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Robin Clayfield

Photo by Russ Grayson

Describe your garden …

Wild, abundant, full of wildlife. Some parts neat, lots messy! Always jobs to do – subtropical, so heaps of biomass to turn into compost. Alive. Quiet spots to sit, with garden sculptures and installations. A heaven for people and animals to rest and be in. Paradise.

How do you spend your days?

Every day is different. I don’t lead a routine lifestyle, although I do my best to take a three kilometre walk each morning, and have a healthy green juice to start the day no matter where I am.

How would you describe the work you do?

Diverse, innovative, creative, leading edge. I do lots of different things – training teachers and group leaders, writing books and learning resources, guiding and consulting to community groups, leading tours of Crystal Waters Permaculture Eco-village, and presenting and hosting workshops.

What inspires you to do this work?

I love what I do. I feel it makes a difference, and brings me and others joy. I’m inspired by the outcomes at the end of my courses, and the feedback that I get from people who have read my books or used my resources. I see that it supports people to make positive change in the world and in their own lives.

How did you come to do this work?

My core work grew out of teaching Permaculture Design Courses – thirty over fifteen years. After the first lecture-based course we felt like we were disempowering people by ‘playing the expert’. After much contemplation we decided to jump in at the deep end and work with ‘needs based learning’ rather than use a dictated curriculum. After a couple of years people wanted to know how we did this, so we offered a one-off Advanced Permaculture Creative Teachers’ Facilitation course. Riding on its success we continued to offer this course and present it all around the world.

What are the main ethics behind the work you do?

  • The permaculture ethic of people care.
  • Honouring and respecting nature and all beings: the spirit of many things (land, nature, religions, play, enterprise), spiritual renewal, acknowledgement of country, no discrimination, deep ecology, connection to land, each other and all things.
  • Sharing and documenting what I’ve learned.
  • Empowering self and others.
  • Using permaculture principles as a basis for designing the learning environment.

Can you describe some of the courses you run?

  • Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning – a six-day creative facilitation and teacher training intensive adventure (sometimes called Teaching Permaculture Creatively).
  • Dynamic Decision Making – a one-day interactive exploration for processes and strategies to support groups who meet together for a purpose.
  • Social Permaculture – which explores how to use permaculture principles to design groups, group dynamics, teamwork and learning environments.
  • Permaculture Meets Creative Design weekends – an immersion in Crystal Waters Permaculture Eco-village, hands-on gardening, design with nature, and bamboo and weaving crafts along with tours of the property and individual homes. 


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