Depending on the nature of your project, we may be able to run your project as a natural building course, with paid participants coming to learn intensively and in detail, and work on your project as the hands-on component of the course.
This will work for you if you:
- have an appropriate project (we’re particularly interested in projects that benefit a community, blaze a trail with local councils, or help break down barriers to the uptake of natural building practices in Australia).
- are interested in being highly involved in your project
- are interested in building as economically as possible
- can cope with (like-minded) strangers on your project site
- have great community contacts
- can publicise the course widely and persuasively
- can cope with a slower pace than a barnraising, as we will be running theory sessions for 20 to 40% of the allocated time for the course
- have infrastructure to support classroom activities – a sheltered space (indoors is ideal, but at the very least it needs to be out of the wind and rain) with a source of power, enough light to make notes by, and enough space to seat course attendees.
- have adequate toilet facilities (this can be as simple as some hay bales stacked for privacy, a bucket, sawdust and a loo roll)
Situations where we don’t run training courses
Please note that we don’t typically run training:
- on private house builds, unless you’re doing something extremely innovative or community-oriented, or have an ongoing partnership opportunity to offer us – feel free to make a case 🙂
- on lime render work – this is partly because of the risk of injury (lime is nasty stuff), but also because training lime renderers’ work can vary a lot in quality, meaning a strong likelihood that your render will delaminate. If you want us so teach you traditional lime rendering skills, you can certainly undertake an intensive training consultancy with us, where one of us works with a maximum of two trainees. This way, we can really gauge your progress and keep a detailed eye on your work.
How it works
We will charge course participants a fee to attend OzEarth workshops on your site, and deduct those fees from what we charge you, up to 100% of our daily fee – you will still need to cover our travel.
We will advertise the workshops through our networks, consult with you on media contacts, press releases etc, answer all enquiries, take all bookings and moneys, and present you with a record of booked participants. We expect that you will be extremely proactive in marketing the workshop through your own networks. After all, the more bookings we get, the less you will pay for OzEarth’s involvement.
We will negotiate with you beforehand about minimum and maximum feasible attendee numbers, and how much you will still have to pay with only the minimum number of participants. Our aim is to price our workshops very competitively. Course attendees will be able to pay by cheque, credit card, direct deposit or PayPal in advance of the course’s start date. Once we’ve got enough advance bookings to cover the minimum participant number, we’ll also take cash on day 1 of the course. In the unlikely event that, two weeks before kickoff date, we haven’t yet got the minimum number of bookings, we reserve the right to postpone or cancel the course. This is because of the greater cost to you, as well as the unlikelihood that we’ll be able to reach our project goal without our agreed minimum attendee numbers.
OzEarth retains all course fees collected for a workshop unless that workshop is cancelled, in which case refunds will be issued. A particularly well-attended workshop is a win-win. It means that work on your project will proceed more quickly, and that you will pay nothing for OzEarth’s services (apart from our travel). It also means that OzEarth gets paid more. This is because more students means more teaching, which means more work for us – we are committed to delivering an an excellent learning outcome to every participant.