The William Light Institute wishes to announce the sad passing of our founder and Principal Mona Dharmasenan on 9th July 2016.


After working in banking and having a family in Sri Lanka, Mona was forced to move to Australia as a refugee in 1984. She then began a brave struggle in Melbourne to bring up her two girls and develop a career in international marketing. Her career developed her knowledge of and connections with many countries and friends throughout Asia and the Sub-Continent.

During the early 1990’s Mona’s passion for learning lead to her obtaining degrees in business and art and she then helped to establish a new private higher education provider. In 2000 Mona joined the University of Ballarat (now Federation University) in international education and in 2005 was appointed to establish a campus for the International Institute of Business and Information Technology in Adelaide in partnership with the University. After her success at IIBIT, Mona and her brother-in-law Greg established The William Light Institute in 2008 with the first international students arriving in 2009.

Under Mona’s leadership The William Light Institute has developed a reputation as a high quality, student friendly international education provider. As Mona said in describing her approach, “A passion for continuous learning, international travel and a respect for cultural differences brought me to where I am today. I work on the philosophy that people are different and it is these differences that make every individual so unique.”Mona treated students as if they were family, always concerned for their wellbeing and welfare. Students with young children were enthusiastically welcomed and it is a common site to see mothers with babies in classrooms.  

Mona is widely respected in many parts of the world for her warm and friendly approach, shrewd business acumen and love for people and life.  Away from work Mona’s interests have included travel, Hindi Bollywood movies (she doesnt speak Hindi) painting, her grandnephew Jiae and most recently an adventurous (and successful) approach to cooking.

Mona leaves behind two fine daughters Shankari, a psychologist and Anushka, a lawyer and business executive and many fond memories for other family members and friends.

Her friends and colleagues at The William Light Institute are determined to have Mona’s vision for international students continued into the future.