Amesh Perera: mixing climate science with a side of heavy metal

From reading about global affairs to jamming heavy metal with his mum, Amesh Perera’s ambition to pursue a career in both music and geography was made possible through his time at Trinity College.

Amesh Perera Trinity College

Growing up in the tropical heat of Sri Lanka’s administrative capital, Kotte, Amesh Perera spent the majority of his childhood playing in lush fields listening to music with his mother. By his teens, Amesh’s passion for music saw him form a heavy metal band and he started performing on the Sri Lankan music scene. 

‘I was obsessed with heavy metal and playing my electric guitar at obnoxious volumes to anger my neighbours, making it a conquest to be the heaviest and loudest guitar player in all of Sri Lanka,’ he says with a laugh.

Amesh was more than just a metal head though, and also held a keen interest in world affairs, politics and geography. But the school he attended didn’t offer many subjects aligned to his interests. 

By chance, Amesh heard about a fair being held in Sri Lanka by the University of Melbourne, where he met a representative from Trinity’s Foundation Studies program. Two weeks later, Amesh was on a plane to Australia.  

‘Walking through the Trinity gates for the first time, I thought I was on the set of a Harry Potter film,’ he remembers. 

Once he got into the groove of Melbourne and Trinity life, Amesh enjoyed the diversity of the student body within the Foundation Studies program. 

‘I loved being with students from other cultural backgrounds, learning about their cultural practices, way of life, language and what music they enjoyed.’

Upon graduating from Foundation Studies in 2013, Amesh was awarded the Charles Abbott and Cybec Foundation scholarship to Trinity's Residential College. This enabled him to spend the next two years living on campus. In 2017, he graduated with a Bachelor of Environments. 

‘In the final year of my bachelor's degree, I worked with senior management to ensure that Trinity met its sustainability goals. I got to see how the College functioned and offered real solutions, some of which were implemented by management.’

Despite his environmental inroads, after graduation, Amesh decided to branch out and pursue his passion for music. ‘I decided to finally kick start a band in Australia with the aim to take over the world with our brand of heavy metal, so formed my band Mammon's Throne.’

As the lead guitarist of Mammon’s Throne, Amesh tours the country and has recently signed a record deal. Besides tending to band business, he works for the Melbourne Pollen Count, forecasting pollen levels for sufferers of asthma, hay fever and other pollen-related allergies. 

Ultimately Amesh would like to work in the climate science sector, playing an active role in climate change mitigation strategy development in Australia. 

‘As apocalyptic as it may seem, we are teetering on the edge of the precipice of irreversible environmental damage and now is as good a time as any to take a stand. I believe policymaking is one way to initiate change, which is then backed up by creating awareness through art.’

Amesh believes his time at Trinity College educated him on how to co-operate and respect others in an increasingly globalised world. 

‘Foundation Studies taught me acceptance, camaraderie and working with peers from different cultural backgrounds who may not speak the language you're used to speaking.’

Although he didn't know exactly what he wanted to be when he was growing up, Amesh knew by following his passions he’d find direction in life. 

‘If students are ever in a similar position to me about not knowing exactly what to do in the future or if they can't find the subjects they’re passionate about in school, but want to meet amazing people from around the world or simply just want to have a go at something in a new country, Trinity has you covered.’

By Jess Asz

17/04/2020

Category: Foundation Studies