Family heartache as Monash student is mourned



Humble, hard-working and cheerful are words everyone uses to describe Nisali Perera.

The 20 year-old was tragically killed when she was struck by a car as she crossed Wellington Road, near Monash University’s Clayton campus last week. 

Studying at Monash, Nisali was completing the final semester of her Bachelor of Commerce and Business. 

Nisali Perera as a child PHOTO: Supplied

Close family friend Harsha Gunawardana, who once lived with Nisali and her family in their Sri Lankan home, said her family was devastated and struggling to come to terms with her death.

“We are still extremely shocked with what has happened. She was someone who was perfect in more than one way,” Mr Gunawardana said.

“Her parents are continuously crying and have not spoken much since.”

“Nisali my sister, as I called her, was an amazing individual and we were really close. I myself am still coming to terms with what has happened and almost don’t want to believe or accept it.”

Nisali was her parents’ only child and wanted to travel after she graduated. 

Those closest to her say she was a foodie, intelligent and a part of almost every club and social group at the university. 

Nisali has been described as “perfect”. PHOTO: Supplied

Also a student at Sri Lanka’s Lyceum International School Nugegoda, Nisali has been remembered as a helpful student, who was loved by all her teachers.

Her school friend Sharlene Ferreira said the news of Nisali’s tragic death was shattering.

“I still can’t believe she’s gone. It was just too quick. Justice must happen,” Ms Ferreira said.

“She was good at academics and a scholar actually. If I had to describe her in one word, I would use ‘kindness’. She was always ready to help out and reach out to people,” she said.

Nisali’s university friends told MOJO News she was always cheerful and constantly had a smile on her face. 

Mr Gunawardana said the Perera family is now waiting for Nisali’s body to be sent home to Sri Lanka.

“We still haven’t got an exact date and that in itself is nerve wrecking. Her parents at his point are feeling helpless,” Mr Gunawardana said.

A woman was today charged with being an accessory to the commission of an indictable offence, in relation to Nisali’s death.

The 33 year-old will face Melbourne Magistrates Court this afternoon.

Monash University students and staff have been invited to attend a memorial for Nisali on Friday from 3.30pm at the Clayton Campus’s religious centre.