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Permaculture Design Course

Price $300 – $2200 AUD + BF Get tickets

Event description

Permaculture Design Certificate Autumn 2024

Where: The Food Forest, Gawler, South Australia

When: April 24-28, May 10-12 & 25-26

10 days spread out over three teaching blocks during April & May.

In person/face to face.

This course is fully catered but is non-residential. Sessions run from 8.30am-5.15pm

With David Holmgren, Graham and Annemarie Brookman & Others


Earlybird prices (extended to COB April 7th, 2024): 

Early bird price: $1995pp (Incl GST)
Early bird price, partner/group booking: $1945pp (incl GST)

Standard prices (from April 7th COB, 2024)
Standard price: $2200pp (incl GST)
Standard Price, partner/group bookings: $2150pp (incl GST)

Booking your spot: 
$300 +BF deposit payment secures your spot. Once we have received your registration and deposit payment, we will be in touch via email with detailed information about options for the payment of the balance owing.

For the full course description, you can download the pdf from The Food Forest website: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) with David Holmgren » The Food Forest

Permaculture Design Certificate

This 10-day intensive design course, taught at The Food Forest will present you with an opportunity to consider your life in a new light and give you increased confidence and many skills needed to design a sustainable and meaningful place for your future. David Holmgren’s participation will be Face-to-Face during the first teaching block to lay the foundation. It will provide a unique opportunity to revisit your values and techniques or start your permaculture career at the cutting edge.  In addition to the Brookmans, the course is supported by an experienced team of SA tutors, each with their own specialities.

You will work with a group of motivated fellow students with diverse skills and backgrounds and learn through a diverse range of teaching styles which include lectures, practical activities, small group work, case studies, film, field trips, games and from each other. In addition to our teaching team, you will have access to a wide range of printed and digital resources.

The extended format of the course is designed to cause minimum disruption to other parts of your life. It will allow you to absorb and practice skills from one learning block before moving on to the next.

Please note that the first teaching block of 5 days starts on Wednesday April 24, and will include the Anzac Day Public holiday on the 25th.

Whilst the extended format may seem less than ideal if you are from a distant location, many participants from further away, use it as an opportunity to visit friends, permaculture projects or to WWOOF between teaching blocks.

In The Food Forest PDC you will work on a major design project of your choice. We will take you through the design process, from the ‘brief’ to completion and the presentation. Many of the excellent designs have been implemented around the world. Please note, ‘Homework’ will be required outside the course hours & between teaching blocks.


The course at The Food Forest will cover such topics as:

  • Permaculture ethics, principles & design of sustainable systems
  • Reading landscape, land capability assessment, site mapping
  • Personal, family and community strategies
  • Appropriate human settlements, architecture, and planning
  • Passive solar design for houses and structures
  • Sustainable energy sources, ‘waste’ and recycling
  • Linking of design elements for optimum efficiency
  • Soil management/ Soil health: improvements and maintenance
  • Urban and rural farming and gardening
  • Orchard and food forest design and practice
  • Alternative social and economic models & legal structures
  • Water management, catchments, (urban & rural) and aquaculture
  • Biodiversity in both urban and rural settings
  • Value-adding and ‘direct marketing’ of food
  • Application of Permaculture Design in different professions & trades
  • Design for extreme events
  • And more……

Principal Tutors

David Holmgren, is the co-originator of the permaculture concept and co-authored ‘Permaculture One’, with Bill Mollison in 1978. David is globally recognised as a leading ecological thinker, teacher, speaker and writer. In 2003 David published “Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability”, a book which was the first significant development on the permaculture concept since Bill Mollison’s “Permaculture Designers’ Manual” (1988). David continues to refine permaculture in his writings and research. His book, ‘RetroSuburbia’ was launched in 2018 and is a key reference for practical urban design. Late 2020 he and Beck Lowe launched “Our Street”, a permaculture story book for kids.

