The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, or PRI, is the permaculture site founded by Bill Mollison himself! I have heard stories of this site having an abundance of water during Australia’s worst droughts on record because of keyline damn construction. I have also been a student with teachers who have traveled to PRI to teach themselves. Kevin Bayuk, one of the instructors at UPISF, took classes in Australia. In addition Warren Brush, an instructor at Quail Springs Permaculture, had just returned from substitute teaching for Bill in Australia when he arrived for the Sustainable Vocations for Youth course in Santa Barbara. This website is full of information and resources. There are projects, courses and Wwoofing opportunities available for you to research. It should be noted that if you click the ‘projects’ link, it will take you to permaculture global network, with an interactive map of world wide permaculture sites and projects! This is a really great resource.
Here is an excerpt from their site:
About the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) of Australia
The Mission of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia is to work with individuals and communities worldwide, to expand the knowledge and practice of integrated, sustainable agriculture and culture using the whole-systems approach of permaculture design. This will provide solutions for permanent abundance by training local people to become leaders of sustainable development in their communities and countries.
Permaculture integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed loop systems seen in diverse natural systems. Permaculture studies and applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics and community development.
The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia works to establish a global network of educational demonstration sites, which operate as education centres that seek to replicate themselves across their respective surrounding regions. Each demonstration site seeks to become financially self-sufficient within three years through both reducing the need for cash inputs by providing as much of their own needs, sustainably, from the land-base of the project itself, and through selling knowledge – running courses to help others follow their example. Each educational demonstration site thus works to build communities around them where locals can re-skill and transition to live resilient lives independent of the globalised, industrial system.
Each site would provide local employment in the following positions: teacher, project/farm manager, and administrator. These positions will also provide mentoring for paying students as advanced training for permaculture project work.
Transitional financial assistance for such projects can come by way of students from wealthier countries/situations subsidising the training of local people through their course attendance and fees, whilst those students simultaneously gain benefits in cultural exchange and exposure to local, traditional skills. Local students, in turn, also learn to appreciate the instruction, as the presence of international students helps them gain confidence in the value of the course.
All courses will specialise in the appropriate technologies and systems specific to each country and region, both culturally and biologically.
The ultimate aim is a worldwide network of interdependent communities who can cooperate to vision and rebuild economic harmony that is not dependent on perpetual growth or resource depletion and which reinvests all surpluses into their people and the land. The goal is to create self-replicating demonstration sites which will not only spread permaculture education worldwide, but also share knowledge and techniques between sites for the advancing of permaculture design systems themselves.