Business

Dilan Jayasekara nominated for top ICT award in Australia

 

  • Digital Disruptor Awards celebrates outstanding tech talent
  • Lankan among 4 finalists for ‘Emerging ICT Professional of the Year’

 

IT consultant (data and analytics) and tech entrepreneur Dilan Jayasekara is flying Sri Lanka’s flag high in Australia, with his recent nomination as a finalist in the ‘Emerging ICT Professional of the Year’ category of the Australian Computer Society’s (ACS) Digital Disruptor Awards.

Making this nomination all the more impressive is the fact that this is the first time a person who migrated to Australia as an international student has been nominated as a finalist for any of the awards (within all seven categories), and the first time a Sri Lankan has been nominated as a finalist in the ‘Emerging ICT Professional of the Year’ award.

ACS celebrates the outstanding tech talent in the Australian industry and recognises the innovators, disruptors, leaders, emerging professionals, and tech superstars who are making a difference – underscoring that Dilan is the next generation of data evangelist professionals in Australia.

He was nominated for the award in mid-October 2021 and selected as one of the four finalists in late December.

In a world of rapid change and adaptability, Dilan Jayasekara is an exceptional young ICT professional who adds immense value to the organisations he belongs to and the people he comes into contact with. Passionate about software design and development, Dilan has chosen to embrace data science as his technical competency and is keen on exploring related topics and the latest industry trends. He is entrepreneurially driven and has undertaken several extracurricular activities outside of his official work duties that add value to advancing the industry as a whole.

Dilan began his journey as a junior software developer while undertaking his bachelor’s degree in Sri Lanka. During that time, he transitioned from software development to web development. Upon graduation, Dilan had the formal education, work experience and several contacts within the local industry for his career as an ICT professional to flourish in Sri Lanka. Instead he chose to dream bigger.

After getting married, Dilan and his wife, Tara, migrated to Australia where he commenced his Master’s in IT from Charles Sturt University. During that time, he was exposed to data science and business intelligence and soon changed his career to data analyst, securing an internship at Family Life, which then ultimately led him to his first full-time job in Australia at Pitcher Partners. These achievements did not come easily.

As Dilan explains: “Professionally I struggled with taking my first step to a networking event. I was nervous at facing strangers and making small talk (I still am). But I kept pushing myself and went for five events straight and then did a speech at the sixth one. If I didn’t do that back then my life would not have been the same. Because of the networking/relationship-building skills I gained, I was able to get an internship and then the job I have today.”

Dilan’s most recent professional accomplishments have all been achieved during the global pandemic. In a time when the entire world shut down, he simply worked harder to be a beacon of light for others in his personal and professional lives. This resilience in the face of adversity comes from his childhood of growing up watching the corruption of a 30-year civil war, bomb blasts, tsunamis, and severe political unrest.

Dilan created opportunity for himself during extreme uncertainty, in an entirely new country with English as his second language. He embodies the mindset and spirit of what Australia’s next generation of ICT professionals needs to be, which is synonymous with the intrinsic goals of ACS.

Looking forward, if successful, Dilan will be using the award and his title of ‘Emerging ICT Professional of the Year’ to inspire and motivate other international students and educate them on what is possible.

“When I arrived in Australia, everyone I met tried to convince me to just get a casual job at McDonalds and do Uber Eats delivery to earn money and have a comfortable life instead of striving for more. But I chose a different path. I want to be able to tell students that if they are willing to take a step outside of their comfort zone and start chasing their dreams, they will eventually come true.”