I really admire people who take risks and aim high. That’s why I was so impressed by Ishara Ananda, the 27th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers.

Ishara has experienced some big changes in 2019. Earlier this year, he moved from Sri Lanka to Sydney. Despite not having a job lined up, Ishara was prepared to move to another country and back himself, because he wanted to provide a better life for his family.

Ishara is very well qualified: he’s got a master’s degree, an IT degree and considerable IT experience. He’s obviously got a lot of drive, given he was willing to move overseas. And he’s very friendly too.

Yet when he’s applied for jobs, he’s been turned down for not having any ‘local experience’. Such narrow-mindedness irritates me. Sure, you need local experience if you’re a lawyer or a taxi driver, but how is Australian IT any different from Sri Lankan?

Ishara has been using his spare time to do freelance work and volunteer IT support at Mind for Life, a charity promoting healthier minds and bodies.

I hope a smart employer snaps him up soon, because he’d be a great asset to any company.

P.S. As you can see below, a couple of mischievous ladies photo-bombed our first pic.