• 'Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning' Creative teachers, Facilitators and Group Leaders Courses

    6 day trainings, shorter workshops and consultancy

  • Robin's Full Re-edited, Reformatted 3rd Edition Book

    Now over 5000 copies sold

  • Robin's New Dynamic Groups Book Due for Release Mid 2016

    Robin's partner Rob Clark has just produced a stunning flier about it

  • Brand New 'Permaculture Principles Card Game'

    PLUS 'Creative Process Wild Cards'

  • Introducing ELFy The Magician to the World

    DaDarrr! Mascot, champion and colourful jigsaw puzzle symbol for Dynamic Groups

  • 'The Love Feast' Dynamic Relationships Retreat and Methodology

    Shorter workshops and private couples sessions available

Recent Posts

Jam Packed Victorian Tour

Robin recently completed a massive five week teaching and facilitation journey in Victoria, timed around an invitation to present at ‘Rainbow Serpent Festival’ and also enabling her to present at ‘Sustainable Living Festival’ and display her relevant books and resources there while helping out in the Edible Garden Area.

Rainbow Serpent festival and Social permaculture with Robin Clayfield
Night Lighting in the Lifestyle Village with Cocoon Venue in the Background

‘Rainbow Serpent Festival’ was a fantastic and wildly different event which mostly catered to young people out to dance and party hard. The more recently introduced ‘Lifestyle Village’ area opens the festival to a wider more conscious audience which is where Robin was invited in to be part of. It’s replete with a visionary art gallery, two ephemeral temple spaces, a small and a quite large presentation and workshop venue as well as a Permaculture garden area, Indigenous village, free healing and massage zone and children’s area. Robin presented two workshops on Permaculture design and Social Permaculture and was the only woman and only Australian on a five person panel which explored ‘Future Thinkers – What Comes Next for the World?’ as the culminating presentation of this years Lifestyle Village. In amongst fiery debate and strong masculine presence Robin held her own and brought a balanced, informative and much needed nurturing touch to the panel of international speakers and brought Permaculture and other important streams forward passionately. Social Permaculture with Robin Clayfield

A full house welcomed Robin to present her ‘Social Permaculture’ one day workshop for several Transition Towns groups, organized by Julie French and Transition Banyule. Great feedback was received and Robin enjoyed meeting and working with the group very much.

Robin swapped hats for three days and became a student while being hosted by her dear friend and training assessor Virginia Solomon. She spent much of the time documenting everything she could manage to prove her competency in 11 Diploma of Permaculture units to show RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning).

Spirit Care Permaculture
PeteThePermie with a Chain Saw Sculpture in her Spirit Care Area on the Farm

Next up was a ‘Dynamic Decision Making’ one day workshop and a six day ‘Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning’ course up in the Dandenong’s at Telopea Mt Permaculture hosted and organized by Pete the Permie and Sylvia on their Heritage Fruits farm, nursery and teaching site. Wow! What an amazing example of Permaculture in practice and bringing Permaculture right into the heart of Social Enterprise with a goodly dash of Spirit Care on the side and many tasty farm treats for the satisfaction of all.

Permaculture Animals
Lamas are part of the Menagerie at Telopea Mt Permaculture Farm and Nursery

A highlight of the ‘Dynamic Groups’ course was having two gentlemen over 70 in the group and a diversity of mature women mixed with more youthful energy. Also, witnessing Pete’s naturally supportive way of applying ‘Natural Succession’ in a Social Permaculture sense through mentoring and active encouragement with many opportunities for his students, supporting the next generation of teachers in his area. Brilliantly done. Visit Telopea Mt Permaculture website by clicking here

Sand Pit Creative Process in Dynamic Groups Teaching Permaculture Creatively
Sand Pit Process in the ‘Dynamic Groups’ Course

Robin’s presentation at SLF (Sustainable Living Festival) was next to Federation Square, on the banks of the Yarra River. It was very well received and attended by founding members of both Common Ground and Moora Moora Communities as well as Murundaka Co-housing members. Titled ‘Seeds For Change – Social Permaculture’ with the subtitle ‘Permaculture, Social Design and the Environment, ‘The Shed’ was the perfect venue and allowed Robin to turn it into a socially designed space, in a circle with rotating rings so most people could see and interact with each other in the creatively facilitated session. Click here for more about session & SLF

