John’s long involvement in permaculture began when he completed a Permaculture Design Course, (PDC) in Chiltern, Victoria in 1992 with Vries & Hugh Gravestein who were taught by Bill Mollison.
It became both a life path and career. With his partner Sharon, they established Brogo Permaculture Gardens in the Bega Valley, NSW 22 years ago, in the temperate climate as both a home to bring up their 5 children and a demonstration site to showcase permaculture on 11 acres. Abundance was created and excess produce from the property is now sold at local outlets under Organic Certification.
Professionally, John’s work as a design consultant includes private properties, eco-villages and community & school gardens. His PDC teaching career began in 2004 alongside David Holmgren at Mumbulla Steiner School in Bega when the BEND Eco-Neighbourhood idea was just starting. John has now taught over 35 PDC’s throughout the temperate climate of SE Australia as well as the tropics of SE Asia since 2010.
Together with Sharon, in SE Asia they share a commitment to maintain a high standard of permaculture education through workshops and developing local teachers to deliver the PDC in their language.
Where John lives locally in the Bega Valley, he has played the voluntary role of a bioregional strategist in his community. He’s been President of SCPA- South East Producers for 15 years, an NGO community group focused on building a local food economy. With his PDC tutor Hugh Gravestein, they originated the South Coast Field Days in 1995 that was Australia’s first such event that focused on promoting ‘Sustainable Living & Landuse’. These Field Days also announced the Bega Valley as a prime region for relocalisation. For 2 years, John promoted permaculture regionally on ABC Radio hosting a weekly segment called ‘Future Directions’ with Tim Holt.
John Champagne is recognised as an elder within the Permaculture Movement in Australia and is a well-known and active ‘brand’. Networking constantly in conversations on many topics, John was on the Board of Permaulture Australia for 3 years and is currently the convenor of Permafund, a charitable group that receives funds and then distributes them to needy permaculture projects worldwide.
John brings these 25 years of experience to any event with his unique hard earned background and understanding of the many facets of permaculture. From its broad application …..to actually living it.
Ongoing Involvement in the Permaculture Movement for Over 20 years
John Champagne is also a Bioregional Strategist and community leader….. weaving permaculture principles into the social domain. John has been the President of SCPA-South East Producers for 12 years and the co-originator of the South Coast Field Days in 1995. This was Australia’s first showcase event focusing on sustainable landuse and living.
John has been an active member of the national permaculture network, spending 3 years on the Board of Permaculture Australia and is the convener of Permafund, which raises funds for worthy permaculture aid projects in Australia and overseas.
Current and Future Activities
John’s main love is teaching so unsuprisingly he is involved in a number of courses in 2016-2017. Our course at The Crossing will be held in April 2017. John was lead teacher on a course in Salatiga, Java, Indonesia in July 2016 which judging by the calibre of the co-teachers, the location and the enthusiasm from permaculturalists in Java was an incredible course. Our next course in Java is is July 2017 followed by a course at Kul Kul Farm, Bali in late July-early August 2017.
If you’re interested in any of these course or would like to talk to John about teaching where you are, or teaching with you complete our contact form. Brogo Permaculture Gardens has a number of affiliates but we are always interested in developing further links.
John and Sharon travel to South East Asia at least once a year at the moment and are open to conducting Introduction to Permaculture courses for locals and expats, Teacher Training Courses for PDC graduates or workshops/presentations on request. If you are in that region and would like to discuss a course please email us.