How God gave a Sri Lankan family a new start Down Under

Once a while you hear stories that seem so incredible but still end up restoring your faith in God and humanity. In a world where everything seems to be going wrong and humanity continuing its nonstop downwards slide, stories like that of Mirthika Ambikaipalan make you smile again.

Mirthika came to Australia from strife torn Sri Lanka more than two decades ago as a little girl with her parents. The family was seeking refuge in Australia hoping to start a new life away from the war in their homeland that seemed unending.

The grateful family grabbed the opportunities that Australia offered to them with both hands. Never complaining, never giving up they started on a fresh journey. Mirthika’s father found work at the famous Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, helping stall owners setup and sell their wares. The work was only for a few hours and only on a few days a week. But the family was still grateful. They had got a start. Mirthika’s mother took up cleaning jobs in apartments and hotels in the city. She worked odd hours and shifts leaving Mirthika in charge of her two brothers and one sister.

This continued on for a few years and then one December evening Mirthika’s father met a kind elderly man at the Queen Victoria’s market. The man invited him to visit St. Paul’s church to enjoy the Christmas celebrations. That Christmas eve Mirthika’s family visited the church. The lights, the carols, the celebrations made them forget their worries for an evening. But more importantly, they seemed to have discovered a community that finally embraced them. The old man, Scott Smith, was a member of an informal social group that helped refugees and other disadvantaged people find their way in Australia.

It was only a matter of time before which the family embraced the Christian faith and became an integral part of the community. Mirthika, who has so far been struggling in school, started attending the weekend classes organized by the group. Soon, the bright girl started getting great results in the school. Who would have thought that a girl who came to the country as a refugee would one day go on and study medicine at one of the most famous universities in Australia.


While Mirthika did well on all accounts, she still struggled with the English language. Proving her language proficiency was important not just to secure a good job but to also ensure her place in Australian society and eventually become a citizen. She gave the dreaded IELTS exam again and again but always fell short. Just when she was about to give up, hope again came from her Christian group. One of the ladies in the group who treated her as a daughter introduced her to Sure Way English, who back then provided free English language classes to refugees and other immigrants to Australia. Mirthika started spending every weekend at the Sure Way English classes and achieved the impossible goal in just a month. This was also a milestone for Sure Way English, who then decided to branch out and offer their teaching services to people all over the world. Sure Way English today is the leading provider of online courses and coaching for PTE Academic. Their PTE coaching program is now taken by thousands of students from all over the world.

Isn’t it wonderful? When you help others, you often end up finding your own way? Mirthika, the little girl who once struggled with English, now volunteers as an English teacher and helps people who are in the same situation as she was once.

The circle of life continues but faith in God and humanity makes all our challenges and struggles worthwhile!