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PALM workers from Timor-Leste and Broome parishioners at morning tea at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral on Sunday (Broome Diocese)

It was fitting that Sunday’s Gospel reading evoked the image of the vine and the branches when Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral in Broome hosted more than 50 people from Timor-Leste. Source: Broome Diocese.

The East Timorese group has moved to Broome in the West Kimberley as part of the Pacific Area Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme. 

One of the guests of honour, Leo, said the newest parishioners are literally workers in the vineyard, labouring in the harvesting and production of table grapes. 

“This is now your home, you are most welcome here,” cathedral assistant priest Fr Liam Ryan told the PALM workers.

Yawuru Elder and cathedral parishioner Uncle Kevin Puertollano spoke of the cultural fusion that is part of Broome’s history back to its pearling days. After sharing morning tea, parishioners enjoyed song and dances of Timor-Leste. 

Anne Jennings, the diocesan justice and ecology connector, is keen to ensure that all participants in the PALM scheme across the Kimberley region feel fully supported. 

Dr Jennings will represent Broome Diocese at the 7th Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Conference in Melbourne in June. The theme is “Welcoming Seasonal Workers in Australia, Gift and Responsibility.” 

“The dignity of work is one of the bedrocks of Catholic Social Teaching,” Dr Jennings said. “We are blessed to have people such as our Timorese sisters and brothers share their labour with us, it is also important we ensure their dignity is always upheld.”


Kimberley Church Opens Arms to Sisters and Brothers from Timor Leste (Broome Diocese)