Two high-profile Australian alumni – Professor Mahesha Kapurubandara, Dean International at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology and Mr Supun Weerasinghe, Director/Group Chief Executive Officer at Dialog Axiata PLC – were joined in a panel discussion by Mr Wasantha Deshapriya, Secretary to the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure. Around 120 alumni of Australian institutions attended the event.
The panellists spoke about the advances Sri Lanka is making to digitalise services including in the health sector with online patient bookings and digitalisation of medical tests. They noted plans to launch a new Trade Information Portal this year and to develop a National Single Window on Trade over the next few years, with Australian Government support.
They also talked about the important role of the private sector in leading the adoption of technology in Sri Lanka, and in helping Sri Lanka’s young people to be competitive in this digital globalised world. Mr Weerasinghe mentioned the Ezy Cash mobile banking service, developed by Dialog in partnership with the Australian Government.
The Australia Sri Lanka Alumni (ASLA) network has been established to bring together the many thousands of Sri Lankans who have studied in Australia. This number is growing fast. There are more than 10,500 enrolments by Sri Lankan students to study in Australia in 2018.
High Commissioner Hutchesson told the audience that “our goal with ASLA is to host networking events on topics of relevance to alumni in their leadership roles across Sri Lankan society. We want to assist in building connections between alumni, to support alumni in their professional lives and help maintain connections with Australia.”