The Morrison Government will provide an additional $3 million for the Bachar Houli Program to extend its outreach and provide more development opportunities for young Muslims through sport.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said 5000 young Australians would now be able to participate in the foundation’s programs each year due to the funding investment.
“The Bachar Houli Program has gone from strength to strength and we are delighted to support its ongoing success,” Minister Ruston said.
“We all know the power of sport and our funding investment will almost double its number of annual program participants to help more young Australians.
“With mentors like Bachar Houli, Adam Saad and Ahmed Saad, the foundation is using sporting role models to help inspire the next generation of the Islamic community.”
Minister Ruston the Morrison Government’s investment would also ensure parity with an equal number of programs offered for males and females.
“With AFL-W growing in popularity, the foundation will leverage its success to offer more support for young women and girls across our communities,” Minister Ruston said.
“After a successful nine years primarily in Victoria, the funding will also allow the organisation to extend its outreach into New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia to engage with more young people.”
The majority of the organisation’s programs are 12 months in length, ranging from its signature Bachar Houli Academy to the Bachar Houli Girls Leadership Program and its employment initiative where ten young people are placed in roles within the sports industry for a year.
Since 2013, the foundation has engaged more than 35,000 youth across its programs, including more than 40 trainees who have worked under its Employment Program where 80 per cent have transitioned to full time employment across the AFL industry.
Bachar Houli welcomed the federal investment and said the organisation would be able to extend its services.
"I am proud of the impact the Bachar Houli Program is having across Australia and excited about the opportunities we will now be able to continue to provide young boys and girls,” Bachar Houli said.
“We are passionate about developing young leaders and creating pathways for them to achieve their goals.”
The Program is named after Bachar Houli, a practising Muslim who played over 200 games in the AFL for clubs Richmond and Essendon. Bachar Houli’s commitment to his AFL career enabled him to become a primary figure in the Muslim community and he is currently an AFL cultural ambassador.
The not-for-profit organisation develops young leaders within the Muslim community and provides personal development for employment, education and leadership opportunities.