Bachar Houli

Bachar Houli is an Australian Rules Footballer for the Richmond Football Club, famously known as the first devout Muslim to play the game at the highest level. Houli was drafted in the 2006 NAB AFL Draft with selection No. 42 by the Essendon Football Club. After four years and 26 games with the Bombers he made the move to Richmond where he has forged a remarkable career, playing over 200 games and being named All Australian in 2019. Houli enjoyed a standout season in 2019, where he played 22 games and averaged 27.8 disposals as the Tigers ended the season with a Grand Final win. Houli was outstanding in the 89-point Grand Final win, finishing with 26 touches and runner-up in Norm Smith Medal voting. Richmond endured a tough season in 2020 to and made it back-to-back Premierships, making Houli 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 community due to his inspiring work 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 ​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.


  • 232 AFL Games
  • 2017, 2019, and 2020 Premiership Player
  • 2019 All-Australian
  • 2017 and 2019 Norm Smith Medal Runner-up
  • 2019 Yiooken Award Winner
  • 2019 and 2021 David Mandie Community Award
  • 2020 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award
  • 2021 Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) Torch of Justice Award
  • Beyond Sport Achieving Award
  • Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding