If you are wondering why the blog went a bit quiet over the last couple of months, this is why. For the past few months I've been thoroughly caught up in the management of the 14th Australasian Permaculture Convergence (APC 14 for short) which was held in Canberra for the very first time this April.
For APC 14 we were fortunate to have ABC TV's Costa Georgiadis as our MC, with a stellar line up of keynote speakers including Mariam Issa, Charles Massy, Rosemary Morrow, Bruce Pascoe and David Holmgren. Permaculture Convergences have been held in cities all around Australia, but had never before came to Canberra. Now that's fixed - tick!
The event was very popular - we sold over 230 tickets! Being one of the organisers does give a very different perspective on how much work goes on behind the scenes for an event like this and I am honoured to have been part of such an impressive and hard working team of organisers who ensured it ran as smoothly as possible:
APC 14 was kicked off with a free public event, the ACT Permaculture Festival, on Sunday 15th April, which, despite the weather turning icy cold, still attracted over 4000 attendees. There were talks, workshops and some great musical performances by Formidable Vegetable Sound System. I gave a workshop and demonstration about wicking beds which was also well attended, despite the weather. Then it was off to the convergence venue for the rest of the day to greet attendees and sign them all in. We had day visitors, campers and people staying in the onsite accommodation, so there was plenty to do!
APC 14 was held at the Greenhills Centre in Stromlo - a really lovely setting with some amazing views, which was why we had chosen it. Thankfully, after the freezing cold weather on the first day, the sun came out and it warmed up nicely and interstate attendees were wowed with some quite gorgeous Canberra autumn weather. The staff at Greenhills were incredibly helpful and accommodating - in my role as venue coordinator I worked closely with them in the lead up to and during the convergence and I found them an absolute pleasure to deal with. So a big thank you to Greenhills staff!
Special mention also needs to be made about the amazing effort put in by the catering team. A feature of APC 14 was to ensure that all of the food supplied was local, ethical and sustainable (after all, this is pretty much what permaculture is all about), whilst still managing to accommodate various dietary requirements. This meant arranging the supply of all ingredients outside of mainstream catering supply chains which was no mean feat! Ruth Gaha-Morris, of Scrumpers Garden, oversaw the entire catering endeavor from beginning to end - unfortunately she was so busy she couldn't be part of the picture above.
And finally, how could my blog be complete without a few selfies! I'd particularly like to thank Costa Georgiadis for taking the time to record a short video on my phone (a special message from Costa the Garden Gnome for my 6 year old daughter) - even as he was heading back to Sydney at 10pm after a very long day. Awww! She is thrilled, and a bit embarrassed.
Thanks to everyone who made APC 14 such a successful event.