President's Report
Welcome all to the final edition of Permibytes for 2012.

It's been an eventful and somewhat difficult year, but here we are at the end of it with 462 members and all still standing. I'm sorry that we didn't celebrate the remarkable milestone of PSN's 20th anniversary this year, but rest assured we will be having a 21st party! A save the date will be sent around in the first quarter of next year.

Firstly I'd like to say a massive and heartfelt thank you to Barry Hadaway for all his effort on the Management Committee this year. Barry has been the Advocacy Team Leader since 2009. During this time he has, on our behalf, written numerous well researched and well written submissions to government at all levels, advocating in a practical sense, the 3 Permaculture ethics of Earth Care; People Care; and Fair Share. This year Barry has put in a spectacular effort in updating PSN's constitution to be compliant with the most recent legislation and to be relevant and robust for an organisation of PSN's size, maturity and vision. Barry will not be standing for a position on the MC for 2013 as he and Rosemary will be focussing on their new property and venture in Mudgee. I personally wish to thank you both for your support and guidance throughout the year. We wish you both all the very best in your endeavours and hope you drop in every now and again when you're in Sydney.

Next I'd like to thank Deb (Garden Team Leader), Barbara (Living Skills TL), Monika (officially Vice President, but actively Newsletter editor), Steph (offically Secretary, but actively Membership secretary) and Craig (Education TL) for stepping up into their positions early on in the year. You've all done a fabulous job in your respective areas. Outside of PSN you all have excessively full and busy lives, so the effort you've all managed to put in to providing and managing fun, safe and educational events and publications for our members has been extraordinary. For this and for your contributions to the Management Committee, on behalf of our members and myself I sincerely thank you.

Roman was elected onto the Management Committee as Treasurer for 2012 and straight off the bat, did a great job in putting together guidelines and a policy for expense reimbursements. Members and people in leadership positions in the organisation now have a transparent guide as to what their responsibilities are and what they can expect from PSN in regards to financial expenditures. The fast turn around time that people have been getting reimbursed has been greatly appreciated. Roman has also been instrumental in consolidating our numerous bank accounts and getting us online and mobile for credit card payment processing.

Thanks also to Tom (Communications TL) and Rolf (Shows TL) for their assistance on the Management Committee this year. Tom ran some excellent training for our Team Leaders and Local Group Co-ordinators on how to use the website and put events up. By enabling them to take control of putting things online themselves, it has reduced the workload of a small core of people who were previously putting things online on everyone else's behalf. Rolf was a great help in the logistics of getting things to and from, and setting up the successful 120 square meter display at the Sustain Expo in July.

Not on the Management Committee, but highly deserving of recognition is Margaret Boutell, for her efforts over the last four years as the PSN accountant. As of this year, this role is now an official role that reports to the MC. Margaret has dillegently been working behind the scenes over the years with Geoffrey, and this year with Roman, to get our accounts into a managable and transparent state. This task is now complete, and Margaret reported in July to the MC on the aquital of grants for the 2008 APC9 (9th Australiasian Permaculture Convention) and NPD 2011 (National Permaculture Day), as well as reporting on the general state of the PSN accounts. Margaret will be outlining these reports to the membership at the AGM.

Helen Smith, our Public Officer, has also been of great assistance this year as an observer at several MC meetings.

Local Group Coordinators, past and present, this year have made wonderful contributions to the organisation.

The Northern Beaches has strived ahead with their own independent MC. They have gained many new members and are happily running their own permabees, monthly meetings, garden tours, and workshops. Well done to Myriam and the NB team... Keep up the great work!

Di in Ryde has successfully managed to have a PSN presence at virtually every local fair in the Ryde / Hunter's Hill districts and the group has been on fire in terms of selling plants, show bags and Keep Cups. And also thanks to Di for taking the initiative of purchasing a 3m x 3m gazebo for PSN and for getting the Permaculture models in a suitcase revamped.
Cecilia in Hornsby ran the fabulous Chook Forum earlier in the year, and since then Kay and her team have been rounding up the troups for mini-working bees, workshops, dinners and general merriment.

Peter in Ku-ring-gai ran a workshop on building a quail house and has run a couple of seed saving, propogation and seed sharing events. Pete also rejigged the fabulous Mollison design chook/glass house structure that he built last year and that was hugely popular at the Sustain Expo.

And unfortunately this year Lane Cove lost Mandy Stubbs and North Sydney lost Peter Pezzolesi as their Local Group Co-ordinators, whom have been in the role for 4 and 3 years respectively. Hopefully someone, or a team of someones, will step up and re-invigorate those groups in the near future. In the mean time, all other local groups have welcomed Lane Cove, North Sydney and Willoughby residents to attend their events / meetings.

Also thanks to Fairlie for co-ordinating monthly meeting suppers (remember December meeting, everyone is asked to bring a dish to share!), Libby for co-ordinating Permashop, and Di Evans for co-ordinating the Perma-library. Thanks also to Karen and Lynda and anyone else who mans the stalls, helps set up and pack up at monthly meetings, at local group events and at displays, or helps and contributes in any other capacity.
Finally, and probably unconventionally, I'm actually going to publically thank myself, in the hope that what I do does not go unnoticed. This year my official role was President, which is generally a role that oversees and "project manages" the MC and ensures the organisation functions.

