Dino Rajapakse arrived in Australia from Sri Lanka and was keen to change his career. He had previously studied a Business and Marketing degree but he said, "I realised it wasn't for me, I didn't like sitting behind a desk all day, I like keeping busy."
Dino enrolled in a two year Diploma of Automotive Technology at Box Hill Institute as an international student. After graduating, Dino worked some short stints at a few workshops, before picking up work with Toyota. It was there that he realised how much he enjoyed sharing information and he began to explore ways he could transfer his knowledge to others.
This time when Dino arrived at Box Hill Institute, it was as a teacher eager to fulfil his ambition. He had retained fond memories of being taught by Mark Liberto. He said, "I am so lucky to have been taught by Mark in my classes. He is now my mentor as a teacher here at Box Hill.
"I feel privileged to work here. I am grateful to Mark, Michael (Cope) and the team for their support. We have a wonderful team and it's one of the reasons why I love Box Hill Institute," he said.
Dino finds it easy to relate to students and has an incredible knack for translating the most complex information into digestible, simple language. He wants his students to leave his lessons with a grasp of the basics, knowledge of the inner workings of the car and information on how to keep themselves safe. He regularly teaches the international automotive students, opening up and sharing his own experience as a former international student and making himself available to answer any questions that they may have.
After COVID-19 drove students to remote learning, the automotive team quickly adjusted to the online environment but Dino is glad to be able to return to teaching some classes on campus. He said, "It's easier to perform practicals, to show students what they need to know and have them doing as much hands on practice as possible."
The more experience students get to work with the tools and equipment, the better opportunities they have when they go into the workforce.