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About Us

Kiwi Sri Lankans / About Us

About Us

We are a not-for-profit organisation, established in 2017. It is a legal body, registered under the Charitable Trust Act of 1957
(registration number 2673132) in New Zealand. 

Our purpose is to support Sri Lankans to achieve their physical and mental well-being and educational aspirations. 

We deliver our work in three broad themes; health, education & culture, mental health & well-being.  

For more information (read more…)

Our Team

Board of Trustees

President, Wasantha Marasinghe

Wasantha is a founding member of the Kiwi-Sri Lankan Charitable Trust. He brings more than 25 years of experience from different sectors, including Health, Education, Social Development, and Community Development. Wasantha has held a number of Senior Management positions in the Ministries Health, Education, Finance in Sri Lanka; and has worked with a number of World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded projects.

He has also held advisory positions in various central government agencies in New Zealand, focusing on the social development and community development sector. He has won a prestigious fellowship from the United Nations Develop Programme (UNDP) to complete his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Wasantha has two daughters and spends his spare time supporting young children to practice mindfulness, teaching the Sinhala language, playing cricket, and reading books.

Vice President, Dr. Anura Jayasinghe

Anura is a specialist in public health medicine. In his 20 plus years career, he has worked as a medical officer, epidemiologist, community physician, researcher, academic, and programme coordinator in different countries. Anura has worked as a frontline public health physician during the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and the 2008 North-East conflict in Sri Lanka. He is one of the medical officers involved with the prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic in New Zealand.

Anura graduated in medicine from the University of Peradeniya and completed masters and doctorate degrees in community medicine from the University of Colombo. He has also completed several professional courses from the Aichi Health Plaza Japan and the University Otago. Anura is a fellow of the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine and a former honorary fellow in the Centre for International Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia. He is a member of the College of Public Health Medicine and Public Health Association New Zealand, PeMSAA Australasia, Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, and College of Community Physician Sri Lanka.

Treasurer, Dr.Rasangi Sabaragamuwa

Rasangi is an experienced educator and a food technologist with 15 years involvement in university academia; both teaching and research. She graduated from Faculty of Agriculture of University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, progressed by an MPhil in food science and technology from the same university.  She did her PhD at the University of Auckland, in the same field.

She enjoys her career as a university academic; teaching undergraduates, contributing to food science through her research and working in collaboration with the food industry. Rasangi is always passionate to contribute to social work and spends her free time for such good causes. While working as an academic she gives her foremost attention and priority to her family. Living a happy life with her family and friends while giving back to society at her best is her prime life goal.

Member, Anura Hemakumara

Anura Hemakumara is a member of the prestigious Sri Lankan Administrative Service with 17 years of regional administration and community development experience. In addition to that, Anura is an experienced food technologist having work experience in Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. He has served as a Quality Assurance Coordinator in Leader Products for three years in Auckland, New Zealand.

He has obtained his first degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and his masters in Public Administration from the International University of Japan. Anura has also completed a research study on social capital use in disaster management on a fellowship awarded from the Tohoku University of Sendai, Japan.

He is the father of a loving daughter and spends his time helping the local community. Anura believes that it is one’s responsibility to contribute in any possible way to make the world a better place for everyone. As one of the founding members of Kiwi – Sri Lankan Charitable Trust, he is proud of his contribution to supporting the Sri Lankan diaspora.

Coordinators

Youth Programme Coordinator, Rukman Wagaarachchi

Rukman obtained his Bachelor in Science (Agriculture) degree from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, and a Masters from the prestigious Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands. He has also worked as a research fellow at Berkeley University in California and several other countries. 

He has more than 20 years of experience working in the social development sector, including working for the Ministry of Social Development in New Zealand. 

Rukman spends long hours volunteering in different areas. He is a New Zealand marriage celebrant and recently completed the level 2 training towards qualifying as a New Zealand Buddhist Chaplin. He also was the Vice-Chair and a founder member of the New Zealand Buddhist Council.  Rukman is a strong mindfulness practitioner and promotes Mindfulness School (Sati Pasala) programme in New Zealand.

Youth Programme Coordinator, Padmakumara Maharage

Padmakumara has more than 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, currently working at Air New Zealand Operation Control Centre. He is a lifelong learner of Buddhist teachings. He enjoys teaching Buddhism and Sinhala language to young children.

Padmakumara is a talented sportsman in several sports. He captained the Sri Lankan national school hockey team and is still playing cricket and badminton. He is the father of two wonderful teenage boys.

Administration Coordinator, Anupama Rathnayaka

Anupama is a registered teacher with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa, New Zealand, with more than 25 years of experience in the education sector. She has worked as a project coordinator at the National Institute of Education in Sri Lanka, an early childhood teacher at the Victoria University of Wellington and several community-based organisations.

Anupama is passionate about working with young children. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Victoria University of Wellington and many professional development courses from Massey University and other educational institutes in New Zealand.  

Anupama is a mother of two lovely daughters and enjoys spending time with her family.

Tutors

Ashanka Deniyage

Key Boards, Guitar and Voice training

Ashanka has completed Visharad in music (vocals) from the Bhathkande Music Academy in India, and is a talented keyboardist.​ ​ He is an audio engineer, and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Audio Production from the Southern Institute of Technology, New Zealand. Over the past 4 years Ashanka has been voluntarily supporting music communities in New Zealand and also has been running a community radio channel.

Sachini Jayawardhana

Science and Maths

Sachini grew up in East Auckland, New Zealand. She is a final year student, studying Bachelors in Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland. Sachini is an experienced tutor, having started when she was in grade 12. Outside of academics, Sachini is involved in community work such as being a volunteer for the Middlemore (Hospital) Foundation, and a third-time class representative in the Auckland University Students Association.

Roshan Gallage

Chess

Roshan completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering in the Universities of Peradeniya and Moratuwa respectively.

Roshan has been playing chess for more than 35 years. He has won numerous national and internal awards including the ‘6th team place’ in the Grand Asian Chess Challenge held in Malaysia in 2001. Roshan is an accredited professional chess coach in NZ, and has taught more than 1000 students over 25 years, including a number of leading chess players in New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka.