About Students and teacherslinks and references Australia Innovates
A century of innovationThe Innovation cycleThe innovation game
The best of the century What is innovation? Overview Timeline Test your AIQ
blank
Energy and environment
 
Permaculture
1976
planning system for sustainable agriculture

This innovation grew from one person's love of the bush ? and it may well help save the planet.

Permaculture (short for permanent agriculture) is a philosophy and practical technique, which can produce food and use energy in a sustainable way - a way that doesn't destroy the natural world or produce unusable waste. It includes new approaches to agriculture, architecture, energy use and infrastructure. In permaculture everything feeds off and feeds into another process, losing as little energy or raw material as possible.

As a child, Bill Mollison lived in a village in Tasmania and spent most of his spare time in the bush. When he grew up he became a scientist. In the 1950s he noticed that human activity was destroying natural systems such as rivers.

In 1974, while lecturing at the University of Tasmania, he and one of his students developed a framework for sustainable agriculture. Mollison established the Permaculture Institute in 1979 to teach the principles worldwide. By the end of the century, 250,000 people in over 120 countries had been trained as designers, and over 4,000 Permaculture projects were under way at any one time.

Who Did It?
Key Organisations
The Permaculture Institute : teaching of permaculture
Key People
Bill Mollison : researcher, designer
David Holmgren : researcher

Further Reading
Introduction to Permaculture
Bill Mollison
Tagari Publications, Tyalgum, NSW, 1991.

Links
Permaculture Research Institute
Interview with Mollison
Permaculture in the USA


Permaculture aims to create sustainable human settlements. Courtesy Tagari Publications.
copyright
ATSE Powerhouse Museum