Belinda Jackson served as AWNY President for two years and has recently handed over the reigns to newly elected Co-Presidents, Kate Lee and Toni Short. Here Belinda reflects on the achievements and highlights of the AWNY community:
It is with mixed emotions that I step down from the position of President of AWNY. I have tremendously enjoyed working with the AWNY committee and community for the last 11 years and being the President of such a vibrant and supportive organization for the last two.
During my term we have achieved some major goals as a committee of which we should all be very proud.
Here are just a few:
- AWNY launched a beautiful and useful new website. We continue to grow the content provided on our website with valuable information for living and working in NYC.
- Our online audience has grown significantly. We now have a weekly digital reach of over 10,000 visitors, via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms, thanks to the tireless efforts of our Communications team.
- A Meet and Greet program for New Members was created, that includes a drinks evening every two months and small group get-togethers on a regular basis.
- A dynamic program of events has been enjoyed by our members and the public, courtesy of our Events team, with one key event per month. These events range from theater evenings, museum visits to educational events and just getting together for a drink. One of our very successful events last year was the Finances in the USA educational event and one of my personal favorites is the rooftop drinks at The Met.
- Our Charity team is volunteering monthly at the Dwelling Place, a homeless shelter for women in NYC.
- Our Australian Mums and Dads in NYC group has created some fabulous events and content for living in NYC with children. For example we have a series on understanding and navigating the school system in NYC.
Our goal at AWNY has always been to provide a supportive group for Australian and New Zealand Women who are moving to or living in NYC. We know that women from Australia and New Zealand arrive here wanting to experience all that the city has to offer, yet at some stage we realize how wonderful it is to reconnect with the familiar.
Coming to any AWNY event I feel understood. Other members understand how I pronounce my vowels and ‘r’s. They love to get together for a cuppa and chat. AWNY is one of the most supportive groups I have ever had the pleasure of being involved with. If you haven’t connected with us yet, please do; whether it’s connecting online or face-to-face we are a very welcoming group.
Working with the committee has brought a great deal of joy and pride to me and I am looking forward to seeing us continue to grow and develop. I am most proud of seeing our committee grow significantly during this time. With our strong volunteer committee involvement we are able to provide a wonderful supportive group for our broader community. In essence AWNY punches well above our weight with all that we have achieved.
I feel as though we have created a wonderful group here at AWNY. We are creative, collaborative, innovative, supportive and fun. To all our committee members who have worked so hard to create and develop our group a big heartfelt THANK YOU!
I am delighted to be handing over to our new Co-Presidents, Kate Lee (former Events Team Leader) and Toni Short (former Secretary). I believe their experience within AWNY combined with their leadership skills will ensure that Kate and Toni guide AWNY to further success in the coming year.
Congratulations Kate and Toni, I’m looking forward to supporting you over the next year, and can’t wait to see what comes next.
If you’d like to volunteer with AWNY or join our community, please reach out to our Committee via firstname.lastname@example.org.