Dilki receives State Award for Outstanding Community Service
Pictures: Courtesy of Savish
Balwyn resident Dilkie (Dilrukshie) Perera is the latest recipient of the coveted Victorian Government’s Multicultural Award for Excellence – Meritorious Service to the Community. This award recognises her 20 years of outstanding service to the community, her leadership and dedication towards the promotion of Sri Lankan culture in Victoria, her work in uniting South Asian communities in business, cultural celebration and fundraising initiatives, and her support and empowerment of multicultural youth.
She was presented with the award by the Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Helen Kapalos, in the presence of the Governor of Victoria Hon Linda Dessau AC and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs Hon Robin Scott MP.
Dilkie immigrated to Australia in 1987. A Chartered Accountant, she held many prestigious positions in Sri Lankan businesses and was Finance Manager of the Sugar Corporation before migrating to Australia and gaining her title of Certified Practising Account (CPA). In Melbourne Dilkie worked as a financial controller in private organisations and chartered accountancy firms such as PKF Australia and HLB Mann Judd.
In the past 25 years Dilkie has dedicated her time to promoting business between Sri Lanka and Australia and providing a platform for the business community to enhance its knowledge on business matters, taxation and commercial law in Australia. She served on the executive committee of the Sri Lanka Australia Council, and was head-hunted to lead the Auslanka Business Council as President, a post she held for seven years, and is currently the National President.
She extended her service to the South Asian community by joining SAPAC (South Asia Public Affairs Council) and served on the Committee for Sri Lanka for over two decades, involved in cultural and social activities in the community and assisting with organising the Sri Lankan Independence Day celebrations in Melbourne, which she still does, lately working working closely with the Sri Lankan Consulate in Melbourne on this event.
Seeing a vaccum in the involvement of young people in community events, she started the Miss Sri Lanka Australia Pageant with the objective of creating community leaders of young adults with Sri Lankan heritage with the many training opportunities and exposure to community events they receive through participating in the Pageant. In the past two years she has extended this Pageant to the South Asian community and has now run five Miss Sri Lanka Australia Pageants and two Miss South Asia Australia Pageants. As part of the Pageant training program, she has participated in the Australia Day parades in Victoria and SA with the winners from both pageants for the past five years.
She created her own cultural fashion label Savish to promote traditional Sri Lankan garments and designs for the young, especially bridal wear. She provides advice on cultural celebrations for those who like their Melbourne weddings to be conducted in traditional Sri Lankan style. More recently, Dilkie joined the South Asian Designers in Australia and has conducted over 25 cultural bridal and fashion shows, also for the purpose of promoting cultural wear among young people.
Dilkie’s South Asia Pageant is dedicated to promoting awareness against domestic violence. This year the pageant held on 16 September included a compulsory two-hour session on the problem. The program is run in partnership with the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health (ACHRH). The Centre uses interstate coordinators for the program and participants in the Pageant from other states will have the opportunity to become interstate coordinators for the ACHRH.
Dedicated to serving the community, Dilkie is supported by husband Hilmey Jainudeen and daughters Savindi and Vishni, who have been involved in community service from their early teens. Older daughter Savindi has already received many community service awards and has recently been appointed to the South Asian Ministerial Advisory Committee of the Victorian Multicultural Ministry.
Dilkie now devotes her time to promoting South Asian youth as the next set of community leaders. Dilkie has demonstrated commendable service to her heritage and the Australian community and is a very worthy recipient of this award. Congratulations to Dilkie with best wishes for her enjoyment of the public recognition bestowed to her through the award.
Dilki with family
Dilki and family with Robin Scott MP
The Governor oversees proceedings
Recipients of the award