The Federation of Sri Lankan Organisations of Queensland (FSOQ) Inc. was formed in 2013 in association with six main Sri Lankan community associations in Queensland as its founder members.
The founder associations realised the need to bring together the Sri Lankan migrant community in Queensland, irrespective of their ethnicity, to represent and exchange the high values of our community and our culture with the mainstream communities living in Australia and serve both nations under one umbrella organisation – FSOQ.
Radio 4EB Sri Lankan Group
Brisbane-based ethnic radio station 4EB has welcomed the Sri Lankan group to the airwaves for over 35 years. The group has dedicated these years to ensuring the Australian-Sri Lankan community stayed connected through music, news and current affairs. It has become the most popular Sri Lankan radio broadcast in the state.
The program, named Arunella, is one of the oldest on the radio station and is broadcast every Sunday from 9am to 10am. During the hour-long program, you can find expert views and opinions on current topics, keep up-to-date with sport and enjoy the latest and greatest tunes. The group was started by Kenneth F. Harvie, Chalani A. Gunasekara, Vernon Fernando, Haritha Wijeratne and Maureen Staples. The team of four launched the program on February 4, 1980, to coincide with Sri Lankan Independence Day.
While the members of the Radio 4EB Sri Lankan Group have changed over the years, the heart and soul of the program has remained the same. The current members write, produce and broadcast weekly shows on the station with the goal of keeping the Sri Lankan community in Queensland connected. The group currently consists of Kumarasinghe Dissanayake as Convenor, Lakmini Keerawella as Secretary and Kasun Karunarathne as Treasurer. The team of three also puts out an e-newsletter which reaches a readership of over 1000 people.
Sinhala Association of Qld, Inc.
Founded in 1992, the Sinhala Association of Queensland Inc. has dedicated its time to preserving the Sinhala language and Sri Lankan culture in Queensland.
The group is led by Uditha Manage (President), Nandasiri Tennakoon (Secretary), and Rupa Wickramarathne (Treasurer), and encourages Sri Lankans who are living in Australia to connect with the arts and culture of their home country. Other lead members of the organisation include Damitha Peiris as Vice President, Anurahda Wanninayake as Cultural Secretary, Francis Suraweera as SAQ Seniors Convenor and Pumudi Vidanapathirana as SAQ Youth President. Committee members include: Jagath Vithanage, Jaliya Korottage, Janath Perera, Chamila Ranjeewa, Ruwan De Silva and Wipula Dharmasooriya.
The active community organisation has put together a number of events and fundraising initiatives over the years, including their annual Sinhala New Year celebration. The group is prominent in organising fundraising activities for disasters and is dedicated to helping those in crisis. Along with the new year festival, the Sinhala Association of Queensland Inc. also hosts an annual cultural event called “Saralanga”. This event is designed to showcase and celebrate the talents of the Sri Lankan community in dancing, art, drama and performance.
The goal of the events put on by the Sinhala Association of Queensland Inc. is to engage the community in promoting the Sinhala language and cultural traditions. The organisation celebrated its Silver Jubilee anniversary in 2016 and look forward to continuing to help, engage and celebrate Sri Lankans in the Australian community for many years to come.
Silver Fawn Club, Inc.
The Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights in Sri Lanka Queensland Chapter, also known as SPUR QLD, is a charity organisation dedicated to promoting peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka. The Queensland branch was formed in the late 2000s and has hosted a number of events to celebrate the food and culture of Sri Lanka over the years. The leading team consists of president Sarath Weerasinghe, secretary Jayamini Methiwala and treasurer Anil Perera. SPUR QLD organises yearly Ranaviru Upahara Puja events, and even continued the tradition this year via Zoom.
Members of SPUR look forward to “Padura”, the annual talent show, where a night filled with music, dancing and fun activities culminates in a donation for a good cause. The society has also been involved in the Hospital Bed Project in conjunction with Hospital Council Sri Lanka and the Namalgama Livelihood Development Programme. The charity is consistently working towards helping those in need, and creating peace and prosperity among the Sri Lankan community.
Sri Lanka Society of Queensland Inc.
The Sri Lanka Society of Queensland Inc. is a community-oriented organisation dedicated to promoting and celebrating the Sri Lankan culture with people living in Queensland. The group which is led by Namal Wijeratne (President), Sandhya Abeysekera (Vice President), Champika de Silva (Secretary) and Shyamali Sriwardene, aims to encourage friendship amongst immigrants from Sri Lanka in Australia. Other led members of the group include Chamitha Weerasinghe as Social Secretary and Parba Harvie as Cultural Secretary, with Ronnie Anandappa, Kumari Perera and Gothami Meepe all sitting as members of the committee. The organisation which was founded in 1978 has a set of strong core values and takes pride in pitching in where help is needed. The goals of the society are to:
- Promote friendship and harmonious cooperation amongst immigrants from Sri Lanka and Australia from all racial, religious and political backgrounds
- Preserve, promote and project the culture of Sri Lanka
- Assist students and immigrants from Sri Lanka
- Encourage recreational, social and sporting activities
- Publish and circulate Sri Lankan news and events
- Assist the people of Sri Lanka in times of need
The non-profit organisation organises a number of events throughout the year including Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations. Notable past events have included cultural festival “Ridma Ranga Dhara” in 2017, and the participation in the First Nations welcoming ceremony in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Sri Lanka Sports Association of Qld Inc.
Founded in 2007, the Sri Lanka Sports Association of Queensland Inc. is dedicated to providing assistance to sporting organisations with under-privileged backgrounds in Sri Lanka. Headed by Lal Mendis (President), Sunil Gooneratne (Vice-President), Sadeesh Dissanayaka (Secretary) and Kingsley Manickam (Treasurer), the group consistently delivers assistance to developing junior cricket in remote areas of Sri Lanka. SLSAQ regularly hosts a number of events including annual dinner-dances, to raise money for those in need. Since its inception, the organisation has donated over $20,000 towards the development of cricket infrastructure and sporting activities in Sri Lanka.
One of the most notable events, The Carnival of Cricket which invited local sporting clubs and schools to play over two days, saw a great turn out and was a prime fundraising opportunity. SLSAQ is dedicated to continuing their work to further sport education in Sri Lanka and hopes to organise another, bigger and better, Carnival of Cricket event in the future. SLSAQ President Lal Mendis cites the generosity and support of the club’s members, sponsors and volunteers as the key to their success.
Australian-Sri Lankan Friendship Association in Qld (ASFA)
The Australian-Sri Lankan Friendship Association in Queensland (ASFA) was developed in 2019 as a way for Australians born to Sri Lankan parents to connect. The society is open to people of all ages, and is designed for those who grew up in Australia with English as their native tongue. The founding members of the group were Bill Deutrom, Jayantha Weerasekera, Nande Tennakoon, Dilan Perera, Jayantha Pathikirikorale, Jayasiri Weerawardane, who all play a large role in the Sri Lankan community in Australia. The six dedicated members began the group to ensure a connection to the Sri Lankan culture was maintained throughout future generations in Australia. ASFA runs as a not-for-profit organisation and is free from political and religious affiliations. As one of the newer groups in Queensland, ASFA hopes to get people of all ages involved and engaged in future community events. To become a member you must:
- Be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident in Australia
- Be a Sri Lankan student in Australia with a student visa
- Pay $20 membership fee per family per annum ($15 for students and pensioners)
ASFA looks forward to welcoming new members looking to help preserve the Sri Lankan culture in Australia.