South East Permaculture Convergence in Bega success

OVER the weekend, the second South East Permaculture Convergence went off successfully at Mumbulla School. 

“A bit over 100 made it out,” member of organising committee Chris Aitken said. 

“We actually sold out before the weekend, which was great.”

The convergence was for the permaculture community from the region bordered by Wollongong, Canberra and Bairnsdale, but even some from Sydney and Melbourne attended.

The theme for this year’s event was sharing, and so Mr Aitken said participants were invited to give their own 45-minute workshops on a form of permaculture they do. 

There was an enthusiastic approach to this idea, and on Saturday 35 different workshops were held on topics including bottling preserves, sewing, art and other permaculture practices. 

On Sunday, Professor Stuart Hill gave a speech and led a workshop on helping the community work towards meaningful change. 

While there has been a fair bit of rain recently, Mr Aitken said on Saturday the weather was “stunning”, which was lucky as that was the day workshops were held outside, while when it poured on Sunday everything was indoors.

As part of the sharing theme there was also a swap section where people were invited to bring in extra produce, and to take away from the section what they wanted. 

The launch of the second Pip Magazine, which is written for the Australian permaculture community, was also held at the convergence on Sunday and Mr Aitken said it was well received with many subscribing. 

“[Pip founder Robyn Rosenfeldt] decided to commit to the project and put it out two weeks early,” he said. 

“It was fantastic to see everybody come out and support the magazine.”

Mr Aitken said feedback from participants on the day had all been positive and it is looking at becoming a biennial event, but could be at another location in the South East next time, if another community is inspired to become the host. 

“Coming up we have got a lot more education and training courses,” he said. 

“But the next big thing to plan for is the South Coast Field Day in 2015.” 

The field day, which had a year break before being run again in 2013, aims to show sustainable and permaculture approaches to food and life to the public. 

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