Jay Weerawardena and Jayantha Weerasekera were re-elected president and secretary respectively at the annual general meeting of the Federation of Sri Lankan Organisations of Queensland Inc on April 12.
The office-bearers for 2022-23 are:
Patron: Anton Swan, Hon Consul for Sri Lanka in Queensland.
President: Jayasiri Weerawardena.
Vice-president: Bill Deutrom. Secretary: Jayantha Weerasekera.
Treasurer: Nandasiri Tennakoon.
Coordinator (Operations): Uditha Manage.
Coordinator (Cultural activities): Gothami Meepe.
Project Coordinator (Wellfare): Sidath Wijethunge.
Youth Coordinator: Dharshana Munasinghe
President’s and Secretary’s Report 2021
It gives us great pleasure in reporting the key achievements of the Federation of Sri Lankan
Organisations of Queensland Inc 2022. Despite the many challenges posed on us and our
member organisations by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 has been a great
year of success for the FSOQ, with the successful conclusion of the inaugural Sri Lanka Day 2021- mega
Through this event and our success in exceeding our targeted shipments of beds to Sri Lanka,
the FSOQ has reached to the wider community gaining community trust. Overall, through these
projects we have demonstrated what our collective strength and sense of unity can deliver
for greater community development. Given below are highlights of what we achieved during
the period under review.
(1) Our finances
FSOQ bank accounts are continued to be maintained with Suncorp Bank and the signatories to the
account being the treasurer and president or treasurer and secretary. The funding received for the bed
project is identified in a separate bank account . The community funding received for
hospital beds are maintained in a separate account to be spent exclusively for expenses connected
with local costs in shipping hospital beds to ICU and emergency wards of Sri Lankan Government
The closing Bank balances are reported in the Treasurer’s report as at 30 June 2021 is tabled at the AGM.
(2) Member Associations of FSOQ
No new members associations joined the FSOQ during the year.
However, with limited member resources in FSOQ it is proposed we invite additional members from
the member societies who are keen to be join FSOQ. Having more member participation is an essential
criterion in moving forward as a succession plan. This is to be considered at the AGM.
(3) Annual Returns
Federation of Sri Lankan Organisations of Queensland filed the annual returns of the 2020 financial year
with the bank position as reported at the Annual General Meeting.
(4) FSOQ Website
FSOQ website was developed by Lawry and Robbie Heyn and regular updates are uploaded for community awareness. We thank Lawry and Robbie for keeping the website current with all activities, giving an overall functional reflection of the Federation and its community activities during the year.
FSOQ website: www.fsoq.com.au
(5) Our pending AACN application for gaining charitable status
This application requires us to revisit and amend FSOQ aims and objectives to fit with the criteria
adopted by ACNC to offer charitable status to incorporated community of organizations. The currently
listed objectives do not really match with the ACNC criteria and wording of such criteria. A sub-
committee of Jayantha Weerasekera, Secretary FSOQ, Nandasiri Tennekoon, Treasurer, FSOQ and Lal
Mendis, FSOQ, Committee has aligned our objectives to meet ACCN criteria.
(6) Changes to the FSOQ continuation to strengthen governance
The following changes will be tabled at the AGM for discussion and approval.
(a) Aligning FSOQ objectives to meet with ACNC criteria for our application to gain charitable status
(b) Strengthening protocols and internal controls for financial transactions (Rule 20 of the constitution
on Treasurer’s responsibility was also reviewed and redrafted for clarity).
(c) Strengthening current team of office bearers with additional positions
(d) Clarifying FSOQ President’s terms of office
Let us thank the subcommittee Lal Mendis, Nande Tennakoon and Jayantha Weera for reviewing and
listing the proposed changes to the constitution
(7) Sri Lanka Day 2021 Mega multicultural food and cultural festival
The FSOQ with its member organizations launched and successfully concluded the first Sri Lanka Day
event on Saturday 13th November 2021. with the participation of an unexpected number of people.
The feedback we received from both our own community and invited guests has been highly positive
with many viewing it as an great success. This great success can be attributed to the meticulous
planning and the contribution of a hard-working and dedicated team. The event was funded by several
sources of which a grant we received from the State Government ministry of Multi-cultural Affairs
followed by substantial in kind and financial contributions by Brisbane City Councillors Angela Owen,
Algester ward and Sara Hutton, of Jamboree Heights.
• Displayed high cohesive teaming up of all community groups and or member associations as
one team in organising the event.
• Sri Lankan community displayed its commitment to multicultural Queensland by inviting
performances from different multicultural groups.
