Words : Ronali Moonemalle Goonetileke
Photos : Nirmala Dhananjaya
“Architecture is a profession of immense satisfaction. To me, it is a form of art through which I can extend God’s creation – breathing life into spaces by incorporating the beauty of nature.”
Meet the Architect, Entrepreneur and Humanitarian transcending boundaries and leading the charge for change in the community Aruni Malalasekera Empowered by her faith in Christ, Aruni Malalasekera stays driven in her relentless pursuit to give back to society and create waves of positive change. As the grand-daughter of well-known scholar Dr. G. P. Malalasekera and the great-grand daughter of freedom-fighter T. B. Jayah, Aruni’s patriotism for the country is inherent and runs in her veins.
Her recent appointment as the Rotary District Governor for Sri Lanka and the Maldives (2021-22) is fueled by twenty plus years of experience in the field of architecture coupled with her entrepreneurial acumen gathered over the years. Here’s the story of this phenomenal woman.
As a child I wholly immersed myself in the creative arts. From taking up ballet and oriental dancing at the tender age of 3, to honing my vocal abilities by singing at Youth for Christ Camp programs during my teenage years all the while engaging in competitive sports such as Tennis and Swimming in school. Needless to say, by involving myself in a plethora of extra-curricular activities my multi-tasking traits took root quite early in life.
My primary years of schooling were spent at Musaeus College, Colombo. I fondly remember joining Little Friends and being picked as the only student representative at the age of 11 for the Diamond Jubilee International Camp held by the Girl Guides, and managing to secure first prize at an Art Competition.
After living with my father in Dubai for over a year, I flew back to Sri Lanka and joined Stafford International to complete my schooling career. During my formative years, I grew a strong liking towards mathematics and the creative arts. Hence, choosing architecture as a potential career path made the most sense.
During my brief stay in Dubai, I scrolled through the pages of a newspaper one day and stumbled upon an article about Interior Design. Safe to say, that was the defining moment my passion for Architecture kindled. After I came back to Sri Lanka, I was adamant on pursuing a career in this field and searched high and low for academic institutions that would further fuel my passion. At the time the only course available was at the University of Moratuwa and I couldn’t apply since I sat for London A/Ls.
Excited to read more? Get Lanka Woman in Magzter for our latest Digital Issue!