PCA (Permaculture College Australia)
Providing quality training and education in permaculture design and sustainable practices.
Founded by permaculture pioneer, Robyn Francis, PCA is based at Djanbung Gardens in Northern NSW Australia, where we deliver accredited vocational training and professional development courses for permaculture practitioners, and community education in self-reliance and sustainable living.
PCA is an incorporated self-funding, not-for-profit charitable association. We receive no government or corporate funding. Our programs are designed to provide quality training and resources at minimal expense with fees calculated to cover the costs of delivery. Any surplus generated through our work is invested in improving student resources and facilities, support our community outreach programs and enable Fair Share exchange and scholarships for disadvantaged students. Donations in cash, kind and skills are gratefully accepted.
Professional Development: advanced intensive short courses, master-class and mentoring programs for permaculture designers, teachers, practitioners and community activitists who have completed prior permaculture studies such as the Permaculture Design Course (PDC)
Permaculture Design Course (PDC): the original 72 hour intensive permaculture course developed by Bill Mollison, recognised internationally as the minimum training for people teaching and using permaculture in their profession. The PDC with PCA is constantly updated with the latest in Earthscience and innovations in permaculture, sustainable practices and social initiatives from around the world.
Internships: Masterclass Internships are based on a fixed theme to develop a set of skills in a specific area of permaculture work and blend practical experience, on-the-job training and class-based theory training. Masterclass Internships are conducted over a set time and dates for a period of 8-12 weeks. Practical Internships are available to permaculturists who would like to spend an extended period of 6-10 weeks joining our team and working in the systems here at Djanbung Gardens to gain more practical experience in a real-life permaculture farm with a dynamic team of qualified practitioners.
Community Education through short courses, workshops and volunteer programs in a diverse range of practical skills in self-reliance, organic food production and sustainable lifestyle.
Educational tours and visits: PCA offers a range of special educational programs including interpretive tours, talks and educational activities at Djanbung Gardens for schools, colleges, university students and special interest community groups. Programs vary from 1 to several hours duration to half or full days, plus catering options. Bioregional permaculture tour programs of 4 or more days can be convened by special arrangement for groups of 10-20.
Permaculture Resource Centre
The PCA office (10.30-3.30, Wed-Sat) has a selection of excellent permaculture and related books, garden charts, resources and its own publications, plus Djanbung crafts, preserves and products. for sale during office hours. The Djanbung permaculture library is also accessible during open hours for reading (we don’t lend).
Permaculture Services Referral
PCA provides a referral service for people wanting a permaculture designer, consultant, installer or teacher, and connects clients with an appropriate permaculture practitioner from our staff, members, graduates and network of local permaculture designers and installers.
PCA Community Outreach Programs
PCA engages with and supports local community sustainability initiatives, providing expertise and facilitation.
We find placements for students and interns to gain practical experience in community development work such as school gardens, community gardens, food security initiatives, permablitz, bush regeneration and other community programs.
PCA hosts workplace experience and work-for-the-dole placements as a community service, providing participants with meaningful experience in a supportive environment. This includes the PCA Wednesday “Work for Wisdom” volunteer program.
We also provide a venue for community meetings and fundraising events for local and international causes. PCA provides speakers and facilitators foe community groups and set up displays and information stalls for community local events.
Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exchange (CAPE) was established as a PCA project in 2007. CAPE organised the successful 2008 Roberto Perez Australian speaking tour, involving 28 presentations in 4 states. This was reciprocated by Robyn Francis providing 6 weeks pro bono teaching and consulting to permaculture projects in Cuba in 2008 and a further 2 weeks in 2009. CAPE raised funds to support post hurricane recovery of Cuban permaculture projects in 2009-10. Roberto Perez returned to Australia in 2012 and 2013 as a guest speaker in PCA courses. In 2013 CAPE/PCA sponsored the set-up costs for the IPC11 Cuba website.
PCA is managed by a committee of members, elected annually at the AGM. The current management committee is Robyn Francis (president), Janelle Schafer (treasurer), Guy Stuart (secretary), and Melian Fertl, Lynne Oldfield and Andrew Anderson.
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Djanbung (pronounced with a hard ‘j’ and silent ‘d’) means platypus in the local Wiyabul dialect – the name was given by senior Bundjalung elder and lore keeper, Uncle Eric Walker.
Discover more about the indigenous significance of the Djanbung.