Introduction to Permaculture

Runs all year round

For those wanting a comprehensive overview of Permaculture and to acquire the skills and knowledge to design and develop their own Permaculture home garden.

About PSI’s Introduction to Permaculture Course

Quality & commitment

Permaculture Sydney Institute (PSI) is committed to a top quality Permaculture course training and experience. That’s why we provide a full comprehensive introduction to Permaculture course – the longest and we believe the best anywhere to be found. Two-day introductions are not sufficient in our view. PSI aims to provide the participants with both the skills and the confidence to start “doing it” themselves. It is committed to quality education, quality outcomes and quality of life for each participant.

Course Description

This course shows you how to design, construct and manage a Permaculture home garden that is productive, ‘eco-friendly’, organic, healthy and low maintenance. Learn about the basic concepts of Permaculture as well as its design principles, systems, techniques and strategies and everything you need to know to create and enjoy your own Permaculture home garden. It is appropriate for people with balcony or small space gardens, school or community gardens, suburban gardens or large acreage properties.

Flexibility and convenience

PSI is offering four top of the range Introduction to Permaculture Courses in 2012 which are divided into ten 4-hour modules throughout the year. The course modules are offered in both town (North Sydney – Coal Loader and Ryde – Urban Permaculture Demonstration Site) and Country (St Albans – Bandusia Country Retreat). The modules provide:

  • Fully flexible learning experiences for you, allowing you to learn at a time and place that meets your needs.
  • Capacity to mix and match your modules – do them in town or country, a weekend or weeknight, singularly or two modules on the one day. This allows you to control the pace and the process.
  • Do it as fast or slow as you like – Take 5 days or a whole year, it’s all up to you! Do them in sequence or fit modules in when you choose.
  • The ten 4 hour modules each provide both theory and a practical experience.
  • Click here to view a complete timetable for 2013 classes and locations


Each course participant will be required to produce a design of a place of their choosing that will be presented in module 10 of the course. This gives every participant a chance to work through the design process on a meaningful project and think through the detail. It also provides an opportunity for participants to discuss issues with the trainers and get suggestions and feedback about their design. Each participant then will emerge from the course with a design they will be ready to implement.

A certificate from the Institute is issued to participants when they have completed all ten modules of the Introduction to Permaculture Course and presented their successful permaculture design.

Course outcomes

On completion of the 10 modules participants will:

  • Obtain a thorough understanding of what permaculture is, its principles and techniques, how it came about, why it is critical in obtaining a truly sustainable society.
  • Learn how to design and create a permaculture system in town or country – applicable to balcony, small space, quarter acre block or broadacre scale.
  • Have acquired the skills and confidence to proceed on their own garden design and construction (with some help of their Pc group and friends)
  • Have developed a design for their own garden.

Course Program

The curriculum covers all major topics from the text for the course “Introduction to Permaculture” by Bill Mollison including:

  • Permaculture principles
  • Broadscale site design
  • Pattern understanding
  • Structures
  • The home garden
  • Orchards and food forests
  • Animal forage systems & aquaculture
  • Urban and community strategies.

Copies will be available for reading and are available for purchase at discounted rates.

For full course content details and program see course module program.


Course Details

When: This course is fully flexible and can be completed at a time and pace to suit your needs. Click here to view program dates, times & venues.

Where: The course is offered at several venues including the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability at Waverton; our Urban Permaculture Demonstration site at Ryde and at Bandusia Country Retreat St Albans; and at other venues to be announced on the website.

Who: Penny Pyett one of Sydney’s leading Permaculture trainers and practitioners and PSI director of the Permaculture Sydney Institute. Other specialist permaculture trainers will be included as guests.

Costs and inclusions: There are three options and fees for this course

1) The single module option – Payment for each module can be made as you go or paid in advance to optimise discounts. Individual modules (pay as you go one 4 hour session) costs $100
2) Upfront payment for 5 sessions is $395
3) Upfront payment for all 10 modules is $595

All of these options allow you to do modules at any venue and in any order convenient to you. The course fee includes a delicious organic supper or morning or afternoon tea as well as extensive class notes and materials.

Bring: Folder for notes and handouts, pen notebook. Own coffee / tea mug.

Bookings & Enquiries: Phone Penny on (02) 9888 2575 or email
Registration and full payment to confirm your place in the course or workshop should be received min 7 days before the workshop commences. Please click here to read the full Terms and Conditions.

About the trainer:

Penny Pyett BA (UNSW), Cert. Welfare Work (St George TAFE), Dip Hort Science (Ryde TAFE), PDC (Permaculture Institute).

Penny Pyett is the director of the Permaculture Sydney Institute, an institute she is currently developing with others as a Permaculture Education and Demonstration Centre on 55 acres in St Albans on the outskirts of Sydney. Penny has extensive knowledge and experience in Permaculture, horticulture, community development, management and business. Over the last ten years Penny has been teaching Permaculture and Horticulture courses for community organisations and at various colleges for TAFE NSW including Permaculture Introduction; Permaculture Design Certificate Courses; and Gardening for People with disabilities. Through Tafe outreach she also teaches Permaculture design courses for school and community garden groups, facilitating groups with the design and development of their own school or community garden.

In 2002 Penny completed her PDC with Bill Mollison and since then has played a leading management role with Permaculture Sydney North (the leading group of Permaculturalists in the Sydney bioregion) on the management committee and as President (2005-09). She was one of the key initiators and the national coordinator of National Permaculture Day and convener for the National Permaculture Convergence APC9 in 2010.

In 1999 Penny designed and developed her own urban Permaculture garden at Ryde, which has won numerous awards and acknowledgment for best sustainable eco-garden and edible landscapes.

A community development worker for many years, for both local government and the community services sector, Penny has worked with many individuals and community groups in developing programs and services for their communities as well as neighborhood precinct committees. She has provided facilitative training for community groups, schools and organisations for over 20 years.

As the sometime owner of successful secondhand businesses, Penny likes to reduce waste and re-use second-hand materials in landscape design that is functional and aesthetic.

As well as quality permaculture and sustainability education, the Permaculture Sydney Institute (PSI) also offers Permaculture consultation, design and community development and group facilitation services.