Yasseen makes a difference to the multicultural community
Yasseen Musa, a passionate volunteer, who was named a multicultural ambassador with the North Melbourne Football Club, said he was “ridiculously flabbergasted” when told of his Australia Day honour.
“I didn’t believe that this was actually happening. I’ve been heavily involved in community development for over 30 years,” he said, but added, “It’s never been my motive to do things for praise or awards but for the genuine benefit of the community as a whole.”
Mr Yasseen was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) as part of this year’s Australia Day honours list for his service to the African community of Melbourne.
He said it was a “humbling and exciting experience for myself and my family”.
“I took a minute to collect my thoughts and I thought about the way our Australian society has developed over the decades and I was pleased to feel that I’ve had an impact on this change for the betterment of our country.”
He was appointed North Melbourne Football Club’s (NMFC) multicultural community ambassador in 2020 and has been a key volunteer in the creation of the Team Africa AFL team and a member of the Multicultural Australian Football League Committee.
He said his role as an ambassador was aimed at bridging the gap between the community and NMFC.
“There were always waves of refugees from Africa coming in to live around the North Melbourne area and we took it upon ourselves to give guidance to the youth so they can grow and develop themselves to be future leaders within the community,” he said.
“The North Melbourne Football Club and especially The Huddle provided an outstanding platform to be able to help us out with the kids by playing sport through the various annual footy tournaments which are held all over Victoria, merchandise, free tickets to games, homework club, basketball, soccer, providing us with their facilities to use and employing many of the community members.”
Asked what he loved most about serving the community, he said it was “the impact on people’s lives, the smiles on the families faces, the improvement of individual living standards and providing young leaders the tools to excel”.
“Through this, it creates a better environment and brings out the best in people.” •