Meet our dedicated, passionate and expert team of educators that deliver a range of inspiring programs for early childhood centres, schools, tertiary institutions and individuals.
Learning Director and Managers
Lorna PettiferLearning Innovation Director
Lorna Pettifer has been working in environmental education and presenting to community groups on sustainability for many years. At CERES, Lorna passionately directs CERES School of Nature and Climate. She is dedicated to deepening our response to the ecological and climate crisis through CERES’ learning experiences. Her background in sustainability stems from ecology and zoology and has broadened to community engagement, environmental management, behaviour change and farm and food programs. Lorna has worked with community groups, schools, organisations, households and individuals. As an environmental advocate she has worked in national parks, environmental consultancies, universities, NGOs and wildlife reserves as a conservationist, educator, tour guide, bush regenerator, GIS consultant, environmental modeler and researcher.
Lorna proudly received the Environmental Educator of the Year for Victoria in 2018 and the Australian Environmental Educator of the Year in 2019.
Chloe HornerStudent Programs Manager
Chloe grew up in the Otways, riding horses, climbing trees and racing her brother on billy carts. She has been working in the environmental education industry for more than 10 years. She has passionately managed, designed and delivered a range of environmental education programs for local government, and in partnership with industry leaders and community groups. Her work has supported sustainability initiatives and outcomes within councils, schools, early learning centres, apartments and community groups.
Chloe loves to work collaboratively, which is recognised in winning the 2018 Keep Victoria Beautiful, Sustainable Cities Award in Community Government Partnership. She has tertiary qualifications in environmental sustainability, horticulture and education, and is excited to be a part of the CERES network, continuing to do what she loves – connecting people to the community and the natural environment.
Luisa CardamoneRelationships and Program Logistics Manager - Adult Learning
For more than 20 years, Luisa had visited the site as a nearby neighbour and for the past 12 years has been thrilled to call CERES her workplace. Luisa manages the adult learning programs encompassing sessional, deeper learning and accredited courses across all things sustainable for individuals and groups ranging from corporate to the marginalised. Across gardening, cooking and the creative, she has grown the program offerings over the years. Her aim is to draw expert, passionate presenters to pass on their knowledge and skills so we can continue to lighten our footprint.
Educators and Staff
Abigail JabinesIntro to Permaculture and Horticulture Facilitator
Abi has volunteered and worked for the horticulture industry in different capacities and work environments. She started as a volunteer propagator at CERES in 2015 before studying horticulture. After studying, she became a horticulturist for a hydroponics company, which included working with its research and development team to improve the environmental and growing conditions of horticultural crops and medicinal plants.
Abi started working at CERES in 2019 which gave her an opportunity to work at an organisation that matches her values and regard for nature. She is currently a Horticulture and Permaculture VET trainer, and a staff member at CERES’ permaculture and bush food nursery.
She considers her experience and training as a volunteer propagator at CERES as an important factor in pursuing her current career path after transitioning from another vocation. As a horticulturist, she is able to apply her values in a more practical and tangible way. She enjoys encouraging people from different backgrounds, especially women and young people, to work with plants and help improve the connection between people and our natural environment. Observing and figuring out how to best grow healthy plants also satisfies her thirst to learn and interest in trying tested or new ideas.
Adrian BlackProgram Coordinator and Educator
Growing up in the Macedon Ranges, Adrian has always had a deep love of nature and the outdoors. Long walks in the bush and grassland on his family’s 6.5-acre property gave Adrian the opportunity to explore all of the mysteries and marvels that nature has to offer, particularly the local wildlife and fauna.
After completing a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash University, and designing for a number of theatre productions across Melbourne, Adrian was yearning to have his connection to nature as part of his career. Along with his childhood friend, Adrian started his own mobile education business – Wildlife Gone Walkabout; an interactive travelling zoo, educating students and adults about Australian wildlife conservation. For six years Adrian traveled across Victoria fostering a deep connection to Australia’s fauna as a wildlife presenter and educator.
