About & Contact

Tom and Zaia Kendall

Tom and Zaia Kendall from the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast

Permaculture Consultant and Teacher: Tom Kendall
Tom Kendall grew up and worked on his parents’ farm and took on the farm in 1992 when his father retired. He downsized the 11,000 acre farm to 7,000 acres and converted to Biodynamics. The farm produced wheat and barley and ran cattle and sheep. In 2000 he sold the farm and moved to the Sunshine Coast. In 2005 he and his partner Zaia found their ideal property in Kin Kin, Noosa Hinterland. Tom had by then become interested in Permaculture, and started converting the 34 acre property into a Permaculture site. With his background in farming, he was able to take on most jobs that needed to be done himself; renovations, building, operating heavy machinery for earthworks etc, gardening, fixing, installing plumbing and many other jobs that came with setting up the property. He became a wwoof host and always taught the wwoofers about Permaculture and why the property was set up the way it was. In 2008 he did a Permaculture Design Certificate with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton. He followed that up early 2010 with a Teacher Training Course with Geoff Lawton. At that stage he realised he had so much knowledge to share with people about Permaculture and Self Reliance skills that he decided to focus on teaching. It was a natural extension from teaching wwoofers for all those years. Tom is a very practical person with an wealth of knowledge about shaping landscapes and creating tools and infrastructure. Having spent all his life working the land he has an astute awareness about today’s environmental issues and aims to minimise his footprint as much as possible. He is able to read landscapes incredibly well and can offer solutions on the ground. His courses are unique in that he shows a lot of practical applications on his property,  a Permaculture Demonstration Site, to complement the theory taught. He combines Bill Mollison’s and Geoff Lawton’s teachings with his own agricultural and self reliance experience without any spiritual connotations. His aim is to bring Permaculture to as many people as possible, and to empower people to be self reliant. He is now part of Geoff Lawton’s consulting team and a Master Plan Site consultant, and is keen to focus more on large scale property for permaculture development. He and his wife Zaia are in the process of setting up PRI Luganville, another Permaculture Demonstration site in Luganville Vanuatu, on a shoe string budget consisting mainly of donations in the beginning stages.

Have a look at a day in the life of Tom Kendall for a visual representation of one of the days on the farm.

Cooking, Administration, Web and Marketing: Zaia Kendall

Zaia grew up in Holland, on what the Dutch see as a large property (5 acres approximately). She grew up being outdoors a lot, skiing, ice skating and playing tennis. She loved having space and fell in love with the space Australia had to offer and migrated to Australia in 1989.  She spent the 90’s working in the computer industry, and designed and programmed computer based training sites and eventually small and large database driven websites. She was unable to be comfortable in a city, and moved to an acreage in Queensland, where she met Tom. She bought Bill Mollison’s Designer’s Manual early 2000 and was always interested in Permaculture as well as health and nutrition. She did a Permaculture Design Certificate with Tom in August 2011. Most of Tom and Zaia’s food is produced on their property, that which isn’t is bought in bulk and organic and locally grown. All foods are made from scratch and Zaia teaches students and volunteers about food processing (eg. cheese, butter and yoghurt making, jam making and food dehydrating) and gives them recipes of simple wholesome food to cook.  She organises the kitchen on the property, and supervises others to prepare meals. Zaia also helps Tom with administration, marketing, article writing, website updates, curriculum development, email support, bookkeeping and other office duties, as well as spending some time in the garden when she can. Apart from that, she is also involved in music and community projects.

In the kitchen garden

In the kitchen garden

You can contact the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast at:

93 Golden Gully Road

Kin Kin, Queensland 4571


ph: +61 7 5485 4664

email: info (at) permaculturesunshinecoast.org

(Please replace (at) with @ for the email address.)