GENOA Wisdom Keepers is the circle of elders and senior members of the Global Ecovillage Network in Oceania and Asia who have extensive experience and knowledge about the ecovillage movement, people who embody the spirit of GENOA and deeply understand its culture and purpose.
Seeding a Culture of Wisdom Keepers
GENOA Wisdom Keepers are the bridge between the past, the present and the future of our network – passing teachings and experience from generations to generations of eco-villagers. The Wisdom Keeper Circle supports the development of the ecovillage movement in our region by sharing the knowledge, experience and practices to the younger generation and the newcomers to our network whilst at the same time supporting GENOA (as an organization) aligned with its spirit and purpose.
Experience and Expertise
- • Each member of the Wisdom Keepers in GENOA has unique experience, knowledge and skills in one or more areas of regeneration in ecovillage design; and/or in the processes and working culture of the Global Ecovillage Network.
- • Members of this circle are people who have been working with GENOA before as a country representative, was a previous member of GENOA NSO, a founder and/or core member of a national network, or an active youth or NextGENOA representative.
- • We also recognise practitioners and thought leaders who have a depth of knowledge and experience and who have carried out ecovillage work in their local areas in their respective countries. By including such practitioners, we open the space to them in GENOA to share, express and advise, even if they haven’t been involved in the work of the GENOA NSO in the past.
Introducing our Wisdom Keepers
Trudy Juriansz, Australia/Sri Lanka
An educator by heart, Trudy offers her nurturing character and positive attitude to ensure that people’s learning and other needs are being met. Her focus is on supporting people and communities to empower themselves and to find meaning in their own life experiences. As part of her personal praxis, Trudy is constantly learning and reflecting on her life experiences, which she uses in her capacity as a facilitator.
Trudy is a key contributor in bridging communities, organisations and individuals in Asia and Oceania. She is currently working with Permaculture for Refugees and an indigenous community in Queensland, Australia. She was GEN’s Networking Director, GENOA coordinator for several years and co-initiated the ReGEN-Nations learning program. Trudy is an accredited trainer of Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) and Analog Forestry (a design science for ecosystem restoration). In addition, she has studied, practiced and taught permaculture and deep ecology for many years. She has been the head of a democratic school in Thailand for migrants and refugees, managed a sustainability education centre in Sri Lanka, and facilitated a variety of workshops across Asia and Oceania, for communities, youth and women. Originally from Sri Lanka, Trudy has lived in several traditional villages and communities, and visited many ecovillages around the world.
Sarah Queblatin, The Philippines
Sarah is a regenerative design strategist weaving collective experiences in peace building, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) conservation, environmental education, and humanitarian assistance for 15 years. She designs inclusive ecosystems of collaboration through innovation labs and learning journeys to transform the narrative of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into Design for Resilience and Regeneration. She is trained in Ecovillage Design and Ecosystem Restoration Design, and holds a merit diploma and advanced certificate in Permaculture Design.
Prior to founding Green Releaf Initiative in the Philippines, Sarah has worked with GEN as representative to the UN Climate Conferences, served as global trustee, regional council member, and currently, as a wisdom keeper for GENOA. Sarah also helped incubate GEN’s EmerGENcies Program and GENOA’s ReGEN Nations Whole Systems Learning Journey and Regenerative Design Lab. With a background in ecopsychology and transformative artmaking, she applies a trauma-informed understanding of resilience in her work with climate and conflict vulnerable communities in the Asia and the Pacific region.
Hiroko Katayama, Japan
Hiroko is the executive Director of GEN-Japan since 2016. She joined As One Community in 2009 for learning and studying the personal and social system development for regenerative societies by the ScienZ Method. Based on her more than 35 years of community living, she has planned and started creating the innovative educational programs for practical development of sustainable relationships and the social systems free from conflict or opposition, where everyone can live as they please.
GEN-Japan’s EDE program has been organized by her since she joined the TOT program in ALT Course under Pracha Hutanuwatr in Thailand. She is the founder member of Kyoto Institute for Sustainable Social Systems;KIESS (2000–), a member of 2012 Environmental Council of Suzuka city. She is a Bachelor of Education from Hirioshima University, Literature of Waseda University Research Course for professionals to study on Civil Publicness of Jürgen Habermas. Her name Hiroko means Neem Tree – a tree contributes to solve global problems.
Andrew Olivier, Australia/South Africa
Andrew Olivier is a businessman, entrepreneur and community pioneer. He was a founder member of GEN Australia and a pioneer of Narara Ecovillage in Australia. He has served as a member of the General Assembly and a council member for GENOA, and as a Global Ecovillage Network board member. He attended COP25 in Madrid. He is the founder of the Center for Transition in South Africa. Andrew commutes regularly to Australia.
Robina McCurdy, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Robina is co founder/resident/trustee of Tui Land Trust and its 37 year old Tui Community, founder of the Institute for Earthcare Education Aotearoa, and SEED (Schools Environmental Education & Development). She is also a graduate of GEN’s ‘Training of Trainers’ course, and an ongoing keen participant in GENOA’s on-line education and networking platforms.
Globally, for the past 30 years, she has been engaged in permaculture education and community development in various forms – including social permaculture, mentoring new ecovillage initiatives, squatter settlement re-development and strengthening community culture within existing organizations. She has produced a range of community resilience resources focusing on participatory processes for decision-making and collective action Her strongest passion is the application of Permaculture at the Bioregional scale, which she has trained hundreds of community leaders in, through Earthcare’s ‘Localising Food Project’.