Annemarie Brookman is co-owner of The Food Forest and runs its organic market garden and busy office. She organises the educational programs, The Food Forest’s stall at the Adelaide Farmers Market and coordinates volunteers and staff at the property. She has observed societies, crafts and cuisines in many countries. Her passion for local, wholesome, delicious and visually beautiful food and her skills as a designer are expressed in a direct and practical manner. She is expert in the integration of poultry and vegetable production and is a keen observer & photographer of insect ecosystems. Time management, small scale marketing, engaging children in gardening and the natural environment, mentoring to empower people to get involved with the future of their food and sustainable home-building are included in her talents. She is qualified in permaculture design & training, art and craft and is a strong contributor to the permaculture movement in SA.

Graham Brookman has experienced land use all over the world and his search for ecologically sustainable farming systems led him to the permaculture model devised by Mollison and Holmgren. Graham has put the model to the test and teaches his findings in an energetic, interactive and practical style. Discovering how to build with straw bales has given Graham free rein with the construction of a series of beautiful and environmentally responsible structures. He has taught hundreds of others how simple it is to use straw bales in building anything from a garden bench to a house. He is a qualified horticulturalist, teacher and permaculture designer and was founding chairman of the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market and the Gawler Environment Centre. Though first a farmer and horticulturalist, he has been involved in town planning and has made numerous educational films. He is passionate about water and sunshine, their capture and efficient use. He has created a new breed of mini sheep for use in orchards, vineyards and farms and dedicates much time and effort to the repair of the Gawler River.

Guest Tutors and Field Visits

A wide range of guest tutors, selected for skills and qualifications in their particular field and their commitment to sustainable living and permaculture, will also teach in the course. Tours will visit a wide variety of outstanding examples of permaculture and the people who are making it work, in & near Adelaide. Extensive notes are provided.


This course will be managed in accordance with the government guidelines in place at the time of the course dates. Given the changing nature of COVID, the rules and regulations in the past, 2024 may still be a year that requires us to be adaptive and creative. If you are/become unwell leading up to or during the course, please contact us to discuss options for your participation.

The Venue

Our land is on Kaurna country, and we respect their connection to this land, water and community. This year we are celebrating more than 20 years of running PDCs at The Forest with Graham & Annemarie Brookman, David Holmgren and other amazing guest presenters. The property is a remarkable 20-hectare, certified organic permaculture farm and learning centre that is the result of the passion and vision of owners Graham & Annemarie. From its buzzing biodiversity come over 150 varieties of organically grown fruit and nuts. We’ll be harvesting and eating some of the products during the PDC!

The campus demonstrates strawbale building technology, active and passive solar design, food value-adding, running a permaculture business and successful collaboration with local government, Landscape Boards, refugee groups and educational institutions at all levels.


Lunch, morning & afternoon tea each day, and the final night dinner (Sat May 25th) are included in the registration and include vegetarian, vegan and some omnivorous options. 


This course is non residential. See the full PDC brochure for some local accommodation information.


There is a good train connection to Adelaide. It is a 20 min walk from Tambelin Railway station on the Gawler line.

A gift

The 10th anniversary issue of ‘Pip’, Australia’s own permaculture magazine, was published in February, and it’s a big moment for the Pip team and for everyone who has supported Pip along the way over its 10 year journey. To celebrate this fantastic milestone, we will give each course participant a free copy at the start of the course. It includes an article by Hannah Maloney about The Food Forest for this issue and yes, it is a painting of Annemarie, on the front cover.

Come Prepared

We strongly recommend that you read some Permaculture texts. See the reading list and a permaculture resources list on the downloadable PDC brochure. 

For the full course description including info about the course fee, you can download the pdf from The Food Forest website: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) with David Holmgren » The Food Forest

Need more details that you can't find in the brochure?

Contact Annemarie on: 

P: 08 85226450     E:                                 

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Refund policy

See Food Forest PDC brochure for detailed refund information.