Personal and Professional biography – Laksiri Jayasuriya


Prof Laksiri Jayasuriya



On this  page you will find some details about my life and career including an interview with Prof  David Walker about his long engagement with Australia from the time that he was a student at the University of Sydney in the early 50s.













With my wife ( Rohini – fellow partner in crime!) and Pam and Kyrle Mattocks old friends from my University of Sydney days.





With my friend Peter Barnard ( from the Wesley college days) who I recently caught up with in Perth ( Sept , 2014) . Peter retired as Professor of Dentistry at the University of Sydney.

Biographical note



Laksiri Jayasuriya obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree with First Class Honours (Psychology) and the Gold Medal from the University Sydney, Australia in 1954. Subsequently, he did his postgraduate studies at the University of London, London School of Economics and Political Science from where he obtained his Ph.D (Social Psychology) in 1959. Prior to coming to the University of Western Australia he was Dean/Social Sciences at the University of Ceylon, Colombo, Sri Lanka, in addition to holding the Foundation Chair of Sociology and Social Welfare.

Firsts ( This is a story by UWA on their Uniview magazine  on my retirement  at the University) 

He is currently Emeritus Professor and Senior Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Western Australia and has held a variety of academic and public appointments in the UK, USA, Australia and Sri Lanka. In Australia, he has been involved in a range of community activities in the field of social policy, welfare and particularly ethnic affairs where he has had a major involvement. In addition to research and writing extensively on multiculturalism and ethnic affairs policy, he has served on numerous government bodies and Committees of Inquiry until his retirement in 1992. He held the Foundation Chair of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Western Australia for over 20 years until his retirement in 1992. At the University, he also served as the Director of the Centre for Asian Studies, and also as the Chair of the WA Inter University Consortium on Development Studies (ICDS/WA).

lopez on jayasuriya ( This is a link to Mark Lopez’s book that discusses Laksiri Jayasuriya’s key role in the formulation of public policy on multiculturalism) 

In 1997, he was invited by University of Peradeniya (formerly University of Ceylon) Sri Lanka, to deliver the Convocation Address, and in 1999 was awarded an Hon. D.Litt by the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He was the recipient of a Centenary of Federation Medal awarded in 2003 by the Australian Government in recognition of his services relating to the advocacy of multiculturalism and ethnic affairs.  In 2006 the University of Western Australia conferred an Hon. D.Litt.  He is Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

His publications include  Welfarism and Politics,1999; Immigration and Multiculturalism in Australia 1997; The Asianization of Australia? Some facts About the Myths 1999;The Changing Face of Sri Lankan Electoral Politics 2005; The Legacies of White Australia (Co editor) 2002 and Taking Social Development Seriously: The Experience of Sri Lanka . 2010.  He has  over 100 journal articles and book chapters.  




CV Laksiri Jayasuriya


Biographical Reflections



 Interview with David Walker ( see sub menu) 


LJ david walker interview


UWA Convocation Address (see sub menu)

UWA Convoc full text


University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka ) Convocation Address – Reclaming the idea of the Public University

Convocation Address- Peradeniya University

4 thoughts on “Personal and Professional biography – Laksiri Jayasuriya

  1. Siri Gamage

    Hi Prof,

    if you have photos reflecting your early days both in Sri Lanka and Australia,please post here. They will be admired by those who know you. For instance, you were the warden at Marcus Fernando Hall, University of Ceylon when I was an undergraduate student residing there,ie. in 68-69.

    Siri Gamage


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