Meet Rosemary Morrow


Name: Rosemary Morrow
Work: Co-Founder, The Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute
University: University of Sydney
Lives: Katoomba, Australia
Award: 2017 Advance Global Australian Food and Agriculture (Agriculture) Award

Describe what you do and why it’s important in one sentence.

I go to countries which have suffered major disasters such as war, AIDS, civil breakdown, and I teach citizens to restore food, identity, landscape, and confidence using permaculture as the medium.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learnt from living and working overseas?

That there are always rational reasons for what people do even if they look strange to me so, be patient and ask, don’t tell. That people are generous and resilient. That people are trustworthy. That permaculture works in a wide, wide range of situations.

What inspires you?

I am passionate about living ecosystems and people who give service to the Earth, or other people, and animals.

Why do you think it’s important for Australians abroad to have access to a network of other Australians?

There are several reasons for Australians abroad to have access a network of other Australians:

  • Verify information
  • Exchange experiences and not feel so alone
  • Confirm values and principles
  • Offer the best Australian values
  • Bring back and share valuable insights
  • Encourage peaceful relationships
  • Build collegiate understandings
  • Offer several ways of being Australian and break stereotypes

What does winning the 2017 Advance Global Australian Agriculture Award mean to you?

It has been an entirely unexpected award and I am still surprised. The award means that I can amplify time and space for those people whose voice is often not heard, and the people with whom I spend so much of my life.

Who would be your ultimate dinner party guest, dead, or alive?

Socrates, for his:

  • Integrity, his inquisitive approach to life and challenges
  • Courage at not abandoning his principles
  • Respect by finding out what people think
  • Clarity in thinking
  • Self-control when faced with bias and prejudice

And he pioneered a teaching approach I love to emulate – a type of enquiry. I wish there had been a female Socrates.

What’s the first thing you do after returning to Australia after a period of time away?

Go outside into my garden, say hello to my magpie visitors, and listen to the quiet and see the stillness in the landscape.

Meet Rosemary Morrow, the 2017 Advance Global Australian Agriculture Award Winner and check out her acceptance speech from the Awards ceremony below.

Meet Rosemary Morrow, Co-Founder, The Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute

Acceptance speech at the 2017 Advance Global Australian Awards

Meet Rosemary Morrow, Co-Founder, The Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute