Is Seymour ready for ecological renewal?

May 10, 2018

Mayor Rhonda Sanderson, Christine Cahusac, David Holmgren, Richard Telford, Peter Lockyer and Cynthia Lim. Picture: Oliver Holmgren

Globally recognised ecological thinker, David Holmgren has identified Seymour as a potential key model for regional community-based ecological renewal.

Mr Holmgren, permaculture co-originator, said Seymour has the ideal community and infrastructure mix to become a leading adapter of retrofitting the built environment, private open space, household form and lifestyle, to become more sustainable.

‘‘Seymour has the classic suburban pattern of small houses on larger blocks, many of them solar oriented, that has mostly been lost to infill and redevelopment in Melbourne,’’ he said.

‘‘This makes it ideal for owner and occupier-initiated retrofits.’’

Mr Holmgren recently toured several Seymour initiatives, including Wine X Sam, to see the transformative retrofitting of the old dye works into a productive winery as well as the local-based company, Permaculture Principles that distributes his books worldwide.

Business co-owner Richard Telford recently employed Seymour resident Christine Cahusac as operations manager, but he said demand for Mr Holmgren’s latest book, Retrosuburbia has still taken him by surprise.

‘‘While the book is targeted at suburbanites in the south-east of Australia, there’s increasing interest overseas, which is keeping us busy,’’ he said.

During his visit, Mr Holmgren also met with Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson to share ideas and discuss shire-wide possibilities.

‘‘One of the priorities of our council plan is caring for the environment, which includes practising and advocating for a more sustainable way of living,’’ Cr Sanderson said.

Mr Holmgren will return for a Mitchell Shire event at Seymour Library on Tuesday, May 15 at 7pm, to give a multimedia presentation, ‘Aussie Street’, which brings his RetroSuburbia ideas to life using more than 100 photos and watercolour illustrations.

For event details, and bookings to tour Mr Telford’s retrofitted home, Abdallah House, on May 20 visit

Bookings for Mr Holmgren’s talk are essential and can be made by phone on 57833555 or email to [email protected]

Light refreshments provided.

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