‘My main thing was that I still got to be in this area. Because this is where I have lived and worked for all these years. I want to be in my community, I didn’t wanted to be transplanted to some other place. It is nice when everybody knows you. When the people in the supermarket chat to you, and the people in the petrol station. The children I used to teach now work in the chemist shop. I like it. When you get older you feel safe. When you know people”.
Robbie, a Marrickville resident for 23 years, recently moved to a new apartment, only one kilometre from her original house. As a long-time resident of the area, the priority of the move was to remain in the same community; to continue her established network of friends and neighbours.
Hallmarks of travel, and an eye for curating, Robbie’s new home is a treasure trove of sentimental and gifted objects and furniture, from both the inner west and around the world. When downsizing from a house to an apartment, Robbie kept the most precious of collections on display, some of which hint at her character; “I am a Leo so people often give me lions”.
It is Robbie’s cooking however, that reveals a significant period in her life; exploring Indonesia as a young woman. “I travelled to Indonesia a few times and that was my big inspiration. We cooked a lot of different things when we were there. Now days this is the one we always serve when there is a big party. It is a favourite in my family. I am known for this one”.
Originally a journalist, Robbie switched to primary school teaching in her late 30’s. A primary school teacher for twenty years at Dulwich Hill and Marrickville West Primary Schools, Robbie explained the transformation as a matter of a lifestyle which better served her family; “I thought I needed a job that fits in better with the kids so I could be home in the holidays”. Currently on long service leave from teaching with plans to retire in the near future, Robbie continues to educate the children of the Marrickville community. Every Thursday morning Robbie hosts ‘Ms Kennedy’s Storytime’ at Gleebooks Dulwich Hill. Viewing her increased free time as a new journey in her life, Robbie reflected; “I have more social time, more time to see my friends, and time to read. These are what are important to me now”.
Indonesian Inspired Drumsticks
12 free range chicken drumsticks
1.5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
6 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons grated ginger
4-6 hot red chillies (de-seeded and finely chopped)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch fresh coriander (chopped leaves and stems)
3 teaspoons brown sugar (or honey)
Combine oil, garlic, ginger, chilli, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar and coriander (reserve some coriander leaves for the garnish)
Marinate drumsticks in mixture for at least an hour
Cook in baking dish in oven for approximately 1 hour at 200⁰c, turning every 20 minutes and draining excess liquid