Sri Lankan who advises Australian Govt | Sunday Observer

Sri Lankan who advises Australian Govt

27 June, 2021

Ranjeeva Perera has achieved tremendous success in a land far away from the place where he was born.

He is someone that has had a great deal of success in Australia and so we thought it would be appropriate to focus on his fabulous achievements. Ranjeeva is certainly of a rare breed where he has got a rare opportunity of working for the Australian government.

In that light, he extends his service in his capacity as the senior adviser to Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs in the Department of Home Affairs of the Australian Government Minister Jason Wood.

He has been instrumental in engaging and working with the multicultural communities and has worked extensively to assist the growth and development of multicultural communities. The Minister together with Ranjeeva worked on supporting many projects, one of which was a project to build a Sinhalese Language School at the Buddhist temple in Berwick (a large Buddhist temple in the South Eastern Sububs of Melbourne, which was started initially by the late Venerable Soma Thera) and recognised the importance for Children in Australia to know their mother tongue.

The Minister together with Prime Minister Scott Morrison committed a grant of 100 Million Sri Lankan rupee equivalent to build this school. The Prime Minister visited the temple to announce this grant.

Childhood memories

Amid Ranjeewa’s busy schedule, he found time to recollect some of his fondest memories, surrounded by his childhood. He said, “I was born in Colombo and at the time of my birth, my parents were living in Kandana. My mother is from Kandana and my father is from Kelaniya”.

Having left the shores of the island, as Ranjeeva was barely 11 years, his family found themselves, living up in London where he got educated until he was 15 years, following which the family has migrated to Australia.

He said, “I advise the minister on areas such as multicultural affairs, national media, community safety and Australian Migration Advice Industry”. He said that until quite recently, his minister was responsible for part of immigration into Australia, which is known as the ministerial interventions where the minister is vested with for the power of intervening the grant of visa to someone based on a particular situation.

He mentioned ‘Omara’ which is the registration body for accredited migration agents. His role as the senior advisor includes advising the minister on policy development and introduction of legislation through Parliament. He also advices on organising large scale events, policy and media. He has been able to create a platform through which the Sri Lankan community residing in Australia has been able to have a link both with the minister as well as the Government.

Ranjeewa said, “We have a wonderful community in Australia. Minister Jason Wood is close to the Sri Lankan community”. He said, “The Prime Minister and the Government have the highest of regard for the Australian Sri Lankan community and have supported the community quite significantly. Australian Sri Lankans make a fantastic contribution to Australia and have been an important element of multicultural Australia.”

Engagement with community

He said that as a considerable number of Sri Lankans have recently arrived as migrants and they are often not well informed as to what the Members of Parliament and Ministers are able to do for them in Australia.

He said, “We have worked and engaged with the community to make them aware that their Members of Parliament are there to provide a service and help with the problems and issues they may have”. As mentioned by Ranjeeva, the incumbent Prime Minister, Morrison is the first Australian Prime Minister to visit a Sri Lankan Buddhist temple.

Ranjeeva said, “When I started with Minister Jason Wood, he had never had the opportunity to visit to a Sri Lankan Buddhist temple and I took him for the first time to the Berwick Buddhist Temple. The Australian Government has given over two million Australian Dollars (equivalent to 300 million Sri Lankan rupees) to the Sri Lankan Buddhist community.

Many Buddhist temples across Australia have been supported through various grant programs like the Berwick Buddhist temple - $780,000, Cranbourne Buddhist temple - $450000, Keysborough Buddhist temple – 130000, Yuroke temple - $100000, My Evelyn Buddhist temple – 350000 and Kattai - $350,000”.

They have extended their assistance to a large number of Sri Lankans in many ways. He said, “I believe the Australian Government’s philosophy is simple. The Government is there to serve the people. It is that undying commitment to serving the people of Australia at all costs which has contributed to the great success of Australia. The minister, our office and I are always available for our people and constituents.”


Ranjeeva is happily married with four children; all are boys. He said, “My wife has always been my strength. The support that I have been receiving in all endeavours had been the reason for my success. My four boys are also the same. In the sort of work I am in I am out of home a lot and travel for days - we live in Melbourne and for weeks I have to be in Canberra at the Australian Parliament. My children also do miss out on their dad a lot - however that is a sacrifice that I have to make as it is for the country.”

Most of his time is spent at the Australian parliament in Canberra. He loves working from Parliament. “It is very humbling working at the place which runs the nations and to be a part of the Australia Parliamentary process and the Government.

He is a source of inspiration for young people where he did not forget to give an advice for the young “Nothing is impossible - if you put your mind to it everything is possible. Don’t be scared to dream big - it is those dreams that can one day become reality. Nothing is more important than education - education opens the door to so many things,” he said. He emphasises on the aspect of being positive. “Sometimes we can get bogged down and be too negative - if we get into a negative mind-set, we will always feel negative and cannot achieve great things. Be positive and always try to look at the good side of people. Too often we see the negative and bad qualities of people - everyone has a positive side. Try to see the positivity in people and then you will also feel good.” He highlighted the significance of being loyal and honest. The sense of gratefulness is another prominent aspect that he mentioned. “Never forget someone who does some good for you,” he said.

Ranjeeva calls Sri Lanka ‘a wonderful amazing paradise island’. He said, “It has many positive things. Sometimes we can be all too negative and see the things that are wrong rather than the good things. My advice is let’s focus on the positives and work hard to make Sri Lanka one of the greatest countries in the world”. Ranjeeva said that Sri Lanka has got one of the world’s highest literacy rates; an excellent education system which is given free from the primary school to the tertiary level. He urges Sri Lankans to work hard together to make the island even better.