Yellow Ladybugs and Cooking Circles: Empowering Autistic Girls

By Jeanette Purkis

This article was originally published on Jeanette Purkis’ blog, and is available at You can read all about Jeanette and find all her musings at

I spent this afternoon at a Cooking Circles event with Yellow Ladybugs – two organisations which are in Canberra and whose work I really value. Continue reading “Yellow Ladybugs and Cooking Circles: Empowering Autistic Girls”

An ‘Unconventional Apology’: Interview with Chantal

1. What sparked your project, The Unconventional Project? And could you tell us a little bit about what the project does?

Unconventional Apology Project (UAP) was sparked by a tragedy in my family. (Trigger warning: this interview contains a story of domestic abuse and violence from the ‘read more’ tag).

Image courtesy of the Unconventional Apology Project

Continue reading “An ‘Unconventional Apology’: Interview with Chantal”

Women in agriculture in Timor Leste

by Sarah Burr

Women are incredibly important to agriculture all over the world. In Timor Leste, women in mountainous areas (where 70 per cent of the Timorese population lives) carry out most farm activities including taking care of animals and cultivation of rain-fed crops such as sweet potato, cassava and fruit. Timorese women increasingly took on farm work during conflict as men left towns and villages to fight. Post-conflict, women have continued this work due to men returning from war suffering physical and mental injury. This farm workload is on top of women’s other duties such as child-rearing, housework, caring for elders, and community responsibilities.

Continue reading “Women in agriculture in Timor Leste”

5 Minutes with Jacqueline Evans

Thanks for sitting down to speak to Cooking Circles this month. I reached out to you because I related to your feel-good newsletters targeting women and their wellbeing. You run a business, Jacqueline Evans Skin Care that is built on some core principles of health and wellbeing. Can you tell me a bit about that?

Absolute please Heidi. I am thrilled to be here. My background in nutrition and naturopathy led me in a round about way over many years to creating a line of natural skin care. I believe that skin care should be based on science, nature and common sense. Continue reading “5 Minutes with Jacqueline Evans”

Congratulations Tamara Sloper-Harding OAM

Australia’s relationship with Timor Leste is in the news a bit at the moment. I want to tell you about a group of people on Sydney’s Northern Beaches who are doing their utmost to repay some of the debt we Australians owe the Timorese for their protection of our troops from the Japanese during WW2. Over 40,000 Timorese were slaughtered as a result of taking care of our stranded Aussie soldiers. At the time Australia promised them protection and friendship – we have failed in these promises over and over again. In 1975 we sat back and watched as the Indonesians invaded. During the 25 years of occupation over 200,000 Timorese perished. It was not until General Cosgrove led INTERFET into Dili in September 99 that we moved in any way to help these people – our neighbours, less than one hour’s flight from Darwin.

Continue reading “Congratulations Tamara Sloper-Harding OAM”

From Ana Guterres’ kitchen: Cooking Timor-Leste’s food

Ana will be hosting a Wednesday Cooking Circle at the local Community Centre, Currie Crescent. She is cooking up a magical array of Timorese dishes that remind her of home.

Ana’s menu

  • Etu katupa/Etu kinur – Coconut rice
  • Ikan Saboko – Fish wrapped in banana leaves
  • Aimanas –Timorese fresh chilie
  • Ikan Saboko Etu Katupa/Etu kinur – Yellow rice

And for Dessert

  • Batar Kukus – fresh corn steamed with coconut cream

Continue reading “From Ana Guterres’ kitchen: Cooking Timor-Leste’s food”

Five minutes with Bridging Peoples’ Deb Cummins


Founder of Bridging Peoples and all-round go-getter, Deborah Cummins chats candidly with Cooking Circles about Timorese women, her passion for Timor Leste and the story behind Bridging Peoples…

It’s hard to talk about ‘Timorese women’, because of course their experiences and world views vary so much depending on what class they come from, and depending on whether they consider themselves more country women or city women…

Continue reading “Five minutes with Bridging Peoples’ Deb Cummins”