May 16, 2023

Cooking Circles

Cooking Circles started as a Canberra-based community project in 2014 by Heidi Zajac (now Heidi Lipson). The project was funded by YWCA Canberras’ Great Ydeas initiative (add hyperlink) that grants seed funding to projects promoting the rights of women and girls. Cooking Circles started out as it continues to work, by building connections between women that builds individuals confidence, opportunities, and skills. 

Cooking Circles is inspired by the people and communities of Timor Leste (also known as East Timor). Heidi first travelled to Timor Leste in 2012, and returned with ideas for supporting the strengths and skills of the women she met. Heidi came to get to know her host family, build friendships in the community, and learn about Timorese society and history through cooking and local food. Back in Australia, Heidi organised networks of women who cooked together, and Cooking Circles was born.

Cooking Circles@Currie Crescent Community Centre

Cooking Circles has been running since 2015 at The Canberra Baptist Church community hub, the Currie Crescent Community Centre.

The network meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month in the school term.

Each session is led by a ‘lead cook’. The Lead chooses recipes, shops and then does the cooking with a few others who choose to help that week. Costs are covered by all who attend.

Everyone is involved in the session in some way, whether it is leading, cooking, setting up or packing up.

Attendees bring $7 to cover costs, and RSVP is essential for catering purposes.

Our group welcomes all people, from all backgrounds, faiths, abilities, and ages. Please get in touch with our coordinators if you have any questions or would like to discuss anything.

Katrin and Kerstin, two lovely volunteers, coordinate and plan these sessions.

We’re always open to volunteers to lead cooking and to help out in other ways. If you are interested, please contact the Centre’s Office Manager, Richard: or (02) 6295 9470 (9am-2pm Tue – Fri).

Food safety

We require masks when in the kitchen doing food prep, cooking, washing up, and as you wish in the other areas of the hall.

Please bring your own water bottle, and if you wish, own coffee or tea cup.