… cultivating effective new thinking, values and action for positive, ecologically sustainable futures

The Ethos Foundation is a not-for-profit holistic learning organisation based in the award-winning Crystal Waters ecovillage in the sunshine coast hinterland, surrounded by national parks and close to the internationally-renowned cooperative town of Maleny.

Our mission is to cultivate effective new thinking, values and action for positive, ecologically sustainable futures, to nurture happiness, holistic wellbeing and support connectedness to nature, community and self.

Our work facilitates and promotes education for sustainability (personal, professional, organisational and social) and we are concerned with planetary, community and personal wellbeing.

The Ethos Foundation exists to provide inspiration and renewal for people who are working to make a better world.

We offer a learning hub that cultivates new ways of being for healthier, more peaceful, just and sustainable societies.
We foster deep learning about our interdependence with the natural world, our essential interconnectedness with one another, and our capacity to create and innovate together for fulfilling futures.
We encourage work in the humanities and sciences that makes human life more meaningful and our communities more vibrant and resilient.
We provide space for the cultivation of evolving consciousness and wellbeing.
We support people in developing and embracing sustainable practices in their personal lives, their families, their enterprises and their communities.
We connect with our food system and support the nurturing of a new generation of sustainable farmers.

To achieve these goals the Ethos Foundation will begin several programs in 2015:

Ethos Farm
Young Ethos Scholars
School of Sustainable Living
Courageous Conversations
Inspire Wellbeing


Ethos Farm is an educational eco-farm. We aim to grow great food for the community, visitors and program participants. The farm is located in the heart of Crystal Waters.

Permaculture and biodynamic principles will be used to grow a polyculture of vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits and fibres. The farm will provide multiple learning and meeting spaces and be home to structures of natural materials, eco-arts, appropriate technology and musical installations.

The farm offers INTERNSHIPS and PRACTICAL WORKSHOPS to enable participants to become sustainable growers of food in both urban and rural areas. The programs help people in their journey to establish community food systems (CSAs, small market garden, food box systems, community gardens, school gardens) and also productive home and homestead food gardens.

The range of education programs offered at the farm include:

  • Ethos Farm Intern program: up to 24 interns/year, (6 interns each 3 months)
  • Permaculture and biodynamic workshops
  • Garden arts programs – creating
  • Music in the garden events – music events
  • weekly garden days (work exchange for food box)
  • monthly open days – market day – tours, purchase of food
  • tours and workshops for school groups
  • farm tours for tourist buses/group visits


The Young Ethos Scholars Program will inspire and challenge future leaders to become innovative and thoughtful, and encourage participants to embrace ecological and social justice principles (earth care and people care) in their decision-making. This program is specifically designed for gifted and talented children who care about the future of the planet and are seeking extension programs with heart and meaning, as well as intellectual challenge and an opportunity to meet like-minded children.

Ethos will be also offering a seminars for parents, teachers, and principals of gifted and talented children.


The Ethos School of Sustainable Living is a place to learn the skills we need to work positively toward a more sustainable future. Our programs are very practical and place-based with a focus in local food growing, natural building, appropriate technology, making, cooking and community. We offer:

  • a regular series of permaculture workshops including – introduction to permaculture, permaculture design course, permaculture for schools, permaculture camps, permaculture for children, permaculture plants
  • biodynamic workshops
  • weekend eco-retreats to immerse in permaculture and ecovillage life
  • natural building workshops: cob oven, strawbale seat, bamboo building
  • Future projects include appropriate technology workshops and displays – pedal power, solar power and much more…


Courageous Conversations are multidisciplinary dialogue-based forums to deeply explore the big issues of our time – climate destablisation; food sovereignty; relocalisation; post-petrol futures; community resilience, wisdom and creativity; renewable energy; sustainability; social change and social justice. Courageous Conversations are not conferences. They are 5-day residential programs based on deep dialogue, deep listening and holistic learning which support personal and professional journeying, reflection and paradigm shifting. 

Leading global thinkers and practitioners will offer programs to explore eco-philosophy, sustainable design, holistic science, ecoliteracy, relocalising economics, and much more.

Courageous Conversations support transformation toward sustainable living, personal development, community action and professional development.

In 2015, leaders of Courageous Conversations will include Helena Norberg-Hodge, Robert Pekin, Professor Janis Birkland and Alison McDonald.


Inspire Wellbeing is the Ethos Foundation’s short course and weekend retreat program to inspire and support, to cultivate creativity and deep connection, to nurture health and wellbeing, to explore eco-spirituality, and mindfulness. Passionate and experienced workshop leaders will create the space for you to explore your full potential. Workshops will take place in the peaceful ecovillage retreat imbedded in the natural world with clean air, clean water, clean food and strong community. These programs will be available in 2016.

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