About Synergy Permaculture

My Values

I have seen many people over the years unable to initiate their dreams for a more sustainable life due to information overwhelm and action paralysis. They are impatient to get started, yet uncertain how to make a start. I can help you achieve your dreams and set out a plan of action to get you started

The connection of human health, health of the planet and the ethical basis of Permaculture really resonates with me. There is also a strong emphasis on a solutions focus. Instead of focusing on what we don’t want, shifting that to a positive focus on what we do want. Permaculture has the solutions. The Ethics and Principles provide the framework for living consciously and creating a connected, nurturing and meaningful life. Finding Permaculture was my “aha” moment. Living a life that truly resonates with my values.

Kerrie holding artichokes in a garden

First Steps in Permaculture

in 2006, I attended Coastfest – a Central Coast festival combining music, arts and green living. There was a talk on Permaculture on the agenda at the sustainable living tent, so I turned up, keen to know more, only to find the talk had been cancelled. Luckily the first ever meeting of the Permaculture Central Coast group was scheduled for later that week. I went along to that meeting and was hooked straightaway.

I attended a number of fee free permaculture courses through Outreach at Wyong TAFE over the next year or so including Vegetate and Educate, Train the Trainer and also developing the Permaculture garden at Wyong TAFE.

Everything really started to happen for me in 2008. That year I attended the Australian Permaculture Convergence in Sydney – all of the Permaculture elders were there – Bill Mollison, David Holmgren, Robin Clayfield, Robyn Francis, Rosemary Morrow, Geoff Lawton, Morag Gamble, to name a few. Stuart Hills was MC (he was just so inspirational). I was driving home from the convergence and I realised I had to do my PDC asap.

Formal Permaculture Training

I completed my first PDC with Purple Pear Farm, near Maitland. The PDC was conducted over 5 weekends – a format that suited me as I had a young family. Part time attendance also allowed for further study and integration of the content at home.

My original Permaculture Teacher and Mentor was moving out of the area and recommended me to take over Teaching the Outreach courses at TAFE. So I completed a Certificate 4 in Training and Assessment – a requirement for vocational adult education. I was fortunate to do this course at Crystal Waters Permaculture Eco Village with Robin Clayfield and Virginia Solomon (previous Chairperson of Permaculture Australia and one of the co-creators of Accredited Permaculture training). I successfully gained employment at TAFE and worked there for 14 years teaching a number of Permaculture related courses, including the 9 week, part time, Introduction to Permaculture Course which I developed. Hundreds of students have successfully completed these courses. During the last few years I continued to deliver this course online for TAFE. I have now transitioned and my focus is on offering workshops from home and out in community.

Kerrie standing in front of tall green plants
Panel Discussion at the Mad About Dirt event

Over 15 Years of Experience

I’ve also studied Horticulture through TAFE and many other short courses over the years to support my professional development, including Advanced Permaculture Principles with David Holmgren and Milkwood. In 2019 I completed an Advanced PDC to enhance my design skills. I am a Professional Member of Permaculture Australia and have been an active member and volunteer of Permaculture Central Coast since it’s inception in 2006. I am also a founding member of the Matcham Holgate Produce Share.

For more than 15 years I have facilitated many different workshops in sustainable living and waste avoidance for local councils throughout Central Coast, Greater Sydney and Hunter Region, including Central Coast Council and Hornsby Council. I have also facilitated workshops at local pre schools, primary and secondary schools and for community gardens. I have been a guest speaker at numerous sustainability festivals over the years including; Coastfest, Ecoburbia, Woytopia, Mad About Dirt and the Sustainable Future Festival. I have been interviewed on CoastFM and ABC Radio talking on Permaculture and sustainability.

“Design for me, as my personal permaculture expression, is designing to increase engagement and enthusiasm for living a permaculture life. How to translate the ethics and principles into our everyday.”

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a holistic, ethical and practical approach to living our lives more consciously and regeneratively. As part of nature, everything we do affects everything else.

Based on systems thinking, ecological principles and informed by indigenous knowledge, permaculture is a philosophy that has practical application in all aspects of our lives from food, to shelter, to energy, to water. All our material and non-material needs. It is not just an edible garden design system, but a way of life.

Permaculture Principles and Ethics diagram
Permaculture Principles and Ethics.
Source: permacultureprinciples.com
Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 A

“Instead of talking about what we don’t want, we need to focus on what we do want – and that is Permaculture.”

Interview with Permaculture Australia

Kerrie is interviewed by Julia from Permaculture Australia.

The Synergy Permaculture Patch

I am blessed to be living, learning and teaching on Guringai, Darkinyung and Awabakal land here on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Connection to Country is so very important and understanding we are all linked to this land, water, air and all the creatures, big and small. Everything we do, affects everything else. There is no us and them. There is no away. We are all custodians of this beautiful land and have an absolute responsibility to live with consciousness and accountability.

Two thirds of our small acreage is pristine rainforest, with a creek meandering through it. We are so privileged to call this home and to witness the amazing biodiversity of our natural environment.

Kerrie talking to visitors in her garden

Virtual tour of the Synergy Permaculture Patch during the 2023 Central Coast Edible Garden Trail

The other third of the property is under cultivation as an abundant permaculture garden, with numerous fruit trees, native food plants and a mixture of perennial and annual edibles. Some common edibles and some not so common edibles. There are many different nutrient cycling systems and building a healthy soil ecosystem is priority in everything we do.

An ephemeral pond is central in the garden design and creates habitat for all sorts of beautiful creatures. It is bounded by two mini swales, a poultry yard and a small food forest. In a nearby tree, the native bee hive is a place of much activity. It is the perfect place to inspire students with tours and practical strategies and activities to learn more about permaculture, regenerative living and edible gardening. A covered deck overlooking the rainforest is a beautiful sheltered space to sit and undertake the more theoretical learning.


Kerrie is a goldmine on the topic of permaculture. More importantly, as a mentor she meets you where you are at and supports you to build your confidence to take action

Silvia, 2022 student

Kerrie’s engaging approach makes her a popular speaker at gardening and sustainability events, sharing her knowledge and inspiring positive change.

Sandi, 2023 student

I am a proud Professional member of Permaculture Australia, the national permaculture member-based organisation