Student Feedback

“I really enjoyed my PDC with Tom and everyone during my stay at PRI Sunshine Coast. It is probably one of the best things I have done in my life and I feel a lot more confident in designing. I can’t wait to apply all this knowledge now!” — Agronomist, PDC student 21 September 2015

“Tom made the course content manageable and thoroughly enjoyable. There was a wonderful and engaging community. Zaia has restored my love for food. Staying at Maungaraeeda was a life changing experience. Would recommend to all!” — PDC student 21 September 2015

“I feel that I really got what I came for out of the course – a theoretical base in Permaculture complemented by practical application. Building camaraderie between classmates was really encouraged and emphasised. Meals together really coalesced the group into a community. Food was fantastic. I also really enjoyed the dry toilets and the challenge to use little water.” — PDC student 21 September 2015

“I enjoyed the course very much. The form it was presented in suited my style of learning. Being able to interact with a working Permaculture farm reinforced the learnings. It is a great spot. Being tasked with the communal activities gave an insight into what to expect in this style of living. The food was great. Thanks very much Tom, Zaia and volunteers!” — PDC student 21 September 2015

“I really enjoyed the course. A good mix of theory and practical. Loved the group dynamics and the opportunities to work together (chores and tasks included). Communal activities were really useful to the overall experience. Food – BRILLIANT and inspiring.” — PDC student 21 September 2015

“The most incredible, insightful, knowledge rich experience I have had to date. I have been to many courses similar to this, but in terms of experiential knowledge, practicality and approachability of Tom, this surpasses all!” — PDC student 13 April 2015

“Words do not do the food justice, Zaia is a Master Chef!” — PDC student 13 April 2015

“I feel like I have found solace here in Kin Kin, over the 2 weeks we have become a big family. The facilities are continuously evolving and provide great examples of systems I can take back home and implement in my community.” — PDC student 13 April 2015

“Enjoyed it very much, learned a lot, much better than the online course!” — PDC student 13 April 2015, previous online PDC student

“I had an awesome time and learned a lot. I enjoyued class discussions and sharing of ideas. I can leave knowing I am well on my way to a more sustainable and earth friendly life, as well as knowing I have made lifelong connections. Learning to function and communicate throughout the course was an enlightening experience. I realised how peaceful and co-operative we can be. The facilities are great. Thank you for providing me with the knowledge and experience of living in harmony and alignment with our planet. I have been inspired to continue this way of living. The food……speechless :)” — PDC student 13 April 2015

“I greatly enjoyed this course. Facilities excellent examples of Permaculture in action in an overall design that shows evolution. I enjoyed communal activities, facilities and especially food which was exceptional, awesome and healthy!” — PDC student 13 April 2015

“I enjoyed everything! Starting with the property, everything working together and efficient. Reducing and reusing every single thing. It is a good example for everybody in the world. Special gratitude for our master Tom Kendall and for Zaia. Appreciated every single meal with everybody together. THIS IS PERMACULTURE! The food is the BEST! Organic, holistic and made with so much love by our master Zaia! A special thanks!” — PDC student April 2015

“I enjoyed everything in the course. Food is excellent, classes are very clear and useful, it is very good to have an opportunity to do some practical activities.” — PDC student 13 April 2015

“The course and facilities were fantastic. Tom is a wonderful knowledgeable teacher, he was able to include everybody and made sure no-one was left behind. Everybody was made to feel as though they were included and appreciated. The food was varied and delightful.” — PDC student 13 April 2015

“Excellent course, well done! The course has really altered my approach to agriculture and farming!” — PDC student 13 April 2015

“Food is amazing and plentiful. Very important!” — PDC student 26 January 2015

“Really enjoyed the course. Perfect stepping stone to many opportunities. I have learned observation skills, new outlooks to design and environment. Things during the course were done quite orderly; I liked being involved with chores and having responsibility. I hope to continue my adventure with permaculture and become part of the permaculture family!” — A.K., student PDC 26 January 2015

“The PDC was an epic course. We covered some awesome material. I learned something new every minute or so. I loved the mornings with the animals. The communal chores were great! Definitely a life changing course!” — student PDC 26 January 2015

“It has been a stepping stone for me and an inspirational journey. I still have a lot to learn. It was very helpful. The practical opportunities really made difficult concepts a lot easier to understand. I really enjoyed the community of people and the lifestyle here at PRISC was definitely a special experience for me. I feel very blessed and at peace in this environment. The food was very delicious. Thank you Zaia, Tom, wwoofers and PRISC students for making it all happen!” — T.B., student PDC 26 January 2015

“I loved the course, it exceeded expectations! I really feel inspired now! Great food, easy to use and clean facilities.” — student PDC 26 January 2015

“I really enjoyed the course, Tom and the team are great, everyone nice and friendly. The food is great and healthy. I felt like being part of a family in a great, healthy environment.” — K.J., student PDC 26 January 2015

“AWESOME! So good to graduate after having been a volunteer on the farm! Lots of practical examples from the farm that talk to me. Very good to finally have all the design story and see the big picture; link everything as a whole! As usual the food was delicious, the people community fun and sharing the same interests.” — A.B., volunteer and student PDC 26 January 2015

“5 star, top notch!
– Informative teaching in and out of class
– Food was a lesson in itself
– Communal activities were a highlight for me
– Facilities were great, different!
– Food was beautiful

— Student, PDC 26 January 2015

“I loved this course! Tom did an amazing job of distilling Bill Mollison’s hefty textbook into a very cohesive, organized and inspirational two weeks. It has definitely changed the direction of my future, and stoked my lust for life. I don’t know if I just got really lucky, but everyone in my PDC group was a pleasure to get to know! I’m looking forward to some joint future projects. The farm and facilities are nestled in a lush oasis that has been a joy to wake up to every morning. And the food was spectacular! This course should be mandatory curriculum in all primary and secondary education. Thanks for sharing you knowledge and home with us!” — T.W., student PDC 30 November 2014

“I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the course and my experience during the two weeks. I will totally recommend the course to anyone else who is interested in Permaculture. The communal activities and facilities is a brilliant way to form a bond or to make it easier to relax with the other students and volunteers.” — Student, PDC 30 November 2014

“I have learned so many things in such a short space of time. Tom’s teaching style makes it very easy to learn. I have enjoyed the interaction with others. The teachings have opened my eyes to a whole new world and helped us immensely in planning our property and future and bringing us together on the same page. The accommodation in the cabin was very comfortable. Food was overly very good. The change in diet has challenged me, but I have learned new things in the kitchen, household chores and sanitary systems.” — L.S., student PDC 30 November 2014

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the 2 weeks completing the PDC. Tom delivers the content in a compelling way, incorporating both theory and practical. I enjoyed helping with the animals in the morning. The food was amazing and plentiful. The facilities were adequate – showers exceeded my expectations.” — Student PDC 30 November 2014

“The course was great and it was good to experience real life examples of systems with course content. Food is excellent and very well organised and prepared. I enjoyed doing the communal activities as well as the chores.”

“I’m now terminal! The course was amazing and so inspirational. Even after the second day I changed the way I look at the landscape. Tom and Zaia are brilliant teachers and always helpful, friendly and approachable. The PDC was exactly what I needed to formalise my dive into permaculture and open up a world of opportunities and inspiration. It was a great mix of theory and practical. I chose PRI Sunny Coast for the demonstration ability and seeing with our own eyes what we were learning about. Far exceeded my original expectations! And the food was incredible! Thank you!”  –Student PDC 21 Sept. 2014

“I thought the course was very well laid out. I can’t believe how much I learnt in just 2 weeks. Thanks Tom and Zaia. I will definitely recommend you to all my friends and family who are considering doing a PDC. We had a great group which made the 2 weeks unforgettable. It did indeed feel like a community. Cheers!” –Student PDC 21 Sept. 2014

“Really enjoyed the theory and seeing permaculture in action on the site. The group of students were great to be with and we’ve made some good connections for ongoing support. Tom is a wonderful and patient teacher who is passionate about bringing every student’s talents to light. Lots of fun to be with for the two weeks. Food was delicious and nourishing.” –Student PDC 21 Sept. 2014

