Sustainable Living Course Tutors
These are our core tutors for your ten week learning experience. Please join our newsletter to receive updates.
Organic Food Growing
Avid organic gardener, edible landscaper, seed saver and community garden advocate with over thirty years experience. Sol is passionate about sharing his knowledge and inspiring people of all ages to live in a more sustainable way. He is the visionholder for the Sustainable Living Course and Centre.
Sol has a BAg (Hons) specialising in Biological Husbandry. After university, he worked in horticulture for DSIR doing tree nutrient analysis. In 1994 he started Koanga Seeds with Kaye Baxter in Kaiwaka. Sol was the co-ordinator of Waimarama Community Gardens in Nelson, and the Golden Bay Community Gardens & Sustainable Living Centre run by the Te Wharerangi Trust, of which he is now the chairperson. As the production manager here, he grew $40,000 worth of veges per year for local consumption.
In 2007 Sol started ‘Growise Consultancy’ to provide education and advice ‘to help people to help themselves’ to become food self-sufficient. Sol works with suburban-scale properties, ‘lifestyle’ blocks and farms – from commercial to private household purposes.
John has been involved with the Golden Bay Sustainable Living Centre almost since its inception in 1985 and continues as a trustee of Te Wharerangi Trust and a tutor for the Sustainable Living Course.
Over that time he has been always a gardener, always has had a deep interest in nature, the earth , all plants and the relationship between earth, plants and humans. He has been and still is a teacher of multiple aspects of plant and earth care and their well-being. He has been the co-ordinator/manager of the Gardens. Also a grower of herbs and the more unusual vegetables as well as growing and marketing salad greens before such a thing was established as a mainstream food item. His main interest is in deepening an awareness of all plants and yes, life itself and sharing that awareness gained with others.
Founder, Institute of Earthcare Education
Robina has been engaged in community development, organic growing, permaculture design and tutoring on a global scale for the past 25 years.
She is the founder of the Institute of Earthcare Education Aotearoa, co-founder of Tui Land Trust & Community in Golden Bay, NZ and pioneer of the S.E.E.D (Schools Environmental Education & Development) programme in South Africa and Brazil.
She has developed a range of environmental education resources and participatory processes for collective decision-making and action – most notably ‘Grounding Vision, Empowering Culture’, a community facilitation manual, and ‘Grow It!’, a Home Garden coaching series.
Robina has taught & applied her powerful community-building methods with households, neighborhoods, schools, farms, ecovillages & bioregions, in Aotearoa/New Zealand and many countries overseas.
For most of my adult life I have lived in caravans and tiny homes off grid in a sustainable way - treading lightly on the Earth.
My passion in woodworking was taken to another level when I trained and worked as a log builder in Canada 13 years ago. Since then I have run an Eco build company in the UK, specialising in log building, timber framing and strawbale style builds.
I moved to NZ with my family more than 6 years ago. In that time, as well as being a qualified conventional builder and carpenter, I have set up a school and now teach timber framing, round wood building and green woodworking courses.
I have always been quite experimental and resourceful in my approach to life, investigating different building mediums and styles whilst remaining true to my core ethics of sustainability which is my passion. I have been running a saw mill for the last 10 years and really appreciate taking a tree in all its glory and turning it into a beautiful home.
Food Harvesting, Preparation & Preserving
Being a lover of nature & the environment her whole life, Kerryn Easterbrook completed a Bachelor of Parks and Recreation Management early on. Also intrigued by good food, Kerryn spent many years working in various cafes. This lead to opening her own food business with a friend, called the Fufu Saloon, it was a caravan of yumminess devoted to organic juices, smoothies & salads.
The last 14 years Kerryn has been living in Golden Bay where with her partner has developed a block of land into gardens & built an Earth cob house. They like to inspire people to think about alternative ways of building & have people to stay in their home through Air BnB.
Kerryn is passionate about locally sourced, seasonal, organic, great tasting vegetarian food & has created a catering business around these values. She currently caters for several courses. Kerryn also produces & manages her own olive oil soap business, Clean Earth Soap. Yoga has been a part of Kerryn's life for the past 25 years so she completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training & offers several yoga classes in Takaka.
Project Management & Sustainable Business/Community Resilience
Thalea Tane brings a diverse range of skills and experience to her dual tutoring roles. She worked in finance and commerce for 15 years at personal, business and commercial levels. This involved building relationships and assessing business plans & financial budgets for the commercial viability and long term sustainability for small to medium businesses.
She is also a consultant, activist, international speaker & mentor on building capacity towards self-determination in ethnic minority communities in Aotearoa/NZ, Australia and South East Asia.
Her passions lie in training & supporting lower-socio economic communties to co-create and implement sustainable initiatives that will build capacity in their community, to thrive and determine their own path for future generations.
Thalea hails from Waipoua, Northland and was an inaugural Trustee for the Te Roroa Whatu Ora Trust, who negotiated and completed their Treaty Settlement with the Government in 2008. Thalea was integral in building strategic relationships for future implementation of sustainable cultural, social, ecological and economic initiatives.
Current work includes:
Design, development, project management and evaluation of Eco-education programs for communities and international schools in Thailand
Oversight and management for the development of a series of educational DVD's for Hill-tribe communties, Thailand
Key stakeholder relationship and engagement (SE Asia)
Support to strengthen the budget forecasts specific to the implementation & sustainability of the programmes.
Co-facilitator for Global Eco-Village Network workshops, N.Z.
Vision Council Member & General Assembly Member of G.E.N.O.A (Global Eco-village Network, Oceania and Australia)
Eco- Education Training (Sub-contractor) - Traidhos Three Generation Community for Learning, ChiangMai, Thailand