Amila Gammana

Country of Origin:

Sri Lanka

Themes:

Citizenship, Immigration, Asian Heritage, Human Rights & Social Justice, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada

Photos:

  • Browse while you listen: images with relate to audio


Bio

Amila Gammana was born in Kalutara Sri Lanka to a middle class family. His father, Mr. Chandradasa Gammana, was a principal and his mother, Mrs. Thilaka Wickramasinghe, was a teaching instructor. Amila did his primary studies at Royal College Colombo and joined the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology in 2001. He finished his BSc in Information Technology with Honors and joined HSBC as a Customer Support Executive. After a year and a half tenure at HSBC, Amila joined X-ont Software as a Software Engineer. Then he had the opportunity to contribute to the Sri Lanka government’s Electronic Data Interchange initiative under e-Sri Lanka as a consultant.

He moved to Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada in 2007 and started Gamma IT Solutions Inc. to serve businesses in the area. Amila holds the position of President/CEO in the company. He also serves as a councillor in Drayton Valley town council. He is a Rotarian since 2008 and currently serves as a director of Drayton Valley Community Foundation and Drayton Valley Chamber of Commerce and as the president of the Drayton Valley Multi Cultural Association.

He likes volunteering, cricket, boxing and movies and his passion is technology. He is also a songwriter and a producer. He has 2 songs under his belt and is currently working on another. He is married to Dananjee and they have a son Ryne.

Story

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”

Upon completion of my Advanced Level exams and graduating from Royal College, I joined a local youth club affiliated to Sri Lanka National Youth Society Council (NYSC) and did a lot of volunteer work with youth around the area. The next year I was selected as Club President. Our main club project during my presidency was a fundraiser for school kids affected in the war zone. We collected goods (school supplies, food, clothing, etc.) donated by local residents and businesses and delivered them to kids in 2 schools in the war zone in rural Ampara District in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka with the support of Sri Lanka Army. The army provided security with escort trucks in front and behind. We stayed 2 nights in a school with sounds of battle and gunfire all around us. It is a journey that I will never forget.

The next year, I was chosen by youth club members in the district as Treasurer of Kalutara District Federation and finally I had the privilege representing NYSC as the second Councilor for Kalutara District. I was then named as the best youth volunteer for the year and was selected to join a team of 16 youth and 2 supervisors for a youth exchange program jointly organized by NYSC and Canada World Youth.

In June 2002 the team came to Drayton Valley, AB. Each member from Sri Lanka was paired with a member from Canada and given a host family. On the program I met fabulous people both as team members and host families. Drayton Valley welcomed our team with open arms as did my host family Terry and Mary Drader. We had a great program and made lots of friends and connections. I made a strong connection with my host family and they treated me as their own.

In 2004 just before the tsunami, my host family came to visit me in Sri Lanka. They stayed with us for 3 weeks. When they heard that I was affected by the tsunami, they offered to help me come to Canada. In July 2007, I returned to Drayton Valley as a foreign worker and then got my Permanent Residency. In 2012, I returned to Sri Lanka to marry the love of my life, Dananjee, who joined me in Drayton Valley in 2013. My host parents and a few friends from Drayton Valley attended our wedding. Currently, I own and operate Gamma IT Solutions and employ 4 people.

It has been a great journey so far from Sri Lanka to Canada and many people have helped me on that transition. I see Canada as a land of opportunity and kindness, success and humanity. Like my host/ foster father Terry always points out “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. I have come a long way but as Robert Frost puts it, “I have “miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep”.