Outlook is sunny for Dinusha
Lecturer happy to swap steamy Sri Lanka for chilly London
"I have always loved learning as well as numbers, finance and accountancy, and I discovered a career where I could combine them all"
Dr Dinusha Weerawardane has a Phd, a Masters, two other degrees as well, and none of them in meteorology. Yet despite that gap in her knowledge she knows enough to appreciate the merits of a refreshing London drizzle.
‘I moved to England from Sri Lanka in December 2018 and people told me I’d miss it,’ she said.
‘I came from a country of tropical heat and endless sunshine to a place where it rains a lot of the time and the sky comes in different shades of grey. But I love it.’
Dinusha’s sunny attitude reflects the joy she gets from her latest role as senior lecturer in accounting and finance at the University of West London. Her career has been devoted to advocating for her profession and for ACCA, and her work with students is a seamless fit.
‘It is as natural to me as breathing’ said Dinusha. ‘It’s my life.’
"I was involved in finance, but teaching meant I could share my love for it, and I wasn’t behind a desk doing the same kind of things all the time"
She enjoyed her first taste as an educator at various ACCA approved learning providers in Colombo. Dinusha helped develop the Oxford Brookes BSc. applied accounting programme and drove growth in ACCA numbers in Sri Lanka and Maldives, while also working with ACCA to safeguard the quality of teaching and the retention of new members. She was involved with overseeing the quality of delivery and working towards meeting recruitment, retention and progression targets set by ACCA, and also worked with employers to ensure that students could gain the practical experience required for ACCA membership.
Dinusha adored all of it, and she had found a home in finance academia after working in plenty of other disciplines including the law, marketing and management consultancy.
‘It felt completely right, because I have always loved learning as well as numbers, finance and accountancy, and I discovered a career where I could combine them all,’ she said.
‘I remember thinking, “This is everything I like”.
‘It gave me the best of all worlds. I was involved in finance, and teaching meant I could share my love for it, and I wasn’t behind a desk doing the same kind of things all the time.’
It led to a host of new roles in finance education, including visiting lectureships; consulting with education providers; as senior lecturer and course leader at different establishments; as an exam question writer and external technical reviewer for ACCA; and an online university tutor and examiner, leading to her current post.
‘I did a few things,’ Dinusha under-states, ‘and they all helped to broaden my knowledge and experience. It’s always good to see other aspects of life and of education.
‘It’s no surprise really, because studying ACCA gave me the best possible start in that sense, because of all the professional qualifications I know, it is the broadest based.
‘That’s why I loved studying it. It worked as a wonderful starting point for so many other skills and disciplines, and it took me into other studies in law and marketing, and my Phd in consumer behaviour.
‘It’s also why it is an honour to volunteer with ACCA and to serve on Global Council, and why it is easy for me to recommend accountancy and ACCA to students. ACCA has been a great part of my life. It has helped me achieve so much, and most of all I want to help others achieve what they want as well.
‘ACCA is a passport to success because the qualification quite literally enabled me to move across continents to pursue my career.’