• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by Stella 15 years, 3 months ago


The Foundation Year-Book

of The Permaculture Academy


compiled by Bill Mollison  Edition 1993 Updated 2003

“The Field Lies Open to the Intellect”


An Academy the purpose of which is to pursue the goal of excellence in the integrated design sciences.






It is clear that what is proposed here is a serious undertaking not normally achievable by unsupported people.

Therefore we must do it bare-handed going forward with all intellect, goodwill and selflessness, but above all with a deadly persistence until the task is over, until we have established an academy that runs itself, unsupported.


The aim of the Academy is to encourage and reward ‘practical positivism’ - effort towards solutions.

We are not so interested in further defining well-known problems, but we are interested in solving those already widely defined. 

We consider there is enough evidence of global problems, but not enough models of practical solutions. 


It is just too easy to get more evidence, or oppose all the time; we are sure that positive, practical realistic solutions have the greatest effect on problems, and this is where we prefer to spend our efforts. 

We are essentially designers of practical working models, more than theoreticians; at least once action starts, theory is proved or disproved.

Otherwise, our aim is to preserve academic integrity, to seek evidence of excellence and comprehension, a proper scepticism and a teachable (hence comprehensible) approach to work. 


As belief is disempowering, we do not deal in belief, but in working models accessible to everybody; explicable, measurable, beneficial, reproducible, realistic, available to and understandable by everyone. While we realise the value of evidence and protest in changing public opinion, we belong to another discipline - that of real solutions.







In January 1979, formal teaching commenced in Permaculture Design.

Now (1993) there are close to 12,000 graduates of design courses, 230-250 teachers (many bilingual) and many thousands of completed and ongoing projects. 

Early graduates have each designed in excess of 500 projects or properties, or developed long-term community projects individually; some have themselves taught hundreds of graduates.

The Permaculture Journal published current lists of regional centres and institutions.


As graduates build up members in any one country, first Permaculture Associations form, then formal Permaculture Institutes, and as projects develop, such enterprises as ethical investment centres, consultancy services, and eventually development corporations for using investment capital are set up.

Where universities send their staff members to courses, Permaculture is taught in horticultural, small farm design, and environmental design courses.


As the trend for Permaculture teaching permeates other formal institutions, the need for an accurate recording service and educational handbooks, rather like a university yearbook (but with a longer life!) spelling out our educational requirements becomes essential.

It is needed to keep track of graduates for larger projects; to identify teachers, ethical  investments and development centres; and to set standards acceptable to all institutes and fixed institutions such as colleges and universities.

That is, we need to observe standards in Diplomas and Degree courses compatible with other institutions’ requirements.

Hence an Academy.


From 1993, organisation networking will inevitably spread to create a global Permaculture network.

Electronic mail systems are already being used to link global centres, and the network can expand as such centres are set up.

Fax plus electronic mail will enable us to contribute to data bases and journals everywhere.


This handbook is now needed; as graduates increase, and mature, professional associations, good academic criteria, and the establishment of research foundations will increasingly become important.


We should also have an eye to the future, and if possible anticipate needs.  

Requests for introductory courses now exceed our capacity to supply either teachers or back-up finance.

It is obvious that our “western” Permaculture institutes need to build up foundation grants (capital invested, interest only used) not only to ensure payment for teachers in areas of need, but also to supply small  roll-over loans to students.




As we realistically estimate that a course in third or fourth world countries costs, over stages, somewhere between $8,000 - $12,000 today, so to run one such course annually, $80,000 $120,000 needs to be invested.

We should aim to build up grants of 1-2 million dollars to guarantee 10-12 such courses per year.

Courses in the western world can be given through a college, or charged to students.

Once local teachers evolve, courses are given locally at low or realistic costs, and this is our usual long-term solution.


Of our courses, leading to higher degrees, the basic introductory or general course (for all climates) is in fact based on, or rather gave its structure to Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual  (Tagari Publications 1989),  avai!able  from the Permaculture Institute.

That volume, together with material from Introduction to Permaculture (1991) make up the basic texts.

Teachers always include local species assemblies, techniques, and culture in purely local courses, although in fact all but fourth world courses have always included a truly international student body. 