Due to COVID, Adrian was forced to close his business and continue his love of sustainable and environmental education elsewhere. Finding the inner city paradise of CERES, Adrian now coordinates the Caring for Climate and Change program as part of the School of Nature and Climate, sharing his values and love of the environment with the students who visit. As a passionate climate activist, Adrian knows that educating young people is one of the best solutions to solve the climate crisis, and create a sustainable and equitable future.
Anne GalbraithTherapeutic Horticulture Course Facilitator
Anne Galbraith has a Social Sciences background and has studied conservation and land management and visual arts.
Anne is currently completing a Master of Social Work. Her experience includes work with the elderly and people with dementia, children and teens in out of home care and people living with disability. She is currently working with women and children who have experienced family violence and or homelessness. Anne has recently had the opportunity to design and create a sensory garden in a crisis accommodation service where she runs a sensory garden program.
Belinda Kennedy Head Horticulturist at CERES Environment Park, Volunteer Coordinator, and Adult Learning Courses Facilitator
Belinda Kennedy has been working within the horticulture industry for over 15 years, specialising in sustainable and organic garden design and management. She has worked in numerous fields within the industry alongside several key landscape designers throughout Melbourne; co-designing, implementing and maintaining landscapes on various scales both private and public. Belinda’s work is based upon sustainable garden practices and permaculture systems and includes indigenous garden design and development; wildlife corridors; native food and fibre gardens; closed loop garden design and implementation; compost systems; kitchen gardens and food forests.
Belinda has been employed as the Head Horticulturist and Volunteer Coordinator at CERES Environment Park since 2013, designing and implementing the on-site habitat gardens which include kitchen gardens; indigenous plantings; native food and fibre gardens; food forests and wildlife corridors. She also manages several on-site composting and soil building systems. The gardens are predominantly run on a closed loop system and maintained with the assistance of a large volunteer program. Along with managing the grounds at CERES, Belinda runs regular workshops on sustainable garden practices; landscape design and maintenance; native food and fibre gardens; wildlife gardens; indigenous flora; and composting systems.
Belinda has completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT, an Advanced Diploma in Horticulture at Melbourne University, and a Permaculture Design Course. Along with her work at CERES Environment Park, she also runs a sustainable garden design and maintenance business based in Melbourne’s inner north and can be found drawing or sculpting in her spare time.
Bret SalingerDigital Content Coordinator
Bret Salinger joined CERES in 2022. Prior to becoming a freelance communications services provider in 2008 Bret worked at Amnesty International, Birdlife Australia and the Australian Council for Educational Research, before training as a journalist and editor and moving to Tasmania for a decade in 2004.
Returning to Melbourne, Bret made the decision to work exclusively for for-purpose organisations. In recent years his work has focused on the education sector, having developed and delivered content at Teach For Australia, the Northern Melbourne VET Cluster, various Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) and the Uniting Church’s education centre in Parkville.
Bret believes strongly in learning for life, and is currently studying screenwriting at RMIT. Outside work you’ll find him gardening, making or watching films, or taking photos. At CERES he hopes to capture and share the passion, excitement and learning of the CERES School of Nature and Climate, helping to showcase stories of empowered people learning to love the Earth.
Catherine Medwin (On leave)Teacher Programs Educator, ResourceSmart Schools Southern Metropolitan Region Coordinator, and Professional Learning Coordinator
Catherine Medwin has been working in education for the past 10 years, and has been a part of establishing a brand new PPP school as well as leading environmental education for the past two and a half years. She has been successfully embedding a culture of sustainability across the school during this time through implementing the ResourceSmart Schools program. Catherine is passionate about inspiring others to reduce waste and spreading awareness of environmental issues to both children and adults.
Growing up in a rural setting has led Christine to always feel a strong affinity with nature. After many years in retail, Christine decided to follow her heart and make a career change that aligned more with her values of caring for the environment. With a goal to work for an organisation that focused on making a difference through empowering the community and promoting sustainable education, CERES was a perfect fit!
Christine has tertiary qualifications in sustainability, community services and fine arts, and has a passion for social justice, food security and biodiversity. She loves nothing more than being able to spend her downtime searching for new bushwalking trails and just sitting and taking in the sights and sounds of the natural world.
