Australians in New York Celebrate Summer with Picnic in Central Park [VIDEO]

Saturday June 24 was a sunny day in Central Park, New York, where 60 or so Aussies joined us for our second annual AWNY Picnic in the Park.

Take a peek at the fun we had in this video produced by Aussie, Emma Cillekens. Emma interviews some of our picnickers (including one American) along with AWNY Committee members who organized the event. Our President Belinda ‘BJ’ Jackson speaks about the benefits that Aussie social and cultural groups in New York like ours can bring.

In the words of Aussie woman in New York, Belinda Paladino:

You miss that feeling of home, and sort of, what you’re used to and what you know and sort of your identity. So when you can come across a group that can relate to you and understand you, as you are, I think that’s really refreshing.

Learn more about AWNY

Read about our heritage and work here and sign up to become a member via the American Australian Association.

Want to keep up with all the latest Aussie in New York news & events?

Register for our monthly newsletter or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

AWNY Year in Review: President’s Letter



Hello to all our members,

I hope everyone has had a great start to 2017. Just as Spring marks new beginnings in this city, it also coincides with the election of our volunteer-led Australian Women in New York (AWNY) steering committee.

Now is your opportunity to get involved. Alongside a dynamic group of women, you will give back, guide the programs and direction of our community, make fabulous friends and most importantly, have fun. We’d love for you to join us.

All positions are available for re-election including: President, Vice President, Secretary, Co-chair (leadership) positions available for Communications, Events, Mums & Dads, Charity and New Members. Plus there are numerous positions available for volunteer coordinators for Events, Communications, Charity, and Mums & Dads.

If you are interested in joining us, submit your nomination by Thursday, April 13 online here, and attend our upcoming Annual General Meeting (April 17).

If you are wondering what our committee does, then read on!

What does the AWNY Committee get up to?

AWNY is a platform for Australian and Kiwi women to support each other through the craziness that is New York – whether it’s getting settled, or stretching for growth – we are here to help you understand more about yourself and how to thrive in this city.

Continue reading

Australia Day 2017

Ah yes, it’s time to celebrate our national day again and Australia Day in New York is great fun! This year it falls on Thursday, January 26th, 2017 and there are some wonderful celebrations and festivities in and around the city for you to join.

The American Australian Association’s Annual Australia Day Black Tie Gala is on Friday, January 20th at Cipriani Wall Street and will be a fun and glamorous night out.

The American Australian Association and G’day USA have a luncheon on Monday 23rd January, from 12pm to 2pm with a presentation by The Hon Steven Ciobo, MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, on ‘The Importance of Australia for U.S. Companies Pivoting to Asia’. Click here for tickets.

Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy present an Australia Day Party on Sunday, January 22nd from 3-8pm at Jimmy At the James Hotel – 27 Grand Street, New York. Note there is limited capacity, and in lieu of a ticket price, a donation to Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy is greatly appreciated (suggested donation $50 – $200 per person). All funds raised from the Australia Day party will go towards protecting Australia’s threatened wildlife and their unique habitats.

The Australian – 20 West 38th Street, New York – will be celebrating on Wednesday 25th January from 8pm till late and will play the Hottest 100 live. And, again on Thursday 26th January from 11am till late there will be more Triple J’s Hottest 100 + Live Music, plus $1 off all Coopers. Door charge from 4pm.

New York Magpies Australia Day Party is on Friday 27th of January at 8pm at Professor Thom’s – 219 2nd Ave, New York – $15 at the door or $10 tickets online here.

Bensons – 181 Essex St (Corner of Houston) New York – are celebrating on Tuesday January 25th, where the Aussie Meetup Group will be there from 7pm for the Hottest 100 party and Benson’s will be serving Coopers on tap. There will be another Australia Day party from 6pm on January 26th where Bensons will serve up their classic sausage sizzle PLUS fairy bread.