“The course was really well laid out, specifically the practical vs. theory. It helped us understand all the concepts of permaculture. Zaia, Tom and Marlon were amazing hosts, opening their home and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better way to start my permie life! Thanks also to the volunteers! THE FOOD WAS AMAZING! I would pay to do the course so I could just eat that cake again!! Again, I loved every moment, the people made this course a delight and the two weeks went by way too fast!” –Student PDC 21 Sept. 2014

“The course was great. I really enjoyed the relaxed structure of the lessons. The food was all time. It is going to be hard to go back to cooking for myself.” –Student PDC 21 Sept. 2014

“I loved it. Tom is such a good teacher. Even not having a lot of experience and knowledge in Permaculture, I was able to understand everything he taught us. He made all of us feel really comfortable plus I had a lot of fun. Certainly an experience for life and a life change. This course was so inspiring. The activities were great and fun. The facilities were pretty good and well set up. Thanks Zaia for the amazing food you cooked us, everything so fresh, tasty and healthy. Thanks so much.” –Student PDC 21 Sept. 2014

“The course was run very well and delivered professionally. Tom has a clear way of presenting and explains concepts in an easy to understand format. The facilities were excellent and provided a comfortable working environment. Being able to view the concepts around the farm was a big help. The food was excellent and throughly enjoyed. Morning teas were always exciting. The facilities were very good, especially the lovely hot showers at the end of the day. Sitting around the student area with the other members of the course after dinner always produced interesting and thought provoking ideas.” –Student PDC 21 Sept. 2014

“Excellent! Tom’s character and work confirmed what he was teaching. Fantastic food of course! I don’t think I could have gotten a more well-rounded, relevant and diverse education than here. A true immersion and has given me hope and confidence to carry out what I have learnt and to share with others.” –Student PDC 27 April 2014

“Fabulous, would love to do more!” –Student PDC 27 April 2014

“Overall, I’ve really enjoyed the course – as Geoff and Tom said at the commencement, it is life changing. Tom is a great teacher, with a relaxed style and non-authoritarian approach. Having Geoff was an unexpected bonus!!! And of course, the food deserves a special mention – can’t wait to try out some of the dishes!” –Student PDC 27 April 2014

“Very inspiring, I was expecting to learn quite a bit, but I got a lot more! The enthusiasm, honesty and competence of Tom and Zaia went a long way to making it a very memorable and hopefully life changing experience.” –Student PDC 27 April 2014

“Zaia’s meals are exceptional. The meals were top restaurant quality.” –Student PDC 27 April 2014

“The course was well laid out. Tom’s knowledge and passion for permaculture was constantly on show. Zaia’s abilities and knowledge are totally complementary and tie all that knowledge together.” –Student PDC 27 April 2014

“The facilities are homey and very inviting! I loved the routine of each day, gathering in the student space, it is humble and cosy.” –Student PDC 27 April 2014

“I was surprised by the amount of knowledge I was able to accumulate in just two weeks, but it subtly snuck in. It is impossible not to learn here, whether it be from Zaia’s abundant kitchen, the vege garden or Tom’s unique array of farm gadgets, this place and this course are magical!” –Student PDC 27 April 2014

“I am glad I chose this place to do the internship, I learned a lot, gained practical experience which was my main goal. Additionally the food is good, Tom has a lot of patience and I really appreciated all the visits, meetings and excursions we did to understand the importance of community in Permaculture. Keep it up!”

“A life changing experience. Tom and Zaia are very passionate about permaculture and sustainable living. This 8 week internship gave me a lot of confidence to improve my teaching and skills and a bucket of motivation to start my permaculture life project.”

“A great way to get your head around the whole Permaculture approach with a wealth of practical information included. Tom’s practical background adds a lot to the credibility of the material. I will recommend it strongly to anyone looking to do a PDC!”

“For me it has been life changing and provided a blueprint for how I plan my future. Keep up the great work!”

“PRI Sunshine Coast’s PDC was fantastic! I enjoyed the pace and found class time to be well structured. Food and hospitality was exceptional! The only thing I’m not thrilled about is heading back to the ‘Big Smoke’!”

“I love the course (PDC). The pace and duration was good, Tom has such a sea of knowledge and experience, it’s a privilege to learn from him. It’s been a fruitful learning experience, thank you!”

