Author Archive | oliver

Venie Holmgren passes after colourful and nourishing life

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Wednesday January 27th Venie finished writing her life long poem. An adventure filled with 93 years of words, feisty activism and wry humour. She moves on leaving vivid memories in her brothers Norman and Gordon, her children Jenny (partner Chin) and David (partner Su), grandchildren Oliver, Kimon and Jody as well as many others she touched over many years of wordsmithing and friendship.

 

She will be celebrated at Poets Corner, Melliodora 16 Fourteenth St Hepburn on Tuesday 9th Feb at 10.30am. The burial will follow at Franklinford cemetery.

 

 

 

venie(young) (1 of 1)Venie Holmgren(nee Rich) was the second youngest of 11 children, born to immigrant jewish parents in York, Western Australia. In 1946, Venie Rich married Jack Holmgren a (non-jewish) comrade in peace activism against nuclear weapons and, later Australia’s involvement in Vietnam (documented in her Vietnam memoir – in press 2016). They had three children Jenny, David and Gerald and were active in community affairs from their home in Fremantle suburb of Bicton. Venie and Jack also were business partners in Rellim Booksellers(Perth), one of the best technical bookshops in the country in the 1970s.

 

After Jack’s death in 1975 Venie spent her gypsy years travelling in a campervan (documented in her travel memoir A Sense of Direction. The bush property, at Wyndham on the Far South Coast of NSW, where she settled was designed and established with her son David, the co-originator of the permaculture concept. Venie’s Wyndham property is documented in the case study Permaculture In The Bush.

 

In her late 50’s Venie began to write poetry and her first published anthology, The Sun Collection 1989, became a poetry “best seller”. At the same time, she applied her activist skills and commitment to the campaign to save native forests of the region, being arrested twice for obstructing log trucks. After 16 years of solo self reliant living she moved to the local town of Pambula where she penned her travel memoir, several more books of poetry and travelled widely as a performance poet.

 

After the unexpected death of Gerard (Gerald) in 2010 she left her community of choice to join her son David, daughter-in-law Su Dennett and grandson Oliver at Melliodora, their home and permaculture demonstration site in Hepburn, central Victoria. While waiting for the completion of the second handmade-house built for her by David, she wrote The Tea-house Poems, that has received wide acclaim. See Kevin Child’s article In Praise of Venie Holmgren: at 92 still an activist, adventurer and poet, published in the Guardian March 2015. During the last couple of years of life, her house mate Rick helped her with the publication of The Tea house Poems and, along with other local friends, satisfied Venie’s love of Scrabble. Venie’s last move of her long life, was up the road to Hepburn House where she made an impression on the staff with her sharp mind and tenacity.

 

Venie Holmgren at 2012 Words In Winter, being introduced by Glen Heyne and accompanied by Maureen Corbett on harp

 

Venie Holmgren speaking to Tim Metcalf at the 2007A.C.T. Writing & Publishing Awards

Venie Holmgren speaking to Tim Metcalf at the 2007A.C.T. Writing & Publishing Awards

 

 

Venie in her self sufficiency days (early 80s) on her bush property at Wyndham on South Coast of NSW

Venie in her self sufficiency days (early 1980s) on her bush property at Wyndham on South Coast of NSW

Venie (and David Holmgren 15th months) in the 1956 May Day March Fremantle WA

Venie (and David Holmgren 15th months) in the 1956 May Day March Fremantle WA. Photograph from ASIO file.

 

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Permaculture Music!

Learn through music… The Permie Song

A song about permaculture, with a video including scenes from the film Anima Mundi.

Permaculture Principles song

We also came across this rather nice rendition of the Permaculture principles.

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Permaculture Pioneers: Stories from the New Frontier

The latest publication from Melliodora Publishing

Permaculture Pioneers Cover
Permaculture Pioneers: Stories from the New Frontier, edited by Caroline Smith and Kerry Dawborn, with an afterword by Professor Stuart B Hill, is a collection of stories about personal journeys into permaculture of some of our most important Australian pioneers. This book explores social and inner change for sustainability and charts a history of the first three decades of permaculture.

We are receiving fantastic feedback about the book and launches around the country have been a great success. All who have attended have enjoyed celebrating the launch of the book and hearing the words of editors Kerry Dawborn and Caroline Smith and many of the authors.

Read a review by Kirsten Bradley of Milkwood here.

Permaculture PioneersContributing authors:
David Holmgren * Terry White * Robyn Francis * Max Lindegger * Vries Gravestein * Jeff Nugent * Geoff Lawton * Russ Grayson * Fiona Campbell * Annemarie Brookman * Graham Brookman * Rosemary Morrow * Martha Hills * Janet Millington * Robin Clayfield * Alanna Moore * Naomi Coleman * Virginia Solomon * Ross Mars * Jill Finnane * Ian Lillington * Jane Scott * Josh Byrne * Tony Jansen * Morag Gamble

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The Reverse of Globalisation

In a recent interview with The Nation and On The Earth Productions, David traces the permaculture movement from its emergence following the 1972 publication of The Limits to Growth to now and underscoring the potential for us to adapt to an ‘energy descent future’.

View an abridged version of the interview here.

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The Power of Trees

David Holmgren has been awarded Il Monito del Giardino (The Warning from the Garden) by the Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini e Peyron (Bardini and Peyron Monumental Parks Foundation) of Florence, Italy.

This honour is bestowed upon those who have distinguished themselves at an international level in the safeguard of the earth’s environmental balance and the creation of a culture of ecological consciousness.

The theme of the presentations this year was The Power of Trees and David’s can be seen below. Our congratulations are extended to the other recipients, especially Jane Goodall, whose presentations can be seen on here.

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