Amna Karra-Hassan, co-founder of the Auburn Tigers Women’s AFL team
Amna Karra-Hassan has been nominated for the 2012 Young Women of the West Award for her contributions to the communities of Greater Western Sydney.
At 23 years of age, Amna played a lead role in the establishment of the new women's AFL team, the Auburn Tigers. She is also an active ambassador for the rights of Muslim women, and is a positive role model and mentor for young people.
The Auburn Tigers largely consists of women from minority communities in western Sydney. Amna's role in the team, as a mentor as well as a friend, is to guide and support these young women in the right direction and to teach them important life skills.
Amna was nominated for the 2012 Young Women of the West Award by Lael Kassem, a close friend. Lael says the establishment of the team has had a significant impact on countering the negative stereotypes of Muslim women in society, as well as a positive personal effect on the women involved.
"The Auburn Tigers AFL Women's team stands as a testament to the growing passion of young female Muslims wanting to branch out in society... The initiation of the team has opened many doors for the girls. It has significantly increased their self-esteem and confidence," says Lael.
Amna works for the Australian Federal Police Community Liaison Team. In this role, she engages and networks with various communities to develop relationships that promote positive community partnerships.
Amna is also in her second year on the NSW Youth Advisory Council which advises the NSW Government through the Minister responsible for Youth Affairs on issues of concern to young people (aged 12-25) in NSW; government policies relating to young people; and youth-related programs.
In 2011 the NSW Youth Advisory Council's work focused on youth health issues, youth engagement and participation in government, the community and through digital media, and young driver's issues.
Amna has played a lead role in a number of other community events from 2009 - 2011. She was the Event Manager of multiple spoken word tours, hosting international and local poets, comedians and spiritual leaders which brought hundreds of local young people to reflect on the importance of religion in their lives. In 2011 she was a presenter at the Australian Multicultural Foundation, Youth Mentorship and Leadership program, and was a panel member at the Auburn Community Development Network and Youth Support Network. She also featured in a Triple J radio documentary 9/11 Ten Years On, Have we moved on?
The nomination is supported by Hanan Dover, President of the not-for-profit community organisation Mission of Hope (MoH) and winner of the Women of the West's 'Highly Commended' award in 2011.
Hanan says Amna has proven to be a passionate advocate for grass-roots activism in both the youth and community sector.
"With a strong passion for social reform, Amna is a positive role model and proud ambassador for young people, her community and religion," says Hanan.
Amna is currently studying her Masters in Islamic Studies at Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the Islamic Sciences Research Academy (ISRA).
Photo: Sally Tsoutas