#KoalaGiving: Spreading the #SlipSlopSlap Message

The latest published CDC data shows that 8,882 new Melanoma cases were reported in NYC and Long Island, of whom, 1,015 died.  In 2019 The Australian Community is working to encourage New Yorkers to get screened for Skin Cancer.

#KoalaGiving is The Australian Community’s charitable initiative where Australians have the opportunity to give back to the broader New York community.  Since its inception, it has help raise thousands of dollars for other charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Bowery Mission and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

For the past four years #KoalaGiving has raised money for MSKCC through Cycle for Survival.  C4S has also served as a platform for The Australian Community to raise awareness of skin cancer.   However, as C4S now focusses on funding rare cancers, and skin cancer is not a rare cancer, in 2019 we are raising money to directly fund our own #SlipSlopSlap campaign.

May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month and major Hospitals and clinics including MSKCC, Cornell, Columbia and Presbyterian Hospitals are providing free skin cancer screenings to the public. The more people who know of these free screenings, and the need to get screened, the more lives that potentially can be saved.

According to the CDC, there were a total of 8,882 annual new cases of Melanoma diagnosed in NYC and Long Island, of whom, 1,015 died.

Continue reading “#KoalaGiving: Spreading the #SlipSlopSlap Message”

Find out how much you could be saving through The Australian Community’s Preferred FOREX Rate.

"If there is a better rate on exchanging AUD to USD or USD to AUD, we have not seen it!"

Members of The Australian Community transfer millions of dollars every year for business and personal needs.  Based on this volume, a preferred rate on International wire transfers has been negotiated with OFX.

Foreign Exchange (FOREX) is confusing.  There is the Interbank or Market Rate and then there is the rate that your FOREX service offers you when you exchange money.

The less money you receive, the more the Banks and FOREX services are charging you in fees.

There is a lot of noise about which company has the best rate so we decided to compare The Australian Community's preferred rate on AUD to USD and USD to AUD through OFX, with TransferWise, a company that many of our members currently use - and claim has the best rate.

For more than a year, we have been comparing the final amounts that each service was offering when transferring AUD to USD and USD to AUD.

The most recent comparisons from August 12, 2019 are in the tables below.

USD to AUDOFXTransferWise Difference
$10,000$14,739.00$14,708.67$30.33
$1,000$1,474.20$1,470.08$4.12
$500$737.00$734.25$2.75

AUD to USDOFXTransferWise Difference
$10,000$6,726.00$6,722.63$3.37
$1,000$672.60$671.12$1.48
$500$336.30$334.92$1.38

The numbers tell us that if you use TransferWise, you are paying more in fees than if you use our Member Preferred Rate through OFX, especially when transferring USD to AUD!

Click here to register and access The Australian Community's Preferred Rate with OFX.  Your registration will automatically associate with the Preferred Rate.

"It makes absolute sense to combine the purchasing power of our members to negotiate a preferred rate on foreign exchange" said James Boland, President and Founder of The Australian Community, "If there is a better rate on International wire transfers, we have not seen it!"

Under this arrangement, members of The Australian Community are not limited just to AUD and USD transfers. Most popular currencies are covered which greatly assists Australian businesses who transfer money around the globe.

In a podcast interview, Mr. David Nicholls, Global Alliance Manager for USForex, now OFX, stated "The cost savings are significant", "Some banks take up to 8% of the total amount you are transferring, hidden in the rate itself".

Mr. Nicholls further explained the benefits to members who sign up for the service which include 24 hour access to dealers, and a downloadable App that enables members to transfer money to pay bills in other countries.

"Our membership continues to grow, fueled by benefits such as our FOREX rate" said Mr. Boland, "If you are not using our rate to transfer money around the globe, chances are you are paying too much in commissions."

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 11

Top 10 Expat Mistakes + What NOT to post on Social Media

We all make mistakes and most of them you can walk away from with the knowledge of what not to do next time.  However, there are some Expat mistakes that you simply cannot just chalk up to experience.

The saying “She’ll be right Mate” may be endearing in Australia, but here in the US, ignorance is not an excuse.

Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 11”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 6

Local Language 101

In 1887 Oscar Wilde wrote: “We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.” This observation is very true for Australians who move to the US.

Firstly, Americans have a very different Language of Friendship which can be puzzling to an Australian.  For example when two American women first meet they may positively remark on the other’s clothing, shoes or a pocket book (hand bag) to start a conversation.

“I have that exact same Birkin.  Did you buy that here or Hermès in Paris?”  

This does not necessarily reflect materialism, rather Americans will lead with visual cues in an attempt to create an instant connection with the other person on a socioeconomic level.

Australians on the other hand will look for common personal interests to connect.  This requires conversation, and some Americans are not so comfortable in sharing personal information with a stranger. Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 6”

10 Tips for Australian Job Seekers in New York

The fact is that finding work in one of the most competitive cities on the planet is going to be a challenge for most Australians.

Landing in a US city with a freshly minted J-1 or Green Card is only a ticket to the big league.  If you go into the game without understanding the rules or having a game plan, you will quickly start to accumulate some very unnecessary scar tissue.

Continue reading “10 Tips for Australian Job Seekers in New York”

10 Questions asked by Australians Living in New York

On Wednesday June 14, 2017 The Australian Community held a private networking event at Bluestone Lane’s DUMBO location in New York to record a video of the Top 10 Questions asked of The Australian Community.

Some of the answers captured in the thirty minute video revealed a number of common mistakes (and incorrect assumptions) made by Australian expats living in New York and the broader US. Continue reading “10 Questions asked by Australians Living in New York”

5 reasons why the E3 visa is not going away anytime soon.

