The United States Studies Society is a student organisation at the University of Sydney dedicated to promoting the engagement of the university’s students with and understanding of American culture, and Australia’s unique relationship with the United States. It provides communication, peer support and social events to facilitate the exchage of ideas and opinions relating to the study of the US.

The society is directed by its Executive Committee, consisting of up to nine members. Read about the current members of the Executive here.

For further information, media inquiries or comments, contact the USSSoc Communications Director Jonathan Bradley:

Email: usssoc.usyd [at]

Phone:     +61 425 386 800


The USSSoc Executive

President: Erin Riley


Like George Washington, Erin was voted unanimously as our first President, and like George Washington, she is eminently qualified. Around the same time Al Gore was inventing the Internet, Erin was inventing the blog, and unlike Al Gore, she did it while she was still in high school. American high school. If you’ve seen Heathers, you’ll agree that’s an experience roughly equal in arduousness to leading a ragtag band of farmers and shopkeepers across the Delaware to found a nation on principles of freedom, liberty and the right to mix sweet and savoury foods at breakfast.

Vice President/Social Chair: Kate Wenban


Kate’s amicable facade obscures a ruthless political mind with a killer instinct and a genius for building coalitions. Running as the “Social Chair Who Cares” Kate ran a campaign for the Social Chair office that made the likes of James Carville, Karl Rove and David Axelrod look like rank amateurs. After witnessing the masterful way she dispatched her political opponents in that campaign, the USSSoc decided it would be best to simply award her the Vice-Presidential office to prevent anyone from getting hurt. When not plotting world domination from her headquarters at the University of Sydney Women’s College, Kate enjoys performing the Sheena Easton classic “Morning Train (9 to 5),” and awarding USSC students prizes named for lecturers in the USyd History department. And if that weren’t impressive enough: Kate can fly.

Vice President: Dean Fernandez


Like the rap label Bad Boy Records in the ’90s, Dean represents two things: the East Coast and high proximity to the legal profession (for legal reasons, the USSSoc would like to note that Sean “Puffy” Combs was aquitted of all charges relating to the 1999 shooting incident at Club New York). But it isn’t just Dean’s incomparable legal mind and Ivy League future that makes him an excellent Vice President; unlike his similarly talented contemporaries William J. Brennan Jr. and Joe Biden, he possesses the ability to flawlessly perform Ma$e’s verse in the 1997 Biggie Smalls hit “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.” Indeed, some say Dean will not stop until he sees his name on a blimp. We at the USSSoc believe, rather, that our Vice-President would prefer to see his name on an Amtrak train.

Treasurer: Paul Hemsley


If you head out to the southwestern suburbs of Sydney and mention you’ve seen some fine hair in your time, don’t be surprised if the locals should scoff. Our esteemed treasurer, a resident of those distant environs, redefines the very nature of good hair. However, whether he admits it or not, Paul is more than a finely coiffured do. He’s a man with the suave style of all the James Bonds put together, with a voice precision-engineered for radio, a devotion to libertarian ideals so principled he makes Ron Paul look like Karl Marx (or, shudder, Barack Obama) and a financial mind that could drag the world out of recession by next Friday, if only he didn’t consider that interfering in the free market. Also, he has really fantastic hair.

Secretary: Lexie Organ


Lexie is not only the one genuine American on the USSSoc Executive; she’s a genuine Texan — and one from Dallas at that. So, sure, she’s a Cowboys fan, but we don’t hold that against her. However, Lexie is more than the Sandy to the USSSoc’s Spongebob; she is also the highly-connected organiser responsible for spearheading the society’s massive 2009 member drive, and she has more degrees than she has USyd club memberships (and a USyd club without Lexie as a member probably isn’t worth being called a club). She’s somewhat a child prodigy actually; if I recall correctly, Lexie is about fourteen years old.

Communications Director: Jonathan Bradley


Jonathan likes sticking words together, and he hopes one day to own a Mansion in West Egg. Don’t tell him it’s fictional; it would break his heart. He was once described as “DeTocqueville with Death Cab,” and is rumoured to be an Intellectual Gangster. If you ask him about it, he’ll claim he’s always preferred the pleasures of scholarly racketeering.