Reverend John Jegasothy
Rev. Jegasothy is a minister with the Uniting Church Australia, currently serving the congregation of Rose-bay – Vaucluse, and the Tamil congregation in Dulwich Hill. Before coming to Australia in 1986 he served as a minister with the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka for 13 years. Both in Sri Lanka and in Australia, Rev. Jegasothy has been actively involved in the justice, human rights and welfare of internally displaced people, asylum seekers and refugees. Since arriving in Australia, Rev Jegasothy has worked tirelessly to promote the welfare of asylum seekers and refugees especially from Sri Lankan arriving in this country, particularly those fleeing the violence of war. In recognition of this service, Amnesty International nominated Rev. Jegasothy in 2003 for the Australian Council for Overseas Aid (ACFOA) Human Rights award. In 2009 he received a Humanitarian Award from the Refugee Council of Australia(RCA), and the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), ‘Outstanding Australian, helping refugees,’ for making a difference in the lives of refugees. Most recently, in 2010 he received a Service Commemoration Award, ‘Service of Compassion’ from the Tamil Refugees themselves.
He holds different positions and responsibilities in the Australian community such as,
- President of the Australian Council for Tamil Refugees Inc. Vic. (ACTR)
- Liaison Person from Tamil community for DIBP
- Former chairperson and member of Management Committee member, Friends of STARTTS
- Management committee member, Community Consultative Group of Villawood Detention Centre
- Member of Asylum Seekers Interagency, Sydney
- Member of the National of Asylum Seekers and Refugee Forum (NASRF)
- Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce (ACRT)
- Former chairperson of the Consortium of Tamil Organisations NSW
- Member of the Cross Cultural Group in Sydney (Uniting Church Members)
- Minister of the Rose Bay – Vaucluse and Tamil Uniting Church congregations
- Justice of the Peace NSW
He is called upon to appear time to time on national television and Radio especially ABC and filmed and interviewed when need arises to speak on behalf refugees both Tamils and the wider community all of which could be viewed on internet under his name. His story had been told a few times and the last being at 6.30 PM on Radio National and was in a panel during Refugee Week 2016 as the ambassador of Refugee Council of Australia for the last three consecutive years. As a well-known advocate he takes part in a few monthly national teleconferences on asylum seekers/refugee policies, detention and processing.
He is also deeply involved in working towards genuine cross cultural relationship and multiculturalism in Australia. Rev. Jegasothy considers treating strangers, the vulnerable and refugees as fellow human with compassion is the challenge to be human ourselves. Deeply challenged by Jesus Christ his Lord and saviour he has a “the passion to connect Church with community and to show in action Chris’s love for all especially the vulnerable people”. This being the main driving force behind his work.