PermaBuddy to pilot in the Huon

PermaBuddy to pilot in the Huon

Circular Economy Huon (CEH) is one of 17 community groups across the state to be successful in the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) grant round 40.

CEH is partnering with wayraparattee Child and Family Centre and local permaculture teacher Penny Milburn to pilot the PermaBuddy Project in the Huon.

The pilot project is the leading effort in determining the scalability of the programme, prior to implementing it in other communities throughout Tasmania.

PermaBuddy is a series of workshops and an on- going support platform for families with young children aged between birth and five years, during which parents will gain the knowledge and skills they need to establish a backyard food garden, and will learn how to safely utilise organic waste as a resource.

The project name is based on the concept of utilising permaculture solutions to help communities achieve a permanent, healthy and resilient culture, with support along the way – PermaBuddy.

The children will learn about where healthy food comes from, compost and beneficial bugs through observation, discovery, ex- ploration, creation and hands on experiences.

In addition to fostering healthy eating habits, the children’s activities in PermaBuddy are designed to improve physical health by promoting outdoor activities, and are also focused on increasing literacy and language skills, while having a positive impact on motivation and behaviour.

“PermaBuddy is a holistic approach to learning that recognises the connectedness of mind, body and spirit,” said Penny.

“The project pays attention to children’s physical, personal, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, as well as cognitive aspects of learning.

“The integrated approach focuses on connections to the natural world and will foster the children’s capacity to understand and respect the interdependence between people, plants, animals and the land.”

Penny has taught Certificate IV in Permaculture online for TAFE NSW since 2011 and said she is thankful that TCF is sup- porting a project that will enable Tasmanian communities to receive the benefits of her expertise.

PermaBuddy is also being sponsored by Huon Valley Community Bank, Clennett’s Mitre 10 Huonville, Men’s Sheds in Geeveston and Huonville, Huon Valley Timber and the Huon News.

Penny said that permaculture is a pro-active approach to building resilient communities.

“We applied for funding to deliver the PermaBuddy Project in mid-March, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, because food security and the need for improved community resilience are not new issues,” said Penny.

“But since the crisis, we have seen panic buying at the supermarkets and a surge of people wanting to grow their own food, with seeds, seedlings and even chickens selling out in many outlets.”

Penny hopes that people remain motivated to establish their own food gardens through the recovery from COVID-19, to ensure that the community is less vulnerable to the impacts of a crisis of any nature.

TCF is an independent fund that supports and strengthens Tasmanian communities by distributing funds to those communities.

TCF is now taking steps to assist Tasmanians during the COVID-19 pandemic by bringing forward the announcement of its latest round of grants and calling for applications for projects which respond specifically to the impacts of COVID-19 on local communities.

TCF Chair Sally Darke said that, while the needs of the Tasmanian people continue to grow and change during the pandemic, the fund has adapted to meet those needs in this unprecedented time.

“There are many community groups and individuals who can help lead Tasmania through the recovery,” she said.

“The TCF saw the importance of a COVID-19 specific round to support communities to connect and rebuild.”

Small, medium and large applications are being called for across three streams, which open on July 11.

Visit the TCF website at or contact the office on 6165 8333 for more information.