Bachar Houli OAM Welcome

Meet Bachar Houli OAM

Bachar Houli OAM is a former Australian Rules Footballer, most notably having played for the Richmond Football Club, and famously known as the first devout Muslim to play the game at the highest level. Houli was drafted in the 2006 NAB AFL National Draft by the Essendon Football Club with its fifth selection, and the 42nd pick overall.

After four years and 26 games with the Bombers, Bachar made the move to the Richmond Football Club after nominating for the 2011 pre-season draft. He forged a remarkable career at ‘Tigerland’, playing over 200 games and becoming a key part of a three-time winning premiership side (2017, 2019, 2020). Houli enjoyed a standout season in 2019, averaging 27.8 disposals across 22 games as the Tigers ended the season with an impressive 16-6 record. His impressive season was recognised as he was named in the 22-man All-Australian squad and received a career-best 11 Brownlow Medal votes. Houli was outstanding in the 89-point Grand Final win against the Giants that season, finishing with 26 disposals and runner-up in the Norm Smith Medal voting.

Leaving a legacy on-and-off the field

Despite the complexities that the COVID-19 lockdowns brought on to the AFL during season 2020, Richmond overcame unprecedented circumstances and became only the fourth team in the AFL era to win back-to-back premierships, and only the fifth team in the AFL era to win at least three flags. Thus, Bachar became a three-time premiership player.

Off the field, Houli is a devout Muslim and the founder of the Bachar Houli Foundation. Houli is regarded as a leader and role model for the Australian Islamic community due to his inspiring work in promoting social cohesion and harmony. Houli’s dedication and commitment to his community work with Muslim youth has enabled him to become one of Australia’s most prominent public figures. He has been internationally recognised and awarded the Beyond Sport achievement award for the Bachar Houli Islamic Programs in Philadelphia, USA and ​the High Excellence Award for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding.

In 2020, Houli’s contributions to the community were recognised by the AFL, as he was awarded the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.

A timeline of Bachar Houli OAM

2004
Under 16 Captain
Victorian Metropolitan Squad
2004
2006
Under 18 Vice-captain
Victorian Metropolitan Squad
2006
2006
Drafted 42nd overall pick
2006 AFL national draft
2006
2007
AFL Debut
vs North Melbourne, Round 7
2007
2008
AFL Rising Star Nominee
2008 AFL Season
2008
2010
Drafted 3rd Overall by Richmond
2010 Pre-Season Draft
2010
2012
Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding Award
Inaugural Winner, Presented by the Australia Day Council
2012
2013
Bachar Houli Foundation Founded
The First Islamic Football Academy
2013
2017
First Flag
2017 Premiership Player
Runner Up Norm Smith Medallist
2017
2019
All Australian Selection
2019 All Australian Awards, as a Half Back
2019
2019
Yiooken Award
2019 Dreamtime At The G' Best on Ground
2019
2019
Career High 38 Disposals
Round 11 vs. North Melbourne
2019
2019
Second Flag
2019 Premiership Player
Runner Up Norm Smith Medallist
2019
2020
Third Flag
2020 Premiership Player
2020
2020
Victoria Representative
2020 State of Origin Bushfire Relief Match
2020
2020
Jim Stynes Comunity Leadership Award
2020 Brownlow Medal Presentation
2020
2021
Retirement
2021
2021
Torch of Justice Award
Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC)
2021

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