An article on permaculture’s history – from 1972 onwards – supplied to the New Internationalist magazine by Steve Payne and Russ Grayson, 2007…
“1972-1976 — the formative years
THE STORY OF PERMACULTURE begins in the early 1970s in Tasmania, Australia.
There, it starts with two men – a teacher and student. But let’s go back before they got together, back to their formative years, for it is here that we find the influences that set those two on a course that would intersect… a course that would create something new from the social and political turmoil of that decade.
Origins – Bill Mollison
Bill Mollison was born in 1928 in the small fishing village of Stanley, on the Bass Strait coast of cool-temperate Tasmania.
Bill Mollison in 2008
He left school at 15 to help run his family’s bakery. Among the jobs that followed were mill worker, seaman, animal trapper and shark fisherman. A rough brew for someone who would become an environmentalist, they led him to nine years at the Wildlife Survey Section of the CSIRO (Australia’s government science research organisation) and then time with the Inland Fisheries Commission of Tasmania. What the two latter jobs provided were long stints in the wild forests and coasts of Tasmania, closely monitoring the life of those ecosystems. It was this time in nature that was formative to Mollison’s ideas on ecology and on how the provision of human needs, such as agriculture, could make use of those structures and processes he observed…”