 Melbourne Permaculture business wizz and mentor Ed Walter whisked Robin away at the end of the festival to drive her, and all her luggage and left over books and resources, to her next engagement, a guest teaching spot in David Holmgren’s PDC at Rocklyn Ashram near Creswick and Hepburn. Ian Lillington extended the invitation and Robin jumped at the opportunity of presenting on ‘Health and Spiritual Well Being’ in a Permaculture course, this topic being one of the domains in David’s much revered book ‘Permaculture Principles – Pathways Beyond Sustainability’. The peace and tranquillity of the gardens, buildings and the residents made a perfect setting for the course and Robin’s visit was timely, well received and inspiring to many. 

Barwon Heads Community Arts Garden Entrance fence section
Barwon Heads Community Arts Garden Entrance fence section

After a few days visiting family in Western Victoria Robin completed her journey with three restful and lovely days catching up with Permaculture friend Wendy Marchment in Geelong where she got to visit a community garden, a recycled shipping container café and spend a little time with Wendy supporting Robin’s work on her new book.

Community Garden Permaculture Geelong
Robin with Wendy Marchment at Barwon Community Garden

All in all a fantastic, fruitful and richly satisfying adventure.

Robin would like to thank all her hosts, the organisers of her courses, workshops and presentations, those who drive her around and showed many kindnesses, friends old and new, the participants in all her sessions and all who bought her books and resources. THANK YOU 🙂 It is through your support and the shared journey that we all make together that social enterprises like Robin’s are able to grow and evolve and support our beautiful world.

‘Dynamic Teaching and Facilitation’ Book

Things are moving slowly with Robin’s writing of the five book series, though the two card games that are part of the project have been successfully launched – the ‘Permaculture Principles Card Game in September last year and the Creative Process Wild Cards in November. All the wild cards fed straight into the chapter that’s being worked on at the moment in Book 1, the ‘Tool Box’ chapter. SliderCard SetsSmallFileAs well as the 60 Creative Processes in the card set, the chapter will highlight many other processes, some that act as ‘Glue Processes’, serving the function of supporting the group to work well together, meet and greet and make the most of the material and the time spent together. Ice-Breakers, Name Games, Grouping Processes, Revision Processes and Check-In’s are a few examples. 

Permaculture Teacher Training
Brian-storm for 5 Book Series Project

Also included will be many conventional processes that, even though not creative or participatory, still are valid as ways to present content or teach specific information. Ways to tweak them to be more engaging, fun and memorable will be outlined to support teachers, facilitators and group leaders to have the biggest and best tool box ever.

To register interest in staying in touch for when the first book in the series is launched email Robin by clicking here

The Joining and Being Woman… Facilitation and Ceremony

Every year Robin facilitates at several gatherings, festivals and conferences around Australia and sometimes overseas. Two gatherings that are closest to her heart and that’s she’s also involved in the behind the scenes support and the ceremony creation and energy holding are ‘The Joining’ held around the spring equinox and ‘Being Woman…’ held close to International Women’s day. 

Being Woman Women's Empowerment Circle
Being Woman Women in Circle

This year’s Being Woman… gathering had the powerful theme of ‘Freedom to Fly’ and supported approximately 70 women relax, deepen, share, create, empower, dance, release, heal, cry, laugh, hug and generally have a wonderful 2 ½ days away on retreat in the Mary Valley.

Click here for a link to the FaceBook page

and Click here to go to the Website

The Joining is fast approaching this year and promises to be an expansive, deep and nourishing time. The theme is ‘Weaving the Invisible Threads of Community’. Men and Women come together to connect, explore, heal, communicate, challenge themselves, have fun, dive deeply and grow. The next gathering is from 22nd to 25th September.

The Joining Gathering
The Joining Theme and Art work for 2016

Click here for the link to the Facebook page

and click here to go to the Website

The Sacred Union Labyrinth at Woodford Folk Festival, Qld

Woodford Folk festival attracts 120,000 visitors over a six day period from 27th December to 1st January each year. For three years running Robin has coordinated and enjoyed immensely participating in creating ‘The Sacred Union Labyrinth’ as an art instillation and community ceremony space.