The lecture hours for a basic course are 72, based on 4th year university course hours, but can be more if time allows. 

Wherever possible, some days are also spent in field observations, establishing small domestic gardens, and in planning whole landscapes and their support  services.

The basic texts are now translated into many languages and tens of thousands of copies sold worldwide.





The idea of this academy arose primarily from discussions with people 1 can only think of as classical academics. 

People who valued the origins of the university, of the sacrifices and struggles of the earliest teachers and students, even the wars that were fought for the Independence of the university.


The university doesn’t always win, (as Tiananmen Square taught us in 1989) but it persists; freedom is as elusive and as hidden as the ideas in the minds of  people.

I owe a great debt to many of my teachers and peers; to Robert Boyle (M.A., Oxon), whose knowledge of history was encyclopaedic, and whose insistence on broad education was exemplary. 

To Jean Yeats, who gave me a love of language, and of clear expression. 

To Prof. Cardno and Dr. Kalev Krupp, both of whom suffered from  discrimination and  various ‘punishments’  inflicted by others, but who persisted, and held true to the ideas of the university,



and to Dr. Robert Macoskey, a true Renaissance man, who also persisted and won, although he lost his life. 

To Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov and his fellow scientists, who died of starvation in the siege of Leningrad, preserving the seed around them that  people might eat in the future.


All of these, and others have deeply embedded in my mind the ideas of freedom of enquiry, of fair judgement, of persistence, of universalism, and of excellence. 


I would like, in this Academy, to return to basic values, to the ideal of teachers and students as the body of a university that values those ideals for which our intellectual ancestors lived, and often for which they died, were outcast, or disenfranchised.

It is always necessary to return to the roots of knowledge and the origins of institutions, for the latter drift from their purposes even if many individuals hold true to origins and ideals.


As with all I do, I feel the presence of the hosts who built our knowledge and understanding, and I acknowledge my debt to them, and hope to honour them, and trust that as many of those who can comprehend what ‘university’ means also do so, to the best of each of our abilities, for our resolution and courage often falters and needs periodic renewal.


Everything  in human history begins with one person, an idea. 

It takes many people for an idea to develop, to spread, to be applied; but in the beginning, as with this Academy, systems and institutions start by recruitment of key people, and grow by bold efforts and the subsequent recruitments of many people.

If the idea of this academy is valid, it will arise and grow at first from a body of appointees (invitees who volunteer), later perhaps by recommendation and advertisement. 

In a sense, this handbook is the advertisement of an idea; whether it dies or grows depends on many others; a body of teachers and students united in their ideals and values.


Disciplines at other universities compete for funds, and rarely refer their work to conditions in the world, or relate their findings to social or natural ecosystems - many ‘hard’ scientists also warn against or reject values as subjective.

Work without values is elsewhere defined as the occupation of sociopaths.


That it seems strange to talk about values may be sufficient reason to start ‘another university’ - another place to be with people who share with us. 

For of all the things a university can be, the thing which I most value is that the spirit of enquiry, of wanting to understand more about the fragile existence of people on our planet, is shared with others.





There   are   families   of   blood relatives, and indeed every species is such a large family, but there are families of shared beliefs and values, like churches and political parties, like members of trusts, even clubs and societies.

Ours is a family both of shared values and practical endeavours, of a struggle to know more, and to apply and teach what we know for the benefit of earth, and that of course includes ourselves.

As well, there is a certain lack of dignity in self-destruction by misjudgement rather than by will, by dying, as Chief Seattle prophesied so pungently, by smothering in our own filth, rather than choosing our course, even our end.


We, as people, know how to do better than we do; we have largely abdicated the responsibility of care of earth, and we have also set up and supported systems that cannot work well, or work at all. 

Any education that specifies, even depends, on the partition of knowledge into exclusive fields cannot work.

We must at least be aware of how our actions affect other systems, other lives.


Our education as it is today is disconnected, not only from knowledge of the earth as a whole, but from our actions and our lives; that is, from the real world where all of us act but not all of us know why we act, or even less, what may result.

Often, knowledge is gathered without any regard to needs and realities, for what  is out  the window.  