However in reality, I've also been doing the secretary role (as Steph, together with Ian focused on Membership Secretary, which is a large job in itself for an organisation of PSNs size). I've also been convening the meetings, which means organising the guest speakers when we had them (and sometimes trying to organise things / speakers that didn't eventuate, but never-the-less took time to investigate and co-ordinate) and getting to monthly meetings early to set up the room, as well as MCing the meeting. I've also done the majority of what in the past has been done by the Comms team, which is putting things online and assiting others to do the same, and ensuring everyone has the access they need to the website, and ensuring the PSN email addresses and groups are directed to the right people, and moderating the Facebook page. I did the bulk of organising, communication and facilitating of volunteers for the PSN display at the Sustain Expo (and huge thanks goes to Richard Brasil, for once again bringing the PSN balcony down to Sydney for the event, and then taking it back to store). I've written articles, the information for the monthly meeting and the new members section of the Newsletter every month. And I predominately organised my own Perma-bee and National Permaculture Day Earth-bag building workshop in May this year. Together with working full time, this is a huge work load. So much so that in about August this year, I one day lost my ability to walk straight. No joke. It lasted over 2 months. A CT scan, MRI and other tests revealed nothing physically was wrong, but the neurologist said that it was a physical manifestation of stress.

So, I'm truly sorry if the MC meeting minutes weren't made available online in a timely manner in the 2nd half of the year, or if some of the meetings were considered boring, or the event details weren't put up on the website far enough in advance. All I can say is that I honestly did the best I could.

If every person in our organisation of nearly 500 members, put their hand up to contribute a few hours every month, or even just every year, this would make the work of a few core people so much easier, and this in turn would enable PSN to flourish and to sustainably enable the organisation as a whole to offer more to you, its members.

Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe festive period and looking forward to seeing you all in the new year.



PSN Monthly Meeting - Monday 17 Dec 2012 @ 7:00pm
AGM followed by Live Music and Party  
Please join us on Monday 17th December for our final meeting of the year - the AGM and Christmas get together.  
The fabulous Charlie McGee (Permaculture Ukulele Project / Grow Do It) from Western Australia, has organised to come to Sydney especially for our entertainment in between his very busy and very popular festival schedule.

  • Charlie will be playing from 7pm. 
  • The AGM will start promptly at 7:30.
We will be electing the 2013 management committee during this time. Please click here for position descriptions and nomination form (and proxy if you want to vote but can't attend the evening)
  • Formalities will be followed by more music and festivities.  
As is tradition for Permaculture Sydney North end of year parties, each person is requested to bring a plate of something to share. We ask you to do your best in eliminating packaging, and bringing your contribution in/on a labelled, reusable, take-home plate/container with lid. No foil or cling-wrap coverings.
Plates, cups, cutlery and serviettes will be provided. Drinks will also be catered for. Don't forget your own mug

PSN requests a $5 donation for non-members to attend.
Doors open at 7pm. Lindfield Community Centre, 259 Pacific Hwy, Lindfield. Just a few minutes walk from Lindfield railway station.


Don't Forget to BYO Mug   
Please bring your own reusable mug/cup to all meetings.
PSN Monthly Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of every month.
Doors open at 7pm. Lindfield Community Centre, 259 Pacific Hwy, Lindfield. Just a few minutes walk from Lindfield railway station.
Charlie Mgee and Cello Joe Live 19 Dec
Permaculture Sydney North and Grow Do It are excited to be hosting Permaculture: a Rhymer's Manual and Cello Joe on Wednesday from 6pm on Wednesday 19th December at The Alexandria Hotel beer garden. Just 5 minutes walk from Redfern Station. Cnr Henderson Rd & Garden St.

One show only... An eve of permaculture ukulele songs, cello, beatbox, banter and beer from Charlie Mgee (Grow Do It - Permaculture Ukulele) and CelloJoe (international bicycle touring vagabond troubadour cellist beatboxer).

Charlie MGee from Freemantle, WA, has written and performed a song for each of the Permaculture Principles which have proven very popular on YouTube and at festivals all around the country. Cello Joe from the US, is cycling around Australia with his Cello, and wooing audiences with his tunes and inspiring them with his bicycle powered speakers.
Doors open 6pm - $10 donation or $7 if you become a member or are a member of PSN! See you there!
For a taster of the talent, check out No Such Thing as Waste by Charlie Mgee and Bike Girl by Cello Joe