Photographed in the Sacred Union Labyrinth during the 2015-16 Woodford Folk Festival near Woodford, Queensland, Australia.
The Sacred Union Labyrinth

It takes weeks of gathering materials, a full week to construct and one and a half days to return to nature at the end. Much maintenance is required to keep the space fresh and beautiful throughout the festival for literally thousands of people to walk. Four sacred ceremonies are held, where participants walk the Labyrinth to live music. The ceremonies are facilitated by Robin, Mark Healy, Christine Clegg, Stephane Cazard and Rob Clark.

The Sacred Union Labyrinth at Woodford Folk Festival with Robin Clayfield and Rob Clark
Robin Clayfield and Rob Clark walking The Sacred Union Labyrinth

Robin is deeply honoured to share her design with the world in this expansive and supported way and acknowledges Mark for his spark of inspiration, Rob for his co-dreaming of the project and stunning sign and visual art and Christine and Stephane for bringing their creativity and flair and being such a big part of the innovative team of 15 people that crafts such beauty and sanctuary.

The journey promises to continue into future festivals and you can follow the documentation of the journey on the dedicated FaceBook page for The Sacred Union labyrinth. Click here to like the page

The Sacred Union Labyrinth at Woodford Folk Festival
Making the Labyrinth Paths in the First Ceremony

The Labyrinth’s lead musician Andy Copeman has recently written an instrumental piece called ‘Labyrinth’ inspired by the Woodford ceremonies. He has produced a stunning video track, accompanied by footage his partner Laurel Heffron took in Ceremony in the Labyrinth at last year’s festival. Click here to view and listen

Successful Trip to England, Wales and Spain

Robin spent a full 5 weeks in August and September 2015 on an amazingly full and fruitful adventure to UK and Spain, presenting courses in three countries, attending the International Permaculture Conference and Convergence, offering workshops there and also on the core facilitation team for an exciting global Permaculture initiative called Permaculture’s Next Big Step. She came home exhausted yet deeply satisfied at the response to her work and managed to cover the costs of her trip and sell lots of books, manuals and training resources that went home to dozens of different countries. One outcome is invitations to offer her ‘Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning’ Creative Facilitation and Teacher Training course in something like 7 European countries and the UK again in the middle months of 2017.

PermaMed Creative Facilitation Workshop
One of our hosts in Mallorca with the Paella he made for our lunch

Her trip began in the Mediterranean, on the Spanish island of Mallorca where she was hosted by PermaMed to run a one day Creative Facilitation workshop. RuMi had made the invitation three years previously so it was a joyous day to finally connect these two dynamic women.

Next stop was the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire, England to offer ‘Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning’ as a five day training for dedicated Permaculture people, with Looby Macnamara, author of ‘People and Permaculture’ as her special guest facilitator.

Lammas Eco Village Hub building
The Beautiful ‘Hub’ Community Building at Lammas

A quick trip to Wales saw Robin spend less than two fabulous and very interesting days at Lamas Community, the first legal Eco-village in UK. Robin was there to support her friend Robin McCurdy from NZ present an Earth Nature Spirit Workshop. While there resident and natural house builder Jasmin Dale and Robin celebrated their reconnection after 15 years since Jasmine did her PDC with Robin in Australia.

Social Permaculture in UK with Starhawk, Looby Macnamara, Robina McCurdy, Peter Cow and Robin Clayfield
The Amazing Facilitation Team at the Social Permaculture Course in UK

Back at the Sustainability Center Robin linked up with Starhawk (US), Looby (UK), Robina (NZ) and Peter Cow (UK) to facilitate a five day Social Permaculture course, joined by 40 participants and several staff from the center. Wow! This certainly was a full, rich and powerful time.

Watch some of the highlights here.

The IPC UK (International Permaculture Convergence) attracted people from approximately 60 to 70 countries who spent two days in central London at the Conference and five days in Essex for the Convergence. Highlights for Robin were catching up with many old and new friends, launching her new ‘Permaculture Principles Card Game’ to a very appreciative audience and facilitating with StarHawk, Jennifer English, Andy Goldring and others as the core facilitation team to support Permaculture to be more able to strategically respond to global issues and challenges.

