In the spirit of Mother’s Day, the Collingwood Football Club is highlighting the incredible stories of not just its athletes but its staff and wider community. There are several beautiful relationships and people going through motherhood within the Club but none more heart-warming than Sundus and Ayan.
Sundus Mohammed is a Media Assistant at the Collingwood Football Club, and her mother Ayan works at Magpie Meals, a social enterprise and employment program for migrant and refugee women, funded by the Collingwood Football Club Foundation.
Ayan was born in Somalia and moved to Australia in 1991 after the civil war in Somalia broke out. She raised her two children as Muslim and supported them throughout their childhood and schooling.
Ayan ensured that her children were always steadfast with their religion, while also maintaining focus on their Victorian education. Despite their earnings, she signed them up to both Arabic language and Islamic studies classes, while also attending English language school to better understand her environment.
It is this determination and strength that Sundus admires most about her Mum.
“Why do I look up to my Mum? Because my Mum, she came from nothing. She made sure me, and my brother always had everything every other child had. We weren’t put at a disadvantage.” – Sundus Mohammed
Years later, after volunteering in North Melbourne’s community arm The Huddle, both Sundus and Ayan were able to find employment through a pathway provided by the Collingwood Football Club.
Despite the language and cultural barriers that inherently exist for Sundus and Ayan, they approach these challenges with grace.
Speaking on their experience being employed by the Club and its wider initiatives, Sundus and Ayan had this to say:
“I got to go into a community or an environment that I never thought I would be a part of. I was never an AFL supporter but just being able to represent both my culture and my religion, it’s just a beautiful thing. I’m really grateful for it and I feel like my mother is very grateful for her opportunity as well.” – Sundus Mohammed
“I like this job. The people and teams are good. I won’t leave until they kick me out.” – Ayan Ahmed
Sundus has formally been accepted into a Bachelor of Law at RMIT University and will commence her studies in July this year Meanwhile, Ayan will happily continue to contribute her cooking expertise at Magpie Meals for as long as she can.