Who is this couple that make up Ecoburbia? Where did they come from?
Shani Graham was born in Jamaica to Australian parents, but lived most of her early life in Canada.Her family had a type of urban homestead, where they grew most of their own food, and raised rabbits chickens and goats for meat eggs and milk.
Shani always wanted to be a teacher of children with disabilities and spent the first part of her career working as a Education Support teacher, Visiting Consultant and Principal. Shani’s last positions with the Education Department were Principal of Fremantle Primary school and the teacher of a support program for graduate teachers.
Tim Darby has degrees in Fine Arts and Recreation. He loves working as a stone mason and wrought iron sculptor, and is the brains behind the design of all the projects Shani and Tim have undertaken together. His latest creative outlet is sandsculpture. You can check out his work at Sandsculpturewa
2005 was a pivotal year for Shani and Tim, with Tim becoming increasingly physically incapacitated after years of hard labour and Shani becoming stressed after 20 years as a public servant. While having some time off they became increasing concerned about climate change, peak oil and other environmental issues.
This led to a “sea change” in 2006, when they established The Painted Fish, a business providing a sustainable bed and breakfast type accommodation in South Fremantle. After completing a sustainable retrofit on a small cottage in the same street called (Shimtani), and recently starting another major home and garden project in Beaconsfield – Ecoburbia, Shani and Tim have the “runs of the board” when it comes to creating sustainable housing, gardens and community.
And as far as community goes, nothing tells the story better than this TEDxPerth talk Shani gave in 2013.
Shani and Tim’s newest business Ecoburbia has three components. The first involves a desire to live as sustainably as possible and share that personal journey, mostly through the information on this website, their Ecoburbia facebook page, and blogs. The next involves community events and activities that they are involved with on a voluntary basis in our local community. And third is the paid services they offer.
Their passion is offering educational opportunities to others interested in creating a more sustainable live style. Their talks, workshops and courses always incorporate sound adult learning principles, with lots of time for interaction, hand on activities, and a bit of fun and laughter. Shani’s education background coupled with Tim’s research into and practise in the practical application of sustainable principles make them a dynamic team!
Rather than focussing on the pressing difficult issues we face, Ecoburbia prides itself on focussing on what individuals can actually do; leaving participants with hope – motivated and encouraged to make changes in their own lives.
And whether its a like on facebook, a comment on a blog, attending a monthly movie or hiring us to run a workshop – we look forward to hearing from you!