“Great. Enjoyed the outdoor classroom, farm tours, practical examples; I’ve definitely had my eyes opened to very common-sense, essential and brilliant practical knowledge! I look forward to implementing it. Thank you very much!”

“I feel that Tom and Zaia have made an enormous commitment to bring us what they strongly believe in – they are demonstrating that being as self reliant as possible is achievable by education and continued learning, and hard work. It is such a large topic: Permaculture and Tom brings in much life experience and knowledge. Garden food is so good!” — L.G.

“I have enjoyed learning from Tom who has a gentle manner – lots of patience.” — T.B.

“I really enjoyed it, it has opened my mind to a lot of aspects. Loved eating real food, great detox!” — P.S.

“It was very inspiring and informative, totally well tutored by Tom, what a great, patient and informative teacher you are Tom!” — F.C.

“I’m currently doing my PDC with Tom Kendall, and I can tell you that this is a couple who walk the talk. I’m loving the atmosphere at the farm and Tom is an excellent teacher. You really have to see how he hugs his cows! If you are looking for a PDC you would do really well to consider doing it in Kin Kin.” — K.S.

“Recently I have completed my PDC with Tom Kendall, I was very happy with his broad knowledge of permaculture and his ability to relate the permaculture ways from rural to urban and micro to macro applications. Testament to his experience with large scale farming and his adaptability to his students needs. Toms capacity as a permaculture teacher is evident in the demonstration site, his home and his way of life all sustainable and in order. We could sit and observe Tom on a daily basis and it would be difficult to find one thing that is not in order with nature and Permaculture, I found this alone very inspiring and to witness Toms capacity to manage and build the demonstration site whilst teaching each day I commend highly and honourably. The majority of us (even some Permaculture teachers) have a lot to learn from Tom Kendall in his implementation of permaculture as his way of life and not something separate that he dabbles in. ” — B.M.

“Tom presented each lesson with not only a true knowledge of the material but with personal experience and interesting first hand illustrations. Tom held our interest from week to week and demonstrated the Permaculture Design principles and directives in a very understandable and practical manner. It is obvious that Tom has a passion for Permaculture and for what he is doing.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and felt that upon completion I had a good understanding of the Permaculture Design principles. I am able to put them to use immediately on my own property and also feel that I can offer my knowledge and understanding of Permaculture to others.
I would recommend Tom’s course to anyone who is interested in taking the Permaculture Design Course as I feel that the course actually exceeded my expectations and was a very enjoyable experience.” — S.B.

“Found it even more interesting than originally anticipated. The 2 weeks simply flew past which confirms this. Loved it all and rearing to put information to good use. Thank you so very much!” –K.B.

“It has given me an informed direction to head in and continue pursuing my dreams with confidence.”

“I enjoyed the course and appreciated the extra practical design elements Tom put in. Tom is a very lucid, patient and respectful teacher and this was reflected in his handling of controversy and general content.”

“Course was fantastic, everything I hoped it would be and more, Tom and Zaia are very welcoming and helpful at every step, the setting was fantastic, listening to the birds and the wildlife while studying, awesome, far better than any classroom. Tom is an excellent teacher with a vast knowledge on the subject who was also willing to learn from the class and their different experiences and points of view, always eager to discuss and explain in different ways for different styles of learning. Thank you both.” –S.D.

“I’m feeling inspired by the learning I’ve experienced and the connection and sharing with Tom and other students and kids. Felt like family. I’m feeling enthusiastic and empowered to take Permaculture Design to the next stage of my life., so I can share my knowledge with First Nation communities in the Kimberlies. Much gratitude.”

“Tom and Zaia are very welcoming. Tom has a very in depth knowledge of the topics and great practical experience. Chef was great! Food fresh from the garden, great to see it all in action!”

“Tom is a great teacher who passes on his vast knowledge in a practical and easy way. I reckon everyone should do a PDC!”

“It was wonderful! It’s great that Tom is so hands on and Zaia is organised. It was great to experience farm life and see a beautiful partnership / family life! Thank you so much!”“I am enthusiastic about this life experience, and I’ll keep it alive in my daily life, trying one day to become a real Permie! Thank you!”

