She trained in agricultural science at Sydney University, rural sociology at the Sorbonne in Paris, development at Reading UK and horticulture at TAFE but, after spending time in Africa, she realized there needed to be a better alternative to conventional agricultural practices. She found this in the ethics and integrated applied science of permaculture, and has been teaching permaculture ever since. She is the author of numerous publications including Permaculture Teaching Matters, The Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture, which has been translated into many languages, and The Earth User’s Guide to Teaching Permaculture.
For almost 40 years Rosemary has worked extensively with farmers and villagers in Africa, Central and South East Asia and Eastern Europe. Rosemary has especially dedicated much of her efforts to refugees the people of war-torn nations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Kurdistan and East Timor, and to communities experiencing the serious effects of climate change like the Solomon Islands, and the effects of the GFC, like Spain, Greece and Portugal.
Permaculture and its teaching is being tried as never before from the joint challenges of covid-19, climate crisis and mass migration, and, the old ways of teaching are not always suitable for this future which we all face, Rowe is concerned to make changes which reflect these times and keep permaculture’s relevance.