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Current AJF Board Members


Chair


Bruce Miller

Mr Bruce Miller AO

Term: 24 August 2020 to 23 August 2025

Bruce Miller AO was Australian Ambassador to Japan from August 2011 until January 2017, and has had 45 years’ association with Japan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney.

Mr Miller spent most of his 32-year public service career handling Australia's relations with East Asia. In Australia, he occupied senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Office of National Assessments, including as A/g Director-General for a year.

On 6 April 2022, Mr Miller was appointed as Chair of the Foreign Investment Review Board. He joined the TAL Dai-ichi Life Board in April 2018. He is an advisor to TAL's Japanese parent, Dai-ichi Life Holdings, and also to Japanese company INPEX.

He is Chair of the Advisory Board to the Asia Institute of Griffith University, a member of the Advisory Board to the Australia Japan Research Centre at the Australian National University and President of the Chadō Urasenke Melbourne Association.

Mr Miller was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours and was invested by the Japanese Government with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in 2020.

In 2018, he married his partner of 25 years, Mr Mikio Ishizawa.


Board Members


Wendy Holdenson

Ms Wendy Holdenson

Term: 24 August 2020 to 23 August 2026

Ms Wendy Holdenson is Director of Mitsui & Co. Australia.

Mitsui & Co. Australia is the wholly owned Australian subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., one of the world's most diversified trading, investment and services enterprises. Its diverse portfolio of businesses in Australia includes iron ore, coal, gas, oil, food, grain, salt, woodchips, power generation, machinery, steel products, chemicals, technology and financial services.

Ms Holdenson has worked extensively in both the public and private sectors. She represented Australia in Japan as Consul-General and Trade & Investment Commissioner. In that role, she successfully attracted foreign investment to benefit Australia's food services, biotechnology, IT and energy sectors. She was later State Director Western Australia/South Australia /Northern Territory for the Australian Trade Commission.

Ms Holdenson has held executive positions in Ernst & Young, Caltex, and GHD. She is a proponent of innovation as the key to corporate sustainability, and has championed innovation programs in all these organisations.

Ms Holdenson has served on education institution and government boards. As Business Champion for the Federal Government's New Colombo Plan, and Trustee for the Mitsui Educational Foundation, she is passionate about mobility in Asia for young Australians. She is also on the Maggie Beer Foundation Board, which aims to improve the quality of food for residents in aged-care homes throughout Australia.

Ms Holdenson has a Master of Commerce from UNSW; her under-graduate degree is from Sophia University, Tokyo. She currently mentors high-achiever undergraduates at the UNSW Business School.


Adam Liaw

Mr Adam Liaw

Term: 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2024

Mr Adam Liaw is a writer and television presenter. Before his current career, he was a lawyer for more than a decade between Japan and Australia, most recently with The Walt Disney Company in Tokyo.

After returning to Australia from his time in Japan, Mr Liaw turned to writing. He has published six books on Asian cuisines, and written as a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Guardian.

His television series, Destination Flavour, has travelled through Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Singapore and China. In 2017 it won the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award for Best Lifestyle Television Program.

Mr Liaw is UNICEF Australia's national ambassador for nutrition, and was appointed as an official Goodwill Ambassador for Japanese Cuisine by the Japanese government in 2016.

He speaks English, Japanese and basic Mandarin Chinese.


Ms Yuki Nakamura

Term: 4 October 2021 to 3 October 2024

Ms Yuki Nakamura is the Executive Director of Nakamura Chocolates with operations in Australia and Japan.

A Tokyo native, she spent time in North America before relocating to Australia and to train with the celebrated pâtissier, Emmanuel Mollois, after which she set up Nakamura Chocolates. She has been a small business owner/operator, practising chocolatier and consultant to the chocolate manufacturing industry for over 15 years. In 2017, she licensed Nakamura Chocolates to Hon Takasagoya in Japan and works closely with Japanese operations.

Ms Nakamura is an active public speaker and panellist, talking on doing business in Japan, female entrepreneurship, and healthy relationships with food.

