Accolades for student championing multiculturalism in sport

14 November 2019

Irene McCormack Catholic College Year 11 student Brenda Amito has been crowned 2019 WA Young Person of the Year for her ongoing commitment to training AFL umpires from a range of cultural backgrounds. 

Held at the State Theatre Centre on 25 October, the WA Youth Awards recognised Western Australians 25 years and younger for their achievements and contributions to the community. 

Brenda was nominated by Daniel Sherifi, youth programs coordinator at Edmund Rice Centre WA, and was initially acknowledged with the Commissioner for Children and Young People Participate Award, before being named overall winner in the WA Youth Awards. 

Her efforts earned her a $1000 cash prize, around-the-world plane tickets, and a $10,000 travel subsidy to support her cause throughout regional WA. 

It will allow her to take part in youth-related events as WAs Youth Ambassador. 

Brenda migrated to WA from Uganda in 2007 and founded the Edmund Rice Centre WA Multicultural AFL Umpiring Academy in 2017, aged just 14. 

She was instrumental in developing and arranging development camps and training sessions while also umpiring games. 

At camps, Brenda ran administrative duties, including organising course material, conducting assessments, developing food menus and overseeing volunteers. 

She also coordinated the training and development requirements of umpires by hosting regular sessions and providing ontheground mentoring. 

The Academy has developed more than 60 umpires from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, securing opportunities to umpire at Little League and Auskick games at Optus Stadium, Public Schools’ Association matches and amateur fixtures with the WA Football Commission. 

Youth Minister Peter Tinley presented the award to Brenda and said she empowered a generation of multicultural youth to take control of their futures and feel part of a multicultural Australia. 

“Her umpires have broken cultural stereotypes, inspired mainstream Australians with their professionalism and skill and brought a greater sense of cultural harmony to the community,” he said. 

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