Ashwyn Perera embraces the role of mentor as a way of giving back


Ashwyn Perera has never taken for granted the assistance he received from the University’s lecturers and department heads while studying for his Bachelor of Science and Diploma of Languages (German).

By his second year he had casual work in a laboratory, thanks to a lecturer who suggested he apply. That led to him getting a research paper published when he was just 21.

Mr Perera also credits that experience for helping secure his current position as a research assistant in multiple sclerosis research at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

Having benefited from the advice and experience of others, Mr Perera, now 24, has embraced the role of mentor, taking part in the University’s Melbourne Welcome and Access Connections Mentoring Programs.

One mentee is Ariel Simon, who grew up in a commune in Byron Bay and has had to adjust to university life as he studies a Bachelor of Science with a major in neuroscience.

They meet twice a month and the conversation extends beyond university life.

The Access Connections Mentoring Program aims to provide insights into the professional world for students in their desired field. “By talking to Ariel, I’ve been able to expand his knowledge of the career options and strategies after study,” Ashwyn says.

Ashwyn likes to see his involvement as giving back, recognising the benefits of his own background. “I need to respect the fact that I’m in this position by providing this opportunity to others.”

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