Clare TarlintonStudent Programs Educator
Growing up in regional Queensland, Clare spent much of her childhood exploring the local rainforest, camping down by the beach and writing and illustrating stories about the Green Tree Frogs that lived in her letterbox for her classmates at school. After completing a Bachelor of Education, she spent many years as a primary school teacher, her main drive is to help her students to develop a love of learning and establish a strong sense of wellbeing.
In 2016, after establishing a successful sustainability program at her school, Clare wanted to continue to support students to love nature and outdoor learning while understanding that they were making a difference in the world. This led Clare to join the CERES School of Nature and Climate where she developed and delivers the Schools for Wildlife program. Working at CERES has shown Clare the importance of developing a strong sense of community and has allowed her to continue empowering students to take action for the environment, both at school and in their daily lives.
Daniela SignorOnline Education Coordinator
Daniela has always had an interest in sustainability and our planet and is now happy to combine that interest with her expertise in online education and learning design. She brings a new online learning system for CERES School of Nature and Climate that allows our online education delivery to reach all the corners of the earth and for our blended education to benefit from online content that complements CERES on-site education.
Daniela has a Masters of Arts in Online and Distance Education from The Open University (UK) and a Diploma of Sustainability from Swinburne University of Technology. She believes in the power of education and hopes to continue the great work done at CERES and to build more great online education opportunities that will benefit the earth.
Deanne JonesTeacher Programs Early Childhood Coordinator, and Educator/ Nature Playgroup Facilitator
Deanne is passionate about nature connection, social justice, combating climate change and village building. This has led her to explore and volunteer in the natural world both within and beyond Australia; living in Argentina as an exchange student and exploring the unique environments of South America, East Africa and Asia. Deanne has worked in a number of organisations including the Melbourne Aquarium education and interpretation team, the Gould League and Knox City Council as a Community Sustainability Officer. Deanne joined the CERES Teacher Programs team in 2012 after introducing her daughter into the world. She believes sustainability education and empowering the next generation are essential in helping to build a sustainable future for all.
Emma BleaselTeacher Programs Educator
Emma has always been interested in alternate ways of creating more sustainable global societies. This interest led her to complete a Bachelor of International and Global Studies majoring in anthropology.
Emma has experience working in a range of environmental non-government organisations as a community organiser where she assisted local community groups from around Australia in divesting their council from fossil fuels. From this work she developed her belief in the power of grassroots actions to create sustainable community change.
Emma has volunteered extensively both in Australia and overseas following her passion of fostering creative, courageous, and compassionate young people by teaching about environmental sustainability. This work led her to complete her Masters of Education in Primary. She has worked as a Primary School teacher in a variety of Victorian and New South Wales schools.
After completing her engineering degree in France, Emmanuelle undertook a Master’s degree in Energy Studies at the University of Melbourne specialising in the environmental impacts of buildings.
Prior to CERES, Emmanuelle was working as an Energy Consultant in a large engineering company, undertaking holistic design and operational sustainability assessments of major commercial buildings. She joined the Teacher Programs team in September 2015 and is excited to be working with Victorian schools as she strongly believes in a bottom-up approach to drive change, starting at the community level and through early/primary education. Emmanuelle is passionate about sharing her dedication to sustainability and resilient resource systems and hopes to inspire the next generation.
Jason SheehanTeacher Programs Educator
Jason is an adventurer and storyteller. He has worked in Tonga where he helped coastal communities with environmental action and sustainability of their marine resources. Diving next to volcanoes, working on reef ecology, and rescuing turtles, Jason equally enjoys planting a tree for climbing in years to come. As a conservation biologist, Jason loves the narrative of conservation, following the connections between everything we as humans do and how it impacts our planet. He has taught students about climate change, sustainability, marine and coastal science and more, always finding new and interesting ways to invoke passion.
Jason strives to make everyone he meets excited about the environment by inspiring creative action. Working with CERES as an educator has allowed him to develop diverse ideas with schools and communities all across Melbourne. With so many people working for sustainability, he thrives on seeing this network grow.
