Permaculture Elder Award for Geoff Tonkin
by Anne Warman
WA Permaculturalist Geoff Tonkin was recognised as a Permaculture Elder at the recent Australian Permaculture Convergence in South Australia.
Geoff started his acceptance speech by thanking Ross Mars and the PermacultureWest community for helping to finance his trip to the convergence, and his Aunty Betty who encouraged him to study a Permaculture Design Certificate.
He talked about when doing permaculture ‘your main design has to be to recline’ and that PermacultureWest’s first sticker had you laying in a hammock. “Permaculture is not really a way of life; it is a life” said Geoff. He continued to say the most important observation is not with your ears and eyes, you’ve got to feel it with your heart.
Geoff acknowledged his role as a teacher by sharing his thoughts that he sees himself as a sharer and a carer and that every person in a community contributes to permaculture. He sees his role as not being there to teach anything, “all we are trying to do is to make you stop and think, to sow a few seeds”.
Something to think on were his final words about the bottom line being you’re not doing permaculture till you do something with your own shit, literally.