Can  we live in disorder and pretend order, live in lies and pretend truth?


An academy which attempts to unify knowledge and action towards a life-enhancing goal, while recognising the chancy and ephemeral status of people, and of life in the universe, seems to be needed.

To demonstrate life, we act; let us see if we can act appropriately, struggle well, and with dignity towards demonstrating our human function and potential to assist all living things, and make our lives worthwhile to all life.


It is not what any one of us achieves; this will be modest. 

It is the sum of small projects, all of us  together, that is making a large change; the Permaculture family has achieved a great deal, and will achieve more in the next decade.


Thus, although we all specialise to some extent, we try to relate this specialisation to society and the natural world, and above all to try to make our work beneficial to all life forms. 

We will never work on ‘megadeath’ projects, or lend our skills to such work. 

The Academy will have no disciplines, but all staff will indicate their special skills or competence in supervising degrees in special areas, so that students can choose supervision suited to their specific projects.




This  yearbook  is therefore dedicated to all past graduates, with great affection and admiration for their decades of work.

Also great sympathy  for those who faced such strong opposition in the 70’s and 80’s;  their work has been the foundation of trends to applied sustainability. 

We have pioneered life-enhancing and applied wholistic design.


No matter what the imperfections  of  our  Permaculture  courses - and they are evolving - the results measured as active student work subsequent to courses, has been remarkable.

We have attempted the improbable, and made it work because we know it has to be done; that nothing else is worth doing, but caring for the earth. 

We are reassured by seeing all about us that ‘planners’ of the past have produced only waste, debt, pollution, and chaos, and all, with a few exceptions, irreversible.



Open Universities and Itinerant Teachers


From the beginning, the determination of the Permaculture Institutes has been to concentrate on going to the people, not locking themselves away in fixed institutions, unavailable to people who live in remote locations, in poverty, or who are now “illiterate” in terms of major languages (although very literate verbally, and a mine of knowledge). 

Thus, teachers have given courses in very remote and sometimes dangerous areas, and will always continue to do so.


These certificated courses allow students to achieve applied diplomas of design following on two or more years of activity.

We now propose to set up the Academy as an open ‘university’, and to give these certificated courses via radio, TV (especially via tapes), and via mail services.

It would not dismay us if every person had access to a certificated course, and knew how to design sustainable houses, villages, economies, and land use systems.


To eventually achieve widespread education in Permaculture, we must always concentrate on “letting teachers loose” in their own cultures, using their own languages, and teaching their own people.

However, while this work continues, we must always try to further develop open universities, internships on actual projects, and higher-level residential and separate courses in rented or owned institutions.

To this date, we have no owned teaching sites that are not at a basic level (house and barn), but many of us plan a college or academy to eventually achieve better facilities, and to encourage internships.





In  all  our  corporate  moves,  we  always  plan  to  include  education  in  every development, and wherever possible, trainee teachers are included in courses so that they gain confidence in preparing and giving courses; this is not possible where no money is available for fares, or where no previous courses have been given.



Conveners and Hosts


Itinerant teachers rely very heavily on local course conveners when travelling to a new or remote area.

These conveners are individuals, locally active associations, government agencies, or N.G.O.s who have requested the course; sometimes they are isolated graduates working on local projects, who would like more graduates to work with.

Thus, the convener is the key person to organise a group.


The duties of a convener are as follows:


• To contact P.C. Institutes or teachers, and to obtain a teacher for the course.


• To enrol several local people (15 or more in number) to take the course. Criteria for a first course are ideally:


• Students should be literate and fluent in the teachers language (usually English, French, or Spanish); or a team of 2 - 4 translators should be available.


• Some students should be teachers or teacher-trained, and capable of teaching locally.


• Students should preferably be involved in farming, aid, financing, or in some way skilled in the field or in corporate areas.






The Form of the Academy


This Academy is intended to be as widespread as are the graduates of our teachers.


Vice Chancellors (people with a history of university staff service, or teaching in universities now and who have themselves completed a Permaculture Design Course) can offer, or be asked to volunteer their services.


