SEI welcomes Suhasini Gunatillaka to the team

23 November 2022
We hear from SEI's new Administration Officer, Suhasini Gunatillaka, about her work background and interest in environmental issues.

SEI: Can you tell us about yourself and your work background?

Suhasini Gunatillaka: I have worked mainly in the community housing sector for the NSW peak body. I worked in administration, then moved to data entry. I worked closely on surveying tenants about their experiences of community housing and worked my way up to managing the survey projects. Working for many years in this area grew my commitment to social justice and social services. I came to view providing stable and affordable housing first as a key part of empowering people out of poverty and supporting emotional wellbeing. 

More recently, I've continued working with disadvantaged communities in my work as a counsellor in employment services. I was also working with the Industry Development Team at the University’s Careers Centre before coming onboard with SEI. 

What interested you about working at the Sydney Environment Institute?

I am very excited about SEI's work on environmental issues from a humanities perspective, particularly through events which enable academic knowledge and research to filter through to the general public. I am interested in SEI’s role in shaping new cultural perspectives on environmental issues. I strongly believe in holistic change and so am excited to see a breadth of multi-disciplinary research on the climate crisis.

What are the environmental issues you’re most passionate about?

I am passionate about the need for relational change as part of addressing our environmental challenges. By this I mean the way of relating to our environment, our fellow humans and ourselves. Therefore, I’m interested in ecological emotions, in climate justice, and in regenerative systems and cultures.   

Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies and interests?

I love visiting ocean pools, having quiet walks amongst trees, coffee and journalling, and playing with my niece and nephew. I am involved in climate activism, primarily in empowering healthy relationships and collaboration in the movement. 

Suhasini Gunatillaka is the Administration Officer at the Sydney Environment Institute. 

She graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of International and Global Studies and Honours in English Literature. She is also a counsellor and a member of PACFA, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. She has worked primarily in social services – in community housing in administration and project coordination – and in employment services as a counsellor. 

Suhasini is passionate about building relational capacity in the climate movement, enabling embodied relationships and the processing of ecological emotions. 

Header image: flowers by Junel Mujar via Unsplash.

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