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The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is internationally-recognised as a guide for sustainable living – in your garden, home and/or farm.  Our course in Permaculture Design has been running for several years with very appreciative students. Local tutors and permaculture experts, Beck Lowe, Ian Lillington and Joel Meadows, will guide the group through a 17-week course that will change your life!

The Permaculture Design Course focusses on solutions for creating sustainable human settlements – it covers design skills, systems thinking, food growing, building design and community strategies, as well as small scale agricultural practices, animal husbandry, efficient water use and alternative energy sources.

We regularly make field trips to local properties that demonstrate the topics we are focusing on in class. The course covers the standard syllabus of a permaculture design course which includes ethics, design principles and theory on topics including soils, water, energy, building, animals, intensive gardens, orchards and social and community enterprises.

Each week we offer suggested readings to course participants and occasional small exercises. The main study load comes in the last weeks as students work on a design project for presentation on the last day of the course. Our tutors are responsive to the needs of the students and the time spent in study outside of class is largely up to the individual student.

Training combines classroom based tuition with excursions and fieldtrips. Pathways following this course include: accredited permaculture courses such as Certificates III, IV or Diploma of Permaculture; employment in school or community gardens or community enterprises; self-employment in design and/or establishment of permaculture systems.

There are no classes during school holidays.

The full cost of the course is $800, but with support from the Adult Community and Further  Education Board (ACFE), we are able to offer a limited number of places on this course for $400. YOU MUST HOLD A CONCESSION CARD FOR THE DISCOUNTED PRICE AND IT MUST BE SITED BY RECEPTION STAFF.

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What you will learn
  • Learn about permaculture design principles and practices
  • Gain hands-on experience building skills on permaculture design
  • Learn about on topics such as soils, water, energy, building, animals, intensive gardens, orchards and broadacre farms
What you will get
  • Expert tuition from experienced instructors!
  • Gain hands-on experience

What to bring
  • Your interest to learn!
What to wear


Appropriate for

All welcome.


Castlemaine Community House

Vendor since 2016

Castlemaine Community House is in Castlemaine, Mount Alexander Shire, within the Central Goldfield region of Victoria. It is situated 120kms from Melbourne, approximately an hour and 15 minutes from the city. Castlemaine is encircled by at least six towns, each with their own particular identity. In addition to its established population, the Shire is a magnet for an increasing population of arts practitioners, tree changers, down shifters and those pursuing an alternative lifestyle based on environmental sustainability.

Castlemaine Community House provides programs and activities contributing to community development and supporting individuals and groups within the local community.

Castlemaine Community House is:

◙ a learning centre

◙ a meeting place

◙ a not-for-profit enterprise

◙ a drop-in centre

◙ a supportive, welcoming placean information network

We have a range of regular activities, educational classes for adults, programs for parents and children, and a large number of community projects which we run or contribute to. We are run by a committee of management and we have a number of staff and volunteers.

2015 marks our 30th anniversary. There is abrief history of our first 30 years

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Cancellation & Refund Policy

Refunds Policy Cancellations and refunds policy:

  • No refund will be issued within 48 hours of the course start date or once the course has commenced.
  • A full refund, less a 10% administration fee will be provided for  all booking cancellations requested prior to the course start date.
  • Any flexibility outside the above policies must be approved by the Castlemaine Community House Manager.

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4 Reviews
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17 June 2019 • Permaculture Design Course

The Permaculture Design Course was brilliant. Great group of people and value for money. I've learnt so much that I'm looking forward to putting into practice.


17 June 2019 • Permaculture Design Course

This course has been life changing. Although I thought I was already pretty environmentally conscientious, this course has opened my mind and eyes to so much more and has been an absolutely amazing experience. With the best teachers, and the best classmates, I'm truly sad it has to come to an end. Thanks so much Bek, Joel and Ian!!!


16 June 2019 • Permaculture Design Course

I feel very fortunate to have been able to do this course in my own locality, and have enjoyed it immensely. The diverse teachers, who all walk the talk, have provided valuable insights and guidance as to how to design a permaculture property. The visits to numerous, very different sites have also been highly informative.

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