- 18 Oct 17
A week after her decade-long Newstalk show was abruptly cancelled, Dil Wickremasinghe will be returning to your ears, minds and hearts.
She has joined The HeadStuff Podcast Network to create her brand new podcast, Sparking Change with Dil.
This new podcast promises to shine a light on the latest social justice and mental health issues and "hopes to spark positive social change, one conversation at a time".
The weekly, hour-long episodes will be released on Friday mornings and will comprise of three segments based on the latest stories.
Sparking Change with Dil will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and all other podcast apps, as well as HeadStuff.org/sparking-change-with-dil
Dil hit the headlines recently when she refused to do her Newstalk show unless George Hook stepped down from his show on the same station after his controversial comments about rape.
Dil is an award-winning broadcaster and journalist, but she is also a social entrepreneur, stand-up comedian and actor.
In 2011 with her wife, Anne Marie, she co-founded Insight Matters, a mental health service. With a team of 45 therapists they support over 300 clients per week. In 2014, Dil was honoured with the Frederick Douglas Award as part of the Lord Mayor’s Awards for her outstanding contribution to Dublin civic life.
“It was like coming home,” explains Dil when she describes her relationship with Ireland. “When I came to Ireland 17 years ago, by pure coincidence my arrival coincided with Dublin Gay Pride and within 24 hours of arriving I found myself taking part in my first ever Pride March… I knew then I was finally home!”
Dil, was born in Italy and grew up in Sri Lanka, has experienced great adversity in her life. She was sexually abused by a teacher when she was 14, rejected by her religious parents when she came out at the age of 17, and was homeless for four years. At the age of 19 she began her career in Sri Lankan media only to be fired after a few months based on her sexuality.
“Like many migrants I started out as a kitchen porter washing pots and pans in a hotel and after a few years began a successful career in recruitment," she says.
"Over time, I became acutely aware that Ireland wasn’t as fair and equal as I first imagined as I met many marginalised people unable to live an authentic life or live life to their full potential because of who they were, what they experienced or where they came from.”
Dil began her career in Irish media in 2006 to highlight the stories of the most vulnerable in the hope to raise awareness.
“My decade-long show was axed just weeks after I publicly spoke out about a fellow presenter’s views on rape, I am determined more than ever to continue my work as a journalist and advocate for the voiceless in our society," she says.
"It has always been my personal belief that equality for one person is equality for all and have always regarded my work more than just a job but my own civic duty to inspire positive social change one conversation at a time."