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David Spicer's Story

David Spicer grew up on the Northern edge of the beautiful Snowy Mountains in Gilmore valley, Tumut NSW Australia. He led quite a self-reliant lifestyle working from a very young age in the family garden and tending the animals. David was only young when he started trapping rabbits with his father for meat and pelts, and working a lot in forestry with his father as well distilling eucalyptus oil. David also spent time cutting fence posts and mine props from the local forest which helped form part of his understanding of forestry management.


As a child David spent time with local farm work, fencing and stock work forming the skills necessary to go with it. This helped with the family income and developed David’s work ethic, to live on the land lightly and instilling him with a great sense of practicality.


Life changed for David when he was 12 years old. His father had taken a job as a bulldozer driver for a civil earthworks company. This meant the family travelled around allowing David to be exposed to heavy machinery and its different uses and gave him a unique exposure to that field of work.


Droving cattle was David’s first job in 1988. He travelled over 500km (310 miles) on horseback in 6 months with 800 cows and calves. This gave him a unique insight into the holistic management of livestock.


Working in many different fields such as forestry/sawmills, building/construction, horticulture, civil earthworks, landscaping, contract fencing led David to undertake a Permaculture Design Certificate course with Bill Mollison in 1999. From this David was lead to the famous Tagari Farm in Northern NSW under the management of the Permaculture Research Institute led by Geoff Lawton. He quickly became farm manager there due to his diverse skill set and knowledge of farm life.


One of David’s greatest honours in life was working, teaching and fishing with Bill Mollison at the Permaculture Institute in Tasmania. A strong friendship was cultivated with the legendary permaculture founder which had a profound effect on David to pursue the development of common sense design.


Having taught and worked on various projects extensively within Australia and internationally, such as Morocco, Jordan, Palestine and New Caledonia, David Spicer has covered a broad array of different soil types, topography and climatic zones.


David is a valued member of the Permaculture Sustainable Consulting team headed up by Geoff Lawton.


He is a master of practical and logical mainframe permaculture design which allows him to give his extensive experience of life and the cost involved to change a site.


He has majored in the design water harvesting and storage earthworks which frames all regenerative farming.


David has the distinction of being Registered Teacher #5 with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia.





Bill Mollison “The Bastard from the bush”


“David has the rare ability to create the concept and to see the concept through to the physical reality.  He is an excellent educator with a wide range of experience.David has an incredible pragmatism that allows him to work in any environment and on any budget.  His years of experience include, working with the founders of Permaculture as a valued contributor to some of the flagship PC farms in Australia.”


Tim Barker

Appropriate Technology Instructor at Koanga Institute


“Dave is the real deal, hardworking with an incredible practical skill set and great at inspiring and drawing out the best in people. If he has a vice it is in not rating himself highly enough. Set Dave on a task and forget it, it’s as good as done.”


Tom, who worked directly with David at Docspice Permaculture.


"David has an incredible pedigree. His practical skills are superb (from construction to forestry to food systems and more) and he’s done a lot of work with some of the very best (Mollison, Lawton…). David is committed, shares his knowledge and is a great guy to work with."


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