It’s always great to learn about Sri Lankans achieving great heights and contributing to society and communities throughout the country. In the past, Ceylon Today shared the story of Virosh Perera, who after putting down roots in the land down under, successfully running Serendib News, a community newspaper for 17 years. Marking another major milestone in his life dedicated to serve the community he lives in, Virosh has recently announced his candidacy for the 2022 Federal Elections for Candidate Representative of the Suburb and the County of Scullin, Australia.
Representing the Liberal Party, Virosh has achieved much. As a lecturer and a researcher, 13 years of Virosh’s life have been spent in the field of business management and marketing, researching, educating and empowering students to realise a better future. His experience with Serendib News has provided him with a broad view of the community and its issues, and has allowed him to be a frontman for bringing the community together for a long time.
Not only that, Virosh also paved the way for Serendib Awards; the only Sri Lankan and South Asian awards platform that was created for the business community in Australia, which has given him invaluable experience in helping him recognise the importance of helping businesses grow and providing a platform to network.
Ceylon Today had the opportunity to speak with Virosh to learn more about his thoughts and vision for the future, as he takes this new step in his journey, in which he says he is, “Excited to serve for the future of Australia.
“This is a not just a campaign for me, it’s a journey of life,” he shared. “It’s a continuation of the work that I have been involved in for the last two decades. This possibly is one of the biggest opportunities I have. To start with being federal candidate is an honour for myself and for my country. If my father was alive today, he would have been the happiest man ever. This is not an opportunity you get often.”
We wanted to know how he hopes to be of service to both the Australian public as well as the people of Sri Lanka.
“I would call myself a good listener. It is too early to promise anything to the community. Let me have a proper consultation process and I will have a better idea what community really needs.” Virosh explained that his strength as a public servant would be in community engagement.
“A Majority of those who run for public office are lawyers or staffers of the party. Very few have come from different backgrounds and have diverse experiences. I’m sure my skill and multicultural background will be of value to the liberal party. There are only 38 candidates from Victoria, and I am one of them. I see my track record and community engagement skills are helping grow the blue wave.”
Observing the existing political climate of Scullin, Virosh believes that he can bring new dynamism to the public office. “We need change,” he explained. “The sitting members have been there for the last three terms. I hear he is too comfortable with the seat. So it’s time for a change, time to rejuvenate the seat of Scullin.”
Among the many things he wishes to achieve as an elected official is to make job opportunities abundant. He aims to deliver more jobs, maintaining the unemployment rate below 4 per cent, deliver tax relief for workers and small businesses, invest in roads, rail, water, infrastructure, and renewable energy technology, make record investments in health and other essential services, and invest in stronger defence, security, and borders.
“I was blessed to serve the first Sri Lankan newspaper in Australia. My promise is, give me an opportunity to serve bigger and better. It’s a long journey ahead and it’s not a one-off opportunity. There are various opportunities and so many projects to come.”
As he election is only a few days away Ceylon Today would like to wish Virosh all the very best in the upcoming election, and the strength and courage to make his community a better place.
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage