David Holmgren

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David Holmgren, along with Bill Mollison, originated permaculture in 1978.

David Holmgren (born 1955) is an Australian environmental designer, ecological educator, and writer. He is best known as one of the co-originators of permaculture concept along with Bill Mollison.

Early life

Holmgren was raised in Fremantle, Western Australia by activist parents. After graduating high school, he spent a year hitchhiking Australia before moving to Tasmania in 1974 to study environmental design at the University of Tasmania.[1]

Publication of Permaculture One

During a brief but intense meeting with Bill Mollison, a teacher at the university, the foundation of what would later become permaculture was set.[1]

In 1978, Holmgren and Mollison published Permaculture One to introduce their design system to the general public. Reaction to Permaculture One was mixed. "Specialists" in professional communities were outraged at the book's discipline integration, such as architecture with biology, agriculture with forestry, and forestry with animal husbandry. Members of the general public who were dissatisfied with the state of agriculture were more receptive.[2]


After co-originating the permaculture concept, Holmgren started to create Melliodora, one of Australia's best documented and well-known permaculture demonstration sites in Hepburn, Victoria.[1][3]