Meet AWNY Co-Presidents: Jacquelyn Drozdoff & Lauren Appleby (August 2020)

What a weird time to be living in New York, and anywhere around the world for that matter (OK, it does seem like Kiwis have it exceptionally good at the moment)! As we greet an unprecedented summer, despite all the uncertainty and disruption, one thing remains steadfast: Australian Women in New York (AWNY) is as strong as ever and is here for our cherished community of Aussie and Kiwi women.

Despite these strange times, as your new Co-Presidents, we are delighted to kick-off this second half of the year with our fabulous committee leads and volunteers. A bit about us….

Hailing from sunny Tucson, Arizona, Jacquelyn Drozdoff relocated to Sydney with her Australian husband in 2002, enjoying life in Oz for more than seven years. She proudly holds dual citizenship. Having now lived in six countries, she deeply understands the expat experience and treasures the many close friendships she’s made with dynamic Aussies around the globe (including with the fabulous women of AWNY). 

Growing up in Clifton, a small rural town in Queensland, Lauren Appleby braved New York City for love after a prolonged long-distance stint. She’s lived in the Big Apple for over two years now (doing her best to see all of the Broadway musicals!) and is not looking at returning to Oz anytime soon. Lauren has loved being part of the AWNY community and is excited to give back in appreciation of the comforting support she received in transitioning to life in the States.

Community, connection and friendship is at the heart of what AWNY is all about. Our members are highly committed to providing the support, resources, and fun we all need to navigate through this challenging period. 

Although the pandemic has impacted our normal schedule of stellar in-person events and gatherings, our committee members have dedicated themselves to offering an array of virtual events to connect our community over the past few months and going forward. And for those who are comfortable dipping their toes in an in-person event, we’re delighted to announce upcoming Picnic in the Park gatherings in both Central Park and Prospect Park on Saturday, 15 August, to provide a safe outdoor venue for socially-distanced fun. 

We intimately know how challenging being an expat can be under the best of circumstances, and wholeheartedly understand the added complexities for our community in navigating this pandemic. Being away from home, not having the opportunity to fully assimilate into and enjoy local culture (hello, that’s what brought many of us to NYC!), employment and financial difficulties, not to mention the added challenges for parents. This can be a truly disorienting, exhausting period and one that can make it hard for all of us to keep our spirits up.

Please rest assured that you’re not alone, and that a fabulous community of women is here to support you to make new friends, successfully navigate this period and enjoy some well-deserved laughter. We’ve got an array of dynamic virtual events on offer including: monthly social gatherings, coffee and wine chats, book clubs, game nights, mums & dads sessions, and much more. We’re also trialing select outdoor in-person events and hope to offer more in the coming months. 

Aussie and Kiwi women are as tough and resourceful as they come and we know our community will make it through this period with resilience and grace (along with a good cup of tea or glass of wine…or few)!

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our upcoming events.  For further information and resources check out:

You’re also welcome to email us at for more information.

Here’s to making the best out of 2020 and to a brighter 2021.

Best wishes,

Jacquelyn & Lauren

Author: Tarley Jordan

Tarley has been an AWNY volunteer since 2012. She is award-winning marketer from Sydney (with stops in Brisbane and Rockhampton), who moved to New York for love. Find her on Instagram: @tarleyj

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