“The course was great, so much info to take in. Each principle was backed up with examples, which was great.”“I feel so great, I do not know how to explain. Meeting new friends and doing new things in the nicest environment, I’m the one who should ask, how do you feel!”

“Thanks so much for a thoroughly enjoyable and ultra informative PDC. The friendly atmosphere and passion for Permaculture created an infectious thirst for knowledge amongst the group. Good luck with your future projects, I hope I can be involved in one sometime further up the road.”

“Have enjoyed the course, the time structure was good, the indoor/outdoor classroom was very pleasant. Catering throughout the course has been excellent, everyone eating together was extremely rewarding in setting an example of Permaculture community. Tom’s teaching style was easy going and relaxed, making it an excellent learning experience. Thanks!”

“I am so happy I decided to finally do a PDC! This course has provided me with a much more solid broad understanding of ecological sustainability and sustainable food production, as well as opening me up to a whole range of interesting techniques.”

“I think that Tom has been really resourceful with lots of knowledge. The hospitality and friendliness of Tom and Zaia was great. I would recommend the course to anyone who was interested in Permaculture. Thank you Tom and Zaia for everything. The things I have learnt I think I will take through life!”

“This course made me so excited about improving my future. I tried to join as much as possible in practical experiences as I could. I am glad there were so many practical experiences as they helped my learning.”

“WOW, what an amazing place you have here! I am so grateful for the experience of staying with you and seeing REAL Permaculture in action. You guys really do live the Permaculture way and are an incredible inspiration. WE NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU IN THIS WORLD :)”
— PDC graduate wwoofing with us.

Poem: a Gully Gold –by Karlee Burgess, student 20 May 2012 – 1 June 2012

On the Sunshine Coast
in a Gully Gold
There is a place
in a valley fold
where laws of alchemy are told

— They take brown leaves
Green grass and goo
from birds and beasts
and the nature loo
Then set it in a pile to stew
For 18 days, give or take a few

–The steamy heap the acolytes tease
with pitchforks to 55 degrees
Then laze around with cups of teas
While nature does the job with ease

–Is gold the object of their toil?
Uranium or maybe oil
Diamonds worthy of a royal
Or handy sheets of alcan foil

–Don’t be a fool, don’t be a muppet
Those things all leave the earth quite stuff-ed
And turn good people into puppets
But there is hope we can out-bluff-it

–For on the coast in a valley fold
Permies learn the skills of old
From weeds and leaves
And scraps and mold
Dross makes soil, true Gully Gold…

–note: apparently in Japanese “Kin” means gold

Poem by Francoise Chenovre, PDC student 11 November – 23 November 2012

This is the poem of swales in fields
That makes our food a higher yield
so come and join us in our plight
to spread the word and give all light

so come bring back paradise
cause we’re going to save the world
One swale at a time
and bring back seasons, humus and rhyme

A swale snakes sleepily by
bringing water to the dry
and areas and makes them lush
growing plants in a big big rush
so make the opportunity to celebrate
our new lush yielding fate
cause the old ways don’t work
the answer is not in money but in the dirt

Let’s take a different approach
away from relentless striving
we need to change our way of living
one swale at a time
so let’s stop talking and start digging
One swale at a time
and bring back seasons, humus and rhyme
one swale at a time

Tahlea Skennerton, PDC student 27 January – 8 February 2013 writes:

On Golden Gully Road you will find a place that can teach about living a sustainable life style and the Principles of Permaculture are learnt.

The gardens are full of colours which harvest yummy fruit and veggies, it is nice even in the dark.

The sounds of the birds make it peaceful through the day and the frogs and crickets will put you to sleep.

The mountains are so very high they nearly touch the sky.

Sometimes it was sunny, sometimes it rained, but it did not stop Tom teaching us about nature and how the systems work.

The surrounding of nature on Golden Gully are so beautiful.

The fresh clean air and the lovely dam made by Tom made it very relaxing.

Jim Martin, PDC student 21 September 2013 writes:

I’m a permculturist and I don’t care

coz I piss in bucket to wash my hair.

I compost my turds, to grow my food

aaaaand I’d chop and drop Tony Abbott if I could.