Every Permaculture graduate of courses who holds a Bachelors Degree or higher will be asked to supervise (in the sense of planning, discussing, and helping assess) any other graduate at Diploma level who wishes to take a higher degree, either as an account of applied work, or as a research thesis on that work.


The Permaculture Institute has registered an Academy (The Permaculture Academy) under the umbrella of its trust.


This academy has multiple aims:


• To form an association for all academics and academic graduates (who, in addition, have Permaculture training) as a professional society, which researches in, implements and conducts training in the design sciences for sustainable systems.


• To operate, as it evolves, an academic organisation for the supervision of higher degree applicants, on a regional basis but globally in scope.

In effect, to establish a widespread, non-hierarchical training group akin to an open university.


• To offer degree courses both as applied degrees based in field work, as degrees based on research and thesis, or as a balance of  these methods, and to find appropriate supervisors of such degrees.


The Academy proposes to reinstate the ethics and philosophies of the original universities.

That they are essentially free associations of teachers and students (magistrorum and minorum). 

That they are centres of free enquiry, free also from the constraints of external governments and councils, of the strait jackets of ‘disciplines’ which prevent the study of integrated design sciences, and free also of necessitous residence in or near a fixed institution, and fixed fees.



This Academy, in addition, will accept the basic ethics of the Permaculture movement generally:


• Care of the Earth.

Enhancement of the life support systems of clean air, clean water, healthy soils, and the conservation of the genetic bases of forests, wildlife, biomass and the domestic cultivars or livestock varieties on which mankind depends.




• Care of people.

In that the provision of basic needs for food, energy, and shelter are provided, in the context of a conserver society, with the aim of interdependence and cooperation of peoples regionally and   globally;  and   assistance  in  the preservation of human cultures, languages, and autonomy.


• Reinvestment of surplus. Time, money, yields, or resources in order to achieve the preceding two aims.





How the Academy will Operate


All Permacuiture trainees and college members, witb degrees or diplomas from this or otber institutions are eligiblefor academic membership.


• Diplomates are, after receiving their Diplomas, considered to be enrolled in a College of Permaculture, and can proceed to Baccalaureates (Bachelor degrees) or higher degrees with the Academy. Cost of diploma Aust$75.00, one time cost.


• Diplomates with extant higher degrees from other academic institutions, colleges, or universities can enrol with the Academy as follows:


a) Those with Bachelor degrees can enrol for postgraduate degrees and may apply for membership of the Academy. Cost of members registration Aust$75.00, one time cost.


b) Those with Masters or Doctoral degrees, Readers, Deans, Professors, or Chancellors can volunteer to act as Regional Vice-Chancellors for this academy and find or appoint supervisors (or act as supervisors) for those studying for higher degrees.

Such people are  registered  as  academics  or academicians of the Permaculture Academy. 

Cost of such academic registration Aust$100.00, one time cost.


In all cases except those of Diploma of Permaculture Design recipients, notification of membership must be forwarded to the Academy together with a short C.V. (The institute already holds registers of Diplomates).


Academicians who volunteer to act as Vice Chancellors regionally are required to keep a record of all regional applications for higher degrees, and to forward copies to the Academy Librarian. 

Note that, except for a Librarian based at this institute, no member of the Academy will be a paid staff member, but all can charge fair fees for the registration and supervision of degrees.

Using our extant journals, the academy will periodically notify the acceptance of the Vice-Chancellors’ function by qualified people.





Any person needing to study for a degree can enquire from our regional Permaculture Association as to potential qualified supervisors, and can either forward a copy of their proposed course of study to the Academy or discuss this with their regional Vice Chancellor.

As the Academy develops, it should be able to find qualified people in most centres, or volunteers to supervise by correspondence.


Given that most universities are located in or near cities, attendance at these institutions means expense beyond the capacity of most families; few offer courses in functional design or integrated studies, and in any case some 70,000 to 100,000 students are turned away from such centres annually in such rich countries as Australia.

The Permaculture Institute sees a real need for an independent and decentralised academy able to offer courses in the applied design sciences to rural people, students in remote areas, or poor people.


By calling on our academic membership to act without salary, as regional Vice Chancellors and as tutors and degree supervisors, we can assist others to take higher degrees, or to consider enrolling for studies beyond that of Diploma levels.

