MWF Board

Astrid Edwards


Mid-close-up studio 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. She hosts The Garret: Writers on Writing and co-hosts Anonymous Was A Woman. She 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.

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.

Ahmad Abas

Board Member

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

Board Member

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.

Louise Ryan

Board Member

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, ten 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.

Erin Wamala

Board Member

Close-up photograph of Erin Wamala. She is smiling and wears glasses.

Erin Wamala spent almost ten years as the National Education Consultant and Education Marketing Manager at Penguin Books Australia. Since then, she has completed a Masters of Education (Teacher Librarian) and now works as a Teacher Librarian at Trinity Grammar School in Melbourne. She is also the owner of The Kids’ Bookshop and has recently completed her term as an Older Readers Judge for the CBCA Awards. Wamala joined the MWF Board in 2021.

Declan Fry

Board Member

Colour photograph of Declan Fry standing in front of a house.

Declan Fry is a writer, essayist, and poet. Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, in 2020 he was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize and awarded the 2021 Peter Blazey Fellowship. His work has appeared in Meanjin, Australian Book Review, The Monthly, Overland, The Saturday Paper, and elsewhere.