This a great, fun, social and relaxed way to introduce your friends and family to what Permaculture is all about in a totally cool way (The tunes and lyrics are bound to get stuck in people's heads - a gift that keeps on giving!)
See ya there!
Advocacy Report by Barry Hadaway
Environmental Defender’s Office Under Attack
The Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO) performs an invaluable role in NSW in:
  • Community Education – through workshops on environmental law and development issues
  • Community Support – through legal advice and support for litigation
  • Advocating Law Reform – for example reform of Mining Law in NSW
Property developers and mining companies have almost unlimited resources with which to advertise, to disseminate misinformation or one sided arguments, to skew debate and promote their own interests.  The EDO provides valuable commentary and support for communities and community organisations in their fight to present the other side of the development and mining picture.  Not all development projects and not all mining projects are beneficial.  Many such projects generate short term profits for a few at the longer term expense of the many.
Unfortunately, the EDO is under attack from the NSW Government, which is moving to drastically reduce funding for the EDO.
I have written to the Premier, Mr Barry O’Farrell on behalf of PSN members and asked him to intervene to secure funding for the EDO and to support its work. This letter is available for you to read on the PSN Noticeboard.
It would help the cause if PSN members were to:
  • Write, as individuals, to Barry O’Farrell or to your own local State MP
  • Sign an online petition in support of the EDO
  •  Donate, if you are able, to a fighting fund to assist in the campaign to save the EDO at
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” (Mahatma Gandhi)
I have decided that after 4 years as Advocacy Team Leader for PSN it is time for me to take Gandhi’s advice.  Enough talking about sustainable living and sustainable housing, it is time to do it!

Rosemary and I will be selling our home in Sydney next year and moving to Mudgee to start building our straw bale and mud brick house and to start developing our land as a permaculture demonstration site.  We will remain members of PSN but will not be able to make it to many meetings.  Accordingly, I will not be standing for re-election to the Management Committee at the coming AGM.

If you are concerned about the fact that our society is moving further and further away from living sustainably, in harmony with the natural world, consider whether or not you might like to become PSN’s Advocacy Team Leader.  If you don’t want to be the Team Leader think about what contribution you could make to the Advocacy Team.

I would like to wish the incoming Management Committee and PSN’s many other willing workers and all the members every success in 2013.

Barry Hadaway – Advocacy Team Leader

November Permabee
Our November permabee was at Margaret and Chris' Denistone property where the garden team put in place an aquaponics system.  

Using a pre-made pond we created a habitat for frogs, lizards and other wildlife using sandstone rocks, a decking platform under which they can hide. Native fish will be added to the pond to provide the nutrients for vegetables that will be grown in the re-cycled cement laundry tubs which we used for grow beds.  

In another part of the garden, we establish a no-dig garden, building soil using a technique of layering - applying lucerne, manures, rock dust for trace elements and then sowed a green manure crop.

Finally, a banana circle was planted to compost and provide fruit. 
November Open Garden    
PSN's November open garden was at Lucinda's townhouse in Epping, demonstrating how a small suburban garden can become a more useful, edible landscape, whilst retaining an attractive character.  20 or so visitors checked out some sustainable solutions from Zone 0 through to 5 (there’s no 4!).  The babaco fruit once again attracted interest, as did the mandala garden and the pipe pot stand (27 pots in a stacking self-watering system, made by a fellow Permie).  A few ventured down the steps to Lucinda’s bush regen site, which helps bring the native animals that bit closer for a more complex web.
Hornsby Local Group News 
On Saturday 8 December we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon BBQ at Cecilia's arranged by Kerry, Jacqui and Jenny and attended by 19 adults and four children.  There was lots of naked frolicking (children anyway), a tour of Cecilia's garden, good food, good company and another great time was had by all.
The next Hornsby meeting will be Saturday 9 Feb at the Freemans' -   Tools: What to Buy and How to Maintain Them -  and will include a mini permabee in Sylvia’s classic permaculture garden.
Any enquiries please contact Kay
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas, a glorious break over the holidays and a wonderful 2013 from the Hornsby and Hills Local Group.

Seed Savers Monthly Meet with Peter Pezzolesi 
Seed Savers meet on the 4th Saturday of every month from 9am-12 noon at the Bidjiwong Community Nursery in Baulkham Hills. (Rear of Ted Horwood Reserve carpark, off Renown Rd, opposite the sports club). 

All PSN members are welcome. You'll meet great people, learn a lot about cleaning seed, propagating, how to recognise and save seeds, heaps of growing tips and herbal remedies from Robyn and other knowledgeable people. 

We can share our seeds with you and would love for you to share some of your special heirloom seeds with us. 

Peter Pezzolesi 
Seed Savers Co-ordinator Phone 
0412 817 605

Welcome new PSN members
A big welcome to all our new members since our November meeting
Northern Beaches: Aleesa G, Alexandra S, Jennifer B, Marjorie J, Simon K; 
Ku-ring-gai: Allyson A, Penny R, Olaf R, Sue N;
Ryde: Jimmy S;
Other: Dave R, Jane A, Zia L;
For details on local group monthly meetings please refer to the noticeboard or email your local group coordinator or check out the new re-occuring events page (PSN diary) here
PSN Facebook
Our facebook page is rocking! It's an excellent place for finding out what's going on in and around our area in a broader context. 

Costa frequently posts here as do other well-known people and organisations.
You can interact with like minded permies to share ideas, pose questions, post interesting articles and find out what courses and events are happening in our region and around the world.

If you would like help in setting up a facebook login please email
Worldly Quotes  
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair - Kahlil Gibran

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