In Aotearoa-New Zealand, she has facilitated specific developmental stages of 20 land-based communities, and internationally she has worked with many community organisations & ecovillages around the world.
Morag Gamble, Australia
Morag Gamble is founder of the Permaculture Education Institute. She teaches permaculture educators and [pr]activists from online, to ecovillages, community gardens and refugees settlements. She experiments with one-planet living at her ecovillage home in Australia and in her award-winning permaculture garden where she has lived since 1998 with her family. Morag mentors the global Permayouth and has supported over 1500 youth and women to access free permaculture education institute through her charity Ethos Foundation. She’s a writer, podcaster, YouTuber, blogger who speaks up for wellbeing of life on this planet as a planetarian [pr]activist.
Morag has advocated for, visited and worked with ecovillages around the world for decades and has taught ecovillage design courses. Her Permaculture Educators Program (including a Permaculture Design and Teacher Certificates) integrated ecovillage education too. She works closely with leading ecological scholar-activists and collaborates globally with the regenerative movement.
Our Permaculture Life Blog https://ourpermaculturelife.com
Our Permaculture Life Youtube https://youtube.com/moraggambleourpermaculturelife
Jon Jandai, Thailand
Farmer, earthen builder, seed saver, teacher. Philosopher, father, and community activist. Jon Jandai continuously strives to find more ways communities can be self-reliant and people can come back to connecting with the land and each other.
His philosophy is that life is simple and works to connect people to understanding this themselves and ways to achieve it.
In 2003, together with his family and friends, Jon founded Pun Pun – a self- reliance learning center and seeds saving center. In 2018, they founded Pun Pun Isaan – a model of how to design your farm to be sustainable by itself. At both places they experiment with alternative building, farming techniques, processing products from our farm and community as well as teaching and workshops.
Haichao Wang, China
Haichao is a licensed pharmacist who loves music, tea and mindfulness. Since 2015, he has devoted himself to the eco-village movement in China. He took the lead in carrying out several EDE workshops and several eco-village international forums in China. lt has influenced many eco-people to develop eco-villages.
Haichao founded the China Eco-Village Network (CEN) under the guidance of GEN.
In addition to theoretical promotion and training, the first ecovillage model – Sunshine Ecovillage was built in a beautiful valley in Hangzhou, China by Haichao and his community. The ecovillage was formed to systematically reconstruct a Traditional Chinese village from four dimensions of ecology, economy, community and culture, in order to inspire and encourage more lovers of ecological villages and promote the transformation of China’s ecological civilization and sustainable development.
Robin Allison, Aotearoa/New Zealand
A former architect, Robin was the founder and Development Coordinator of Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood, an award-winning cohousing development of 32 homes and common facilities in suburban Auckland, New Zealand, committed to
environmentally sustainable design with intensive community involvement.
Robin now writes, teaches and consults to inspire and support thriving connected communities. Her seminars, lectures and workshops on community-led housing development, governance, eco-building, and sustainable urban design have been a catalyst of the growing cohousing and community-led housing movement in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Robin is a committee member of THIS, The Housing Innovation Society in Aotearoa NZ, and a director of Walk to Work Eco-Developments Ltd, planning an eco-friendly social-enterprise business hub at the front of the Earthsong land.
Her book Cohousing for Life is a handbook for cohousing, describing the key elements and structures that allowed a diverse group to create a large, innovative housing development, interspersed with her personal story of the collective
endeavour of developing Earthsong.
Jane Rasbash, United Kingdom
Jane works in education for sustainable development using an empowerment and engaged spirituality approach. She lives in Findhorn Ecovillage and has taught on EDEs in Findhorn, Sieben Linden, Myanmar and Thailand. Jane supports all stages of the project cycle as needs based consultant for community, sustainable education and rights based projects in Asia and Africa.
She is passionate about Traditional Village as Ecovillage and shifting existing communities towards resilience and has supported GEN to take this forward including the emergence of GEN Africa. She served as Board Member of Gaia Education for 10 years.
Jane has taught the work that reconnects for many years and more recently transition town training. She co-founded the Grassroots Leadership Training an ongoing programme with a big impact on emerging civil society in South East Asia particularly Myanmar. Jane is a life coach who mentors leaders in the south often working in incredibly challenging situations. She is passionate about using photography and video to document social change.
Chris Gibbings, Australia
Chris left his first “real” job, as a systems analyst, to travel – teaching in a Burmese refugee camp, volunteering with street kids and getting arrested as an illegal immigrant in Uzbekistan. He briefly worked (and quit) a job in international development before running a refugee support service in Brisbane, studying community development and living in an intentional community. Later, whilst working in community development for Brisbane City Council, Chris & his partner started a small rural ecovillage and became deeply involved with GEN at many levels for a number of years. He squeezed in a pilgrimage and some long hikes (1800kms is the longest so far). Now, after a couple of frenetic years setting up a drug rehab Chris is currently living a pretty simple life, working part-time supporting organisations with their backend systems, playing ukelele at public protests (it’s a great stretch for his introversion), sitting with the Quakers, helping some friends run a little retreat centre and wondering “How can I make a contribution and live in solidarity with people experiencing poverty and oppression when my background is middle-class Australia?” .