Hero Stories

Ahmad’s Passion for Progress

Eighteen-year-old Ahmad Hussein Fawad is an exceptional young man. He has a well-mannered, gentle personality, strong leadership qualities, engages with his cultural and local communities and plays at a representative level in his chosen sport, soccer.

Ahmad was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and due to the ongoing conflict his family fled to Australia in 2007. His arrival in Australia, along with his mother and two younger sisters, united him with his father who had left Afghanistan in 2000. Upon arriving in Australia Ahmad studied at an English language school to help him overcome the language barrier.

He started his secondary schooling at Dandenong High School in 2009. The EAL (English as an Additional Language) Program Coordinator, Elena Di Mascolo, enrolled Ahmad and having taught him for over two years says he has ‘great integrity and maturity and always conducts himself respectfully and thoughtfully towards his teachers and students alike’.

His early days at Dandenong High School were consumed with recess and lunchtime soccer. Where a verbal language barrier existed, the international language of soccer assisted Ahmad in finding comfort in his surroundings and a skill to focus on. Ahmad learnt the sport quickly and started playing for a local soccer club in 2008. Since this time Ahmad has played for his club and at representative level, won the ‘Rose Lee Award’ for outstanding performances as the best junior player at Monbulk Rangers SC in 2012 and most recently represented an elite team of players in the Mediterranean International Cup in Barcelona, Spain, where he played against teams from around the world, including Spain, Italy and Brazil, ultimately helping his team to the quarter finals of the competition.

His soccer highlight and lowlight both occurred in the 2011 season! His Bentleigh Greens team came agonisingly close to being the league champions, losing out on goal difference. Ahmad, however, helped the team secure a victory in the Hellenic Cup grand final, scoring the winning goal!

Ahmad finds himself to be a natural leader and enjoys working together with school peers, teachers and teammates towards finding solutions to problems. He says ‘I am passionate about team-work. I like to find what isn’t working well, taking charge and giving my ideas - working together to find the best way of doing things’. One of Ahmad’s coaches Rolando Navas applauds the way Ahmad applies himself, saying that ‘he has the drive and ambition to accomplish anything he sets his mind to’.

What does the future hold for Ahmad? He wants to go to University and give himself the best opportunities for jobs in the future. However, he wants to focus on soccer too, ‘both are very important to me. I’m trying really hard to get a good ATAR and go to University. I love soccer and will continue to play’. Ahmad’s recent visit to the Barcelona Football Club’s ‘Nou Camp’ stadium inspired him to reflect on the challenges he has overcome and the possibilities that await him in the future. We wish him all the best!