Burke & Wills – 226 W 79th Street, New York – on Thursday 26th January there will be a 5-course special dinner menu with pairing of all Australian wine. Reservations Required. Call 646 823 9251 or email

Flinders Lane – 162 Avenue A, New York – on Thursday 26th January there will be a special four course tasting menu for $50 per person. Australian Kingfish Sashimi Finger Lime, Citrus Ponzu, Crispy Taro Salt & Pepper Prawns Sesame Dressing, Grilled Lime Braised Victorian Beef Cheek Truffle Mash, Almond-Parley Salad Passionfruit & Mango Pavlova Vanilla Whipped Cream (drinks/tax/gratuity not included). Reservations Required.

Four’n Twenty pies – will be doing a special drop-off near McCarren Park, Brooklyn on Saturday 21st January, so get your orders in now!

Bluestone Lane is offering Mates Rates to all Aussie locals on Thursday 26th January across both Bluestone Lane cafe and coffee shops. Cafes are offering $5 Australian beer and wine by glass as well as serving up warm Sausage Rolls and Meat Pies all day.  Coffee shops are offering $2 flat whites and pastries including our delicious Aussie lamington and caramel slice. Also, to keep the Australian cheekiness, be the first to bare your ‘budgie smugglers’ on Australia Day and they’ll give you a free coffee every day for a month. Sounds like a great deal!

Two Hands Restaurant & Bar – 251 Church St, TriBeCa – is having a Aussie shin-dig on Thursday 26th January with treats like wedges with sour cream & sweet chilli sauce, buckets o’ prawns, sausage rolls, lamb ribs, chicken parmies and pavlovas all washed down with ice-cold sweet selfish Coopers Green & Red ales. Email for bookings.

The Thirsty Koala – 35-12 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria – are celebrating on Thursday 26th January with happy hour from 5-11pm: $4 Koala Lager, $5 draught beers, $5 wines & $5 cocktails all night. You will not go hungry with a great list of Aussie food available including homemade mini meat pies, sausage rolls, chicken parma & barramundi. For those with a sweet tooth you can enjoy pavlova, lamingtons, caramel slices & sticky date pudding.

Northern Territory – 12 Franklin Street, Brooklyn – will be celebrating on Thursday 26th January with Cooper’s Beer and food specials as well as playing the Triple J countdown and the Australian Tennis Open will be showing.


And if you are in the mood for shopping, celebrate Australia Day with R.M.Williams in New York who are offering 20% off throughout the store for AAA and AWNY members Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th inclusive. Coffee house Bluestone Lane will be offering an assortment of beverages at a pop-up station on Australia Day only, so go and visit R.M. Williams at 152 Spring Street (between West Broadway and Wooster).


In the meantime watch this year’s Lamb commercial aimed at celebrating diversity, and have a fantastic Australia Day in New York!

Faces of AWNY: Jennifer Nason

jennifer-nasonJennifer Nason moved to New York City 29 years ago with J.P. Morgan. We caught up with her on role as the first female Chairman of the American Australian Association, tips for professionals working in the City and her favorite brunch spot.

What brought you to New York City?
I was born in Adelaide and went to Melbourne University. I came to New York in 1987 with JP Morgan and have basically been here ever since, now working in technology investment banking.

Tell us about your role as Chairman of the American Australian Association and being the first Australian and the first woman as Chairman?
Well it feels very overdue, but I have been in the role for a year now and we are making many exciting changes. John Berry, the former US Ambassador has just joined as President. We are going to expand our mandate – stay tuned!

As a successful woman in the banking and finance industries in NYC, who is also the Chairman of the AAA, what are your top 3 career tips for other AWNY members?

  1. Play the long game and learn how to persevere through the tough times. I enjoy my job more today than at any other point.
  2. Appreciate and enjoy the great things that happen every day. I keep a mental “Top 10 Highlights” of funny, exciting, crazy, unique moments to remind myself of what a great ride I am having.
  3. Don’t be frightened, take chances and push your way into things.

Where do you live?
I live on the Upper East Side today, but have also lived in the West Village and Upper West Side.

What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?
Shopping at a grocery store one evening and another shopper just started giving an impassioned speech in front of the fruit & vegetable about the poor quality of the produce. We all applauded!

What are your top 3 tips for friends visiting NYC?
See Hamilton, eat brunch at Beauty & Essex in the East Village, and see a concert or a game at the Garden.

Favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice?
Well, it used to be the Four Seasons Bar at the Four Seasons Restaurant on 52nd Street and Park Avenue, now it is the Baccarat Bar on 53rd Street.

What do you like and dislike about living in NY?
Love the diversity and everything there is to do. I love Central Park, I love working in the city, I love that you can get anything you want delivered at any time. I don’t like the traffic and the fact that it is hard to have a car.

Anything you miss about Australia?
Lots of things – mainly the food and that Aussie sarcasm.

Continue reading

Faces of AWNY: Bridget Callaghan

Bridget Callaghan moved to New York over two years ago to pursue post-doctoral research at Columbia University as a neuroscientist. We caught up with Bridget to learn more about what she does, and see how she spends her time in New York when she isn’t studying the brain, winning fellowships or organizing AWNY’s charity efforts as Charity Co-Lead.

What brought you to New York?

I moved to New York with my husband, Beau, in August 2014. We moved for my work as I had landed a position as a post-doctoral researcher in the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Lab in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University.

callaghan_headshot_aaa_whitebackgroundCan you tell us more about your work?

I study how the brain develops normally in children and adolescents, and how it develops following stress. For example, we study youths who have been internationally adopted following institutional/orphanage care abroad (which is a very stressful situation for infants and children). I am interested in how early experiences like these influence how children think and feel. In addition, I study how the internal environment (i.e., gut bacteria) influences brain and emotion development – in other words, I analyze poop. We are actively recruiting, so if you have kids (between 4-17 years) send them our way!

How did you get into your job in New York?

I met my lab head (Dr. Nim Tottenham) at a conference. She was doing amazing work in humans and my rodent research at the time was converging with some of her findings. We started talking and kept in contact. When I finished my Ph.D. I contacted her and said I was interested in working with her and she invited me to come to New York.

You recently received a fellowship from the American Australian Association – congratulations! Can you tell us more about what you won and how you are going to use it?

I was really honored to receive a Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship from the American Australian Association this year, which will support my postdoc at Columbia University. As I mentioned earlier, my research there focuses on the developing memory system as a potential pathway leading from early stress to anxiety. Despite how central memory is for our everyday lives, and it being consistently disrupted in anxiety, we still don’t know much about how memory neurobiology is affected by early adversity. Having the AAA recognize the importance of the work through the fellowship is really an amazing experience

Where do you live and why did you choose that area?

When we first arrived we lived in Fort Greene. We absolutely loved that area, but it was quite a trek to Columbia (the G was a nightmare) so, after a month, we settled in Park Slope and we haven’t moved since. We were initially drawn in by the prettiness of Park Slope, all the brownstones, tree-lined streets, dogs, Prospect Park. After we spent some time here we fell more and more in love – the people are friendly, the restaurants and bars are awesome, the gym is close, the public transport is great (2/3 and B/Q are two blocks away), and all of our other favorite places in Brooklyn (Crown Heights, Boerum Hill, Red Hook are close by). It helped that we accidentally managed to land a rent-controlled apartment!

What are some of your likes and dislikes about living in New York?

I love everything about living in New York. I feel like there is always something to do and somewhere to explore, the people are great, and it feels like you are really in the center of it all. The work opportunities for me are amazing – there are so many brilliant scientists living and working in New York, so it is really academically stimulating. My husband has also gotten a band together here (The Voms) and they have played some shows, which is a bit of a ‘pinch-yourself’ moment for me.

Can you tell us about an ‘only in New York’ moment?

I have this moment all the time and it is when I see people putting themselves out there, with seemingly little concern for what others think. Whether that is singing loudly while walking down the street, busting a move listening to a band in the subway, or doing stand up “just because”. People just do it here and I love that!

As a professional working in New York, what differences have you noticed to working in Australia?

This is so hard to answer – sometimes nothing, sometimes everything. Mostly I think I worry about how people see me and that makes me self-conscious, but in reality I think most people are far too busy to really notice anything beyond a fun accent.

What’s your favorite New York spot?

Red Hook – my husband and I love riding our bikes around that part of town. Feels like we stepped back into the ‘Old Brooklyn’.

Continue reading