A new Byron Centre for Permaculture has been launched at Byron Community College’s outdoor campus. Permaculture pioneer Robyn Francis of Permaculture Australia and Djangbung Gardens along with Simon Richardson, Byron Shire Mayor, did the honours of the opening on 2 October. The Hon. Ben Franklin MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and the Arts, also attended the event (pictured in photo, along with Richard Vinycomb on left and Robyn Francis, centre).
With the most established government-funded on-campus permaculture programs in the world, the Byron Centre for Permaculture is the leading provider of permaculture and sustainability courses and resources in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
Robyn Francis’ permaculture work and tireless passion over her 40 years in the field was instrumental in spearheading this formal acknowledgement and accreditation of permaculture courses, both locally and internationally in the early 2000s.
“It is really exciting to see the Permaculture Centre officially launch here in the Byron region and being a wonderful beacon for not only Northern Rivers but for the rest of the country,” Robyn Francis said.
The appreciation that permaculture is more than just growing healthy nourishing food, but rather meeting all our social and environmental needs and responsibilities, including working together positively in our communities, was acknowledged by Simon Richardson.
“The community values of the programs and the examples of learning and its practical application can be seen here the centre’s thriving permaculture site within the Mullumbimby Community Gardens. It is a testament that both organisations are truly representative of our community and great examples for us all,” Simon Richardson said.
Richard Vinycomb, Director of Byron Community College, backed the vision for the new Centre and its next steps: “Community and business participation and collaboration in permaculture projects and partnerships will be vital to our future work in the Northern Rivers,” Richard Vinycomb said.
Dr Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges Australia (CCA) welcomed the new Centre: “Byron Community College’s international reputation in sustainability and its programs in Permaculture chart an important future means for how Australian adult and community education organisations can provide training opportunities and economic development activities for their regions. CCA congratulates the College and honours the efforts of Robyn Francis.
(pictured below, from L to R: Centre tutors Sharon Gibson, Mark Pickard, Robyn Francis & Julianne Hartman)