Jessie LongmuirStudent Programs Coordinator and Educator
Jessie has enthusiastically worked in education and environmental community engagement for almost 10 years. The natural world has always fascinated her, especially invertebrates and other small creatures. This curiosity led Jessie on an exciting journey to meet and work with like-minded people in the science, education and community engagement sectors. She has contributed to numerous environmental initiatives encouraging positive change in people of all ages, and these experiences were pivotal in Jessie’s journey to connect with country, community and in understanding the critical role of education and action in protecting the magnificent ecosystems that are part of Melbourne’s backyard.
Jessie has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Teaching (STEM). She has previously worked as a classroom teacher at Footscray Primary School, Candlebark School and as a science educator with Museum Victoria. Jessie’s passion projects involve ecological restoration, broadening her knowledge of sustainable practices across industries and supporting global food security movements.
Karen began her education career in Kenya teaching in disadvantaged community secondary schools. After further roles in the corporate, government and philanthropic sectors she has for the past 20 years worked in a variety of adult education settings primarily designing and coordinating the delivery of Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs.
Karen has a strong focus on supporting a diversity of clients, including youth at risk, those with disabilities, career changers and the long-term unemployed, to identify their goals and strengths and support the exploration of and transition to green career pathways. Karen holds tertiary qualifications in management, training and philosophy, politics and economics.
Kat YoungStudent Programs Assistant Manager
Kat’s love of the environment and being in it began as a youngster in New Zealand, climbing daily through wild fennel and over the back fence to play in the neighbouring fields.
After following the wind to Australia in 1999, Kat has spent her time in various creative and people-centric roles, from hospitality to costuming to teaching martial arts, until arriving at CERES in 2014. Starting as a casual teacher, Kat quickly discovered that CERES was the place for her and her passions for art, education and nature connection.
Kate KantorStudent Programs Coordinator and Educator
As a child, Kate lived for the school holidays when she would go camping by rocky rivers and snowy mountains. Kate studied drama at the Victorian College of the Arts, ran away to join the circus (performing as a clown in Circus Oz) and then came back to Melbourne to focus on her passion for cultural development, community arts and the environment.
Kate taught for many years at the University of Melbourne and Victoria University as a lecturer in education and the arts, as well as working as a teaching artist at Polyglot Theatre. She is presently completing her PhD which focuses on creative strategies to support young people to have hope and agency about the future of the environment.
Kate worked initially at CERES as the artistic director of the Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival and is delighted to return to her current role as coordinator of the Towards Zero Waste Education Program.
Katie GreenStudent Programs Educator, and Bookings and Operations Coordinator
Katie has specialised in environmental education throughout her career. She is committed to practical learning, particularly for young people. Katie comes with a wealth of experience from the environmental not-for-profit sector. Previous roles include Membership and Donor Retention Manager for the Wilderness Society, Program and Education Manager for Galapagos Conservation Trust, Volunteering Development Manager for Birdlife International UK and Community Education Coordinator for a primate and sustainability organisation in Nigeria.
Katie’s career highlights include working with David Attenborough on an event to commemorate Charles Darwin’s 200th Birthday; launching Blue-Footed Booby Day with The BBC Wildlife Fund to celebrate unique biodiversity across the globe; and becoming companion to conservation icon, Lonesome George, the last remaining Giant Tortoise of his kind, while working at the Research Station in Galapagos.
Kelsey Smith (On leave)Teacher Programs Educator, ResourceSmart Schools Northern Metropolitan Region Coordinator, and Council Partnerships Coordinator
From a young age, Kelsey has had a passion for conservation, particularly surrounding the unique fauna found in Australia. This stemmed from weekends spent camping and hiking through the bush and formed the basis of her passion to conserve Australia’s unique environments. She completed a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) and worked as an environmental officer for Queensland Government, then turned to field biology as a research intern in South Africa. It was from these experiences that she feels the key to sustainability and conservation is an understanding combined with a sense of responsibility and excitement. Following this path, she has since completed a Master of Environment (conservation and education) and volunteered for programs like Zoo to You, CSIRO Education, Science Experience Melbourne and worked as a science demonstrator for University of Melbourne. Kelsey joined CERES as an intern in late 2017, and joined the Teacher Programs team in January 2018. She is excited to share her enthusiasm with the next generation.
