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DIRECTORS - Australia


Michael Funston, Director and Company Secretary of HADIA Foundation, is also a Senior Legal and Compliance lawyer in the Australian financial services industry. Previously, he ran the compliance and legal department at the Customer Owned Banking Association, the industry association representing Australia’s credit unions, mutual banks and mutual building societies.  

Michael has previously held positions including Senior Lawyer with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and Coordinator of the Consumer Credit Legal Centre (NSW) Inc.  Michael is a qualified legal practitioner, registered to practice in NSW and holding a current practicising certificate. His qualifications include LLB, LLM and Master of Arts degrees.   



Afghanistan born, Dr Bilquis Ghani works as Head of Inclusion at The Sydney Opera House where she leads the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy. Prior to this, Bilquis worked at UTS’s Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion. Bilquis’s social justice background spans beyond formal institutions and forms an integral part of her life. Bilquis is co-founder and lead for Hunar Symposia, a collective of academics and artists creating spaces of discourse and collaboration between practice and theory. Bilquis’s PhD employed a hermeneutic phenomenological approach to understand how cultural products can be deployed to reconceptualize gender and identity in conflict zones, namely, Kabul, Afghanistan.


Ms. Petschler is a well-known executive in the Australian mutual banking sector. She served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Customer Owned Banking Association, which is the national association for mutual banks, building societies and credit unions with more than $90 billion in assets under management.

Ms. Petschler also worked for the consumer rights group, Choice and currently is the General Manager, Advocacy of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ms. Petschler has extensive experience in public policy, government, advocacy and executive roles. Ms. Petschler has a proven record in managing complex issues and reform agendas.

MAHIR MOMAND, Founder & Director

Mahir is the founder of HADIA Foundation. He is an experienced CEO and have lead a number of organisations in Australia and Afghanistan. Previously Mahir founded Regional Opportunities Australia, was the founding CEO of Thrive, founded and served as the CEO of Afghanistan's national association of Credit Unions. Prior to that, Mahir worked for the World Bank, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) projects, served as a senior financial adviser to the government of Afghanistan and worked for a number of other aid organisations in Afghanistan and Canada. Mahir holds an MBA in Finance, and a Master of Commerce specialsing in Project Management from the University of Sydney.




Mrs. Sherzai is a medical doctor by profession who has worked for 25 years with a number of NGOs in various senior roles in Afghanistan. Dr. Sherzai is an advocate for women empowerment, self-reliance, sustainable economic development and results driven development work. She has also provided surgery services to victims of war and domestic violence.


MUZAFAR GULISTANI, Directors Operations  

Mr. Gulistani joined HADIA Foundation's work in Afghanistan in early 2019 as a Project Manager. Previously, Mr. Gulistani worked for a wide group of development projects including those funded by USAID and other major donors. He specialises in project management and in ensuring that project key performance indicators are delivered in the best possible way. 


WASIMA HABIB, Project Manager

Ms. Habib has worked for a range of NGOs in Afghanistan in various capacities. She is in charge of developing and designing HADIA Foundation’s projects and project performance plans. Ms. Habib specializes in better use of information technology for project implementation. Ms. Habib is a women rights advocate and is engaged in a diverse range of civil society activities in Kabul. She is currently completing her studies in the field of business administration. 


MUJTABA HASHEMI, Admin/Finance Manager  

Mr. Hashemi is a finance professional with vast experience in project accounting, fund management, financial reports preparation and general accounting. He is an expert in using QuickBooks and has previously managed large-scale donor projects. Mr. Hashemi is currently working towards becoming a qualified Chartered Accountant. 



Mr. Rahmani operates HADIA Foundation's Moska Mobile Library. As an education expert, Mr. Rahmani has lead multiple literacy improvement projects. Mr. Rahmani operates from Nangrahar province of Afghanistan. 

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