Russ Grayson

Something new comes…

International Permaculture Day 2015 at Randwick Sustainability Hub.

Story and photos: Russ Grayson.
International Permaculture Day is a global celebration of the permaculture design system…
Outdoor classroom
The success of the school visit program of science eduction for pre-and-primary students necessitated the construction of the new classroom. As the structure was partially funded by a state government waste grant, it was built mainly of recycled and reused materials including reused bricks and hardwood floorboards as cladding, and used telegraph poles for structural posts.

A roof on the northern, sunward side shades the interior from the summer sun to keep the interior cool.

The area in front of the building was landscaped as a village green. Large sandstone blocks form a curving perimeter and provide seating for performances and events. The bark mulched areas are to be vegetated with Australian bushfood and other plants.

The last photo in the classroom series shows the rear of the building with trellises ready to be planted to vines and the rainwater tank that stores water falling on the roof that is used for garden irrigation.
Aquaponics and classroom — the opening...
The aquaponic system is a semi-closed loop table fish-vegetable production system installed to provide take-away ideas for the majority of Randwick residents who live in multiple occupancy housing with only courtyard size gardens or apartment balconies to grow on. The system, developed by landscape architect and permaculture educator, Steve Batley (Sydney Organic Gardens), features vertical garden arrays that can be attached to walls to make best use of limited space for food production.

The last photo in the aquaponics series shows the insect hotel. Holes of different sizes drilled into timber offcuts are occupied by insects including predators of value to the integrated pest management used in the garden.
The new public toilet…
Below from top:
Permaculture Australia's Permafund spokeswoman, Virginia Littlejohn, presented a workshop on the organisation at International Permaculture Day 2015.

Following, images of the community cook-up.
There was no outside public toilet at the community centre before the reedbed toilet was built.

A Rootzone design, wastes are cleansed by bacterial action as they pass through successive reedbeds planted to the Australian reed, Phragmites, then into ultraviolet light treatment before being used as irrigation for landscape plantings.

Photos below:
The reedbed toilet and the filtered water station installed to reduce use of disposable water bottles. A ground-level tray provides water to the dogs that people walk on the village green.

Seen from the other side, the reedbed planting is visible adjacent to the 23,000 litre rainwater tank that irrigates the Permaculture Interpretive Garden. The edible garden seen at left of the path around the olive tree was planted by students of the Forest Gardening course at the Randwick Sustainability Hub.
With Randwick deputy mayor, Anthony Andrews, La Perouse Aboriginal elder, Auntie Barbara, officially opens the aquaponic balcony display and the outdoor classroom. Auntie Barbara went on to talk about Australian bushfoods, which are to be planted as an educational bushfood trail linking the Permaculture Interpretive Garden to the outdoor classroom.
Seen from the walkway from the street is the Permaculture Interpretive Garden and, to the left, the new classroom built largely of recycled materials.

The community centre, retrofitted for energy and water efficiency and equipped with a grid-connected photovoltaic array and wind turbine, is seen in the background at right.

Beyond is the Randwick Environment Park, a bushland reserve around an ephemeral lake.
Permaculture, an Australian innovation from the island state of Tasmania, motivates communities and individuals to take the initiatives that make our cities more resilient. Permaculture is tactical urbanism to create cities of opportunity.

Whether it is food production, energy and water efficient building design, landscape design, community development or community economics, permaculture provides the inspiration and ideas for better ways of living.

International Permaculture Day 2015 at Randwick Sustainability Hub, the name given to the community resilience educational component of Randwick Community Centre, was the opportunity to officially open the new outdoor classroom, balcony garden aquaculture demonstration and public reedbed toilet that mark the conclusion of phase two of the development of the centre.

Phase one brought the retrofit for energy and water efficiency of the community centre building and construction of the Permaculture Interpretive Garden, a multi-use public park with edible landscaping and an educational venue for Randwick Council's community education courses in Organic Gardening, Forest Gardening and Living Smart.

The educational component at the Hub includes the above-mentioned courses that focus on food security and food sovereignty, other courses and workshops in community leadership, a professional development course for preschool, primary and other educators in managing their centres for health and sustainability, and a popular schools visit program linked to the national curriculum in science for pre-and-primary students in water, solar energy and, coming soon, food and biodiversity.

International Permaculture Day 2015 at the Randwick Sustainability Hub included an afternoon of workshops, children's clay seed pot making led by community artist, Karen Weiss, and a participatory cook-up led by chef and community educator, Leesa Burton who was assisted by the event organiser, Tina Dimetrou and horticultural and community garden educator, Emma Daniell.

A team of volunteers including Char and Virginia Littlejohn from Permaculture Australia's Permafund, recent graduates of the community leadership course at the Hub, and others kept the afternoon and evening running smoothly.

Below: Architect Terry Bail (Archology) discusses the design of the outfoor classroom that was opened on International Permaculture Day 2015.
At the opening of the classroom, reedbed toilet and aquaponic garden system are, from left:

Terry Bail (Archology), the architect who designed trhe community centre energy efficiency retrofit and the new classroom.

Auntie Barbara, La Perouse Aboriginal elder who opened the installation at International Permaculture Day 2015.

Peter Maganoff, manager of Randwick Council's sustainability unit.

Randwick deputy mayor, Anthony Andrews, who co-opened the new works.

Landscape architect, Steve Batley (Sydney Organic Gardens), who designed the Permaculture Interpretive Garden and the landscaping to be planted around the new classroom.

Fiona Campbell, Randwick Council Sustainability Educator, who devised and organises the community and schools education program at the Randwick Sustainability Hub and who instigated the Permaculture Interpretive Garden and new classroom.
Opening day…
Below four images clockwise from top left:
Randwick deputy mayor, Anthony Andrews.
Randwick Council sustainability unit manager, Peter Maganoff.
Architect of the classroom, Terry Bail.
Terry, Auntie Barbara and deputy mayor Anthony Andrews.
Above two photos:
Char and horticultural educator, Emma Daniell (right) at the evening's participatory cook-up.

Pedro and Mark make a competent duo when it comes to food preparation at the cook-up.