By charging only mutually-agreed supervising fees locally, and a small sum for the issue of degree certificates, the cost of academic studies can be brought within the range of most people.

Even these costs can be paid as credits to supervisors under the L.E.T. (Local Energy Trading) system if such systems have been established locally, thus further reducing the cash costs of such an education.


Our aim is to stimulate excellence in the studies of sustainable systems, whether these are agricultural, settlement planning, financial, or community based projects, or in research on specific areas applicable to Permaculture.

Thus the formation of an academy is an almost inevitable result of our prior education in the applied design sciences leading to a Diploma of Permaculture Design (Dip. Perm. Des.).


This yearbook, a foundation document, sets out some of the ways the Academy will work, and gives prototypes of application forms for both membership of the Academy and for registering applications for higher degree studies.

Many Permaculture graduates have graduate or postgraduate degrees from other institutions.

Many of us have been staff members of universities or colleges, and many still hold such positions.

Thus we are more than qualified to act as volunteer staff for our own style of open university, dealing specifically with Permaculture studies.

Inevitably, residential courses will evolve.

I trust that all academics in Permaculture will assist with this endeavour, and register with the Academy as students or teachers.





Steps Towards Degrees and Academic Membership


1. Completion of a Permaculture Design Certificate Course

Teachers supply and sign certificates, and forward student lists to regional recorders.

The curriculum is covered in Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual.


2. Completion of Applied Diploma Work

After 2 (two) years of applied work, students can forward an application for a Diploma of Permaculture Design. 

Most in fact work for three to four years before such an application.

(See application form herein)

Diploma cost: Aust$75.00.


3. Note. All students, including those who previously held degrees from other insititutions, or those who do not, need to complete the above two years of work in Permaculture in order to hold a Diploma.


4. Baccalaureate or Higher Degrees

Those who already have degrees from other institutions can, at this point, proceed as follows:


a) Enrol for a Post Graduate Degree.


b) Enrol as a member of the Academy at Baccalaureate.


c) Enrol as a Vice Chancellor of the Academy (at Masters or Doctoral levels).


Members of the Academy can act as supervisors to other students, to their own level.


Vice Chancellors act regionally as registrars, forwarding proposed courses of study to the Academy Librarian.





Some Normal Expectancies


For a Diploma (prerequisite is a P.C. Course Cert.)


All certificate attendees, with or without degrees, must spend two years in applied work (most spend three or more) before applying for a Diploma.

The application must be accompanied by affidavits from co-workers, field reports, photos, journal articles, or supporting evidence.

The cost of certification and registration is Aust$75.00.


For a Bachelors Degree (prerequisite is a Diploma)


All diplomates must find a qualified supervisor or tutor in their region, and work out a course of study, or applied project work over the next 2 to 3 years. 

At the same time a short precis of the proposed study must be typed, or printed, and one copy retained by the supervisor, one sent to a regional Vice Chancellor (probably not always available in the early stages), and one sent to the Academy Librarian.

On completion of the thesis or field report, a typed copy or printout of the field report, or the thesis and research results (or both) must be submitted to the Vice Chancellor or the Academy Librarian for assessment; for border-line studies, more data or other adjustments may be called for. 

A thesis or field study at this level may comprise about 10 to 20 typed pages with supporting photographs, maps, figures, and any references used.

The cost of registration and certification is Aust$75.00.

The student is now qualified to proceed to post graduate degrees.


For Postgraduate Degrees (Masters or Doctorate)


A Masters degree is normally two years of additional study and a Doctorate is three years. 

For all postgraduate degrees, supervisors must find two (2) external examiners (three (3) examiners in all). 

Copies of thesis and field reports must be provided by the student for the two (2) examiners, for the supervisor, and for  the  Academy  Librarian.  

Examiners  look  for  evidence  of  good  comprehension in the field chosen, key references consulted, good research planning, and excellent expression and clarity.





At doctoral level, evidence of original thought and clear results should be the aim.

It is wise to have any thesis read for literacy and clear expression before forwarding to the supervisor and examiners, only one of the three being from the Academy.


All examiners report to the supervisor, who informs the academy and the student of the result.

Supervisors may have to write the thesis from dictation if illiterate graduates are involved.

Postgraduate degrees call for careful work and pre-planning, wide reading, careful expression, clear illustrations, and correct referencing.

Theses are normally 20 to 100 typed pages;  lean work (no waffle or general opinions) is appreciated, to the extent that no adjectives should be used or unsupported statements offered.

Examiners fees must be met (usually Aust$500 to Aust$1,000); fees can be waived, but one should not expect this to happen.

Registration of the degree, listing of the thesis, and provision of degree documents by the academy will cost Aust$100.00. (A photocopy of these theses are to be available, for a charge covering copying and postage, from the Academy Librarian).

If any thesis carries sensitive material, students may request that such thesis are restricted for access for a stated period of years, or until patents are obtained.








Correct Referencing For books



if there are 3 or less authors, all names are given in full. 

If there are more than three, the first author is listed and the Latiriphrase etalia (and others) added.

If one author is a woman, a full first name is given.




SMITH, R.J. and Helen JONES, 1993.

The Role of Tree Ants in Pest Protection of Lemons in China

    Scientica Sinica Vol. 5 No 8, 1993.


Note the above sequence:


Author(s), Date.

Title of the Article or Book (italic script or underlined)

    Publisher or Journal


If a newspaper article, (no author given) is quoted, reference as follows:


Ants Eat Citrus Pests in China.

    The Chinese Farmers Journal Vol 5 No 1, 1994



Fields for Theses and Projects



The following fields have been the basis of diplomate work, and form an indication of the areas that can be covered by degree students for applied or theoretical degrees.  Applied degrees are weighted to field projects; academic degrees are weighted towards research.


1) Education

This includes special education, education via electronic media, or the development of educational aids.


2) Media

Many students are developing information systems based on film, photo libraries, print or electronic systems, and some have succeeded as journalists. Authors producing a significant thesis or finding in any area of research indicated here may submit for a degree.


3) Site Development

This indicates work on a farm or village over a long period, working to develop a Permaculture system or community facility or project.


4) Site  Design

People  acting  as  consultants  to  a  variety  of   projects,  rural and urban, may submit for applied degrees. Planners and consultants for projects in Permaculture.







5) Community Services

For those devoting their time, often with great hardship, to populations in poverty, fourth world (tribal peoples), disadvantaged or aged groups, and to people in urban and rural poverty.


6) Finance and Business

Developing and promoting local employment, non-monetary exchange, cash recycling in community, cooperative endeavours, models of development, and cost benefit analyses of real projects, accounted financially, socially, and environmentally.


7) Technical Development

People developing technical systems in transport, energy, processing systems, recycling, conservation systems or efficient appliances.


8) Resource Development

Making supporting resources available via land banks, plant or seed resources, livestock development, contract services and other essential support systems.


9) Architecture and Building

Completion of projects demonstrating low cost and energy-efficient housing and special purpose buildings, or the construction of villages and suburbs.


10) Research

A broad category, covering all Permaculture-related areas; a blend of the practical and theoretical is ideal.



Formal Registration of Academic Centres


Any formal (Parliamentary Act, Royal Decree, Foundation Trust) registration of this Academy by Permaculture Academy members or Academicians in any country should be notified to the Librarian, and such registrations should be actively sought.

No matter where such formal or legal systems are established, they can act for all field centres or all regions with a Vice Chancellor.


We certainly do not lack integrity or credibility as an organisation, and this is the last step to our status as a professional organisation, open to all of us and operated by ourselves, under our own academic umbrella. 

Like the extant system  of  itinerant  teachers,  we  will maintain a power-free, multinodal, non-hierachical structure, based on the ancient ideas of free people pursuing free enquiry, in line with our accepted ethics.




The writer is currently investigating formal status in a few countries, and will notify as results come in, but all members should pursue these goals.

Any academic with a Permaculture training and a postgraduate degree can register the words ‘Permaculture Academy’ locally, and set up regional services.


Any future contributions to this year-book would be appreciated by the editor.

It will eventually contain a guide to regional Vice-Chancellors and to residential courses.





Ownership of the Copyright of the Word "Permaculture" (P.C.)


The word Permaculture was defined and copyrighted by publications in the Organic Gardening and Farming Society’s newsletter in Hobart, Tasmania in 1975.

The word itself was coined by Bill Mollison, as no succinct word or publication had previously been applied to whole system design. 

In 1978, the publication of Permaculture One established the first book on conscious design of whole landscapes, and again established the word Permaculture as unique. 

Ownership of the copyright is equally invested (by Bill Mollison) in the Permaculture Institutes and its graduates from a Certificated Permaculture Course. 

It cannot be given away except to graduates.


Copyright was deliberately sought, and the unique name coined so that this system of education could not be pre-empted by existing institutions or government agencies, but belongs to certificated individuals and Permaculture Institutes (as corporate bodies). 

The intention of the copyright is to keep the educational area (with its considerable goodwill) to those who know what a Permaculture course consists of! 

No person who is not a course graduate can use this name for profit; all normal uses for purposes of reviews, discussion, news items and so on is permitted, and graduates (but only graduates) of courses can register for-profit enterprises or corporations using this name.


Likewise, Permaculture graduates who are appointed to or who belong to other teaching institutions can teach courses; that institution itself, however, cannot use the name for profit, or for raising funds, if its directors are not graduates, nor should any such directors be appointed to Permaculture Institutes or their boards.


Non profit Permaculture associations freely use the name, as can any association of people with a common interest in Permaculture, but not for paid or certificated courses.

Where non certificated teachers offer paid courses on Permaculture they have been successfully challenged by several graduates, but also invited to attend a full course and to later continue their teaching.

Such pirate courses have been found to be more akin to organic farming or ‘new age’ mysticism than applied design, so that the necessity for copyright has been validated. 

This publication also clearly delineates the controls we must demand for higher degrees, and gives additional facilitation to our graduates by the establishment of a College of Graduates; in effect, a professional association of experienced people.





Textbooks, Curriculae and Resources


The basic text for all curriculae and courses, and the overall definition of the scope of Permaculture studies is:


MOLLISON, Bill, 1989.

Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual

    Tagari Publications, Australia.


The chapter contents of this text lays out the curriculum of the basic 72 hour Permaculture Design Course; students should check this outline with teachers or trainee teachers giving courses, and should be familiar with the whole field covered in the text.


If teachers fail to cover the course contents, this Academy can be notified and will forward any comments to teachers, or they can be sent directly to teachers by students.


This text will be updated periodically by the publishers, and at that time, feed-back from students and teachers will be considered.

Any substantial expansion of the text will necessitate a two volume work in future editions.


Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual is available from:


Tagari Publications 31 Rulla Road, Sisters Creek Tasmania 7325 Australia

or from regional distributors and bookshops.


Other Recommended Texts and Resources.


FUKU0KA, M., 1978

The One Straw Revolution

(Available from libraries)


FUKUOKA, M., 1985.

The Natural Way of Farming.

    Japan Publications Inc., Tokyo & New York.


GEIGER, R., 1950.

The Climate Near the Ground.

    Harvard University Press, N.Y.




HOWARD, Sir Albert, 1943.

An Agricultural Testament.

    Oxford University Press.


KERN, K. and Barbara., 1977.

The Owner Built Homestead.

    Charles Scribner’s Sons, N.Y.


KING, F.H., 1911.

Farmers of Forty Centuries: Permanent Agriculture in Cbina, Korea and Japan.

    Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA.


MOLLISON, Bill and Reny Mia Slay, 1991.

Introduction to Permaculture.

    Tagari Publications, Sisters Creek, Australia.


SHOLTO DOUGLAS, J. and Robert de Hart., 1976.

Forest Farming.

    Watkins, London.


SMITH, J. R., 1977.

Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture.

    Devine-Adair, Old Greenwich.


TURNER, N., 1974.

Fertility Pastures and Cover Crops.

    Bargyla and Gylver Rateaver, Paurna Valley, CA.


WAIT, K., 1973.

Principles of Environmental Science.

    McGraw-Hill International.


YEOMANS, P. A., 1981.

Water for Every Farm / Using the Keyline Plan.

