|Nimbin, NSW, Australia
(projects i'm involved in)
“What can I do about global warming and achieving sustainability? The issues – pollution, endangered species, social injustice – are so big. Finding small practical steps I can take which do make a difference came as a relief, and as an impetus to keep adding other steps. I’m surprised that my quality of life increases as my ecological footprint decreases. Instead of involving sacrifice, behaving sustainably turned out to be fun.”
Lea Harrison attended Bill Mollison’s second permaculture course in 1980 and taught on her first course in 1981. “Contrary to my expectations, I loved teaching: seeing each participant’s eyes light up as, one by one, they saw their world differently; as a place in which they could have a beneficial effect.” The course structure Lea developed formed the basis for the Tagari publication Introduction to Permaculture.
Since then Lea has given a multitude of courses, workshops, evening classes, and public lectures to householders, farmers, students, aid workers, and policy and decision makers in government and business. “You might think that talking to ecologists at the World Bank; government policy committees in Canberra and Washington DC; town planners in the Hague; city councillors in Tokyo; aid workers in Kathmandu; or students gathered from around the world to attend an International MSc programme in Ecological Agriculture in The Netherlands, would provide the highlights of my work: but I find working anywhere, with anyone who really wants to know is equally exciting. So many people have something to add – a technique, insight, experience, or local tradition – that I come away from each course thinking I may have learnt more than I taught.”
“I have also had the pleasure of working with many other permaculture teachers including Bill Mollison, David Holmgren, Max Lindegger, Andy Langford, Tony Andersen, and John Button to name a few.”
In 1983 Lea and Judith Turley initiated design courses for women - offering low-cost training with childcare in a teaching situation where women support each other to learn skills - to bring more women into permaculture and prevent it from becoming male dominated. This earned her a permaculture community service award in 1984. Lea also spent five years as a director of the Permaculture Institute and a longer period as a director of Ecological Solutions.
In 1989 Lea and Max Lindegger initiated advanced design courses in response to requests from graduates for more training to enable them to become designers and teachers at a professional level. “Having developed teaching techniques to simplify the complex process of teaching landscape design, and become used to adapting practical techniques to a great range of local conditions, I wanted to pass this on to graduates who wanted to teach.”
Throughout Lea’s teaching career, working on her farm or in her garden provided a constant opportunity for transforming ideas into experience. In addition she kept adding to her knowledge with courses in beekeeping, plant identification, urban permaculture, and experiential learning. Lea was also active locally, serving successive terms as secretary, president and treasurer of the Tweed Valley Conservation Trust.
In the late 1990s old injuries and the desire not to let her teaching become routine, led Lea to take time out to pursue other interests. “I consider everyone deserves to hear this material delivered with the same enthusiasm with which I first heard it and taught it. After several operations, my legs are working well again and my mind is bursting with new experience and renewed inspiration.”
|Permaculture Design Course
|Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
|Teacher: Bill Mollison
|Date: Jan 1980
|5 PDC Graduates (list)
|0 PRI PDC Graduates (list)
|5 Other Course Graduates (list)
|have acknowledged being taught by Lea Harrison
|2 have not yet been verified (list)
|Lea Harrison has permaculture experience in: