The mission of PermEco Inc. is to provide education, training and research in Permanently Productive Ecosystems in order to create a more sustainable future for our communities and our planet. PermEco Inc. provides opportunity for people from all backgrounds to learn how to better manage their own and the planet’s resources by providing an education, demonstration and research space at the Kendall Permaculture Farm in Kin Kin, Queensland, and offering services such as advice, education and training in regenerative agriculture, natural grazing methods, permaculture, self sufficiency and community building, leading to better land management practices and more sustainable and resilient communities.
Founded in 2012 as the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast Inc., the organisation changed its name in 2019 to PermEco Inc. in order to broaden its area of operations. Since its founding as an incorporated organisation in 2012, the organisation has trained and educated more than 350 local, national and international people to become more sustainable on this planet. The organisation has 2 long term volunteers who have been with the organisation since its conception, and have had more than 100 shorter term volunteers. PermEco Inc. is an incorporated not for profit organisation and a registered charity with the ACNC.
PermEco Inc. recognises the need for close ties in the community, and provides goods and services to the local general store/cafe and the primary school. It has partnerships with other not for profit organisations providing similar services and is able to draw on a wealth of knowledge provided by a pool of consultants on its advisory boards. It works closely with a number of other local not for profit organisations by providing support for their projects and helping them fulfil their objectives.
Philosophy and Approach
Our programs and services have been expanded and enhanced to reflect an Empowerment model. Under this model, PermEco Inc. first assesses the level of understanding and skill of the participant, then follows it with targeted training and education in order to empower the individual making them feel that they are capable and able to participate in creating a more sustainable planet and community. This model recognises that environmental degradation is caused by uneducated human activities and can be resolved by educated and empowered individual and community works.
PermEco Inc. is involved in, supports and organises community events to inform people from all backgrounds and walks of life of the positive effects empowered informed action can have on the earth. We have printed materials for people to take home, and people are directed to the website in order to find out more, apply to volunteer, do free online courses or to book into upcoming courses and events.
Community events held at the Kendall Permaculture Farm aim to educate whilst creating community with a focus on shorter workshops on specific subjects giving participants a small glimpse of what is possible. By combining entertainment, music and workshop participation, community building is an automatic result.
Onsite at the farm, we provide students, trainees and volunteers with education and training in sustainable agricultural and community systems, creating empowered individuals. The aim is that individuals are able to train others once they have been with us. Training others will empower them to be able to go out into the world and make a positive change.
The education, research and demonstration site Kendall Permaculture Farm is working towards closing the input/output cycle and self sufficiency. This “leading by example” principle motivates students, trainees and local community to apply similar concepts and systems into their own environments, thus creating a snowball effect of empowered people working to create sustainable ecosystems around the world.
PermEco Inc. has a research program in place to discover more methodologies and systems that will create sustainable ecosystems. Case studies are conducted onsite with results reported for free on the PermEco Inc. website, and methods and systems are taught to volunteers, students and trainees, who may also be involved in the process of research, preparation and putting in place new systems on the farm.
Volunteers are encouraged to stay for a longer term to get a broader variety of educational experiences during their time at the farm. They become familiar with animal and plant systems, composting systems, water management systems, energy systems and much more, and they also leave as empowered human beings able to generate positive change to a planet in need.
PermEco Inc. also provides advisory services to people and projects in need. Our consultants will travel to educate and advise primary producers and others to become more disaster resilient and create permanently productive ecosystems for the benefit of the planet and themselves.
Statement of need
With climate change projections in Australia pointing towards increasing temperatures, decreased rainfall, more intense and extreme rainfall events, harsher fire weather and longer droughts, we require more solutions for more intense weather conditions.
Over the past 150 years, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere has increased by 30%. Most scientists believe there is a direct relationship between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising global temperatures.
Carbon sequestration is the long term storage of carbon in oceans, soils, vegetation (especially forests), and geologic formations. Although oceans store most of the Earth’s carbon, soils contain approximately 75% of the carbon pool on land — three times more than the amount stored in living plants and animals. Therefore, soils play a major role in maintaining a balanced global carbon cycle.
Research has shown that plants and animals make vital contributions to storing carbon in soil. Promoting ecosystem biodiversity and properly managing diverse animal systems aid this process. By producing healthier grassland, animals grazed with properly managed systems are said to increase the soil’s capacity to store carbon. Building healthy and diverse ecosystems can also play a part in stabilising the climate in that area.
As climate disasters are becoming more commonplace due to climate change and deforestation, it is vital that we build resilient communities that will be able to function and survive independently in case of a disaster. Food grown locally, produced without fertilisers or industrial grains and with minimal processing is better for the planet as well as build more resilient communities.
PermEco Inc. is committed to diversification of its revenue streams and funding sources. Since its conception in 2012, PermEco Inc. has accepted payment for services as well as donations from the public. It has successfully crowdfunded past projects.
Due to increased competition in our field we have seen a decrease in payment for services and have changed our policy to focus on improving our fundraising and providing free (or by donation) services to the public. We still accept donations from the public and also provide services by donation. Donations from the public automatically go towards PermEco Inc.’s running expenses unless otherwise specified by the donor.
Due to PermEco Inc. being focused on creating climate change solutions, we suit a variety of public and private funders, donors and sponsors, whom we approach in order to achieve our program outcomes.
Tom and Zaia Kendall founded PermEco Inc. as the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast Inc. in 2012. Tom is president of the organisation and Zaia is secretary/treasurer.
Tom is an experienced farmer of close to 50 years, descended from a family of farmers and has experience in large broad acre conventional farming, broad acre bio dynamic farming, as well as smaller size permaculture farming. His ability to read landscapes enables him to determine the correct solutions for issues at hand. He has been a permaculture teacher and consultant since 2008.
Zaia is an administration manager and musician, with a background in computer based training development, website development, bookkeeping, administration and art and design. She looks after the daily running of the not for profit organisation and maintains the website. She also writes articles, case studies and reports, undertakes all the general administration duties and specialises in smaller scale (urban) permaculture.