Our Team

Vin Gajanayake - Schools Engagement Officer

My name is Vin and I am the Schools Engagement Officer at Jesuit Refugee Service Australia (JRS).

As a lawyer and primary school teacher, I am passionate about facilitating change and solidarity with refugees, people seeking asylum and migrants in vulnerable situations through education and advocacy. I believe that change begins with empathy, and I love how the Schools Program instills this quality in students and provides meaningful ways to turn that empathy into action.

I have considerable experience in both law and education, particularly through my roles at a community legal centre and as a classroom facilitator at The Big Issue. At The Big Issue, I ran school presentations to educate students of all ages on the topic of homelessness and disadvantage in Australia and witnessed the change-making power of education first hand.

I have the privilege of witnessing the same in my role at JRS, where I engage with teachers and school leaders to create dialogue amongst students by listening to the stories of our incredible speakers with lived experience and helping them to turn their empathy into action by supporting JRS services.

If you would like to get in touch about how your school can engage with JRS, please reach out to me on vin.gajanayake@jrs.org.au!