The Permaculture Movement first inspired Dan in 1988 when he commenced his undergraduate studies in Landscape Architecture at the University of NSW. He completed a PDC in 1999 and was awarded a Diploma in Permaculture in 2005.
On completion of his bachelors Degree in 1992, Dan embarked upon a 10 year restoration of the remnant saltmarsh wetlands of Tom Thumb Lagoon and broad scale revegetation of adjoining industrial landscape and an old landfill site. Laying the foundations for the GreenHouse Park Project that continues today.
In 1995 Dan moved to Port Kembla and over 17 years established an award wining integrated Permaculture home & garden and the Laneway Permaculture project, a kilometer long food forest on a neglected public thoroughfare.
During these years Dan was a practicing landscape designer of many integrated home & gardens; school & community projects; worked as a trainer and leader on youth environmental restoration programs; and was a founding member of and continues to serve the Port Kembla Community Project Inc. www.pkcp.org.au A leading community development agency in the Illawarra region.
In 1999 Dan completed a PDC with April Sampson Kelly of Permaculture Visions www.permaculturevisions.com and took up a posting in Kuala Lumpur as a professional designer with Permaculture Visions for a public listed company Sri Hartamas Berhad – pioneering Permaculture principles & practices to guide new urban developments.
In 2003, following 10 years of nurturing community, business, industry and government partnerships, Dan was invited to develop and implement a school Permaculture garden program with industry funding. Teaming up with Permaculturist, Educator & visual artist Aaron Sorensen the ‘Living Classroom & Garden Ambassadors Program’ was born.
10 years on in 2013, Dan and Aaron through their business partnership Elemental Permaculture have established the Illawarra region as a centre for school and community Permaculture gardens. Engaging schools & community through a participatory design approach and building community capacity through facilitating dynamic group & creative learning processes.
Dan’s professional development has been inspired by training with Permaculture educator Robyn Clayfield – Earthcare Education www.dynamicgroups.com.au & Permaculture mentor John Champagne – Brogo Permaculture Gardens www.permaculturedesign.com.au
In 2011-12 Dan consulted on Permaculture projects with Alam Santi in Indonesia including the Taman Petanu Eco Neighbourhood project Bali www.tamanpetanu.com and the EcoSolutions Lombok www.alamsantidesign.com
Dan continues to work as a permaculture designer and trainer in the Noosa Hinterland and Illawarra,he is a PDC trainer with Brogo Permaculture Gardens .
Aaron is a Permaculture teacher and designer who has been working with community gardens and school Permaculture gardens over the past 20 years. He is passionate about inspiring transformative change in his local Illawarra community by connecting people with nature and creating resilient urban food systems.
Aaron works with Dan Deighton as Elemental Permaculture, where their work synergizes the professions of Landscape Architecture, Education & Creative Learning, Environmental Restoration, Community Development & the Creative Arts with the guiding ethics, principles & practices of the Permaculture profession.