At July 2015’s meeting Chris Carroll, who is a member of both Permaculture Noosa and Permaculture Australia, spoke about Permaculture Australia and the Permafund. Permafund is the colloquial name of the ‘Permaculture International Public Fund’, the charitable arm of Permaculture Australia, which is a Registered Environmental Organisation. Its charter is to promote and support projects that have a strong permaculture element. Since 2012 Permafund has provided grants to 15 projects in developing countries as well as in Australia and New Zealand. These projects, along with many others, include: • Assistance for the tsunami-affected children of Aceh • Supporting projects in Haiti by AAE (Association Amis des Enfants) Australia for La Gonave, La Gonave Island, Haiti • A 2012 Permafund grant to support a ‘train-the-trainer’ course for leader farmers and volunteer extension workers for a Sumatran farmers’ association • Permafund help for land restoration in Haiti • Permafund grant to help with the establishment of the Laikipia (Kenya) Permaculture Centre • Transferring permaculture skills in Cambodia • Permaculture design of Umoja Orphanage in Kenya • Supporting indigenous farming practices and permaculture in Madurai India. Another responsibility of Permafund is fund raising. Some people donate to Permafund by automatic direct debit monthly. Bequests are welcomed. Other funds are raised by donations from permaculturalists who run events or tithe a percentage from their training courses, product sales or publishing projects.
The Permafund is managed by a dedicated committee of Permaculture Australia member volunteers from around the country. Permafund has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status whch means that donations by individuals of $2.00 or more are tax deductible. Permaculture Australia has over 200 individual members and is soon to offer membership to permaculture groups, including Permaculture Noosa, helping to build a strong national network. For more information about the Permafund and the projects of Permaculture Australia please see http://permacultureaustralia.org.au/.