Lisa ReidPermaculture Design Course Coordinator and Faciltator
Lisa Reid is an educator, facilitator, environmental engineer and kitchen garden specialist who is committed to embedding permaculture into all aspects of her life. She facilitates CERES Permaculture Design Course (PDC), is passionate about creating a permaculture community and has been instrumental in growing the CERES PDC Alumni which fosters connection and skills and knowledge sharing.
Lisa is active in her community sharing the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share. In her spare time, you can find Lisa leading the kitchen garden of the local primary school, an evolving space which has been designed using permaculture principles. You might also find her tending to her productive garden, chickens and guinea pigs.
Pia WrafterTeacher Programs Educator, and Acting Southern Regional Coordinator
With a background in psychology, Pia spent years empowering people to make positive changes in their lives to improve their mental health. Over this time, her appreciation of the natural world was growing ever stronger, and the need for living in harmony with nature was becoming increasingly evident. Knowing that the change created from her own sustainable choices could only ever be limited, Pia embarked on the permaculture educator’s program. This gave her the tools to have a greater impact through educating and empowering others to find more sustainable and regenerative ways of living.
Pia has run sustainable education sessions with people of all ages, and has worked across primary and secondary schools to help set up productive gardens and composting systems. She loves seeing the joy sparked when people connect with nature – it could be something as simple as discovering a beautiful butterfly atop a flower. Pia is inspired by the many people finding creative solutions to the environmental challenges we face, and is delighted to be part of the CERES community. In her role at CERES, Pia supports schools on their sustainability journey as part of the ResourceSmart Schools Program.
Sieta BeckwithCERES Narrative Director, and Nature Based Leadership Facilitator
Sieta has worked for 15 years in strategic communications roles, assisting purpose-led organisations from across social enterprise, for-profit and non-profit sectors, to discover, share and live their deeper mission and vision. Through her work as Narrative Director, Sieta brings together stories centred on universal human values, to articulate the potential power of bringing people together to take action for the Earth.
Since 2014 Sieta has been actively engaged in the emerging Spiritual Ecology movement, which seeks to explore what is the role of spirituality in social, economic, political and ecological change. She has found joy in bringing together small groups of humans from all ages and backgrounds to explore heart-centred practice, and learning to live from a place of love and compassion for all beings. Sieta also loves supporting younger generations to creatively explore new ways of thinking and being together, in a time of significant challenge.
Sophie EdwardsRetreats and Experiences Coordinator
Sophie has been working in social equity and sustainable community development in both international and domestic contexts since 2004. Her background in environmental sustainability stems from an undergraduate degree in Ecology and Botany and has broadened to community engagement and development in her Masters in Social Sciences. Before starting at CERES, her working life has taken her through government, not-for-profit and higher education sectors across Australia and the world, including research projects in Papua New Guinea, project coordination in Sierra Leone and cross cultural community development in Darwin.
She is passionate about experiential learning and challenging people to think about themselves and the world differently. She believes that relationships and stories are what really touch and move people, and that is what she aims to nurture as the retreats and experiences coordinator.
Her favourite things about working at CERES are the creativity and dynamism within her role and the organisation.
Subik BasoStudent Program Educator
Subik is Macassan who loves gardening and listening to live music and recently discovered that listening to vinyl is the best.
His background is a Bachelor of Agriculture where he learned about the application of Green Revolution methods to farming practices in Indonesia and was later involved in a composting project funded by the Canadian Government. This involvement led Subik to a very different path from what he learned at university. He then worked for a research company Operation Wallacea (Opwall) based in the UK before moving to Australia. Living in Australia enhanced Subik’s passion for the environment by working in a native nursery and helping revegetate a depleted property into a beautiful native garden.
