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Byron Shire
May 24, 2022

A new generation of permaculturists

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Comment: Bridging the flooded divide

In the sodden floodplains the divide among those affected has never been clearer – those who were insured, and those who weren’t, renters and owners, Lismore LGA and everywhere else.

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Last Thursday evening saw the inaugural youth Permaculture Challenge graduation ceremony at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall.

A group of 41 teenagers from the region have spent the last month in this groundbreaking program, being challenged to connect with themselves, one another and nature through the design principles of permaculture and a wilderness immersion.

The graduation evening centred around the Permaculture Lounge, where each brave young person defied their fears and spoke to the audience of 250 people about what they felt was the biggest challenge facing our world today, and why. They offered practical ideas on how we as a community can join together to create a future that could sustain us.

The evening was also a celebration and recognition of the incredible contribution to the community that these young people had made through their Permablitzes of the two key community sites of the Shara Community Gardens and the Byron Youth Service centre.

Sarah-Jane Potts, founder of the Permaculture Challenge, said that the program and the evening was a huge success for all involved. ‘I couldn’t be prouder of the 41 teenagers who took the challenge,’ said Sarah-Jane. ‘They have come through the program as empowered and engaged young people, motivated by a new understanding of what’s possible.’

The challenge was facilitated by Andrew Carter and Andrew Sansom, two Byron permaculture teachers. The  facilitators were assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers who managed the practical hands-on delivery of the program with enthusiasm and creativity.

The Permaculture Challenge is a practical, inspiring, and hands-on incubator for keen young environmentalists, and a proactive, creative and engaged youth culture in our community. For more information visit www.permaculturechallenge.org.

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