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Our Board of Directors

Writers Victoria has a hard-working voluntary Board of Directors which oversees the strategic and administrative operations of the organisation.

Alex Hammond

Alex Hammond has over 20 years’ experience as digital communication and marketing specialist. He is currently the Assistant Director of Digital Engagement at RMIT University, where he manages the university’s online experiences to support its strategic and recruitment objectives. He is the author of The Paris Collaborator (2021, Echo), The Unbroken Line (2015, Penguin) and Blood Witness (2013, Penguin, shortlisted Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime Novel). Find out more at https://www.alexhammondauthor.com

Justine Sless

Justine Sless is a writer, comedian and humour academic and has an MA by research in creative writing. She has had short stories published in anthologies and academic journals, has written for ‘Jewish Women of Words’ and ‘Funny Women’ and has written numerous one women shows and comedy for a vast range of clients. Justine is co host of ‘Sless to Harsel‘, an ITVG show with an irreverent take on books and writing. She is the author of Mistress of Mirth’s COMEDY Tour. Find her online at justinesless.com.

Mel Costello

Mel is an experienced People & Culture leader who has worked with professional services firms on key people projects and issues: coaching and developing senior leaders and teams, developing and evolving organisational culture, building diverse and inclusive teams, and championing and enabling flexible working. In 2020 she completed her placement with the Writers Victoria Board as part of The Observership Program, including Board governance and readiness training with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Mel currently works as a Human Resources consultant with shilo.people (www.shilopeople.com), providing strategic advice to companies and not-for-profit organisations on culture, leadership and engagement.


Noè Harsel

Noé Harsel has worked for over 15 years in the arts and culture space, currently managing the marketing, communications and development at the Jewish Museum of Australia. She was Co-Director of Melbourne Jewish Book Week and has lectured in Australian history and cultural studies at RMIT University and the University of Melbourne. Having published a number of articles and short stories, she is now working on her first fiction manuscript. Noe co-hosts Sless to Harsel, an irreverent 2-minute show, twice-weekly show about writing.  

Paul Sutherland

Paul is a former journalist and political media adviser and now advises professional services firms on their media strategies. He has more than 10 years’ experience in media and public relations in Australia and overseas. Paul has a Bachelor of Journalism from Queensland University of Technology, a Graduate Diploma in Crisis Communications from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in London and is studying RMIT’s Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing.

A photo of Paul Sutherland

Peter Hill

Peter Hill is a journalist and author and was the director of a number of technology companies. He has a Master of Business Administration degree and a Certificate of Professional Writing and Editing. Peter writes for a number of motoring magazines and has a motoring blog. His latest book is ‘The Fred Opert Story’ (Veloce, UK). He has had a number of short stories and a poem published and compiled and edited five IT related books including ‘Practical Software Project Estimation’ (McGraw-Hill).


Victor Sekulov

Victor is a Finance Manager with over thirty years experience both in the corporate private and the public sectors, including Not-For-Profit and health benevolent organisations. Victor has sat as a member of a number of committees in his role as Finance Manager/Financial Controller. These have included Audit Committees for major public hospitals; Policy Steering Committees, Evaluation of Service and Tender Committees. He has been on a number of Community Boards including roles as either Treasurer or Secretary and is currently on the Board of Goulburn Valley Health, Chair of Finance and Infrastructures and member of Audit and Risk. Victor is the convener of the Finance Subcommittee and current Treasurer of Writers Victoria. Joined in 2014.

Yasmin Naghavi

Yasmin is a partner at Media Arts Lawyers practising in creative industries law. There she represents world-class graphic and motion design studios, authors, tv/radio talent, journalists, agencies, illustrators, playwrights and screenwriters, streaming services, game makers, visual artists, managers, format and content creators, influencers, photographers, and app developers. Holding both a Juris Doctor (hons) and an MBA, Yasmin combines experience with expertise, industry insight, and a passion for the creative sector.

Mary Chackola

Mary is a passionate Marketing & Fundraising professional with over 10 years’ experience across the retail & not-for-profit sectors. She is dedicated to using her skills in revenue generation and donor experience management to create a positive change for her community. Mary is currently the Head of Individual Giving at Make-A-Wish Australia, where she oversees the strategic development and execution of their Cash Appeals & Regular Giving portfolios. Mary holds a Bachelor of Business Management (Marketing) from RMIT University and is an avid ambassador for inclusion and diversity in all avenues of her work.

a black and white picture of Mary smiling at the camera.

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