MAITHRI PANAGODA UNDISPUTED LEGAL PRODIGY IN NSW OF SRI LANKAN ORIGIN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF LANKAVISION, FORMER EDITOR IN CHIEF SLE, PATRON OF MUTHUHARA OF SLRC, FOUNDING MEMBER OF OLD ANANDIANS ASSOCIATION NSW – by Sunil Thenabadu
Photo source: Sydney University
Maithri Panagoda is one of Australia’s prominent litigation lawyers. Educated in both Sydney and Sri Lanka, Maithri has over 40 years skill in lawsuit and dispute resolution. The Law Society of NSW accredits him as an accredited specialist in personal injury law.
Maithri practiced as a lawyer in Dubbo, a city in the Orana region in NSW, for nearly 10 years before joining Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers in 1991. He worked with the Western Aboriginal Legal Service and since joining Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers he has renewed his passion for representing the Aboriginal people. He has been involved in many compensation claims brought by members of the Stolen Generation.
Fluent in Sinhalese, Maithri is involved in various activities with the Sri Lankan community in New South Wales. Maithri has also been a member of Law Society’s Medico Legal Liaison Committee, Senior Solicitors’ Committee and the Litigation Law and Practice Committee. Maithri has published an abundance of articles and is a regular orator at legal conferences cum seminars. He is the author of the chapter on workers’ compensation in the Lawyers Practice Manual published by the Thompson Lawbook Co.
The Stolen Generations project is considered to be one of the biggest achievements in his career. It is a landmark event in the history of Australia.
In a nutshell the description of this genius : Maithri has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Sri Lanka and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Sydney. He also completed post-graduate studies in Sociology and Law at Brunel University in England. In 2014 he was appointed as Adjunct Professor in the School of Law at the University of Notre Dame.
He was admitted to practice in England and in Sri Lanka. He was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1981.He joined Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers in 1991 and became a partner in 1996. Maithri has been a registered migration agent since 2002. He is a Fellow of The Australian and New Zealand College of Notaries in 2013.
Maithri Panagoda is not only a reputed lawyer but an acclaimed Poet. At Ananda College he had excelled as a writer par excellence, had been a gifted lyricist for many popular vocalists including late Pandit WD Amaradeva. Maithri was involved and is still participates in activities with the Sri Lankan community in New South Wales.
Maithri has taken an active starring role for the welfare of the Sri Lankan community ‘down under’. In addition to assisting them to navigate through legal matters, he has been giving radio talks and contributing to community journals.
Maithri Panagoda was born in Wathumulla, a hamlet nestled between Gampaha and Minuwangoda. After completing his secondary education he entered the Faculty of Law of the then University of Ceylon.
Many are unaware that Maithri is the patron of “Muthuhara” in Sydney which is still one of the most popular children’s programs produced by Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. Through the past decades “Muthuhara” has been instrumental in grooming so many talented youngsters to become stars in the likes of singers, actors, actresses, presenters hosting radio and television programs.
After completing forty years actively involved in work connected to law it had been a long hectic and grueling journey. With his children married and settled down, Maithri has decided to revisit his passion in the poetical journey enjoying life with his five grandchildren. We all wish Maithri Panagoda good health and longevity.
Sunil Thenabadu in Brisbane
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