Rainbow Dreaming  

Robyn Francis at Djanbung Gardens, 1998Image by Graeme Batterbury

Robyn Francis at Djanbung Gardens, 2009
Image: © Graeme Batterbury


Permaculture 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 them.

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

Robyn Francis, permaculture educator, Nimbin

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