at Djanbung Gardens, 2009
Image: © Graeme Batterbury
is a practical concept applicable from the balcony to the farm, from
the city to the wilderness. It enables people to establish productive
environments providing for food, energy, shelter, material and non-material
needs, as well as the social and economic infrastructures that support
The concept was first developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren
in 1974 and now there are thousands of practitioners all over the world.
From a philosophy of cooperation with nature and each other, of caring
for the earth and people, permaculture presents an approach to designing
environments that have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural
ecosystems. This approach also addresses the need to regenerate damaged
land and preserve existing ecosystems.
The Permaculture Education Centre in Nimbin is called ‘Djanbung
Gardens’. Bundjalung Aboriginal elders have given the centre the
platypus totem, called ‘Djanbung’ in the local Wyabul dialect.
During the Dreamtime, when there was great strife and disharmony it
was the ancient platypus who taught all the animals their true names
and totems, re-establishing their rightful relationships with each other
and the land.
Permaculture encourages the individual to be resourceful and self-reliant,
and becomes a conscious part of the solution to the many problems that
face us, both locally and globally.
Francis, permaculture educator, Nimbin