"I believe in destiny. Failing and learning. Compassion, love, forgiveness. Human rights. Freedom. Laughter."
Amna is a woman with a love of Aussie Rules football and a drive to succeed. She has strong links with her community, often speaking at schools to help young people question and redefine gender roles, as well as encouraging them to find the leader in themselves. She founded the Auburn Tigers Aussie Rules football club now known as the Auburn Giants.
Six years on she was a Finalist for Australia's Local Hero Award for pioneering the game for women, culturally diverse communities and Western Sydney.
She has been a driving force in changing perceptions - encouraging women, especially Muslim women, to get involved in AFL and sport.
I’m driven by...
When people say "you can't", I focus on what I CAN do.
“Ambition. Competitiveness. I love a challenge. A sense of accomplishment.
Passion – for sport, for change, for participation.
Resilience. When people say "you can't", I focus on what I CAN do.
Self-reflection and purpose.
Representation – as a woman, as a Muslim, as a Western Sydney sider, as an Australian of Lebanese heritage.”
Amna is driven by desire to dispel stereotypes of women. With AFL seen as a masculine sport, Amna believes it’s about redefining how people perceive femininity. Amna also has a strong role in the community and often speaks at schools. She teaches students to think about what gender means to them, and what the gender roles defined for them mean.
My goal is to...
To grow wise, or just grow. Change the conversation. Stay focused, disciplined, competitive, and grounded.
“Inspire girls and women to play sport. To normalise female participation in sport.
Leave a legacy. Pursue higher learning and encourage others to do the same.
To grow wise, or just grow. Share my blessings with others – like my smile or my laugh. Change the conversation.
Stay focused, disciplined, competitive, and grounded”
Amna says being a visibly Muslim woman makes her the focus of all kinds of misperceptions about oppression, criminality and terrorism and she uses the AFL as a catalyst to change these misperceptions. She said the Sydney AFL community is so supportive, so inclusive, so welcoming; and it is through the football team that Amna has created a safe and inclusive environment for the girls to play footy with other girls who they would otherwise never come in contact with. This creates an interfaith and inter-cultural experience that is often missing in Australia. Amna is an advisor to GoActive, a women's health and fitness initiative engaging women from multicultural and minority communities in sport and recreation.
What is next for you?
“I want to see the Auburn Giants win at Premier division football; seeing our team members get drafted into the national women’s AFL competition; changing the conversation both in the community and in the workplace around gender, leadership and women; and continuing to grow as a person: whether that’s through learning, employment or just general self-discovery.”
Changing the conversation both in the community and in the workplace around gender, leadership and women.
How do you plan to continue driving change in your community?
“I plan to continue driving change through my visibility. My presence on the football field, my presence in the workplace and my presence just in the street, where I can say ‘hi’ to people and have a chat.”
What is your proudest moment?
“My proudest moments are when I’ve been able to give back. Where I’ve mentored, shared knowledge with or cared for someone else and then seen then succeed. That’s when I’m proudest.”
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