• The authentic Sri Lankan food were made available to the participants keeping to food hygiene
standards listed by the Brisbane City Council. The earnings from food stalls were an income to the
• Providing an opportunity to small-scale Sri Lankan businesses to introduce/sell their products
for multiethnic communities.
• The member organizational of the FSOQ actively engaged in much needed fund raising by
running food stalls.
• The cultural stage showcased dances from Sri Lankan and multiethnic communities
• The festival was a family outdoor event enjoyed by all age groups of the community
• The Sri Lanka Day 2022 will be held in Rocks Riverside Park Mt Ommaney on 11 September
2022 and Brisbane city Council has already reserved the premises pending our official application.
• FSOQ management committee acknowledge with thanks the assistance provided by the
councillors Angela Owen and Sarah Hutton in reservation of the venue for Sri Lanka day 2022 and a
contribution from the Lord mayor’s Community Fund of the Brisbane City Council.
• State Government grant $4000 and Local Government grants $2650 helped the expenses
Management committee of FSOQ are very grateful to the grant office and Minister of Multicultural
affairs and Lord Mayer, Councillors of Mt Ommaney and Calamvale for the grants given to Sri Lankan
Day 2021. Without such support we could not have celebrated the mega Sri Lankan Day 2021 event
(8) Sri Lanka day 2022
FSOQ has submitted its application for celebrating Multicultural Queensland grant to the Department
of Multicultural affairs in Queensland and we have been considered positively for a grant in
celebrating Sri Lanka Day 2022.
(9) Current FSOQ Projects
8.1 Hospital beds for Sri Lanka project
We continued with this project which was supported by a highly successful fund-raiser during the
height of the pandemic. Our target was to send 350 beds. Although we were successful in collecting
the required beds our shipping efforts by the global shortage of shipping space particularly those
bound to Sri Lanka. Management committee FSOQ took the decision to share the freight cost with
Retired Brigadier Halangoda’s family for shipment that was bound to Sri Lanka Army. We were
compelled to agree with this arrangement as we had a huge collection of beds at the yard that were
exposed to rain with incoming storms. In addition, Mr Scott Walker who own the container yard had
expressed his dissatisfaction with our beds taking valuable space thereby obstructing his own business
Eventually, we were able to exceed our target and we altogether sent 500 beds and most recent
shipments were loaded during February 2022. We must thank everyone who helped the FSOQ in
achieving this success in particular Sidath Wijectunga who coordinated with Health Agencies who
provide beds assisted by Ajith Abeywardena, Rotary Queensland. We must also thanks Anton Swan
our Hon Consul and his son who helped when we had a crisis situation without a forklift truck to load
We are grateful to Mr Scott Walker who has helped us to utilise his storage yard for housing the beds
obtained from Queensland hospitals and age care centres . He was so generous in charging the
minimum for containers used to house the beds.
Mr Michael Silva Former diplomat and Bill Deutrom Vice President of FSOQ are managing all work with
the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka and we thank them for their enormous support.
The FSOQ has sent several updates of the project progress to those who donated money to the project
that included photos of bringing beds to the yard and loading containers.
9.2. Queensland Flood Appeal 2022
The management committee of FSOQ decided to launch a fund appeal to support the communities in
distress from recently effected heavy floods in Queensland . Donations are requested from the
community to support the Queensland Premier’s flood appeal a project coordinated by FSOQ.
(10) Presenting Plaques of Appreciation of Exemplar Community service
The Councillors Angela Owen and Sarah Hutton’s contribution to Sri Lanka Day was recognised by the
management committee of FSOQ with a plaque presented to them at their respective offices. The
FSOQ team participated in presenting plaques included, Jayasiri Weerawardena, President; Jayantha
Pathikirikorale, Immediate Past President and Lal Mendis, Committee member Ex-president SLSQ
(11) Management of COVID as directed by the health Authorities
FSOQ management committee followed the strict guidelines instigated by the health authorities in all
its management committee meetings and Sri Lankan Day event.
(12) Engagements with Ministry of Home Affairs
Community request on medical equipment under Critical COVID situation in hospitals of Sri Lanka
FSOQ President discussed with representative Federal Government Ministry of Home Affairs how Sri
Lanka could be assisted in supplying much needed medical equipment at the request of the medical
staff and Sri Lankan communities in Queensland.
Ministry of Home Affairs FSOQ was concerned with our representation and advised the supply of
medical equipment through AusAid and Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka in assisting the
much-needed medical supplies to manage the COVID situation in hospitals of Sri Lanka.
FSOQ management from time to time engage in one-to-one briefing sessions with Community
Engagement QLD/NT Social Cohesion Division , Social Cohesion and Citizenship Group of Ministry of
Home affairs presenting matters of importance to Sri Lankan community in Queensland.
