Award Winning Permaculture Pioneer at Youth Cafe

Rowe teaching in Kabul, Afghanistan

After its development in Tasmania in 1978, Permaculture has become one of Australia’s most successful exports. Practitioners are now certified in more than 140 countries and Katoomba resident, Rosemary Morrow, co-founder of the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute, has been one of the pioneers responsible for this global uptake.


This week young people (aged 16+) have the rare opportunity to sit down to dinner with Rowe to quizz her about everything she’s learnt while she’s spent nearly four decades travelling the world to help rebuild war-torn communities through permaculture. From Cambodia to Vietnam and Uganda, and more recently to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kashmir, Rowe is familiar with the worst that can happen to society and has been instrumental in helping communities recover and regenerate damaged social and environmental systems.

This year she has also led five permaculture courses for refugees in camps in Bangladesh, Turkey and Greece as part of the International Permaculture for Refugees organisation she helped establish.

Her books, including the popular handbook ‘The Earth Users Guide to Permaculture’, have been translated into ten languages and she has pioneered Permaculture Teacher Training books and courses to help spread the movement. Guided by the powerful ethics and principles of permaculture, which have been derived from the close observation of healthy natural systems, practitioners are regenerating landscapes and ecosystems and designing ecologically compatible homes, businesses, communities and broader human settlements.

One of Rowe’s classes at the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute in Blackheath

Much of what has been learnt through the pioneering work of permaculturists is now embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations.

In 2017, Rowe received the prestigious Advance Global Australian Agriculture Award; and earlier this year she was awarded the Sydney University Alumni Award for International Achievement.

Rowes’ global experience has confirmed her belief that permaculture provides a robust model for dealing with the impacts of climate change and social and economic disruption.

This coming Wednesday, 4 September, Rowe will be the guest at the Blue Mountains Pluriversity’s Youth Café, a non-formal fortnightly gathering in Blackheath where professionals share their life experiences over dinner with young people. The evening is an opportunity to find out about what it’s like to live a life in permaculture and to ask questions about the most proactive ways young people can prepare for a future that is being impacted by climate change, resource depletion and biodiversity loss.

The Youth Cafe starts at 6pm and is free for young people aged 16+, although everyone is asked to bring food to share for dinner. Bookings essential via or by ringing Lis on 0407 437 553

About Lis Bastian

Lis Bastian is the Senior Lead for Blue Mountains City Council’s Planetary Health Initiative. She is the editor of the Local News Platforms and has been a writer, editor, news presenter and teacher/lecturer covering both cultural and environmental issues for over 30 years. She has been pioneering Solutions/Constructive Journalism in Australia since 2012.

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