On Friday, 23 August, a farewell reception was hosted for Mr. Tony Reilly, as he bid farewell after 3 years of excellent and committed service in the capacity of Country Director for the British Council’s operation in Sri Lanka.
The event was attended by key contacts and partners of the British Council, colleagues, and friends from the media. The Minister of Education, Hon. Bandula Goonewardena, British High Commissioner HE John Rankin, and Former vice-chancellor Chandra Embuldeniya, are few of the key individuals that were present at the function to personally bid goodbye to Mr. Reilly.
Under Mr. Reilly’s leadership, the British Council in Sri Lanka ventured on a number of new initiatives and projects. It was during his term as the Sri Lanka Country Director that the British Council broke a Guinness World Record by summoning 1,500 young people together at the Colombo University grounds to create the world’s largest human mosaic on International Youth Day in 2011. Other initiatives include the three year project ‘HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards’ presented by the British Council which aims at empowering young entrepreneurs, and the first Global Education Dialogue conference on Transforming Higher Education in South Asia which was attended by over 100 foreign and local delegates.
Mr. Reilly, was also popularly known in Sri Lanka for his role as the ‘chief judge’ on Season 3 of the British Council’s reality-TV show, ‘IDEATORS – Next Generation Entrepreneurs’, a project aimed at promoting graduate entrepreneurship among Sri Lankan youth.
Mr. Reilly has worked for the British Council for over 25 years, having held posts previously in Iraq, Ireland, South Africa, Turkey, Kuwait, and Oman. In January 2012, he was recognised at the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for his service to the British Council in Iraq and was awarded the prestigious title ‘Order of the British Empire’ (OBE).
He moves forward with his career at the British Council, by taking up his new post at the British Council based in Nairobi, Kenya.
The incoming Country Director to British Council Sri Lanka, Mr. Keith Davies, was also present at Tony’s farewell reception. Mr. Davies was also awarded the honour of the OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 2010 and has worked for the British Council for over 35 years, primarily in East Asia – in Malaysia, Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia (last two as Country Director) and also in London and Bahrain. He has now taken up his post as the Country Director of British Council Sri Lanka from 26 August.