In the past four months, Burnie Rotary Club has inducted three members from one family: Chandra (husband), Dilani (mother) and Nethmini (daughter). Originally from Sri Lanka, they came to Tasmania when Chandra obtained a position at Latrobe Hospital. Last week, Dilani told us about her life in Sri Lanka.
Both her parents were teachers and the Education Dep’t moved them to several places while she was growing up. Her schooling was disrupted by political instability in the country and she was forced to wait three years before progressing to higher education. Eventually, Dilani entered Ragama Medical Faculty; initially this was a private medical school, though when Dilani started it had been taken over by the Government.
The government provides 100% free education, but it is highly competitive to get into good schools in Sri Lanka. “My daughter, Nethmini, was interviewed when she was 2.5 years old! … overall, the standard of education in my country is higher than it is in surrounding countries”, she said.
Dilani worked as an intern in two Colombo hospitals; Lady Ridgeway children’s hospital and Castle Street hospital for Women. Then she had to move to the north and east areas of the island, where the civil war was going on.
Dilani also worked in a mental hospital before moving to the National Hospital in Colombo, where she worked in the Accident and Orthopaedics services. That hospital has over 3,000 beds and over 7,000 staff.