Australasian Permaculture Convergence 14 (APC14)

Meet the APC14 team

The team that make it happen!

Find out who we are and what we do

The team...

Penny Kothe

Farm Girl (herb and vegetable grower, cook, marketing, research, observation and assisting with larger projects).

Raised in Tumbarumba in the NSW Snowies, then Sydney and later Mudgee and the north coast of NSW. Coming from a farming family with a great interest in gardening, Penny feels right at home on the open spaces of the farm. Penny became interested in studying horticulture, then permaculture and holistic management and is continuing to learn and apply these principles each and every day. She completed her PDC with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton in 2012 as well as various courses including Forest Gardens, Natural Bee Keeping, Urban Permaculture and Holistic Management. She has recently completed a Diploma in Organic Farming.

Robyn Rosenfeldt
Programmation team

Robyn lives in Pambula on a two and a half acre property on the edge of town. She live there with her partner, three beautiful children, and at last count three sheep, four chickens a rooster and five ducks.

Robyn got into permaculture through a love of gardening and growing her own food but soon realised permaculture was so much more than gardening. After completing her PDC (permaculture design certificate) she realised it was her mission to combine her passion for permaculture with her love of publishing, photography and writing and create Pip Magazine. Pip is the magazine for the Australian permaculture community.


Felicie Vachon

Felicie and her partner are currently house sitting around the Bega Valley, getting inspired by different permaculture properties, country houses and farms. They are getting to know very well the area they’ve chosen to live in.

She was working as a graphic designer until she realised her city routine had no meaning and her 60 cent supermarket apples were pretty tasteless. She quit her life and went on a sustainable journey around the world, volunteering on farms and permaculture properties.
Here journey took her to Sydney where she did herPDC with John Champagne. She followed John back to his Bega Valley.

Cally Brennan
Venue Coordinator

Cally lives in Canberra with her partner and 5 year old daughter. They are converting their suburban block into a permaculture food garden with the aim it will become a demonstration and education space for what is possible in urban permaculture. She runs Canberra Permaculture Design and also works part time in the public service.

Cally grew up in Scotland, and always had a vegetable patch as a child, cementing a lifelong love of growing food. Her interest in permaculture began in 2009, when she joined and later coordinated community group, PermablitzACT. In 2011, she received a Permaculture Design Certificate with teachers John Champagne and Phil Gall. In 2016 she obtained an Advanced Permaculture Design Certificate. She is fascinated by passive water harvesting techniques, and for many years has experimented with wicking beds, earning her the nickname ‘wicking witch of the west’.

John Champagne
Program Coordinator

John’s long involvement in permaculture began when he completed a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in Chiltern, Victoria in 1992 with Vries & Hugh Gravestein.

It became both a life path and career. With his partner Sharon, 22 years ago they established Brogo Permaculture Gardens in the Bega Valley, NSW, a demonstration site to showcase permaculture on 4.5ha. John’s work as a design consultant includes private properties, eco-villages, community and school gardens.

John has played the voluntary role of a bioregional strategist in his community, and has been President of South East Producers for 15 years which focuses on building a local food economy. He is recognised as an elder within the Permaculture movement in Australia and was on the board of directors of Permaulture Australia (PA) for three years and is currently the convenor of Permafund, PA’s charitable funding arm.


Emilie Charles
Volunteer Coordinator

Emilie has travelled from Europe to Australia in order to practice permaculture and accumulate as much knowledge as possible before going back to France to set up a permaculture farm with her partner Yoann Tocquet.

She has been so happy with the community of people met through the internship at Caroola farm with Penny Kothe that she got involved in events around permaculture and food, inclunding APC14 – for which she took on the volunteer coordinator role 🙂

James Innes
Finance, Admin & Logistics

James and his wife Leisa are starting with a blank canvas to develop Three Gullies Farm at Mount Fairy applying permaculture principles to imagine, design and create their mixed farming enterprise.

James is passionate about working with and supporting people to connect with, learn about and develop local food production and market opportunities. He brings that enthusiasm to his work with the Southern Harvest Association which has the vision of growing local and regional food communities in the ACT and South East NSW through education, market opportunities, networking and advocacy.

Originally from North Queensland, James has thirty years professional experience of applied social science for environmental management and community development work.

Yoann Tocquet
Website administration

Yoann had always wanted to be an herbalist. What to do with website administration? Well that’s one thing he knows to do!


Photos and design by Fiona Campbell and Russ Grayson as contribution from Permaculture Australia.

Logo design:

Logo design by Richard Telford from Permaculture Principles.