Jenny Currell is such a joyful embodiment of what it takes to live a grounded and sustainable lifestyle.  What an inspiration! 

Jenny designed and built her energy efficient and affordable small home in Glen Forrest on the basis of looking and listening and learning from many sources. For example, a few years ago she went on a bus tour organised by Guildford in Transition of energy efficient homes on a Sustainable House Day. She also follows the MEEH (My Energy Efficient Home) Facebook group.

As a result, her home features heat and cool traps with heavy thermal mass flooring, and eco-glass windows , coupled with breeze facilitating louvers. ‘Yes, she laughed, these are high tech nowadays! She planted grape vines on the north facing front veranda, for shade in summer, and light and warmth in winter. The main windows and the front of the house are north facing, and she has solar panels, and eaves at the right distance for light to enter the house in winter, but not in summer.  

She’s happy to have found a property within easy walking distance of shops, a café, restaurants, medical services, a bus stop, and more – a rarity in the Perth Hills.

Jenny also grows all her own vegetables, and most of her fruit, and keeps chickens.

She’s done a permaculture design course (PDC), and has hosted PDC student groups for the Permaculture Educator’s Alliance, and is member of the Perth Hills Permies. And she is an inaugural (and active) member of the Glen Forrest Community Garden. Also, see their Facebook page.

In the recent past, Jenny was an active advocate, as part of Mundaring In Transition in successfully calling, along with for the Shire of Mundaring to divest its investments from fossil fuels. ‘We need to call the Shire to account on its emission reduction and climate action statements, as it’s one thing to have a change initiated, and another to make sure the change is sustained, and its results measured’ she said.

‘In another example, we also called on the Shire to assess what the solar PV system on the Shire administration building was saving in emissions, only to find that it had not been working for some time- over a year! Our local newspaper, the Echo, got wind of this, and soon afterwards the problem was fixed. But I still don’t know if the Shire is monitoring its energy efficient systems – we need to find out!’ 

‘I also undertook a body of research into community renewable energy projects. The most doable of these options was, and I think still is, the City of Darebin’s Solar Saver Rates Program, which lets eligible low income homeowners (or landlords with low income tenants) have solar panels purchased for them by the Council, and the cost is paid off through the rates, interest free, over 10 years. The savings to the individual homeowner to the renter outweigh the repayments to Council. But we hit a brick wall with that one, as the WA Local Government Act won’t provide for this type or arrangement …yet’.

She is also an active member of Perth International Dance and she regularly dances in the Glen Forrest Hall and in Perth. ‘Some of the dances have quite complex choreography. It’s good for mind-body integration – which is such a great form of dance for left brained people like me!’ 

Jenny, your steps towards a sustainable, positive life – such a joyful dance! Thank you!