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Robin’s leading edge 6 day training at Crystal Waters in SE Q’ld has become an annual event while she does her best to retreat to write her next series of books about the ‘Dynamic Groups’ Methodology. 

This next course will be the last she personally organises till late 2016 though she has been invited to Melbourne for a ‘Dynamic Groups’ course in February and WA in September for one preceding the Australasian Permaculture Convergence. It takes a lot of time and energy to organise and host a course so Robin’s said she’ll only present the if she’s invited and the host does the organisation and promotion. This year’s November course will see Erin Young join Robin as her assistant. Erin has done Robin’s Dynamic Groups Course previously and supports her work in many ways as well as collaborating on group decision making processes and particularly with Sociocracy. FoodHealthyDGCW2013

The course is fully residential, features delicious, often organic and locally sourced food and is offered for a ‘Sliding Scale’ price range so people pay what they can afford depending on their income.

It is also available via a payment plan option if needed.

Click this link to see the poster

This link to the FaceBook event page 

To enquire or book email robin@earthcare.com.au

She’ll answer any queries and send you the poster and a rego form if requested.

Participants from Robin’s ‘Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning’ courses go back into the world, back to their groups and into their workplaces and communities with a huge toolbox of processes to try out, adapt and share with their groups plus the confidence and ability to create whatever they need for any group or learning situation.

puppetsSeveral past participants from the courses attended Robin’s session at the Permaculture Convergence in Tasmania recently and took on Robin’s challenge to jump in the deep end and lead the group of 35 people with a favourite processes they’d gleaned, modified or adapted from the Dynamic Groups course. Tamara Griffiths, Permaculture teacher from Victoria was one of them. She used a card game. Pete the Permie had some fun with puppetry and Dick Copeman from Northey Street City Farm had us cross crawling as an energiser. Here’s what Tamara wrote about the process she used.

“I’ve done three of Robin’s DG courses now. Its probably why I love teaching so much – because its so creative and my brain loves it. I think the students love it too, my classes are pretty fun – even for serious topics like earthworks! The process I showed in Tassie stemmed from my trip to Antarctica last summer. I found an Antarctic food web sheet of stamps at the only post office in Antarctica, in Pt Lockroy. I immediately thought I’m going to use this as a teaching tool for ecology in my PDC. So I blew up the stamps onto A3 and cut out individual animals. Then came the fun part – on the back of each animal I wrote up what it ate and who ate it. Down there krill is the keystone species so I made sure I had variations available on the phytoplankton populations that vary with ocean temperature. I used abut 100m of ribbon (in different colours of 10m each) and asked who has phytoplankton – they then read out the card. I handed them the ribbon. Then I asked who eats the plankton – someone said “yes” and read out their card. As it was a connection I gave them the ribbon and repeated the process until everyone had had a go and the whole group was connected as in an ecosystem. I then said that the ocean was warm that year and there were less diatoms – which is the krill’s favourite food. The person holding the krill dropped the ribbon and then it cascaded through the ecosystem showing how collapse works.”

More than a year has passed since Robin began in earnest writing the first in a series of books documenting over 20 years of training teachers, group leaders and facilitators.

Book I, outlining the methodology and giving examples, activities and some processes to use, is almost half written. It has attracted a dedicated team of proofreaders, assistants and an editor over the months, namely Ange Jackson, Erin Young, Tracy Adams and Eve Witney. Robin’s partner Rob Clark is working on the artwork for the cover and for two card games that will be ready for launching before the book is completed. Prof Stuart Hill is reading the book with a view to writing the forward. It’s still early days, though Robin aims to have it in print in the first half of 2016.

Here’s a sample activity from the ‘Empowerment’ chapter in Book 1 under the section of ‘Working from the Heart’. Heart FB

ACTIVITY: Have a conversation with your heart. Begin a journalling exercise starting with the question “Heart, one who really knows what’s best for me, what work brings me the most satisfaction? What brings me joy? What am I most passionate about?” 

State writing down spontaneously any answers that come to you. Do your best not to ‘think’. Don’t stop. Just keep writing even if it’s not all making sense or fluent. Stop only to read the question over again and begin writing once more.

Take time to reflect at the end.As a result of what you’ve written, now consider if there are any things you may feel to add more of into your life or allow to drop away.

Contact Robin if you’d like to register interest in the books or to support with funding the initial print run of Book I. Email – robin@earthcare.com.au

Sacred Union LabyrinthWoodford Folk Festival, held in December for 6 days each year, is the biggest and most acclaimed festival of it’s kind in Australia. For the last two years Robin and her troupe of installation artists, ceremony weavers and musicians have made her design of ‘The Sacred Union Labyrinth’ as a 10 x 10 meter meditative walk that patrons can experience any time during the festival. Sacred Union LabyrinthA magical pathway leads through a bamboo construction heart entranceway and via a series of pennants that give instructions about how to walk the labyrinth. Four times during the festival she and Mark Healy, who was the spark behind Robin designing the labyrinth, with support from Christine Clegg, Rob Clark and Stephane Cazard, lead sacred community ceremonies accompanied by a merry band of four musicians to the delight of everyone involved. The whole installation was embellished with Rob Clark’s amazing sign art and this last year by Glen Christie’s beautiful sculptural art pieces. Facilitating community ceremony is one of Robin’s big passions and it is no doubt hoped, by the thousands who walked the Labyrinth, that it becomes a permanent feature of the festival for years to come. Fingers crossed! There’s now a special FaceBook page for the Labyrinth. Click here to like the page

For the second year running now Crystal Waters Community Co-op has organised a PDC (Permaculture Design Course) with Max Lindegger as the key Teacher. Robin’s been a guest presenter each time. 

The sessions she presented in April addressed ‘Making an income as a Permaculture Practitioner, ‘Group work and Group Dynamics’ to prepare the group to work together in small groups for their property design activity and Prepping for the Design phase. 10297959_549725981810560_8454461855332025036_nThis last topic saw Robin lead an exercise involving her ‘Patterns in Nature’ Card game where everyone got to design something inspired by nature’s patterns. She also introduced scale rulers, flexi curves, circle templates and hand drawn templates made to scale  as tools the groups could use.

To stay in touch about PDC’s at Crystal Waters visit  http://crystalwaters.org.au/permaculture-design-course/