Permaculture thinking helps us connect with each other and with nature. principles. The ethics defy the notion of self-sufficiency. Instead, they foster respect and build community. Kerrie Anderson of Synergy Permaculture Australia lives and grows on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. Her work has nurtured hundreds of others learn, grow and thrive. Here, in her own words, Kerrie tells us how she works to efficiently connect with others.
Ethics at core of everything
The strength of Permaculture is the three ethics at the core of everything we do. And while they might seem quite simplistic to people, if you’re just looking at them from a superficial level. Of course, the deeper you delve, the more complex you realize they are. And they are all-encompassing. And that was definitely the aha! moment for me. Having an ethical foundation or centre is probably a better way to describe it. Because we know it’s not a building block it’s literally core to everything we do. So it informs all my decisions in my life and and that makes sense to me to bring them back to those three core ethics.
Strive to Connect
Somebody once asked me what’s my superpower with permaculture? I think it’s connection. So, connecting people with the content of what permaculture is and and really the feeling, like I really always try and work with my heart. Obviously, the head’s very important and the knowledge and and the skills that just working with the heart of why do people want to learn more about permaculture why do they want to weave it into their life and base their life around it. Then creating that with the heart really inspires people and enthuses people. And for me, that’s really central. A lot of people have the misconception that permaculture is is about just organic edible gardening, which of course we know, is much broader than that.
Build to Connect
Permaculture is about connection. Not just with the planet with nature, but with human nature as well. So, I realized very quickly that social permaculture, actually yes, is an area of permaculture that’s really often overlooked. But is so critically important we can get every other aspect of our practice, you know, spot on. We know the ideas, we’ve got the design down, and know the principles and ethics and we’re working with them. But if we’re not working with people in an effective and meaningful way, learning how to accept diversity in human behaviour and human interaction. And how to work with groups and how to connect with people about this message. Then, we’re not going to go anywhere as a permaculture movement.
We have to lead by example. For me, I guess coming from a Healthcare model where I was that old-fashioned nurse having to care for people, learning a lot about human nature in that medical system and human frailties and and how to communicate with people well. That helped keep me in good stead. But also my personal practices of practicing heartfulness meditations helps.
Connect with the Good stuff
I’m always about trying to let go of patterns that don’t serve my behaviour. And in my communication doing better and being aware of other people. And aware of how they’re feeling in certain circumstances has been fundamental. So, I think that really helped inform my teaching style and who I am as a person. And I keep trying to always bring it back to that. So, even if you’re on the head level staff and you’re giving the theory and getting the practicing with students that you’re always very mindful of that people care. And with the Permaculture fair-share ethic. And most of all, you’re modelling that. By having that consciousness of diversity and and designing the coursework for everybody.
Find out more about Kerrie and her work at Synergy Permaculture Australia.