She has a degree in Sociology and her previous career was in research and development in the semiconductor industry.


Professor (Hon) Caroline McMillen AO FAHMS

Term: 4 October 2021 to 3 October 2024

Professor Caroline McMillen served five years as Chief Scientist for South Australia (2018-2023) after seven years as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle (2011-2018).

She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2020, awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Adelaide in 2019 and was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a Bragg Member of the Royal Institution, Australia in 2015. Professor McMillen was also honoured at the end of her term as Vice-Chancellor to be presented with the Key to the City of Newcastle by the Lord Mayor in recognition of her leadership contribution to Newcastle and the region.

She holds a BA (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and completed her medical training graduating with an MB, B Chir from the University of Cambridge.

Professor McMillen serves on a range of boards and advisory groups in addition to the AJF Board – as Chair of the Adelaide Biomedical City Board, member of the Royal Institution of Australia Council, the Australian Science Media Centre Advisory Board and the University Council of South Australia, and she is currently the Australian representative for the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Council of the University of the South Pacific. She is also a Director on the Boards of Compass Housing Services Pty Ltd and DMTC Ltd.

Throughout her career Professor McMillen has been committed to building collaborations between universities, government, industry and communities that drive innovation and have a positive impact on the economic, environmental, social and cultural health of Australia.


Professor Wesley Enoch AM

Professor Wesley Enoch AM

Term: 31 August 2023 to 30 August 2026

Professor Wesley Enoch AM is an internationally acclaimed playwright and artistic director. He hails from Stradbroke Island (Minjeribah) and is a proud Quandamooka man.

Professor Enoch is the current Deputy Chair of Creative Australia, co-Chair of Annamila First Nations Foundation and is the Inaugural Indigenous Chair- Creative Industries for QUT.  He was Artistic Director of the Sydney Festival from 2017 to 2021 and Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company from 2010 to 2015. His previous positions include and Artistic Director at Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts and the ILBIJERRI Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Theatre Co-operative.

Professor Enoch was creative consultant, segment director and Indigenous consultant for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Professor Enoch has written and directed many iconic Indigenous productions, including The 7 Stages of Grieving and Black Medea. His work has been regularly performed in Japan, including Stolen in both Japanese and in English and The Story of the Miracles at Cookie's Table, which premiered in Tokyo in 2006 as part of the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange and for which he won the Patrick White Playwrights Award. 

Professor Enoch's most recent productions include A Raisin in the Sun for Sydney Theatre Company, the musical The Sunshine Club for Queensland Theatre and The Visitors for Sydney Theatre Company & Moogahlin Performing Arts.

Professor Enoch has a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).


Ms Leonie Boxtel

Ms Leonie Boxtel

Term: 31 August 2023 to 30 August 2026

Ms Leonie Boxtel has an extensive career across government, education and the for-purpose sector with a focus on strengthening Asia-Australia relations through strategic engagement. 

After establishing Asialink's signature Asia leadership program and Asia-focused corporate consulting unit, she moved to Tokyo, serving as Executive Director of the Australia-Japan Foundation.

Back in Australia Ms Boxtel led teams strengthening emerging university alumni networks and growing philanthropic support at leading universities. She continues to provide advice on alumni strategy development to government and educational organisations.

Ms Boxtel has a longstanding interest in the philanthropic sector and the role it can play in shaping our world for the better, conducting research on Japanese and Australian corporate philanthropic trends, translating Japanese publications and working with philanthropists and foundations.

Ms Boxtel is currently Executive Officer of the Bowness Family Foundation, a private foundation that supports the arts, education and disability. She is also current President of the MEXT Melbourne scholar alumni and was the former Deputy Chair of Melbourne City Mission and the International Women's Development Agency,

Ms Boxtel has a Master of Business from RMIT and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University with first class honours in Japanese.  Her first visit to Japan was as a member of the Australian Volleyball team.


How can I contact a Board Member?

You may contact any AJF Board Member through the AJF Secretariat in Canberra.

View the AJF homepage for details.

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