Australasian Permaculture Convergence

The Thirteenth Australasian Permaculture Convergence is coming soon to Perth, Western Australia, and Pip is heading over the Nullarbor to get in on the action! We got the goss from convener Ross Mars on all things APC13…

Ross Mars, convener of the Australasian Permaculture Convergence 13

When is the Australasian Permaculture Convergence (APC13) on?

The APC runs from October 2-5, 2016 with tours, workshops and courses to follow. Attendance and participation is open to all people who have undertaken courses in permaculture and who adhere to the ethics, practices and principles that permaculture is built on.


Why should permies get along?

APC13 is an opportunity for everyone to share their permaculture journey, their research into resilient and productive systems, and have fruitful discussions about the future directions of permaculture in the world. There is also a packed schedule with some of the most renowned permaculture practitioners presenting on a wide range of topics.


What’s in a name: Is it Convergence or Conference?

Historically permaculture enthusiasts have organised a Convergence, with his term better defining the gathering of like-minded minds. Most other organisations offer Conferences, and in the early years, permaculture did have a Conference which was often an open day for the general public. The Convergence was seen as for only Permaculture Design Course (PDC) graduates.
To save the confusion, APC13 in Perth will be offering a Permaculture expo, called PermaFest. This is the one day “conference” where guest speakers will talk about different aspects of permaculture to a largely uninitiated public. We also intend to have hands-on workshops and displays. We anticipate some information booths of appropriate businesses and static displays of interesting projects and case studies.
The Convergence is meant for those of us who have done a Permaculture Design Course and in light of the growing number of Accredited Permaculture Training graduates we need to include those who may have done at least CIII.
We would encourage anyone who is planning to come to APC13 and has not undertaken a PDC, to do so as soon as they can. Some Perth-based permaculture teachers will be offering a two week PDC prior to the Convergence, and we encourage all other teachers in other states and territories to offer these as well. Send in your course details and we will promote these on the APC13 website.


It’s going to take a lot of CO2 to get me there… what should I do?

Air travel is recognised as one of the highest producers of carbon dioxide, and so contributes significantly to an individual’s greenhouse gas emissions. Most airlines offer customers a chance (and choice) to pay a little more to offset their travel. Unfortunately most people seem to ignore this offer and I also suspect the (small) cost increase in an airfare is really well below the true cost.
While it would be great if all permaculture practitioners automatically considered accepting the carbon offset addition to a fare, it may not be possible to do so for a large number of reasons. While all such schemes are registered by the Australian Government and the funds raised are given to legitimate organisations for tree planting and other endeavours, Perth is donating part of a participant’s Convergence fee to local organisations to enable worthwhile food-based and other revegetation projects to be funded.
You can go online and find any number of calculators to work out the carbon produced by travel from one city to another and to also give you some estimate of cost. We intend find ways in which we can reduce everyone’s carbon footprint to attend the Convergence at Swanleigh, which is about five minutes from the airport and half-an-hour from the city.

Sweet potato harvest in June in tropical Australia

Is this party catered?

How often have you heard that we should practice what we preach? There has always been contention by Convergence attendees that each group should obtain local, freshly grown produce and to grow as much food as possible to feed participants. In our current age of OHS and safety this is not always possible or easy. Caterers have to, by law, be able to document where food comes from and to ensure high public safety. For example, if someone came down with food poisoning then the Department of Health or some other similar government body would insist on a paper trail of where the food came from and what steps were put in place to ensure a low risk of contamination.
You may now be able to appreciate that while growing food for a Permaculture Convergence is the ideal, there will be obstacles to overcome to make even part of this possible. Nevertheless, Perth is committed to work with the caterers to make their job easier to source good, local organic food, and to supply what condiments and other treats we can. We will be growing food and we intend to make this available to accredited suppliers and to liaise with growers to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone. Furthermore we will be self-catering for the Advanced courses that follow in Rockingham, so we have got food plants in the ground now.

Is there an after party?

Several tours are offered after the main program of APC13. Only best practice properties have been selected, and each tour will showcase different aspects of sustainable living practices. You will be able to visit urban sites in and around Perth, see small acreage properties in the hills, or take a two day tour to the south-west or up to Geraldton.

pdc sa

What other fun stuff can I do over in WA?

There will be enough courses and workshops to wet anyone’s appetite, and these will be presented by internationally recognised teachers. Robina McCurdy starts a few day before the PermaFest with a three day course on Localising Food Facilitation Training. Just after the Convergence David Holmgren offers a one-day workshop on Future Scenarios. Over the weekend that follows he is presenting a two-day Advanced Principles course. At the same time, Robina McCurdy is facilitating Fast-tracking Urban Permaculture and Cecilia Macaulay is presenting an Advanced Life Design Workshop: Permaculture for the inside – for the first time in Western Australia.
Two five-day Advanced courses follow. An Advanced Teaching course with Rowe Morrow and Robin Clayfield is offered concurrently with an Advanced Design course with Graham Bell and Ross Mars.

Any final words to sum up?

We want to showcase best practice in sustainable living and demonstrate how permaculture can bring about positive changes in people’s lives, the environment and offer solutions to the inevitable changes that are taking place in the world right now. Please join us, and you too can be a part of the solution.
Find out more by visiting our website and join us on facebook to keep up-to-date with the program and events. You can also volunteer for the event here.

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