Working at CERES gives Subik a great chance to learn in the broader context of the environment and social justice whilst continuing his passion… gardening.
Beck LowePermaculture Design Course Facilitator
Beck Lowe worked closely with David Holmgren on RetroSuburbia as chief editor, researcher and project manager. Since publication, she has also taken on the role of education coordinator and has run workshops and developed resources to help households make positive changes.
Beck is an enthusiastic and experienced permaculture educator and has been involved in permaculture training at all levels for more than 15 years. She has practical permaculture experience in private and community spaces in inner city, urban and rural areas.
Benedict HughesBackyard Beekeeping, and Complete Urban Farmer Facilitator
Benedict Hughes is a well-known registered beekeeper. As The Practical Beekeeper he collects swarms, manages hives, extracts honey, teaches and loves bees.
Benedict is also a commercial migratory beekeeper who runs around 100 beehives across Victoria. He produces small-batch, raw local honey which is available through farmers markets and select retail outlets. His bees also provide pollination services for almonds and other horticulture crops.
Benedict is the resident Beekeeper at CERES and is approved by the City of Darebin to keep bees in Darebin parklands and Bundoora Park. Benedict regularly runs school incursions about bees and beekeeping, and also delivers adult education courses at CERES, Melbourne Polytechnic and Edendale Community Environment Farm in Eltham.
Benedict is also the founding President of The Australian Pollinator Alliance, a not-for-profit dedicated to promoting the health of bees and all pollinators, critical to our food and natural environment, through education, research and conservation. You can find him on Facebook and Instagram as @Practical_Beekeeper.
Brenna QuinlanArt As Activism Facilitator
Brenna Quinlan is an illustrator and educator who strives to make the world a better place through her art and her actions. She has ridden a bicycle across the Americas, taught permaculture in Brasil, Chile and Argentina, and lived for four years at Melliodora, the permaculture demonstration site created by permaculture co-originator David Holmgren and his partner Su Dennett in Central Victoria, Australia.
As an illustrator, Brenna has worked with the Australian Red Cross, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, Plan International, Milkwood Permaculture, the Bob Brown Foundation, CSIRO and Costa Georgiadis, among others.
As an educator, Brenna has taught alongside the biggest names in permaculture, including Rosemary Morrow, David Holmgren, Dan Palmer, and Hannah Moloney.
She co-runs Grow Do It Permaculture Education, a project focused on bringing climate solutions to kids (and their grown ups) through art, music and creativity.
Brenna is currently building her own straw bale house out of reclaimed materials in Western Australia on Noongar boodja. She acknowledges the traditional owners of this land, and that sovereignty was never ceded.
Carol HendersonGardening Workshop Facilitator - Growing Great Tomatoes, Complete Guide to Home Composting (online), Herb and Companion Planting
Carol Henderson is a horticulturist, permaculture designer and teacher, who is passionate about urban food production. She regularly runs workshops for CERES, Cultivating Community, schools and local councils.
Carol’s style is friendly and highly interactive, incorporating group discussion and hands-on activities as much as possible. Working with children, youth and adults from all walks of life, Carol tailors each session to suit the needs and interests of each group.
Claire DunnNature Based Leadership Training Facilitator
Claire Dunn is a writer, speaker, barefoot explorer, rewilding facilitator and founder of Nature’s Apprentice. Claire is passionate about human rewilding and believes that a reclaiming of our ecological selves and belonging is key to regenerating wildness on the planet. For the last 15 years, Claire has been facilitating individuals to dive deeply into the mysteries of nature and psyche through the pathways of deep nature connection, ancestral earth skills, deep ecology, ecopsychology, soulcentric nature-based practice, village building, dance, ceremony and contemporary wilderness rites-of-passage. Claire is the author of memoir My Year Without Matches, which tells the story of her year living wild. Her most recent book, Rewilding the Urban Soul explores how we might embody wild consciousness within a modern city context. Claire lives in Melbourne where she lovingly tends her garden, community and her own wild heart. www.naturesapprentice.com.au
CheeselinksMaking Cheese at CERES with Cheeselinks
Cheeselinks is a family-owned business with more than twenty years experience in the dairy industry. They teach people how to make their own cheeses at home and have a range of products for home cheesemakers.
