Board & Staff

Meet the team at Melbourne Writers Festival.

MWF Board

John Jerome Myers (Chair)
John Jerome was appointed to the MWF Board in February 2012 and appointed Deputy Chair 12 months later. He is a director of, and works within, the finance and management departments of Dunkeld Pastoral Company, a private company that has agricultural and hospitality interests in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria. Over the past ten years other work interests have taken him frequently and for extended periods to both Bangladesh and Poland. John was appointed chair in 2017.

Jayne Dullard (Deputy Chair)
Jayne’s career as a print and broadcast journalist spanned more than 20 years, across locations including the Western Australian goldfields, Burma and ABC Radio in Melbourne, where she was senior producer of the flagship Jon Faine morning program. In 2008 Jayne joined the Melbourne office of a national issues and media management firm working with clients across the transport, health, industry and government sectors, and was subsequently appointed the chief executive. In 2012 she left the private sector to join The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne as executive director of communications. Jayne joined the MWF Board in 2010.

Fahim Ahad (Treasurer)
Fahim is a screen business consultant with expertise in finance, marketing, post-production and multi-platform production, and a commercial lawyer specialising in intellectual property, technology, media and communications. As business affairs manager for Arenamedia and CinemaPlus, Fahim is part of a team that produces and distributes bold Australian screen content. A graduate of The University of Melbourne and the Australian Film Television and Radio School, Fahim is passionate about the progress of storytelling through its convergence with technology and a lover of all forms of writing, from poetic prose to clever code. He joined the MWF Board in 2016.

Phillip Benedetti
Phillip is a principal at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He is passionate about the potential for digital to drive real, disruptive innovation and is privileged to help his clients navigate this rapidly evolving landscape. Phillip is also a staunch supporter of BCG’s diversity agenda and leads story-based communication training. He co-founded a non-profit supporting science research while studying in Cambridge (UK). Phillip holds a master of philosophy in bioscience enterprise from the University of Cambridge and both a master of science in chemistry and a bachelor of arts in chemistry, biochemistry and economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the MWF Board in 2018.

Astrid Edwards
Astrid is a writer, teacher, podcaster and director. Astrid teaches writing at RMIT University. She is one half of Bad Producer Productions, a podcast network with seven successful (and three awarded) podcasts. Astrid has been published in The AgeThe Sydney Morning HeraldFuture Women and Australian Book Review. She is the host of the literary podcast The Garret: Writers on Writing, and has judged the Aurealis Awards each year since 2016. Astrid is also a national advocate for MS Australia, and previously served as the deputy chair of Writers Victoria. She joined the MWF Board in 2019.

Jamila Rizvi
Jamila is Editor-at-Large of the Nine Network’s Future Women, host of their podcast Future Women Weekly and columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. She is a regular commentator on The ProjectTodayThe DrumQ and A, and an occasional host on ABC Radio Melbourne. Jamila is the author of bestselling books Not Just Lucky and The Motherhood, and co-founded the popular event series Tea with Jam and Clare which she hosts with Clare Bowditch. Jamila holds bachelors degrees in law and commerce from the Australian National University and previously worked for the Rudd and Gillard Governments, advising on media, women, child care, and employment. She joined the MWF Board in 2017.

MWF Staff

Rebecca MacFarling

Gene Smith
Associate Director

Iain Finlayson
Development Manager

Alexia Jordan
Marketing & Partnerships Manager

Sonia Nair
Program Manager

Jessica Harvie
Festival Administrator

Jacob Boehme
First Nations Advisor

Ingrid Laguna
Education Advisor

Joey Chen

CPR Communications & Public Relations