Bachar Houli has been honoured with the Torch of Justice Award by the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), Australia’s leading civil rights organisation, for his continuous community advocacy.

The ADC cited Houli’s “courageous stand against racism, hate and bullying” as major factors behind his receiving of the award

ADC Chairman Dr Dvir Abramovich presented Houli with the Torch of Justice Award at the annual Bachar Houli Foundation Ramadan Iftar last Wednesday.

Dr Abramovich praised Houli for using the power of his public voice to counter bigotry and for bringing about social change through his educational programs and the Bachar Houli Foundation.

Houli is passionate and committed to interfaith initiatives, most recently through his stewardship of the 2019 Jolson/Houli Unity Cup, which involved players from the Bachar Houli Foundation taking on Jewish players from AJAX.

In 2012, Houli led the Muju Peace Team; a side made up of Muslim and Jewish youths aged between 16 and 18, which won the AFL Unity Cup.

“We are honoured to recognise Bachar for his passionate activism in fostering equal opportunity and inclusivity, from the playing field to the classroom, and for stepping up in calling out the virus of racism,” said Dr Abramovich.

“By speaking truth to power, he has sent the thundering message that discrimination and harassment are not values that represent us and will never find a home in our nation. This is the true mark of a champion.

“Standing tall with conviction, Bachar has set an example for others, breaking down religious and cultural barriers and building bridges of understanding, unity and trust.

“We are proud to partner up with Bachar in promoting a positive shift in attitudes and furthering fairness and decency, the values on which sports is based.”

Bachar Houli reciting from The Holy Quran at last Wednesday’s annual iftar

Houli was honoured to receive the award at last Wednesday’s event, and he reiterated his focus on helping the next generation thrive.

“I’m really humbled to be acknowledged with such a prestigious award,” Houli said.

“I’m passionate about cohesion and bringing people together through education.

“The work we do through the Bachar Houli Foundation is extremely important to me, and we have a big focus on educating our participants and helping them become leaders in the community and develop a deeper understanding of their identity.”