurants as a fine food chef. She returned to Djanbung Gardens in in 2013 to manage the food production systems and establish her local food enterprise. Melian is passionate about quality local food and the full garden to table process, food as medicine, fermentation and making artisan conserves with the garden surplus.  Melian manages the catering for our residential courses and events,  and operates the Abundance Cafe.        

Andrew Anderson
Andrew Anderson

Andrew Anderson

Andrew is a core residential team member with multiple roles including Grounds Manager, Entertainment and Visitor Relations Manager. Andrew is Melian’s partner and joined the Djanbung team in 2013.  A passionate communicator, multi-talented and people-focused, he brings a diverse range of skills and experience into the team. Andrew has completed a PDC and the Certificate III in Permaculture studies, and hold numerous trade certificates and licenses.
Andrew conducts tours, coordinates and supervises interns and volunteers, including on-the-job training in the grounds and facilities maintenance and manages the entertainment for the Abundance Cafe and events at Djanbung Gardens. Andrew loves music, DJ-ing, motor cycling and nurturing the community spirit.
Past team members
Sam Newton
Sam Newton

Sam Newton

Sam is a passionate gardener and permaculture practioner with a background in horticulture and tree care. He came to Djanbung Gardens in 2012 to study the Certificate IV in Permaculture. Sam has continued on since then as a resident member of the Djanbung management team.
Sam coordinates the onsite accommodation facility, supervises and provides on-the-job training for interns and volunteers in the gardens, manages the animal systems and supports Andrew with the grounds management. Sam enjoys sharing his knowledge and skills and is active in the local community and Nimbin Food Co-op.
A big heartfelt thanks to the numerous wonderful people who have joined the teaching team for periods of time, and our guest trainers and speakers who’ve shared their rich knowledge and experience with our students and staff, over the past two decades. These people include: Dolphe Cooke, Jenny Creasey, James Creagh, Jude Fanton, Roberto Perez, Robert Rosen, Bill Mollison, Michelle, Toni Jansen, Brad Lancaster, Geoff Moxham, Burri Jerome, Peter Hardwick, Brett Parson
Local Organisations in our Bioregional Campus Network include:
Nimbin Neighbourhood Centre
Seed Savers Network
Sustainable Futures Australia
Permaculture Education
Rainbow Region Community Farms
Rainbow Power Company
Rainforest Information Centre
Nimbin Environment Centre
Jerra Park
Dharmananda Community
PRI – Diversity Farm
Centre for Ecotechnology SCU
Soil Food Web
Rivendell Organics
Byron Region Community College
and many more..
National and International associates include:
Permaculture International Ltd
Permaculture Australia
Bamboo Network Australia
Foundation for Humanity and Nature (FANJ) Cuba
Regenerative Design Institute (Bolinas, CA, USA)
Permaculture Institute of Taiwan
Earthpassengers, Taiwan
IDEP, Indonesia
PermTil, East Timor
Permaculture Magazine, UK
Soned, Berlin
Iceland Permaculture Association

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