How to feel really Australian when you celebrate Australia Day in NYC

By Kiri Milburn
This was originally published January 23, 2015 on

1.  Say all those words you’ve been biting your tongue over, like dirty secrets.  Say them with pride.  Relish the quizzical look you get for doing so.  In case you’ve forgotten, those words are:



Bathers / togs

Icy Pole




Nature strip


Spring Onion (I say this every day of the year because I’m convinced a scallion is a skin disease)


Slab (of beer)

And perhaps, when you’re a little merry, you can bring out the ‘O’ in everything:






Call everyone by their surname and then add ‘O’ to it

2.  Have brunch at a modern Australian cafe, complete with Australian waiters, tourists, exceptional banter, and good, yet not aggressively good, service.  My favourites are Bluestone Lane, Ruby’s, Dudley’s, Flinders Lane and B_Space—which is technically a retail shop—but they also sell Tim Tams, Vegemite, Milo and dunlop volleys to the discerning Nolita resident.

3.  Men: wear a singlet and thongs in the snow.  Not only because it’s an Aussie uniform, but, because Aussies are the kind of larrikans that would do something ridiculous like that.  And I have a feeling it’s these kinds of antics that brought about our golden ticket, the E3 visa, so let’s keep up the gags.

4.  Ladies and/or gentlemen: go on a date with an Aussie man.  They probably won’t offer to pay or drop you home.  But they won’t quiz you on your five year career plan, IQ, or pursue you persistently, even after you’ve tried gently to let them down.  The Aussie man is a species that can make us laugh, without being too showy, pushy or egotistical—traits that seem to plague many of the men in New York.  When you date an Aussie man you know they’ll have a laugh, one too many drinks and you’ll probably have some mutual friends on facebook.

5.  Make espresso martinis laced with milo, and bite either end of a Tim Tam to sip your sweet concoction through a chocolatey straw.

6.  Watch Summer Heights High and We Could Be Heroes.  Chris Lilley, you are a comedy legend, but sadly Smouse does not live up to the Holy Grail of Ja’mie and Jonah.

7.  Tune in to the Triple J Hottest 100 at 8pm this Sunday 25 January in New York.  Enjoy the dulcet tones of Alex Dyson, and embrace the Sunday sess(ion).  Even though we don’t get Monday off, we’re in the throes of winter, and I never quite know the temperature because I still can’t calculate Degrees Fahrenheit to Celcius.  Despite all this, celebrate with your friends in this City, who are no doubt from all over the world, because that is what being Australian is about, being able to make friends and feel at home anywhere!

Author: Australian Women in New York

Australian Women in New York (AWNY) sources stories and guides that will help make you win the Big Apple. We also love to profile fabulous Aussie and Kiwi women.

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