National Manager, Westpac Davidson Institute
AGSM MBA (Executive) 2013
Social Change through Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Lali Wiratunga connects the not-for-profit and business sectors to the benefit of both. As the National Manager for Westpac’s Davidson Institute, he advocates for the role of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in helping people and organisations deliver social impact and financial sustainability.
In 2016, Lali received Pro Bono Australia's Impact 25 Award, recognising leaders in the social economy. He is a mentor for emerging leaders and holds voluntary positions with several organisations.
Acting across many initiatives and organisations often requires enabling diverse groups to work towards a common goal.
"A big part of my role is creating and sustaining genuine partnerships and the skills I learned in my MBA have definitely helped me. I am now equipped with the knowledge, the tools, and the networks in order to realise my purpose, which is about helping others, really."
Leader, Mentor, Advisor and Manager
After completing a law degree, personal circumstances led him to consider his real purpose and he embarked on an MBA to instigate a career change.
"I think it has been a spiral career. One thing I've done in one role has led to another thing. The skillsets of being a lawyer has even helped me in my current role. Part of my role is creating partnerships. Definitely what I've learned in my MBA has helped me, and what led me to this role, it is very much linked to purpose."
Lali says gaining new skills was a highlight of his MBA.
"I learned managerial skills that I've used in daily life professionally and personally. I've used that more than any other element of the course. Every single element of the final Strategic Management Year plays a role in what I do every day."
"AGSM equipped me with the knowledge, tools, and the networks in order to realise my purpose, which is helping others."
Learning to Listen in Order to Lead
His MBA gave him more than new tools and frameworks to influence others.
"You start recognising how to listen effectively to people. To identify if they’re the right person to approach for that idea."
He was able to build on his existing skills and networks by adding the ability to have a conversation with someone and align an idea to what they value. "I don't think I would have done that before the MBA. The knowledge, the networks, the ability to go and have a conversation with someone and align that idea to what they value. I don't think I would have done that before the MBA."