My family and I arrived in Canada as refugees in 1990 with just four suitcases and $200 cash. I grew up in Sri Lanka and my father was a police officer. Following black July my parents decided that Sri Lanka would not be a safe place for my brother and I and therefore decided to leave everything behind and migrate to Canada. It was difficult settling in a new country; especially when you were constantly being called a “paki” by other kids in high school and Toronto wasn’t as multicultural as it is now.
I was determined to succeed and take advantage of the opportunities available to me in Canada. However, Tamil parents only want their kids to be lawyers, doctors and engineers. After graduating from York University in Toronto, Canada with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Sociology, I attended law school in London, England. However, I was passionate about aviation and decided to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a pilot instead. Over the years, I worked for Air Canada, Sunwing Airlines and most recently the Virgin Australia Group as a commercial pilot. In addition, I worked as a real estate agent in Toronto, Canada for Keller Williams and Century 21, while owning and operating several businesses (gas stations in Toronto and a Malaysian Restaurant in Sydney). After Covid-19 given the state of the airline industry I decided once again to focus on real estate and now help seller and buyers in the Hills District of Sydney, Australia.