    K. Yeomans, 18 Commodore Dr., Paradise Waters, Queensland 4217, Australia.





The Academy Librarian


The Academy Librarian will be domiciled at the Permaculture Institute and will offer a wide ranging service.

This service includes:


•Those matters referred to in this yearbook.


•A referral service to resources within the extensive global P.C. network.


•Compilation of bibliographies on topical areas.


•Supplying a search service of the reference material held by the Permaculture Institute.


•General guidance to resource materials.


The Academy library contains a good collection of books, magazine articles, published papers, and student theses, all specifically directed to Permaculture subjects.


While the Librarian will be available to assist and advise in all areas of study, we encourage the use of local networks and libraries towards the creation of local resource centres. 

Therefore we would like to be kept well informed of the extent of local resources to enable us to create the most comprehensive service possible.


Students should become aware of the general search facilities provided by local libraries and educational institutions, many of which have the capacity to search a wide range of interconnected data-bases world wide.


The Academy will encourage the formation of Permaculture Resource Centres and the Librarian will act as co-ordinator of all data accumulated throughout the Permaculture network.


There will be fair fees for the services of the Librarian, and specific fees for your request will be advised when your request is to hand. 

Note that all fees are devoted to sustaining the salary of the Librarian, and to covering copying, postage and mailing costs, certificates, and correspondence.




Search Requests


All requests should be sent to:


The Librarian.

Permaculture Academy,

31 Rulla Road,





Requests should contain the followin&


•Name, Address, Telephone, Fax and Email (if available).


•The reference information required, giving general and specific subject areas in as much detail as possible.


•The form in which you require this information, e.g. references to texts or journals available in most libraries; photocopies of texts in the Academy Library; magazine articles; contacts to people in your area; or contacts to people outside your area.


•What the information is required for, e.g. field work, courses, degrees, personal use, etc. •The date that this information is required by (be reasonable).





An Etymology


The meaning of key words used in this yearbook.



An association of scholars or academics. Also a school of study founded to promote a particular philosophy (e.g. Platonic philosophy). Here, the philosophy or ethics are those of Permaculture; the study and development of sustainable systems for landscapes and settlements.



A copyright word, owned as a common copyright by the Permaculture Institutes and their graduates. Derived from permanent and culture, as below. Permanent:  From the Latin permanens, to remain to the end, to persist throughout. (Latin; per  through, manere  to continue). Culture: From the Latin cultura cultivation of land, or the intellect. Now generalised to mean all those habits, beliefs, or activities that sustain human societies. Thus, Permaculture is the study of the design of those sustainable or enduring systems that support human society, both agricultural and intellectual, traditional and scientific, architectural,  financial and legal.  It is the study of integrated systems, for the purpose of better design and application of such systems.



Latin for a field. Applied also to ‘a field of study’.

Narrowly defined by some as enclosures within a college, but here used as an area open to intellectual enquiry.



Restricted in the case of Permaculture, to integrated functional design, thus the conscious and intentional design of integrated systems.

The process of design is to place any component of a system where it will best connect to other components, when therefore, its requirements are met, and its products used.

It is the science of best relative placement of components in a plan or pattern whose main function is to increase resources, conserve energy, and reduce or eliminate pollution or waste.


Sustainable Systems

Restricted in Permaculture usage to any system that provides or conserves sufficient energy, over its normal life expectancy, to build and maintain itself, and to give a yield surplus to those requirements.

Essentially, any system which amortisies its costs in energy terms.






Application for a Diploma of Permaculture Design


(submit in English) Applicant’s Name:

(please print clearly) .........................................................................................................................................


Postal Address: ............................................................................................................................................................


Permanent Address: .....................................................................................................................................................


Where Permaculture Design Course was taken:.............................................................. Teacher(s):........................................................................................................................................


Date of course: Month .............................  Year  ......................................


Diploma is applied for in the following area(s) (no more than three subjects may be marked):


Evidence of Work:

This may be forwarded as design reports, photographs, affidavits, publications, field reports, records of employment, or any such supporting materials. Only send documents, photographs, tapes etc  you do not wish returned. 

Photocopies are acceptable.


Please enclose Aust $75.00 application fee.



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.