Apace (WA) is located on one hectare of land beside the Swan River in North Fremantle. The offices are housed in historic Winter House, built in the 1880’s and restored by a community project funded by the City of Fremantle in the early 1980’s. Apace (WA) has been resident at Winter House since 1983. To learn more about the history, read this article History of the APACE name.


APACE was incorporated in 1985 but began as a voluntary group established on the banks of the Swan River by North Fremantle residents in 1982, holding a sublease from the City of Fremantle.

The founders of APACE were inspired by the ideas and activities of UK economist Dr E.F. Schumacher who wrote a book ‘Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if people mattered’. Schumacher was one of the first ‘ecological economists’ who argued against the classical economic theory of continual growth—raising the issues of overpopulation, overconsumption, pollution and resource depletion and pointed out the difference between renewable and non-renewable resources.

In the early days, the original group at APACE was called the Appropriate Technology Development Group. We were part of a national network of technology groups from around Australia formed at the Schumacher Memorial Conference on Appropriate Technology in Sydney in 1982. At the time, APACE WA consisted of 14 volunteers, whose function was to gather ideas and expertise, plan projects and provide landscaping and consultancy skills as required. Their goal was to promote sustainable, local communitybased development in Western Australia, using local skills, local resources and technologies that were empowering and respectful of the local environment. Their aim was to make these resources available to disadvantaged groups, including unemployed people. By the early 2000s the two organisations known collectively as Apace WA – the Appropriate Technology Development Group (Inc.) and Apace Aid (Inc.) had grown and developed into one of the most noteworthy environmental groups in Western Australia.

Apace Firsts

• The first nursery in WA dedicated to supplying exclusively local native species for revegetation and landscaping projects

• The first solar housing demonstration site and working group

• The first organic community garden in WA and second oldest in Australia

• The first demonstration of rammed earth technology through construction of a rammed earth building

• The first nursery in Perth to grow rushes & sedges for wetland revegetation projects

• The first bush regeneration course in Perth

• The first community seedbank in Perth so that local provenance plants could be grown to put back into local bushland

• Earliest trainers in permaculture principles, organic gardening and composting