Æ : Action Ecology

Who we are

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Shane Ward


A regenerative land use designer and soil health consultant passionate about sustainable food production, ecosystem interactions, soil ecology, plant sciences and closed-loop systems. Shane brings an international perspective, scientific rigour and pragmatic approach to his work - drawing on innovations from both real-world practitioners and scientific research.

Though born in the UK, he grew up within a French-speaking family (mostly) in Australia on the leafy green edge of where the city meets ‘the bush’. Most of that time was spent living in a mud brick (adobe) home and surrounded by trees. Long an enthusiast of renewable energy and natural building, Shane’s journey into regenerative agriculture, sustainable land use and biological sciences evolved over the years as a result of his intention to one day design a place to live for himself and his family that was energy efficient, resilient, productive, functional and aesthetic - as having a house that provided it's own heat and power would be great, but what about food? Water?

What started off as just teaching himself how to grow food in a garden morphed into many years of independent research on food production, agriculture, food systems and the many sustainability issues surrounding these things. This eventually led Shane to undertake his Permaculture Design Certification course - where he was fortunate enough to be taught by world-renowned teacher, consultant and Director of the Permaculture Research Institute: Geoff Lawton, as well as the founder of Permaculture (and legendary environmental pioneer) Bill Mollison. In the years since, Shane has continued to build and expand his knowledge and training in many subjects related to regenerative land use (with a particular interest in ecology, agroforestry, mycology and soil biology), learning from world-renowned experts - while taking consulting work around the world.

In addition to his consulting work, Shane also enjoys taking teaching and speaking engagements both locally and abroad. He is also actively engaged in developing (and experimenting on) his own small property and intends to one day bring his expertise to international development work, sustainable food-system design as well as large-scale land regeneration - especially in challenging arid and tropical climates.
  • Soil Food Web (Soil ecology : "Life in the Soil", thermal & vermi composting, compost extract/tea and soil assessment / microscopy courses - all completed with distinction) with Dr Elaine Ingham
  • Agroforestry Research Trust - Forest Gardening (design & management) with Martin Crawford
  • Permaculture Research Institute PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) with Geoff Lawton & Bill Mollison
  • Monash University - Ecology and conservation biology (ongoing)
  • Lancaster University - Introduction to Soils (Futurelearn)
  • Stockholm Environment Institute - Sustainable Food Systems in South East Asia (Futurelearn)
  • Shane has also had careers in both the film industry and corporate communications.