Sri Lankan born university lecturer at Victoria University Australia, Dr Pandula Gamage, has been named “2014 Accounting/finance educator of the year” by the peak body representing Australia and New Zealand’s accounting and finance academics, and educational publisher Pearson Australia. He received this award in New Zealand earlier this month.
Dr Gamage earned the award – which was created in 2001 to encourage and recognise innovative university-level accounting and finance teaching – for how he prepares students to enter a rapidly changing profession.
“The role of accounting professionals is now moving from number-crunchers to business advisers, and these changes require developing skills in leadership, communication and an understanding of the broad business environment,” he said.
The award was judged by education directors of CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. Nominees were assessed on their enthusiasm for teaching and promoting student learning, their command of subject matter, and their ability to present course material imaginatively.
Dr Gamage came to academia after an extensive background in industry. He says this gives him not only a strong network of industry contacts for student work placements, but also first-hand knowledge to translate complex ideas into real-world contexts and engage students so they hit the ground running when they graduate.
“As accounting and finance educators, it’s our responsibility to ensure students enter the world of accounting, banking and finance able to deal with the challenges created by changes in regulation, public policy and technology,” he said. “I am delighted to be recognised.”
Dr Gamage is an old boy of St.Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia and Richmond College Galle. Before migrating to Australia in 2006, he worked as a Manager at NDB bank.