Janet Clayton is the proprietor of Cheeselinks, she is a qualified cheesemaker who has completed her studies at the Artisan Cheesemaking Academy in South Australia. She has conducted many workshops all over Australia but loves to teach here at CERES and at her home in Lara.
Charlene Angus is an experienced cheese instructor who conducts many workshops on the Bellarine Peninsula. She enjoys sharing her skills with people who share her love of all things cheesy.
Chrissi CharlesLandscape Restoration, and Indigenous Ecology Course Facilitator
Chrissi Charles cemented their love of plants in Lutruwita (Tasmania) while studying a bachelor of plant sciences (Botany and Ecology) in Nipaluna (Hobart). Chrissi spent the first few years after studying diving into a career in horticulture which included an internship at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne and an almost two-year stint as a researcher and content maker for the ABC’s Gardening Australia. Over the last year, Chrissi has split their time between working at Merri Creek Management Committee as a part of the Ecological Restoration team, studying a Masters of Ecosystem Management and Conservation (part-time) at Melbourne University and learning the ropes as a casual educator at CERES. Chrissi is excited to share their passion for plants, ecology and getting your hands dirty restoring natural areas.
Donna LivermorePermaculture Design Course, and Gardening Workshop Facilitator
Donna Livermore is an educator, biologist, permaculture and gardening teacher and community activator. She is passionate about living a life of good health, sustainable abundance and with a strong connection to the environment and local community. Donna has an on-going commitment to school education through her work in sustainability and biodiversity education.
With chickens, worms and a productive food garden in the front yard of her suburban block, Donna is reimagining what it means to live a good life in the city and shares this with others in her local community and through her Instagram page ‘A Good Life in the City and Town’.
Ian LillingtonPermaculture Design Course Facilitator
Ian Lillington first studied permaculture in England in 1985 and then, while on a contract in Melbourne, met and worked with David Holmgren at CERES in 1989. Back in the UK in 1990 , he decided to do a PDC [a 14-day residential with Graham Bell and Nancy Woodhead]. In 1991 he attended advanced training with Bill Mollison, and edited Graham’s ‘Permaculture Way’ book and Patrick Whitefield’s ‘Permaculture In a Nutshell’. Since then Ian has been a contributor to Australian and UK permaculture journals. From 1992 until now Ian has taught PDCs in Australia, at CERES and 20 PDCs in his home town of Castlemaine; and with David Holmgren and Su Dennett in Hepburn Springs, and at the Food Forest, Gawler. He was also a guest on early PDCs at CERES around 1994.
In the early 2000s’ Ian wrote The Holistic Life – a book that is an intro to permaculture. In 2015-19 he was involved in the Green Education movement in Hong Kong, and at the Green School Bali, teaching a PDC there and teaching in Shanghai. Ian and his partner Marita designed and built a straw bale, energy-efficient home in central Victoria where they live a permaculture-inspired lifestyle, eating from their garden every day and creating a sanctuary for the bees, birds and lizards.
Ilka WhiteBraided Rugs, Natural Dyeing and Darning, Mending and Upcycling Workshops
Ilka White is an artist, designer and maker of textiles. Her work often responds to the forces at play within the natural world and reflects the principles of sustainability. She is a great believer in the ability of beauty and creativity to lift the spirit. An experienced teacher, Ilka’s popular classes also reflect her love of the handmade, and her contemporary use of traditional making methods.
Joel MeadowsPermaculture Design Course Facilitator
Joel Meadows is an environmental educator, energy auditor, building designer, sustainable transport consultant, illustrator, maker of things of steel and wood, grower, cooker and preserver of food, avid gardener and musician. Joel has studied Sculpture, Blacksmithing, Renewable Energy Technology and Permaculture, he has worked for private, government and not-for-profit organisations and runs the Green Hand Institute, offering permaculture education and product development from new forms of rocket stove to innovative beehives, from human-powered machines to biochar makers. Joel illustrated the second edition of David Holmgren’s ‘Principles’ book and ‘The Rocket Powered Oven’ e-book with Tim Barker.
