MWF Board

Astrid Edwards


Close-up photograph of Astrid Edwards. She is smiling and wears red lipstick.

Astrid Edwards is an interviewer, writer and advocate. She is one half of Bad Producer Productions, an independent Australian podcast network specialising in arts, comedy and sport podcasts. Edwards is a Member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council advising the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers and a National Advocate for MS Australia. Edwards joined the MWF Board in 2019.

Fahim Ahad

Deputy Chair

Close-up photograph of Fahim Ahad.

Fahi​m Ahad is a technology, media and intellectual property lawyer and screen business consultant, advising clients across the arts and education sectors, government and industry. Ahad has been involved with the development, production and marketing of a number of Australian feature films and television series, and has consulted extensively on the development of arts policy. Ahad joined the MWF Board in 2016.

Joanna Brand

Company Secretary

Mid-close-up photograph of Joanna Brand. Brand is smiling and wears a pink v-neck sweater. The background is blurred.

Joanna Brand has over 20 years legal and governance experience in both Australia and overseas. She is currently General Counsel and Company Secretary for ME Bank, and has previously held General Counsel roles with Jetstar Group, Billabong International, and Epic Energy. She holds a BA from Duke University, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MBA (Executive) from the Australian Graduate School of Management. Brand joined the MWF Board in 2020.

Phillip Benedetti


Close-up studio photograph of Phillip Benedetti. He is smiling and wears a suit shirt and jacket.

Phillip Benedetti 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. Benedetti 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). Benedetti joined the MWF Board in 2018.

Ahmad Abas

Close-up photograph of Ahmad Abas. Abas is smiling and wears a black jacket over a black shirt. There is a blurred bookshelf in the background.

Ahmad Abas is an award-winning architect who has been involved with the arts for over 25 years, including as the Chair of Perth Fringe Festival, and as a founding committee member of the WA Chamber of Arts. His involvement in the arts extends to early engagement in his career as a public artist, actor, performer, sculptor and event organiser. Abas joined the MWF Board in 2020.

Dr Alice Hill

Close-up photograph of Dr Alice Hill. Hill wears blue-rimmed glasses and a white shirt over a dark red cardigan. There's a blurred artwork in the background.

Alice Hill was raised in Inuvik, NWT, Canada and now lives in Mt Eliza, Victoria. Her career as an economist began with the Government of Canada and has included the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, McKinsey & Co, London Economics, and Frontier Economics. She is the founder of the Early Years Education Program and of the Early Years Education Research Program. Hill joined the MWF Board in 2020.

Jamila Rizvi

Mid-close-up photograph of Jamila Rizvi. She has long brown hair and is looking away from the camera.

Jamila Rizvi is Chief Creative Officer for Nine Entertainment’s Future Women and a bestselling author for adults and children. She is also an opinion columnist, podcast host, and has advised governments at the highest levels on gender equality, childcare. media and employment. She lives on Wurundjeri land with her husband Jeremy, five-year-old Rafi and a lot of unfinished lockdown craft projects. Rizvi joined the MWF Board in 2016.

Louise Ryan

Mid-close-up photograph of Louise Ryan. Ryan is smiling and wears red-rimmed spectacles. There are books in the background.

Louise Ryan has been working in the Melbourne Publishing industry for 32 years, 10 years at Readings and 22 in publishing houses; Allen & Unwin and Penguin Random House. A recent recipient of the George Robertson Award for distinguished service in the publishing industry, she is now the manager of Readings flagship Carlton store. She is also co-author of Twins: A Practical and Emotional Guide to Parenting Twins. Ryan joined the MWF Board in 2020.