Readers will be saddened to learn that Dr Wikrema ‘Wicky’ Weerasooria passed away in Colombo on 4 December 2018.
Wicky was known as the author of over twenty Australian and Sri Lankan textbooks, including Banker-Customer: Resolving Banking Disputes (1994) with Nerida Wallace, Banking Law and the Financial System in Australia which is now called Weerasooria’s Banking Law of Australia, the Financial System in Australia now written by Alan Tyree and Prue Weaver ( 2006) and Bank Lending and Securities in Australia (1998).
His research and publication included an article on money laundering and cash transactions in Volume 2 of JBFLP in 1991, which was based on a presentation at the Australasian Law Teachers Association Annual Conference the year before. This would have been a lively presentation with energy and humour.
Wicky was a popular teacher of contract law and banking law at Monash Law School on and off for almost 20 years. He joined Monash as a senior lecturer in 1972. He returned to Sri Lanka in 1977 to serve as Secretary of the Ministry of Plan Implementation. He was appointed the High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand in 1986. During his time as High Commissioner in Canberra, he published Links Between Sri Lanka and Australia – A Book About the Sri Lankans (Ceylonese) in Australia (1988) of about 370 pages with a picture of Governor Macquarie on the front cover.
When he returned to Monash in 1990 as an Associate Professor, he was quoted in the Monash Reporter as saying that ‘My first, second and third priorities will be teaching and to be accessible and helpful to students’. His office at Monash was filled with framed pictures of Wicky with the Pope, Wicky with the President of the US and more.
He was proud of his connections with industry. During this time, he was involved in setting up and directing the Banking Law Centre at Monash Law School to develop teaching and research in banking law. The Centre had strong financial support from the National Australia Bank, which also hosted a full day of applied banking law teaching and presentations for his undergraduate students. Wicky was adamant that students couldn’t do better than to learn from those who work in the area.
He returned to Sri Lanka in 2002 and worked as a Consultant to the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Training and was a member of the government’s Administrative Reforms Committee. During this period he also served as a Legal Consultant in Financial Sector Law Reforms at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
At the time of his death, Wicky was Sri Lanka’s Insurance Ombudsman (2005) and Adviser to the President.
Adjunct Professor, Swinburne Law School, Melbourne