Joel lives with his family on the fringe of Castlemaine – Central Victoria, in their owner built and designed passive solar straw bale home, where he continually works on his permaculture business, property and ideas. When not in the shed Joel can often be found in the garden, growing food, building hot compost piles, tending to the chooks or scything around the orchard trees. Joel is an avid bike rider and repairer, likes playing and making guitars, building furniture, blacksmithing and leather.
Justin CalverleyComplete Urban Farmer, Sustainable Gardening and Therapeutic Horticulture Faciltator
Justin Calverley is a horticulturalist and permaculturist with more than 20 years’ experience and will be the lead trainer for the Urban Farmer course. Justin has extensive knowledge and experience in permaculture, garden design, organic gardening and native bushfood plants. He specialises in edible gardens and is an expert in fruit tree cultivation and pruning.
For more than 10 years Justin has taught workshops at CERES in sustainable gardening and permaculture. Justin was a regular broadcaster on 3RRR’s ‘Dirty Deeds” and “Breakfasters”, is a presenter on Channel 31’s “The Garden Tap” and author of The Urban Farmer.
Kat LaversPermaculture Design Course Facilitator
Kat Lavers is a passionate gardener, permaculture designer and facilitator. She has taught permaculture in Australia and with nomadic herders and aid agency staff in Mongolia. In her former role at Cultivating Community she used a bobcat and 500,000 compost worms to compost café food waste in the City of Yarra. She currently coordinates the My Smart Garden program for Hobsons Bay City Council and offers freelance permaculture and gardening coaching and classes. Her award-winning house and garden, ‘The Plummery’, is a 1/14th of an acre urban permaculture system that produces almost all the veggies, herbs, fruit and eggs consumed (more than 350kg in 2016), as well as recycling all organic waste on-site and harvesting the majority of power and water used by the household. There is also a retrofitted light earth studio made from onsite clay and scavenged materials. Kat is a volunteer coordinator of Permablitz Melbourne.
Ken Hercott Sourdough Bread Workshop Facilitator
Ken Hercott grew up on a wheat farm in the Mallee, Victoria. He started baking at home using flour milled on farm, then took his passion to the US to work under Master baker Richard Bourdon, alongside Chad Robertson. Returning to Austalia, he then worked with John Downes (the legend of Australian sourdough) at Newrybar and then at the Natural Tucker Bakery. There he honed his skills using a wood fired oven. Ken’s passion for sourdough bread led him to Europe, where he baked and taught at Fattoria Barbialla Nuova, in Tuscany.
Naabi MetheGarden Farmacy, and Fire Cider Tonic Making Workshop Facilitator
Naabi Methe is a degree qualified Naturopath and a registered member of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA). She has been a committee member of Vic Herbs since 2016 and has volunteered with Hands on Health and the Fitzroy All Stars. As well as being a clinician, Naabi manufactures small batch vegan botanical skin care, medicinal teas and first aid products under the name of Common Garden Health; runs fermenting and home remedy workshops and blogs about herbal remedies and food as medicine. Her passion is the use of herbal medicine and food as medicine to achieve affordable and sustainably-optimal health outcomes, and believes that knowledge is power, and knowledge about sustainable health practices should be common knowledge and should be shared. It’s also really fun!
Taj SciclunaThe Herbal Apprentice and Understanding Soils Facilitator, and Nature Based Leadership (guest speaker)
The Perma Pixie (Taj Scicluna) utilises Permaculture and Herbalism to remind those wishing for a deeper sense of purpose, that individual and collective action can generate change and reformat the current state of humanity. Taj is well versed in Permaculture Design, specialising in ornamental edible gardens that mimic natural systems for beauty and efficiency. Her journey has led her to facilitate social permaculture workshops, focusing on the awareness of the self and how we may integrate ourselves back into forms of community for a positive impact on the Earth’s systems and processes.