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Permaculture Design Certificate

January 10th - 23rd, 2016 ( 9:00 am - 5:00 pm )

Update: Bookings for this course have now closed. Click here to find any Permaculture Design Certificate courses we have scheduled.
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Join us this Summer to get inspired and skilled up in Permaculture design – you’ll leave ready to create abundance in a world out of balance, with solid design skills and techniques.

A Milkwood Permaculture Design Course teaches you the skills and knowledge to design and implement fundamental and life-changing resilience into your everyday home, community and beyond.

  • “I love the whole design process that these guys go through. Really thorough – they know their stuff”

    — Charl Crous

  • “I can’t think of a better stepping stone for making a positive change in your life towards something more sustainable, more healthy, more satisfying and more connected. Don’t think about it. Do it. You won’t regret it.”

    — Kathryn Scobie

  • “After just two weeks, I am armed with a ridiculous amount of knowledge that will enable us to build a sustainable house, with a bountiful garden.”

    — Claire Lane

  • “Absolutely inspirational! I feel so proud to have been able to take part in this”

    — Kirsty Van Grinsven

  • “What an incredible 2 weeks of life changing inspiration and good times. Thank you Milkwood for providing this platform for provocative and progressive thought and practical applications.”

    — Michelle Packwood

More of what Milkwood PDC students have to say…


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Permaculture is set of principles that result in sustainable and productive systems. Systems for living, architecture, food production, land management and community.

No chemicals and no excuses. Just good, thoughtful, innovative and effective design for the needs of our species.

This 2 week intensive course will arm you with the design thinking and skills to create resilient, synergistic systems for living, working and community.

This Milkwood course is eligible for The Industry Skills Fund, providing up to 75% off course costs to folks in small businesses that meet the fund’s criteria. More info here…

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By observing nature we can use natural patterning to design and implement ideas and systems that build on natural processes with energy efficient, low cost and high yielding results.

Milkwood Permaculture PDC graduates leave this course ready to design and implement permaculture into a wide range of scenarios; from urban permaculture systems to small farms and community projects.

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What you will learn at a Milkwood PDC

A Milkwood Permaculture Design Course is steadfastly dedicated to turning you into a better holistic designer. The learning outcomes of this intensive course have been built around a powerful design frameworks to realise this goal.

By the end of our course you will be able to:

  • Design human habitats for abundance while improving ecosystem health
  • Explain the origins of the permaculture concept and appreciate permaculture ethics and principles in a whole new light
  • Implement the permaculture design process and integrate systems thinking and design theory into your design approach
  • Analyse the strengths, resources, boundaries and limitations of the people involved in your project and produce an inspiring goal statement to get everybody on board
  • Create an accurate base map of any site
  • Complete a thorough Site Analysis and Assessment taking into account climate, legal framework, land form, wind & sun, water, access & energy flows, biology, micro-climates, soils & aesthetics
  • Build functional connections between elements of your design to reduce labour and eliminate pollution
  • See the underlying patterns in our ecosystems, understand their meaning and how to apply patterning to achieve harmony with the natural world
  • Design for different climatic conditions and adapt to our climate future

  • Design water into landscapes to drought-proof your designs
  • Build the structure, fertility and biological diversity of your soils
  • Enhance the soil food web to bring your soils to life
  • Harness the power of trees to modify climate, build habitat and produce food with a minimum effort
  • Understand the strengths and weakness of using each food producing ecosystem
  • Use annual gardens to produce food quickly and reliably
  • Design stable, abundant forest gardens
  • Design animals into ecosystems for the benefit of all species
  • Use aquaculture and aquaponics to enhance your designs
  • Make use appropriate technology for power generation, energy efficiency, food preservation and comfortable homes
  • Enhance local communities and local economies through permaculture design
  • Open up new career pathways while making the world a better place

Detailed Course ScheduleDetailed Learning Outcomes

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Designing your future

A Milkwood Permaculture Design Certificate can lead anywhere – we’ve had students use it as a springboard into new careers of all types, from farming to accounting, school garden enterprises, and design services.

Previous student designs  |  Permaculture Futures stories

You will leave this immersive experience with the confidence and ability to create exceptional permaculture designs for any situation.

A full blown agricultural enterprise, an apartment balcony, a quarter acre farm, an intentional community, a company structure whatever human habitat that needs designing.


Site Visits

As part of this course we’ll introduce you to some of Sydney’s secret permaculture gardens, community food verges and food forests.

We’ll also visit an inspiring eco-house right in the city that is proving that living lightly can be done anywhere.


About your teachers

Brendan Morse trained as an ecologist-botanist. His passion for all things wild has inspired a journey through landscaping, bush regeneration, horticulture and environmental education at Ceres Environment Park in Melbourne. He divides his time currently between permaculture design + development work in Arnhem Land, alongside other permaculture education and projects. More about Brendan…

Nick Ritar is a permaculture designer, consultant and educator who works extensively across a wide range of bioregions, farms, watersheds and city environments. He is recognized nationally as a leading advocate on how permaculture principles can contribute to food security through good design and regenerative farming and living. More about Nick…

With guest teachers Floyd Constable, Heather McCabe, Adam Kennedy + Michelle Sheather – a fantastic teaching team with experience from broad acre permaculture to urban renewal to international ecology!

PDC materials

Included in your course fee

Your course fee includes all site visits and a kit of practical resources to help you succeed in designing – all Milkwood PDC students receive:

  • A copy of ‘Permaculture Design – a step by step guide’
  • Permaculture Guide + The Essence of Permaculture reference texts
  • Paper scale rulers to help with your design work + an eco pencil
  • Extensive digital resources + downloads on all subjects covered
  • A year’s subscription to Permaculture Australia + a PIP Permaculture Magazine

We also provide all students with tea + coffee + organic fruit during the day.

About the venue

venue-school-isms-groundsThe Inner Sydney Montessori School is an inner-urban learning oasis- as well as being a great alternative school, it’s full of leafy spaces, old buildings + gardens.

More about the venue + how to get there…

Booking into this design course

You can pay for your course now with your credit card, or contact Trev in our office via the form below (scroll down) to arrange payment.

If you’re one of our Intro to Permaculture alumni – contact us to book in with your 15% discount.

Please ensure you read our refunds policy prior to booking your course.

Update: Bookings for this course have now closed. Click here to find any Permaculture Design Certificate courses we have scheduled.

Need more information?

Contact us using the form below if you have any questions, to arrange an alternative payment method or to be added to the wait list for a sold out event.

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