Permaculture and the Next big step
Permaculture’s Next Big Step Initiative with Robin on the Facilitation in UK
Australians at International permaculture Convergence
Many of the Australians at IPC UK

Called Permaculture’s Next Big Step Initiative, Robin greatly enjoyed the culmination of 15 months Skype meetings across several countries in the lead-up and finally being able to weave in many other keen Permaculture practitioners in the five afternoon sessions on topical themes and interests. 

Robin’s trip ended with two relaxing, informative and beautifully hosted days with Jo Barker in Canterbury, recouping and visiting and eating from forest gardens she’d designed and implemented.

Forest Garden feast of Mandala Salad
127 Ingredients for the ‘Mandala Salad’

Jo did an ‘Advanced Permaculture Creative Teachers Facilitation course with Robin and Skye 17 years previously when they were in UK training teachers so this was a great way to reconnect and complete such and awesome journey so many years later. Jo’s speciality is following up with her clients and together picking as many edible salad ingredients as possible to share a meal together. Her previous record was 80 something and on this occasion all records were broken and a massive 127 ingredients were picked from the back yard Forest Garden visited. As you can see from the photo there were many edible flowers and from all accounts the lunch was absolutely delicious.

Seeding Social Permaculture

“Social Permaculture supports People Care and healthy Group Culture”  – Robin Clayfield

Softening the Edges
Social Permaculture and Beyond

There was a special charge in the air and woodland gardens at the Sustainability Centre in the British Countryside. It was here, under the full moon, that a colourful mosaic of people from all ages, languages, cultures and countries was woven together, representing the fabric of the World Community. We met in a circle, bright eyed and open to a creative journey ahead. What followed could not have been known by anyone, not even the facilitators. The Social Permaculture Course emerged through a series of interaction between the core facilitators, a team of apprentices and a host of participants, shaping itself like a permaculture design to the site specific situation, elements and energies, influences and ideas that sprang out of this incredible transformational environment.

At the heart of this new magic was four incredibly powerful and pioneering women of permaculture; Starhawk from the USA, Robina McCurdy from New Zealand, Robin Clayfield from Australia and Looby Macnamara from England. Integrating the male element was Peter Cow, an inspired and inspiring permaculture designer also from the United Kingdom. The facilitators were supported by the ‘elves’, a team of apprentices including JJ, Klaudia, Pauline, Kerry, Jo, Alex, Kym Chi, Dana, Annaliese and Delvin.

Read More below

Our ring gathered together in a beautifully hand crafted wood and canvas classroom lit by a small fireplace, and amongst the woodland surrounding. Amidst the bird songs and sun rays, we had what might be described as a Social Permaculture Experience. The learnings were nested and stacked into each other, we learned about Social Permaculture while we actively lived Social Permaculture in the midst of a fully functional Social Permaculture site.

Our world is made of systems within systems, an interconnected web of life more complex than humanity has the capacity to grasp all at once. Similarly the Social Permaculture journey we took passed through countless processes, discussions, classes, workshops, councils, experiences and learnings, all connected together in many different ways. Our time was full to overflowing with illuminations, touchstones, and moments of realization as well as games, songs, rituals and dances, lit up by lots and lots of laughter.

What we witnessed was indescribable, it was an experience that cannot be described despite a heavy focus on creative note taking alongside video and audio recordings. A series of articles and short micro-videos will emerge from this magical media mosaic to share some shimmering reflections of the territory explored in this truly transformational learning experience. Feels like the course is just the beginning of the learning, a whirlwind of new concepts, tools, processes and understandings which will come to light as we carry them out in our life bundles to people, communities and organizations all over the world.

Social Permaculture is a new wave of activism and inspiration pouring forth from permeable edges of the Permaculture Movement. Those surfing the wave of this evolution can cast an eye towards a hopeful future where all beings and things are cared for. Its up to each of us to make a personal commitment and dedication to play our own part in co-creating the harmonic and healthy future, helping take Social Permaculture beyond the edge and into ‘the everything’.

Looby Macnamara designedvisions.co.uk
Robin Clayfield dynamicgroups.com.au/about-us/
Starhawk starhawk.org
Robina McCurdy earthcare-education.org
Peter Cow livingincircles.com
Sustainability Centre sustainability-centre.org
Permaculture Publications permanentpublications.co.uk

Text : Delvin Solkinson
Photos and Media : Dana Wilson
Team : Annaliese Hordern and Kym Chi