As the new President of the Old Melburnians Council, Thindika Amarasekara (OM 1991) is looking forward to serving his School community by encouraging Old Melburnians to help each other, the School and those in the broader community.
“The Council is in the unique position of being able to connect Old Melburnians and, by doing so, support one another’s future goals,” says the former Captain of the School. “We can also amplify the message of those who are working to improve the lives of others and give more Old Melburnians an opportunity to join in and assist. I would like all Old Melburnians to know and value what their Old Melburnians Council is doing for the community.”
A career as a trusted advisor
In his role as a Managing Director and member of the Senior Australian Leadership Team of a major, global Investment Bank, Thindika provides strategic advice to clients undertaking mergers and acquisitions locally and globally. “Because much of this is based on exercising judgement, it requires people to trust you as a person,” Thindika explains. “This means you not only need to follow through with what you say, but you need to know your own limits.
Thindika is acutely aware that there is often no ‘black and white’ answer to some of the issues that come up in his role. “Gaining the confidence to back my judgement in difficult situations was part of my experience at Melbourne Grammar,” he says.
“By participating in various activities – whether it was music, drama, sport or cadets – I worked out where I was okay at something and where I needed to work harder, but importantly, those experiences also helped me to trust my instincts in situations where there was no easy answer,” Thindika explains.
New definitions of success and leadership
“If you have the privilege of being in a leadership position, I believe you should try to advance the situation and make a difference in a positive way,” he says. “It is not just about ‘changing things’. It is about improving things for the long term and hopefully for the benefit of others.”
“The School also highlighted the importance of doing the right thing. In my professional and personal life today, I’m not afraid to walk away from something if it doesn’t reflect my values,” says Thindika.
“There was a time when it mattered less how you succeeded, as long as you got there,” he explains. “I think, attitudes have changed a lot – including in the business world. We now see that if you didn’t reach your goal in the right way, your success is compromised.”
A focus on family
For Thindika, family is “always first”. “I am very grateful to my parents for making the decision to send me to our School,” he says. He hopes his three sons will come away from their time at Melbourne Grammar with the same sense of purpose and strong values as he did.
“Being at the School helped me to expand my perspective,” says Thindika. “I hope all students get to benefit from the full experience that Grammar offers. It’s more than just a strong academic education. I value the School’s focus on also helping students to expand their thinking, gain tolerance, empathy, and a commitment to providing service to others.”