Pacific Earth School, Dunwich, Queensland, Australia

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17 - 18 April 2021


9:00 am - 5:00 pm

‘Retrosuburbia’ – a Two day Workshop with Beck Lowe and David Holmgren

Now, more than ever, food security, our collective sustainability and a real sense of community are so important for us to navigate this changing world.

Permaculture is a movement that has been preparing for theses times for many decades with an ever-growing body of knowledge and experience in helping people become self-reliant and resilient in community.

Are you looking to create a more sustainable and resilient household?

Wondering how to retrofit your current home or circumstances?

Wanting to grow more food, reduce your energy use and enjoy a more satisfying, fulfilling life?

David Holmgren and Su Dennet Photo: Retrosuburbia

Explore these and other themes for self-reliance from David Holmgren’s book ‘RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future’ in this two-day workshop.

Permaculture flower c/o Permacultureprinciples.com 

The key messages of RetroSuburbia are:
– A focus on the individual and household to make positive changes; it doesn’t require large-scale top-down changes.
– We can work with what we already have and where we already live, and it is thus an affordable, accessible pathway to increase the sustainability and resilience of the community.
– Not only are there environmental benefits of adopting Retrosuburbia ideas, but many of these ideas should also increase people’s quality of life.

Photo: Retrosuburbia

During the weekend, we will undertake activities and exercises to help you assess your current situation and plan for the future, as well as have plenty of time for questions and discussions. No knowledge is assumed; we will outline the main topics in the book at the start of the workshop, and explore some of these in more depth.

An abundance of food from the urban permaculture garden, North Stradbroke Island.

The workshop includes:

~ two days in-depth facilitation including guest appearance by author David Holmgren

~ morning teas and lunch both days

~ dinner and music Saturday night giving time to connect with other participants

~ a tour of Pacific Earth School’s subtropical, retrofitted island home and garden

Dinner plus Music with Manoa Sat.

**PRE-READING : RetroSuburbia can be accessed on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis at retrosuburbia.com so you can do some pre-reading if you wish.

Your Facilitators

Guest Facilitator- David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. Since then he has developed three properties, consulted and supervised in urban and rural projects and presented lectures, workshops and courses at a wide variety of events and venues in Australia and around the world. His writings over those three decades span a diversity of subjects and issues but always illuminating another aspect of permaculture thinking.

Main Facilitator – Beck Lowe worked closely with David Holmgren on RetroSuburbia as chief editor, researcher and project manager. Since publication, she has also taken on the role of education coordinator. She is an enthusiastic and experienced permaculture educator and has been involved in permaculture training at all levels for more than 15 years. She has practical permaculture experience in private and community spaces in inner city, urban and rural areas. In 2020, she and Holmgren wrote and published Our Street, a retrosuburban picture book with Brenna Quinlan’s illustrations.


Trainers, educators and community facilitators who would like to incorporate more retrosuburban themes into their practice are invited to attend an extra ‘Trainers and Facilitators’ day at the end of the workshop. This is part of our This is part of our RetroSuburbia Rollout strategy – we’d love to have you involved!

Participation in this add-on day allows attendees to become registered retrosuburban trainers. Registered Trainers have access to our training resources, and can apply to have any courses or workshops they run listed on retrosuburbia.com.

This add-on day will explore further resources and tools for supporting people to create fulfilling, abundant and sustainable lives through retrofitting their homes, gardens and behaviour patterns. It is also a chance to share your ideas and experiences with other participants working in similar fields, and explore retrosuburban themes in more detail. It is expected that participants on this day will have already read and be familiar with the material in RetroSuburbia.

Photo: Retrosuburbia

Event Location

The workshop will be held at the Pacific Earth School’s Urban-Permaculture home in Dunwich/Goompi on North Stradbroke Island. If you are visiting the island for the first time, here is some info for travel and accomodation:

WITHOUT BRINGING A CAR : Catch the Gold Cat Flyer from Cleveland to Dunwich, only 25 mins.

Affordable accommodation at Minjerribah Hostel is available just down the road from the workshop – please call Marie Claire on 07 3409 9445 to book a room and let her know if you’re willing to share a room with another workshop participant.

BRINGING A CAR: book your car on the barge at Stradbroke Ferries , a 45 min ride across beautiful Moreton Bay. Then you can stay anywhere on the island in the accomodation of your choice to suit your budget. Just 15-20mins from the workshop there are beautiful surf beaches and many choices of accomodation – go here to explore. Stay an extra day or two and enjoy the wildlife and beaches.

If you need any help please phone Billa on wor .

Venue:   Pacific Earth School – North Stradbroke Island


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