Introducing Abishane Suthakaran, Manager of Research and Policy

Hi everyone! My name is Abi (Abishane) Suthakaran (she/her), and I am very excited to join OUSA as a Manager of Research and Policy!


My passion for social advocacy and policy analysis comes from my identity as a Sri Lankan woman and second-generation immigrant. My lived experiences of being born in Toronto’s first public housing project, Regent Park, growing up in Rexdale, a marginalized low-income community, and achieving a post-secondary education are representative of what community support and advocacy work can do to change the trajectory of one's life.


Thus, when first applying to university, I recognized the opportunity I had to pursue post-secondary education and that my journey embodied the dreams and aspirations of my family and community. In search of ways to give back to my community, I found a passion for research during my Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology with a concentration on Research Specialization and Legal Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU). It created the path to completing my Master of Applied Politics at WLU as well. 


Since then, I have actively engaged in research and policy analysis related to housing, social assistance, marginalized communities, and social equity, to name a few, and presented at several conferences. I have also sharpened my lobbying and advocacy skills to advocate for policy recommendations and initiatives effectively. 


Overall, I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to OUSA’s mission. I relate to many stories of post-secondary students and plan to leverage my skills and lived experiences to learn from and give back to the student community. 


I am beyond excited to co-manage with Octavia and be part of OUSA’s dedicated and inspirational team. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] if you want to connect!