Graham Brookman

Graham Brookman

Bachelor of Agriculture, Class of 1967–70

Graham and his wife, Annemarie, run The Food Forest, a certified organic permaculture farm and learning centre located near Gawler.

Graham and Annemarie began forming their business during their early careers in education. Graham taught at Roseworthy for 16 years and The Adelaide University for seventeen years. “Brooky”, as Graham has always been known, was heavily involved in the beginnings of the Roseworthy Agricultural College and The University of Adelaide merging in the early 90s.

“During my time at Roseworthy, I helped its extraordinary Director, Don Williams, to expand the student population and fields of teaching more than five-fold…into Natural Resources Management (NRM), Wine Marketing, Viticulture, Agribusiness, Horse Husbandry, Agricultural Production, International Agriculture and Farm Management.

Young women were seamlessly integrated into the College and advanced qualifications such as Graduate Diplomas were introduced. Associate diplomas were designed to support the diplomas which had steadily morphed into 3-year degrees. Industry engagement was successfully fostered.

With the handing-over of Roseworthy to The Adelaide University in the early 90s, I was exported to North Terrace, where I worked to increase student numbers through outreach activities to schools and the community. This also included developing new academic programs and expanding overseas recruitment. The University roughly doubled in size during my time there!

Since 2008, Annemarie and I have concentrated on farming and sell about 150 lines of organic veg, fruit, grain, geese, nuts, wine, cider at the Adelaide Showground, Australia's best farmers’ market. We also sell through selected retailers and wholesalers. We love hosting Ag and NRM interns and have helped to establish graduate study in Permaculture Design.”

What was Graham’s fondest memory of his time studying at Roseworthy?
“Participation in the Student Representative Council, both as a member and as Chairman, was the most satisfying part of my time at Roseworthy. Working under John Dawkins, who was Chair during my first year, suggested the potential for change to the mediaeval education, facilities and social management of the College when I enrolled. I enjoyed working to eliminate bastardisation of First Years, enabling students to be treated as adults who could have the freedom to associate with their non-college friends and family (rather than like soldiers in barracks).”

Tagged in ROCA alumni network, ROCA, ROCA graduate profile