Chrishan Kamalan was born in Nigeria, West Africa to Ceylonese (now Sri Lanka) Tamil parents. His family settled in Neath, where he went to school.
His background led to his involvement with the United Nations Association (Wales) International Youth Exchange as a teenager and subsequently engagement with its sister charity – the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA). WCIA acts on global matters through learning, action and partnership. Following a number of years as a trustee, Chrishan chaired WCIA from 2016-19. During that period, WCIA had a million-pound annual turnover.
His lived experience of inequalities experienced in post-colonial and industrial settings instilled an appreciation of diversity and inclusion. This led to him training and practising as a lawyer at a law centre before joining the civil service. Both personal and professional experiences make him passionate about security of tenure, quality of accommodation etc. and how suitable housing is inextricably linked with individual and collective well-being. He says recent events have demonstrated the reality of structural and systemic inequality in society; the challenges posed by the cost-of-living crisis being the latest development which invites a constructive, iterative and fresh approach to achieving an end goal of ending homelessness.