(13) Brookfield Cricket Club – Annual fund raiser for food for beds – Charity shield
Due to COVID situation the Brookfield cricket club annual fund raiser for food for beds was not
available. We thank Kamal and his team for all assistance provided to FSOQ in developing the flyers
for FSOQ Projects.
(14) Felicitation of Dr Dinesh Palipana
Dr Palipana OAM was awarded the Australian of the Year in Queensland 2021. Dinesh Palipana OAM
is an Australian doctor, lawyer and disability advocate. He is the first quadriplegic medical intern in
Queensland, Australia. He is the second person with quadriplegia to graduate as a doctor in Australia
and the first with spinal cord injury.
We deeply regret due to COVID shutdowns FSOQ was not able to hold the felicitation for Dr Dinesh
Palipana. However, Federation is planning to request Dr Palipana to hold a motivational session to our youth and this is planned for year 2022.
(15) Engagement with High Commission Sydney Consular Office and Honorary Consul for
We are happy to announce of our continuous engagement with Sri Lankan Mission in Canberra and
We also record with appreciation the assistance guidance and support provided to management
committee of FSOQ by the Sri Lankan Honorary Consul Mr Anton Swan in community engagement
matters and FSOQ charity projects.
(16) A shelter for Sri Lankan community associations
Management committee of FSOQ has lodged an application with the Brisbane city council requesting
leasing of premises to Sri Lankan associations in Queensland. Community facilities Operations team
of Brisbane City council has acknowledged our application and have sent paperwork to be completed
in preparation for tendering on such properties listed. It is the intention of FSOQ to house its all-
members associations under one roof and have all community work conducted in the premises. The
Brisbane city council has advised due to COVID in year 2021 such openings were limited . However,
we will continue to work with City council authorities to look for possible openings to house Sri Lankan
community associations under one roof. work in partnership with community organisations to ensure
that the development and management of community facilities reflects community need and best
(17) Strengthening our relationship with Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ)
This institution plays an important role in strengthening the operations of community organizations
in Queensland. Our immediate Past President Jayantha Pathikirikorale, Gothami Meepe, SLSQ and
Sugee Kannangara have completed community organizational governance courses conducted by
ECCQ. A few weeks ago, Jayasiri, Jayantha, Gothami and Sugee were interviewed by Carrie Barnett,
the Manager Multicultural Community Sector for a video series developed by them to be shared
among member organizations. We believe that all member organizations must use the training
programs conducted by them to strengthen governance.
(18) Subcommittee appointed for Domestic Violence and help available
As requested by the president, a Sri Lanka association subcommittee was appointed to further the area
of help line possibly available if Sri Lankan community needing help
• Sarath Weerasinghe SPUR
• Namal Wijeratne Sri Lanka Society
• Laurensz Manricks Silver Fawn Club
An update is due from this sub-committee about their progress in identifying appropriate action to
address culture specific issues that leads to domestic violence.
Management committee and invited members participated in FSOQ activities in the year2020- 2021
Mr Anton Swan Patron
Jayasiri Weerawardena, President – Radio 4EB Sri Lankan Group
Bill Deutrom – Vice President – Australia Sri Lanka Friendship Association
Jayantha Weerasekera – Secretary – Australia Sri Lanka Friendship Association
Nandasiri Tennakoon – Treasurer – Sinhala Association of Queensland
Indrani Doloswela – Radio 4EB Sri Lankan Group
Sandya Abesekera – Sri Lanka Society of Queensland . (Namal Wijerathe resigned during the year)
Chamath Weerasignhe – Sri Lanka Society of Queensland
Lal Mendis, President – Sri Lankan Sports Association Queensland
Jayantha Pathikirikorale Committee Sri Lanka Sports Association
Sarath Weerasinghe, President, SPUR Queensland
Jayamini Methiwala – SPUR Queensland
Kanaji Wijesekera, President, Ex Servicemen Queensland
Harsha Perera – Ex Servicemen Queensland
Uditha Manage, President Sinhala association Queensland
Samanmal Gunarathne Convenor radio 4EB sri Lankan group
Laurance Mandricks – President, Silverfawn club
Tyron Allan – Silverfawn club
Kalum De Silva Sri Lanka Australian Chamber in Queensland
Prasad Kodikara -Sri Lankan Sports Association Queensland
Davenal Flanderka- Silver Fawn club
Dilan Perera – Australia Sri Lanka Friendship Association
Kamal Wanigasooiya – Brookfield Cricket Club
Jay Weerawardena, President
Jayantha Weerasekera, Secretary