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Permaculture students embrace 'hands-on' experiences at inspirational learning sites

Published:27 January 2017

1. Discipline Leader for Permaculture Design and Sustainability, Dr Keri Chiveralls. 2. Students learn the art of seed saving at The Kul Kul Farm with permaculture elder Robina McCurdy from NZ. 3. Students putting their permaculture design skills into practice at the residential school at The Kul Kul Farm in Bali, Indonesia. 4. Students get their hands dirty during the Permaculture In Practice unit at The Kul Kul Farm. 5. Our first cohort of CQUniversity Permaculture students with Dr Keri Chiveralls, Dr Amie Anastasi, Graham and Annemarie Brookman at the residential school at The Food Forest in Gawler South Australia. 6. The teaching staff at the residential school at The Kul Kul Farm in Bali, Indonesia. From left, Professor Drew Dawson, Dr Keri Chiveralls, Jackie Pitts, Robina McCurdy, Maria Farrugia, Paul Taylor and Orin Hardy.

CQUniversity's pioneering cohort of Permaculture Design and Sustainability students have embraced the opportunity to get 'hands-on' at inspirational learning sites.

More than 20 students are near completion of the new Graduate Certificate program, which was launched in early 2016. This year will mark the second cohort of students entering the Graduate Certificate, while continuing students will commence the Graduate Diploma.

Discipline Leader for the courses, Dr Keri Chiveralls says the initial students have provided great feedback about residential school experiences at the 'Food Forest' in Gawler, South Australia, and The Kul Kul Farm in Bali, Indonesia. Both were held in November, 2016.

The Food Forest is a 20-hectare permaculture learning centre and organic farm on the fringe of the city.

"Students benefitted from practical engagement with the production of many of the 150 varieties of food produced first-hand, as well as visiting or staying in straw-bale buildings with passive solar design, renewable energy systems, waste-water treatment and recycling on site," Dr Chiveralls says.

The highly-qualified Food Forest teaching team included owners Annemarie and Graham Brookman, and permaculture co-originator David Holmgren. Tours were made to exemplar urban and rural permaculture sites in different climate areas.

The second residential school took place at The Kul Kul Farm in Bali, run by Orin Hardy and Maria Farrugia.

Part of the famous bamboo Green School, The Kul Kul Farm is a working permaculture farm that is testament to the skills and theory taught at the world-leading education facility, and has sprouted from the same vision to create green leaders, and to take a stand for our planet.

"Each of the residential school options are exciting demonstrations of the permaculture movement in action, which saw students learn the techniques and theory behind permaculture design, production, and overall project operations in a transformative and practical learning experience," Dr Chiveralls says.

"The first year of the Permaculture course has been a remarkable success thanks to our amazing students, staff, super star guest lecturers, industry partners and broader community support. We look forward to the program growing and thriving in 2017."

Details are still being confirmed for the 2017 residential schools.

Applications for Permaculture courses are now open and close on 20 February. You can visit this link to apply.