The story of ‘Our Street’
David Holmgren uses storytelling to communicate empowering action in difficult times. This complements his dual focus on permaculture theory and practice. David’s ‘Aussie Street’ story – a permaculture soap opera from 1950 to the Second Great Depression of the 2020 – evolved from his earlier presentations (2005-2017) to the more in-depth text in RetroSuburbia: the Downshifter’s Guide to a Resilient Future (2018). This story was the inspiration for the further collaboration with RetroSuburbia editor Beck Lowe and illustrator Brenna Quinlan into literature for children.
Beck has interpreted David’s adult story through the eyes of the kids living in Aussie Street. In the process she captures the straightforward style of childhood diaries: telling the ups and downs of daily life. Brenna faithfully represents the feel and detail of each decade to help today’s kids imagine the childhood of their parents and grandparents, as they grapple with the creative and exciting options for an abundant future where they live.
About the Author
Beck is a permaculture educator and writer. She undertook a life-changing Permaculture Design Course in 1994 and has been practicing permaculture ever since. She worked closely with David Holmgren on RetroSuburbia as project manager, researcher and chief text wrangler, and reinterpreted his ‘Aussie Street’ story for kids in Our Street. She has also been editor and/or project manager on various new and re-releases at Melliodora Publishing.
Beck is the black sheep of the retrosuburbia family, living on her 60 acre permaculture farm near Heathcote in central Victoria. Besides work with Holmgren Design and Melliodora Publishing, and running her farm, she teaches permaculture, and is finishing her book on animals in permaculture. becklowe.com.au
David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. Within the growing and international permaculture movement, David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependent consumerism.
As well as constant involvement in the practical side of permaculture, David is passionate about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability, which he explored in Future Scenarios (2009), and Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability (2003/2017) and his most recent book RetroSuburbia (2018). With an increasingly high profile as a public speaker, David Holmgren provides leadership with his refreshing and unorthodox approach to the environmental issues of our time.
About the Artist
Brenna spent four years living at Melliodora, the permaculture demonstration site founded by David Holmgren and Su Dennett in Central Victoria. She is currently building a strawbale house and planting her own garden at a permaculture community in the Great Southern, WA.
Brenna has worked as an illustrator for several organisations including the Bob Brown Foundation, the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, and the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program. She is also part of the Grow Do It permaculture teaching team, and regularly collaborates with Milkwood Permaculture and Melliodora Publishing on various projects and publications.