Since the new Administration has signaled sweeping changes to the US’s policy on immigration, The Australian Community has been approached by many of its members who are concerned that the E3 visa may be abolished.

Clearly they are concerned about the potential economic and social impact that this will have on thousands of Australians living and working in the US.

Continue reading “5 reasons why the E3 visa is not going away anytime soon.”

Our first networking event of 2017 included a private shopping experience on Fifth Avenue, NYC!

It was a packed house with members attending an exclusive networking event and private shopping experience at Microsoft’s Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue.

In January 2016, The Australian Community officially launched its Private Enterprise Social Network powered by Yammer at the Microsoft Store.  Since then, our Yammer Network has grown to the largest Australian private network in North America and contains a searchable knowledgebase built on the experiences of over 5,000 members who have connected with our organization since 2011.

Continue reading “Our first networking event of 2017 included a private shopping experience on Fifth Avenue, NYC!”

How our Members can quickly Access and Build US Credit – Even before they arrive in the US!

According to the latest US Department of Homeland Security statistics, 3,239 Australians obtained legal permanent residency in 2016, and another 5,609 obtained E-3 visas.

One of the main challenges facing these and thousands of Australian expats every year is how to access US credit without a US Credit Score.

The simple reality is that no credit score is almost the same as a bad credit score!  Thousands of Australians who arrive in the US experience the frustration of a zero credit history. Continue reading “How our Members can quickly Access and Build US Credit – Even before they arrive in the US!”

Announcing Community Job Fair v2.5

If you are an Australian in New York City and you are seeking full time employment, we may have good news!

After our recent article on the challenges Australian Job Seekers would have faced if H.R. 7164 passed the Senate, a decision has been made to broaden our existing Community Job Fair to include ALL Australians who are seeking work in NYC.

H.R. 7164 was Legislation that would have allowed Irish citizens to access any unused E-3 visas in the following year.  It was unanimously passed by the Lower House, but failed to pass solely on one Senator’s concerns.  The challenge for Australia is that n E-3 Hopefuls is that there would have been will be the flood of new Irish job seekers, especially into NYC, who would be competing for the same ex-pat jobs as Australians, on the same visa.

As the article outlines, the Irish are far better adapted to finding work, and may well displace thousands of Australian job seekers each year.

Due to the limited personnel and financial resources of our non-profit, our current Job Fair (Version 2.0) is only open to members of our organization.  However, by extending some of its components to all Australian job seekers in NYC, we can raise the number of Australians who successfully find work, and thereby mitigate the number of E-3 visas that go unused.

New E-3 visas have peaked in recent years at less than 6,000, leaving 4,500 E-3 available to Irish citizens if the Legislation passes.

In spite of receiving zero financial aid from the Australian Government, our non-profit provides expat services to tens of thousands of Australian citizens here in the U.S.  Our new website has received more than 100,000 visits in the past year alone.  It is only through the support of handful of sponsors and volunteers, and the small amount of funding we raise through memberships, that we can continue our Mission to assist Australians living in the U.S.

As there is no available budget for v3.0, a scaled down Community Job Fair v2.5 will be funded by a percentage of money we raise at our #OzDayNYC Black Tie Awards on January 26, 2019, as well as combining employment initiatives with scheduled member professional events.

v2.5 will launch early in the New Year so that all Australians in New York will be given the best opportunity in finding work through support of our non-profit organization.

The first step in the process will be registering with our Employment Database through a new form on our website.  Job seekers will submit basic information including a link to their LinkedIn profile.  Fields will include Industry so that we can quickly connect “Australian Friendly” recruiters and employers with lists of prospective candidates.

In addition to our quarterly Networking events, The Australian Community will be hosting regular employment seminars in Midtown where Subject Matter Experts on finding work will be invited to share end-to-end knowledge from resume writing to the E-3 process itself.  Internal and external recruiters will be invited to these meetings.

Even after finding work, thousands of Australians have had an E-3 visa denied, many, simply due to bad paperwork.

For members of our private Yammer social network, we will also be proactively approaching internal recruiters and corporations who have Australian employees, and allowing them to directly post jobs to our Employment group.  Videos and content from our seminars will also be posted to the Employment Group, for those who may not be able to attend, and to preserve knowledge for new members.

Our private social network works like all public social media.  You can ask questions, post comments, Like, add #hashtags and there is even an instant message feature where you can connect with other members; but all member information and resources are private.

Finding work ultimately depends on your experience, your resume and how quickly you build relationships with recruiters and individuals who will make introductions to employers on your behalf.  Understanding the interview process in the U.S. is also a challenge for many Australians, and we can assist with that as well.

The statistics tell us that there are more than enough Australian job seekers in the U.S. to fill the 10,500 annual E-3 quota, they just need to be better at finding work –  and our Community Job Fair v2.5 is designed to do exactly that.

We can provide great resources and tools for Australians who are looking for work, but these resources only account for a percentage of the effort required to find employment:  It is ultimately up to the individual and her or his motivation to seek work on a daily basis.

As soon as our Community Job Fair v2.5 is launched in early 2019, we will be posting the registration link on our Facebook page, Twitter and our LinkedIn company page.

We are confident that this charitable initiative will assist more Australian pursue their dream of living and working in the U.S.  Expanding this initiative to other major cities in California, Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts and Florida is simply a question of funding.

NY and CA lead the states with the most number of E-3 workers, with TX, WA, IL, FL (and MA) also representing significant numbers.

If you are not a member of The Australian Community, you can click here to learn more about our member services.

About The Australian Community  

The Australian Community is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity and its Mission is to connect Australian living in the United States through social. professional and charitable initiatives.

All contributions are fully tax deductible under Section 170 of the IRS Code. The Australian Community is also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.