Meg McGowan and Graham King
We are qualified permaculture teachers, coaches, and designers who practice what we teach. We live on three and a half acres of unceded Aboriginal land on the NSW Central Coast that has been designed and evolved using permaculture for over 26 years.
We limit our work to our local region, believing that this is an active demonstration of both Earth Care and People Care.
We originated our unique training model, where students learn for the first half of the day and then ‘pay’ for learning by helping in our garden, because we wanted to make permaculture more widely available.
We also developed our trademarked Permacoach model, where people learn at their own pace from their own home.
We embrace diversity in all its forms and have taught people from every age group, many different nationalities and cultures, and from all the colours of the LBGTQI+ rainbow. Our Permacoach coaching model has been of particular benefit to people with a disability that makes it difficult for them to attend courses.
Please contact us with your permaculture questions. We love to chat, especially about permaculture!
Graham King (he/him)
Graham is a systems thinker with a background in IT. He understands patterns and processes and the way they work in nature. He also likes to build stuff, especially when he can keep something from land fill by doing so. He has designed and constructed drainage systems and a composting toilet that captures its own rainwater for hand washing, and invented a wood cradle to minimise the energy needed to turn branches into useable firewood. His design skills are continually applied to improving systems for catching, storing and sinking water, improving drainage and designing swales.
Graham has also designed and constructed learning aids to help students understand permaculture, including three dimensional topographic representations of his property and his region, and tools to help students measure slope and find contour.
Graham completed his PDC with the co-creator of permaculture, David Holmgren, and is a graduate of Rosemary Morrow’s teacher training course. He is the voluntary Treasurer of Permaculture Central Coast and an active member of their executive team.
With eleven years as a volunteer with the local Rural Fire Service, he knows how to assess risk and how to reduce risk using good design. Graham was on the front line during savage bushfires along the east coast of Australia in 2019-2020 and received a Premier’s citation and an Emergency Services Medal for his work as Deputy Captain and crew leader, and for coordinating the involvement of others as the brigade call out officer.
Graham has a degree in philosophy and volunteers at the local primary school teaching ethics. He is acutely aware of the threats posed by human damage to our planet and believes that helping people to recognise the broader consequences of their choices, through permaculture, is part of the solution. He also recognises the need for social change and the evolution of our society beyond a growth-based economy if the human family is to thrive while the diversity of our planet is protected.
Meg McGowan (she/her they/them)
As a recognised permaculture innovator and systems thinker, Meg loves applying the permaculture design model beyond the garden and took on the challenge of redesigning Permaculture Central Coast during their term as president from 2020 to 2022. They remain an active member of the PCC executive team.
Meg has also redesigned the Permaculture Design Course curriculum, introducing a design model and implementing best practice in adult education, including group-based and game-based learning. They are a co-founder of the Matcham Holgate Produce Share and administers the local community Facebook page as part of their commitment to getting more permaculture happening locally.
Meg’s driving force is a deep connection with the earth and a passion to protect and restore it. At a time when human damage is wreaking havoc, she sees permaculture as part of the solution. Teaching others to live well with less, and to leaving even a small bit of land in better condition than they found it can, in her opinion, have a cumulative impact. She is also an advocate for rebuilding community and connection as part of the necessary shift towards a resilient and thriving human future. She also recognises the need to address the big systems issues that impact both planetary and human health, including political and economic models.
Meg’s blog ‘Smarter that Crows’ is a collection of musings on a range of topics, including systems redesign and best practice in teaching permaculture. She is also responsible for generating content on the Permacoach social network, including the Permacoach Facebook page, and her popular instagram account at Permacoach_me.
In 2021, Meg was presented with a Merit based Diploma in Permaculture by their teacher and mentor, Rowe Morrow on behalf of the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute. Meg’s Diploma submission outlines the innovative work she has undertaken. The Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute list of graduates includes this description of Meg’s work:
The Merit Diploma in Permaculture Design was awarded to Meg McGowan for her extensive and original integration of permaculture into her teaching, her methodology and her local community. She is one of first teachers to encourage her students to move from ‘me’ to ‘we’.
Our Fair Share commitment
We recognise the immense privilege of our circumstances and the obligation that comes with it. We allocate a minimum of 10% of our income to supporting people in the majority world, either through direct donation or through donations to charities that support them. We do not fly overseas to teach, and prefer to support local teachers in their own communities.
We also donate to Australian charities that support Aboriginal people, the protection and regeneration of wild places, the rescue of native flora and fauna and the reform of social systems. We encourage everyone to embrace the ethic of Fair Share so that we can share in creating a more equitable world.