For people who are aware of the need for change in the world, the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast is an educational facility that encourages change to a sustainable, self reliant and abundant lifestyle to benefit self, others and the earth. PRI-SC’s Permaculture Design Certificate combines Bill Mollison’s and Geoff Lawton’s teachings with Tom Kendall’s lifelong agricultural and self reliance experience, without any spiritual connotations.
Tom Kendall grew up and worked on his parents’ farm in Western Australia and took on the farm in 1992 when his father retired. He downsized the 11,000 acre farm to 7,000 acres and converted to Biodynamics. The farm produced wheat and barley and ran cattle and sheep. In 2000 he sold the farm and moved to the Sunshine Coast. In 2005 he and his partner Zaia found their ideal property in Kin Kin, Noosa Hinterland. Tom had by then become interested in Permaculture, and started converting the property into a Permaculture site.
With his background in farming, he was able to take on most jobs that needed to be done himself; renovations, building, operating heavy machinery for earthworks etc, gardening, fixing, installing plumbing and many other jobs that came with setting up the property. I once heard someone say that a farmer has around 32 trades, because most farmers take on jobs that need doing on their properties themselves. Tom has that and more. Since he was 6 he was taught to be self reliant, to always look for solutions by using materials already available on the property, and by creatively problem solving on the fly. He always looks for solutions that he can implement himself, and he can implement most solutions.
Tom is a very practical person with a wealth of knowledge about shaping landscapes and creating tools and infrastructure. Having spent all his life working the land he has an astute awareness about today’s environmental issues and aims to minimise his footprint as much as possible. His courses are unique in that he shows a lot of practical applications on his property, now a permaculture demonstration site, to complement the theory taught. His aim is to bring permaculture to as many people as possible, and to empower people to be self reliant. He is a Permaculture Research Institute accredited teacher and runs The Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast with his wife Zaia.
The 10 week internship following the PDC course will instruct people more on self reliance; how to fix things yourself, how to use locally available material to create solutions and how to access opportunities to gather materials without financial outlay to name a few. Tom and Zaia aim for a closed cycle on the property, and Tom will share a lot of the solutions that are in place or will be in place in the future to create a closed cycle. Tom’s experience in self reliance is unique, since it is coupled with lifelong experience.
Tom shares his lifelong agricultural and self reliance experience in all his courses, and presents his courses in a down to earth way, in an environment where everyone is welcome to question and discuss. There are still a few places available for the Permaculture Design Certificate course starting 20 May, and applications are also taken for the internship that follows the PDC, starting on 4 June.
Comments from past students:
“I’m currently doing my PDC with Tom Kendall, and I can tell you that this is a couple who walk the talk. I’m loving the atmosphere at the farm and Tom is an excellent teacher. You really have to see how he hugs his cows! If you are looking for a PDC you would do really well to consider doing it in Kin Kin.” — K.S.
“Recently I have completed my PDC with Tom Kendall, I was very happy with his broad knowledge of permaculture and his ability to relate the permaculture ways from rural to urban and micro to macro applications. Testament to his experience with large scale farming and his adaptability to his students needs. Toms capacity as a permaculture teacher is evident in the demonstration site, his home and his way of life all sustainable and in order. We could sit and observe Tom on a daily bases and it would be difficult to find one thing that is not in order with nature and Permaculture, I found this alone very inspiring and to witness Toms capacity to manage and build the demonstration site whilst teaching each day I commend highly and honourably. The majority of us (even some Permaculture teachers) have a lot to learn from Tom Kendall in his implementation of permaculture as his way of life and not something separate that he dabbles in. ” — B.M.
“Tom presented each lesson with not only a true knowledge of the material but with personal experience and interesting first hand illustrations. Tom held our interest from week to week and demonstrated the Permaculture Design principles and directives in a very understandable and practical manner. It is obvious that Tom has a passion for Permaculture and for what he is doing.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and felt that upon completion I had a good understanding of the Permaculture Design principles. I am able to put them to use immediately on my own property and also feel that I can offer my knowledge and understanding of Permaculture to others.
I would recommend Tom’s course to anyone who is interested in taking the Permaculture Design Course as I feel that the course actually exceeded my expectations and was a very enjoyable experience.” — S.B.
©2012 Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast – Permaculture Design Course, Permaculture Design Certificate