Lak Prematunga – Inspirational Blog
Lak started her journey at SisterWorks in 2016. Inspiring everyone she meets with her infectious joy, Lak now runs her own entrepreneurial business and creative workshops for SisterWorks.
Lak came to Australia from Sri Lanka in 2014 because her husband got a working visa. Back in Sri Lanka, Lak worked in marketing. “I was really good there, working in an advertising agency… I had a very comfortable life in Sri Lanka, and I was so fond of my job. I was totally a career woman there. I didn’t have any intention of coming here; I was fully comfortable.” Lak reflects on her transition into her Australian life as a period of growth and frustration. “When I came to Australia, it was like a totally new place. I had to adapt myself to everything new. My past experience was not considered, and my education qualification was not considered. I found it very difficult to get a job, so I was really frustrated.”
Lak felt as though her life had been turned upside down. “In Sri Lanka, it’s like I dealt with a lot of people; I’m a people person, so I dealt with a lot of corporate clients.” She states that “more than anything, [in Australia] I was isolated.”Lak would regularly call and skype her family in Sri Lanka, but in Australia she only had her husband. Lak felt lost. Unable to find a job as she had in Sri Lanka, Lak began to explore other options.
Her husband saw SisterWorks when he passed it on the way to work. After looking at the SisterWorks website, they organised a meeting. Lak says that “after that meeting, I [felt] like I am no longer alone, there are a lot of women like me.” Through SisterWorks, Lak developed her creative passions and used her marketing skills to start her entrepreneurial journey. She began to design artworks, cards, and children’s toys for the SisterWorks shop. “[SisterWorks] supported me in terms of moving forward… with every little step like how to market your products on Instagram or how to talk with the customers. Coming to SisterWorks and being at the shop gave me a good opportunity to adapt myself to the culture.”
She says that although her transition into her life in Australia was difficult, she is grateful for what it has taught her. She says that she now tells other women in similar positions to not “compare yourself from where you come from… there is something unique in yourself, sometimes you have to adapt, but don’t change your integrity, your roots and your values. Have that blend of multi-culture… so that you can shine wherever you go.”