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Permaculture Design Certificate

  • Canberra Environment Centre Cnr Lennox Crossing and Lawson Crescent Acton, ACT, 2601 Australia (map)

Urban Permaculture Design Certificate

6th February -5th June 2019, Wednesday evenings 6.30-9.30

Imagine a garden that grows itself. Your time in your backyard spent harvesting fresh produce and optimising designs rather than battling weeds or struggling to irrigate. This is the principle of permaculture – a system of designed, permanent agriculture – to work with, rather than against nature.

This is a four month course aimed specially for those wishing to make the most out of their urban backyard, balcony, courtyard or small farm. In this course participants will learn how to design systems for growing food that are simple, sustainable and beneficial for the environment. The sessions run 6.30-9.30 every Wednesday evening and includes at least two practical sessions where participants will visit a range of permaculture sites across the ACT.

What you’ll learn

In this permaculture design course, participants will:   

  • Understand and apply the principles and ethics of permaculture in your daily life

  • Be able to design a sustainable human ecosystem (in an urban, rural or semi rural setting,) within a natural ecosystem, that will provide an abundance of resources

  • Learn how to conduct a site analysis

  • How to use elements within the natural system to store and conserve water

  • Design for integration of elements and functions in your design to reduce the amount of work required in a system

  • Learn about building microclimates into your systems

  • Learn to build valuable soil

  • Learn different composting methods suitable for our climate

  • Be introduced to Biointensive Gardening, Biodynamics and other gardening methods

  • Understand the effects that climate change will have on our region

  • Learn how to design for resilience and the future effects of climate change

  • Learn to design a permaculture orchard

  • Design a forest garden and understand the support structures to make forest gardens work.

  • Learn how to bring permaculture into the community and successful ways to build community through permaculture

  • Understand the role that activism and participation plays in permaculture

Practical sessions

The PDC includes at least 2 days of practical sessions where participants will visit a variety of sites in Canberra and the ACT region such as hobby farms, community gardens, suburban backyards and food forests. Dates and activities will be decided upon as a group, depending on the group’s interests. A group may decide to put theory into practice with a project, or to experience a range of permaculture systems though field trips.

Our Presenter

‘Martyn is an incredible teacher and I am very glad to have been taught by such a caring and socially aware person’ – feedback PDC participant  

‘Classes were very interactive between Martyn and students. He made it enjoyable and I liked the social aspect of the course’ – feedback from PDC participant

Martyn Noakes completed his permaculture training under John Champagne and has been teaching the ACT community about permaculture ever since. Martyn regularly presents introductory workshops about permaculture and keeping backyard chooks with the Canberra Environment Centre as well as full Permaculture Design Certificates. Martyn runs Bredbo Valley View Farm with his family and keeps a happy mix of cattle, sheep, pigs, ducks, chooks and geese. He is also a regular guest and supplier for River Cottage Australia.

From Martyn:  

‘In today’s world with the cost of living so high we keep our course prices as low as possible.  Ethically we believe it’s important to make these ideas, skills and information available to the widest possible audience and price should not be the determining factor on whether people can do the course.   We also live in a world where time is becoming more precious, so running the course in the evening doesn’t impose on people weekends and free time. Permaculture concepts are based in sustainable resource usage and the building of resilient food systems that can also be applied to your backyard. Permaculture focuses on working with rather than against nature, a concept that can be applied to the smallest of gardens to result in greater abundance.’’


About permaculture

Permaculture is a design process based on systems-thinking which can be applied to a range of different contexts including community and business initiatives, food production, management systems, architecture and lifestyles. By adopting a holistic approach, permaculture emphasises the need to work with nature instead of going against it to promote abundance and resilience. Amongst other things, this involves observing patterns in natural systems and using these patterns to inform design.

Refund Policy: Please kindly note that tickets are non-refundable and cannot be transferred to other workshops, however you are welcome to pass your ticket on to another person.


Accessibility: Most sessions will be held at the Canberra Environment Centre which has an access ramp and a standard sized doorway. The CEC does not have a wheelchair accessible toilet. Practical sessions are organized in consultation with the participants of the course and will take into account any accessibility concerns. For any questions about accessibility please contact the CEC on (02) 6248 0885 or

 Book here




Earlier Event: 5 February
Creating a Garden for the Canberra Climate
Later Event: 12 February
Making Zero Waste Products