Cook 2 Connect with the Kirribilli community!

JRS has been honoured to work with churches and schools to raise awareness about refugees, people seeking asylum and other forcibly displaced people. The community at Star of the Sea, Kirribilli recently hosted one of JRS Australia’s hugely successful “Cook 2 Connect” dinners, where people come together to cook a recipe from a refugee. This year, Shatha shared her special family recipe from Iraq. This article was contributed by Michael Gill from the Star of the Sea community. 

The Kirribilli Community, inspired and led by Helen Ho and encouraged by Jesuit Refugee Service Australia gathered for a Cook 2 Connect meal at the Church last Sunday. The thirty five people comprised of six first-generation migrants and three Jesuits. Together, we prepared and shared an Iraqi based menu with some local variation. We met and ate in solidarity with refugees and migrants.

Above: 35 people came to spend time together in love and understanding and solidarity from Our Lady Star of the Sea, Kirribilli parish to eat a meal of Iraqi refugee (bottom, right), Shatha. By contrast, pictured below (left),1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington DC; a State Dinner for the Prime Minister of Australia; the best of food and drink; the finest of clothes; the privileged invited; two leaders of first world countries………both professing Christianity and excluding from their rich existence, the poorest of people fleeing homes in fear of their lives and seeking a better life for their families. 

The community gathered in solidarity with refugees and migrants who are seeking a new chance in Australia. We are gobsmacked by the apparent indifference of our political leaders and so many of the Australian community (most of whom are of migrant/refugee stock themselves). We are somewhat frustrated that we can’t do more…..can’t change the fear/selfishness of our fellow Australians.

Inspired and led by our friend Helen Ho and facilitated by our Pastoral team, we gathered in the winter sunshine of our community meeting place to “break bread” and remember/ reflect on what Christ asks of us……to care for the needy, to welcome the stranger, to seek justice for those deprived of it, to love our neighbour.

Two meals (one in Washington and the other in Kirribilli) worlds apart in every sense bar one. We are all human….as is the refugee/migrant. Why can’t we just focus on that? Why is the acquisition of material possessions and advantage so often accompanied by fear of and the need to exclude the stranger? What has happened to the Australian spirit that was capable of welcoming the stranger and giving a hand to those down on their luck?

~ Article by Michael Gill, parishioner of Star of the Sea Church, Kirribilli.

Thank you. JRS is grateful to Star of the Sea Church, Kirribilli for walking with us in our mission to accompany, serve and advocate for refugees and people seeking asylum. Special thanks to Michael Gill for providing this excellent article. We also thank and are honoured that Shatha, a former refugee from Iraq, who is now the JRS Information and Referral officer at our Finding Safety women’s space, has shared her special family recipe with us.

Be part of it. Host a Cook 2 Connect with friends and family. Simply click here or call or email Alma Gatica. E:   P: (02) 9356 3888

Stand with refugees and people seeking asylum.










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