How do we best inhabit, shape and care for our land?From the earliest age, Dr Charlie Brennan has been fascinated with the land
Charlie brings 30 years of continuous experience in design and implementation of Landscape design, Permaculture design, Landscape construction, Landcare project management. Along side this, he is a lecturer and researcher in the fields of sustainability, conservation, Sense of Place, and social inclusion.
People Focused & Innovative
Charlie believes that working with people, and understanding and appreciating differing values and cultures of the land is essential to putting sustainability into action. Charlie brings innovation and imagination to all of his work. Charlie believes learning from experience is key, along with applying new ideas and designs.
Through reading inspirational and reflective texts, and through the experiences of teaching and researching Social Ecology, Social Sciences, Sense of Place, Ethics & Sustainability as well as Communications, Charlie combines practical knowledge with the ability to ask important questions about design, creation, conservation of landscapes and places.
From the earliest age, Dr Charlie Brennan has been fascinated with the land. The moors, woods, hedgerows and productive fields of Devon, England became a first place of wandering, wondering and imagining into landscapes, places and the life they contain. This interest grew as he moved from place to place and eventually to Australia.
His interest revolved around questions something like this – how do we inhabit, conserve, shape and celebrate landscapes and places? What are the best land-caring practices to make life healthy, enjoyable and sustainable? Or perhaps have we moved beyond sustainability to survival…?
From farming, landscape design and garden making, Landcare conservation project work, community Permaculture/‘Edible Streetscapes’ to supporting Aboriginal cultural Caring for Country, this exploration of practice continues. He is a social ecologist, researcher & lecturer in ethics & facilitator for connectivity conservation alliances. With 30 years applied experience, Charlie’s interest lies in ‘creating sustainability that works’ – weaving together ideas and inspirations, practical outcomes and critical reflective insight.
In 2011, Charlie completed his PhD thesis ‘Situating Place-Practice: Critical Reflections on Conservation, Sustainability & Environmental Education’. From this, a reinvigorated desire to design and create sustainable landscapes, projects, events & workshops has evolved.
These interests include:
– Exploring ecopsychology & sense of place
– Therapeutic horticulture
– Acknowledging Aboriginal land custodianship
– Listening to ‘Sustainability Elders’
– Radical redesign through Permaculture
– Reinvigorating Landcare
– Acknowledging and celebrating diverse community understandings of landscape
Charlie believes that ultimately we need to learn from our experiences to create innovative solutions to our sustainability challenges.
So what does Charlie actually do?
1) Design, consultation & contracting
From garden design to conservation projects, to community gardens, Charlie consults, designs, and project manages private and community-based projects. Some of these projects are carried out collaboratively with his son Bede Brennan who is a qualified Landscape architect in his own right and designs and produces highly innovative graphics and posters. Trading as ‘Sacred Places’, Charlie is working on projects along the East coast from the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Newcastle, Sydney & Melbourne. Overseas soon?
2) Workshops & events
Charlie regularly conducts workshops and events in various venues across Australia. Overseas soon? They are indented to be open and exploratory, combining inspiration, disruptive ideas, real-world application, critical insight and a readiness for the emergence of the unknown.
3) Speaking & presentations
Charlie has also travelled internationally as a guest speaker and brings both local and global understandings to his work. Ultimately, Charlie believes that projects succeed when people are understood, engaged and inspired. Through attending and presenting at conferences, running workshops and visiting sustainability projects and places he inspires and is inspired by sustainability work around the globe.