Inspirational Talks and Workshops

26 purdy TED (40)Ecoburbia is about inspiring, educating and celebrating sustainable living.

The work we do includes running movie and discussion nights, presenting the award winning Living Smart course, giving talks to groups of individuals from school teachers to corporate businesses, and running various hands-on workshops. A recent TEDxPerth talk Shani  did has proved very popular with both community groups and corporate clients

Tours of Ecoburbia have proved popular with individuals and families as well as universities and school groups - a tour makes a very different staff development opportunity!

From an hour "lunch and learn" session to a whole day conference or series of workshops, we are happy to tailor a program to meet your needs, and  encourage you to get in touch with us to discuss what might suit your group.

day 3 (24) Our most popular talks and workshops 

The workshops listed below are also available as static displays where people can interact and ask questions on a more informal nature. These displays are perfect for Fairs and Fetes, or for use outside a library or community centre.

More information about the content of each workshop is available on request.

Checking out Chickens  Do you remember holding the warm egg you collected from under a chicken? The excitement of cooking that egg for breakfast?  The reassuring “book book” sound in the chookpen?

Whether you have been keeping chooks for years; have only just started; or want to decide if chooks are for you, come along and share at this chook presentation. Shani and Tim from Ecoburbia will cover many aspects of keeping chooks, including local laws, chook housing needs and feeding requirements. They will also cover hatching chicks naturally, common ailments, and the best breed to get.

Creating Compost   Have you ever made good compost? Compost that is beautiful, smells great, feels wonderful and does incredible things to your garden? We know that it’s possible, we’ve seen it on all the gardening shows. But sometimes our compost is not like that - often it is a stinky mess, full of insects and flies. Many of us despair, some of us give up.

Shani Graham from Ecoburbia is addicted to compost, and has been making great compost for years. She has developed a fail proof “recipe” and is keen to share it with you. You will learn what ingredients to use in your compost, what works and what doesn’t, the different types of compost and how to solve common compost problems.

Whether you are a successful compost maker willing to share or just thinking about starting a composting system, come along to this workshop!

Could You Live Plastic Free?  Plastic is scarey, and its impact on our world is even scarier. We all know we should use less plastic. But sometimes that can be hard, and we can never be totally plastic free. But we all work to do what we can.

So come and spend some time considering a less plastic life. Shani from Ecoburbia has been participating in Plastic Free July since 2011, and has some great tips – including making your own produce bags, a recipe for plastic free crackers, where to buy bulk bicarb, and how to make your own deodorant.

This workshop will have lots of hands on activities so you will learn skills to make living with less plastic easier. You might even want to make next July Plastic Free!

Growing your own Food – What can you do in your backyard? Are you keen to trying growing some food in your garden? Have you tried and failed to get a worthwhile crop?

This workshop will look at some of the basics – from soil preparation and watering methods to how to choose what you should be growing in your garden.

You will leave with everything you need to know to enjoy a bumper crop this season.

Create your own veggie bed – from choosing materials to planting seeds. Would you like to build a simple raised veggie bed using recycled materials? – this is the workshop for you.

During this session we will make a raised bed from recycled tin and wood, create “no dig” soil, learn to install drip irrigation for your bed and sow some seeds ready for planting once the soil is ready. Everyone will get a go!

From using a drill, to the secrets of reticulation, this session covers everything you need to know in a fun and supportive environment.

Seed saving and plant propagation – The Basics Do you have plants that go to seed in your garden? Would you like to learn how to collect, store and use those seeds?

Come and find out the simplest seed to collect, and those that are too hard for a home gardener. You will also learn other ways to reproduce plants – from simple division to taking cuttings.

You will leave this session with the enthusiasm to start collecting seed in your garden, and the knowledge to propagate your own seedlings.

Preserving the Harvest – from tomato bottling to jam making Does your garden produce a bumper crop you would like to preserve? Or would you like to take advantage of cheap seasonal produce?

This session will cover tomato and fruit preserving using the water bath method, cheese making, drying produce using the sun, plus pickles, cordial and jam making.

Something is sure to inspire you to try some preserving yourself.

Passive Solar House Design We all hear about sustainable homes, but what does this really mean? Do you wonder how sustainable your house is?

During this session we will cover the basics of good solar house design using a simple model house. You will then have the opportunity to apply that knowledge to evaluate how solar passive your own home is.

You’ll leave this session with a list of some simple changes you could make to make your home more sustainable.

Water water everywhere? Do you worry about water availability into the future? Would you like to learn more about saving water in your home?

The workshop will cover rainwater and greywater systems, what you need to know to install a bore, and how to install drip irrigation. Plus of course many easy water saving tips you can apply in your home.

You’ll leave inspired to implement some water saving ideas in your home.

Building Community in your Street. Do you know your neighbours? Do you long for the sense of community in your street that you had as a child?

Come and reflect on the importance of community, then hear an inspiring story of a magical street community in Hulbert Street. Then think and share some ways you could improve the community feel of your street.

You are guaranteed to leave inspired to get to know your neighbours better.

Green cleaning Have you thought about why a greener cleaning regime is important? Do you want to learn more about the common chemicals in cleaning products and how they differ from the basic ingredients in home made ones? Come along and try out a few home made products by making an all-purpose cleaner, a disinfectant spray and a basic bathroom cleaner. Bring those tricky cleaning questions!

Urban Beekeeping Have you thought about what it would take to keep bees but have never had the chance to find out? Would you like a taste a true urban honey?

Come and find out a bit more about these fascinating creatures and see whether a hive might work at your place.

Cooking with the sun  Did you ever try and fry an egg on the road? Well that experiment might not have worked, but the sun is hot. And it is hot enough to cook eggs (poached, scrambled or fried) as well as pasta, stews, soups and cakes. And it can dry things – fruit, veggies and even meat (homemade biltong)

Shani and Tim from Ecoburbia use solar ovens for much of their cooking, especially in summer. Come and see the gear they use, learn how make a simple solar drier and solar oven, and enjoy the tastes of food cooked directly by the sun!

Keeping a goat – could it be for you? Did you know it is possible it keep a goat in the suburbs? Would you like to learn how to milk a goat and make some simple goat’s cheese?

Shani has been keeping goats in suburban Fremantle for over five years. Come and learn more about what is needed to care for a goat, and what to do with all the excess milk you’ll have.

If you are luck Pumpkin might even come along.

Sustainability in action – one couple’s continuing journey. Shani and Tim from Ecoburbia have been tagged Fremantle’s “Sustainable Gurus”. But their journey started when they were a school principal and stonemason. Come and hear about the changes they have made in their home, both technological (water and power systems, solar passive design. . . ) and behavioural (compost systems, urban food production. . . ). And just as importantly come and hear about the ways they have worked in their community to build resilience. You will leave inspired to continue your own journey.

PLEASE NOTE This is only a sample of the workshops we can provide. Please get in touch if there is another topic you are interested in.

Facilitation Services Shani's background is education. Before her current sustainable education focus, she worked as a teacher, school principal, manager of District Operations, teacher trainer and coach. Throughout her career she was asked to present to groups - from groups of school psychologists to major principals' conferences.

Shani offers a variety of specific facilitation services including  group presentations on "better presentations" and individual coaching and mentoring. .

Shani is also a skilled master of ceremonies. She is often asked to MC panels, and manages questions from the floor with flair and humour. She loves being the MC at conferences, and does a wonderful poetry "round up" of the conference events.






Shani's favourite facilitation tool is Open Space She has used this technology to facilitate discussions for groups of 13 to 200.

If you need a presenter, teacher or facilitator with a sound educational background, a great sense of humour and an innate ability to connect with your group, please get in touch.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!