Main Talks Stage


9.45am – Welcome to Country with Uncle Dozer Atkinson

Dr Rachel Goldlust
Off-Grid PHD. Environmental educator, Town planner, Earthship and Natural building consultant’

Stories from the Margins – the tales of Australian Off-Gridders from the 1970s to today

What do you think about when you think of Off-Grid people? Off-gridders have been ridiculed, derided and historically been a sight unseen and unheard in the common psyche of Australians. After researching the move off-grid since the 1970s for the past 5 years for my Phd, I am excited to bring some familiar, and some marginal tales of the trials and tribulations of leaving the comfort of the cities and going bush for the first time. Join me for a yarn and learn from those who have come before.

Emily Mikschi


Could it bee that the bees do not need saving, and can the bees actually help us save ourselves?

Emily from Embodybee will passionately talk to us about why the commercial beekeeping industry is not sustainable, and how a collapse in the industry may force the world into small scale localised farming for the better.

Find out why living plastic free, going small-scale and using natural bee tending techniques is a solution towards a more sustainable future. And gain an in-depth insight into the idea that every element and product from a bee hive has benefits for human health, as Emily reveals the knowledge of an ancient modality of healing with the hive and how we can incorporate this into our daily lives to improve health.

See more here:


Mike Haydon
Off-Grid Shop

Wholistic Off Grid Design: Approaching your off grid property without a compass.

Mike took his suburban Sydney home off grid in 2013 and has spent the last decade running a solar power company specialising in off grid systems.

In this talk he will share his permaculture-informed knowledge on how to holistically design your off grid property, the mistakes not to make, and the tips that can save you energy, money and time in the long term.

See more at The Off Grid Shop Youtube channel

Hosted by: Rachel Goldlust & David Flanders
Earthsteading Building Surveying and Civil Inspection

EARTH BUILDING PANEL: Advice for Owner Builders

PANEL FOCUS: How to navigate legally building your off-grid home as an owner-builder.

In this panel discussion you will learn from a Building Surveyor, Designer, Eco-tradie, Engineer and natural building enthusiast. Each giving their insight and perspective into the various aspects of the owner builder journey.

Questions will cover things like:
– Who can/should owner builders engage with for help at all stages of the process
– Financing steps
– Permits and zoning
– Building Permit requirements
– Advantages of working with an architect or designer
– What requirements must an owner-builder have when hiring ad hoc labor, and/or recruiting volunteers to help build your home
– What inspections are required by law for a structure to be valued and approved for occupancy

See more here:

David Arnold
Permaculture Educator
Murnong Farm

What is ‘the grid’ and do we want to get off it?

David Arnold distils his 30 years of permaculture thinking and living to discuss the various systems that we interact with (perhaps depend on), which systems we might want to get off, and which we might want to get on.

He suggests that for a major impact we really need to get off the dependent consumer merry-go-round and on to community self-reliance networks.

See more here:

Jade Miles
Farmer, fair food advocate + futuresteading podcast host and book author.


Simply put, futuresteading is living like tomorrow matters! Not a prescription but an invitation to honor the future in a way that works for you. Far from insignificant, your actions and intentions add to and energise the change that’s happening right now, within our communities and beneath our feet! we can all do it, starting right now!

Jade will share the fundamentals of futuresteading, ponder the human-ness of it, offer ideas about how each of us can embrace it as a powerful paradigm to live our lives through and share her own story about navigating this way of life at Black Barn Farm.

Throughout the talk she will welcome audience input, as this will be conversational and interactive.

See more here:


10AMCancelled due to COVID sorry.


James Nicolson
Geological Engineer
Groundwater Tech

Understanding Groundwater

In this talk, Geological Engineer James will cover the basics of groundwater, the drilling of water bores, what can go wrong and how to get the best value out of a new bore. This is such valuable information for anyone wanting to move to an off-grid property.

Access to water changes everything, from personal survival to growing gardens, crops and setting up a home.


Chelsea McNab
Executive Officer, Yarra Valley ECOSS


Yarra Valley ECOSS is a permaculture designed community hub in Wesburn. Join Chelsea to learn how this community hub has thrived during the Covid pandemic, landing them with 2 Premiers Sustainability Awards in 2021. Chelsea will offer tips on what has worked, and how to create a thriving community hub.

See more here:


Ricki Hersburgh
Executive Director
Plastic Oceans Australasia

Bubble, Bubble Oil and Trouble

The Plastic Oceans Australasia team will present the oil to plastic journey. Inviting the audience to be part of the cycle to show the repetitive nature of the process.

They will share why its important to understand the complexities of plastic and relationship to oil -hence climate change.

How does it affect your daily life, what can you do about it, why would you care? Local to global impacts and why we have No Time To Waste.
( Mystery guest appearance)!


Daryl Taylor
‘Kinship’ (Kinglake Earthship) and BioCultural Futures

Going Off-Grid and Under-Ground: Re-Building in the Pyrocene

In this talk Daryl will draw on his many years of experience and study into our transition away from Ice Ages to The Fire Age (‘The Pyrocene’, as coined by Dr Stephen Pyne), a reminder of accompanying increased intensity mega-firestorms, a set of rationales for building semi-underground or underground (terratecture) homes incorporating Biotecture (Earthship), Permaculture, Bush Mechanic and Regenerative Design principles and practices.

Concluding with details of approaches taken and materials used in his Kinglake ‘Fire-Resistant and Fire Resilient’ home and property – ‘work in progress’, ‘Kinship’.

Dean Perry
Commodore Australia

EV Chargers Off-Grid

Electric Vehicles and Off Grid Systems require strategic consideration. They aren’t a matter of plug & play when you’re Off Grid. With the right equipment, you can set your car to charge at programmed states of charge to ensure the rest of your system isn’t impacted by high load demands from the Electric Vehicle Charger. Learn more about what the future holds for Electric Vehicles & Off Grid Systems.

See more here: