Robin and Mel harvesting tubers.
Robin and Mel harvesting tubers.

A new exciting dynamic team-up of mother and daughter is launching a new era at Djanbung Gardens. Robyn Francis, Djanbung owner, was joined by her daughter, Melian Fertl, who lived at Djanbung until 2003 when she moved to Melbourne to train and work as a fine food chef. In Sept 2012, Melian returned to live at Djanbung to work with Robyn and share the workload of managing Djanbung Gardens. Melian and her partner, Andrew Anderson, have brought fresh new energy into the Djanbung-PCA team.

Djanbung Gardens and PCA have gathered an exceptionally multi-talented, inspiring and dynamic team and network of local permaculturists, all passionate about both the Earthcare and Peoplecare aspects of Permaculture practicalities.

Permaculture College Australia Inc has a management committee and network of members who are involved in the courses and PCA operations at Djanbung Gardens, including Djanbung residents and members and staff living in the bioregion.


Robyn Francis international permaculture designer and educator since 1983, Robyn has been here from the very beginning when the land was purchased in 1993. She designed and project managed the development of the Djanbung Gardens training centre and demonstration farm, founded PCA and designs the APT training programs and curricula. Positions include PCA President and founding director of Permaculture International Ltd

Janelle Schafer is the PCA administrator, office manager and teaches parts of the PDC and Certificates III & IV program. With a background in fine arts and horticulture she completed her PDC with Bill Mollison and Jude Fanton in 1991. Her many qualifications include Conservation and Land Management and business management. Janelle teaches water systems, food forests & fruit trees, integrated weed and pest management, design for disaster and cccupational health and safety.

Melian Fertl joined the resident Djanbung team late 2012 after 9 years training and working in Melbourne as a fine food chef. Melian, Robyn Francis’ daughter, is managing the gardens and kitchen, catering residential courses and coordinating volunteers. Melian is passionate about healthy fresh local food, garden to table, networking with local producers and has joined the PDC teaching team.

Andrew Anderson joined the resident team late 2012 and brings a plethora of practical and creative skills to the team. In 2013 Andrew embarked on Cert III Permaculture studies and workes with his partner, Melian, in the management of the gardens and volunteers.

Guy Stewart completed his Diploma of Permaculture at PCA. He’s employed as Nimbin’s Sustainability initiatives coordinator, system designer at Rainbow Power Company and a director on the Permaculture Australia board. Guy has joined the PDC team and teaches the technology and renewable energy in the APT program. A wiz with Macintosh management and design software, web building and a myriad other skills, Guy conducts workshops in IT and how to use sketchup in Permaculture design work.

Annaliese Hordern is an inspiring, passionate Permaculture educator committed to evolving inclusive and interactive teaching style sessions, fostered by some of the great Permaculture pioneers. She has a degree in Environmental Resource Management and draws on her practical experiences from global ‘Eco Community’ living, localising food projects, curriculum development and design. She is based in the neighbouring Tweed Valley.

Lynne Oldfield has qualifications in video and media, organizing film events and has a wealth of practical knowledge and skills from many years of gardening, nursery work, food preservation, homesteading and as an active member of the local community.

Tracy Lewis has a background in animal care, and completed her trade Certificate III in Permaculture at PCA in 2010. She loved the place so much she came back to join the team on site for 2011. Tracy now lives on a community close to Nimbin and continues to be involved with and support the gardens and animal systems at Djanbung.

Thanks to all the wonderful people over the years who’ve been part of the team for a few months or years on your permaculture living learning journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *