Our Islamic College of Sport Board members come from highly experienced & diverse backgrounds.


Joe Powell


Joe Powell (Chair)

Joe has extensive experience managing and operating multinational businesses in the technology sector.

Currently, Joe is the Chairman of The Ripple Group a leading provider of online training and compliance solutions, and an advisor with Hume Partners.  He is also currently a director of the Richmond Football Club and the Bachar Houli Foundation.

Prior to this Joe was the Chief Executive Officer of publicly listed, global sports technology leader – Catapult Sports for 2.5 years. Prior to Catapult Joe spent 10 years with SEEK Ltd as a Managing Director of both SEEK Education and SEEK Employment. Prior to SEEK, Joe spent 11 years at Optus in various management roles, after starting his career as an accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Joe also has significant board experience with Online Education Services and IDP Education and is a current director of Tellus Holdings Ltd and The Scanlon Foundation.


Bachar Houli OAM is an Australian Rules Footballer for the Richmond Football Club, known as the first devout Muslim to play the game at the highest level. Houli was drafted in the 2006 NAB AFL Draft with selection No. 42 by the Essendon Football Club. After four years and 26 games with the Bombers he made the move to Richmond, where he played over 200 games and in a number of premierships.

Off the field, Houli is a devout Muslim and the founder of the Bachar Houli Foundation. Houli is regarded as a leader and role model for the Australian community due to his inspiring work promoting social cohesion and harmony.

Houli’s dedication and commitment to his community work with Muslim youth has enabled him to become one of Australia’s most prominent public figures. He has been internationally recognised and awarded the Beyond Sport achievement award for the Bachar Houli Islamic Programs in Philadelphia, USA and ​High Excellence Award for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding​.


Ali is the Strategic Community Engagement Manager at the Richmond Football Club as well as the General Manager of the Bachar Houli Foundation.

Ali has over 10 years’ experience as the National Diversity Programs Manager at the AFL, as well as extensive experience in the development of multicultural programs in the multicultural sector.  Ali brings his experiences and learning from the AFL on social leadership, employment and engagement programs to broaden opportunities for multicultural youth.

Ali has previous experience as the managing director of the Islamic Museum of Australia overseeing the strategic direction and engagement.


Asad is a Melbourne based lawyer and finance professional with more than 20 years of experience as an adviser to some of the world’s largest banks, investment and infrastructure funds in South East Asia and the Middle East. He is a leading Islamic finance advisor and has advised on more than $1 billion of successfully implemented Australian Islamic finance transactions.

He was a Director at Deloitte in their Financial Services and Investment group, and also served as a Special Counsel in the firm’s legal practice, Deloitte Lawyers. He has held senior appointments with the Islamic bank, Kuwait Finance House and Australian top tier law firm, King and Wood Mallesons.

He co-founded Amanah Islamic Finance, a home finance provider with committed finance of more than $100 million which provides Islamic financial solutions across Australia.

Sheikh Saeed Warsama

Mufti Saeed Warsama Bulhan was born in Egypt and raised in Melbourne, Australia. Before embarking on his religious pursuit of knowledge, he graduated in the top 6% of the state, receiving acceptance into Melbourne University, where he studied towards a Neuroscience major. He then began studying the sacred, higher Islamic Sciences for over ten years under the tutelage of reputable senior scholars from around the world; he has been granted several ijazaat (licenses to teach) in Qur’an recitation, jurisprudence, theology, and Hadith (among others) and has taught the sacred texts of Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood. Mufti Warsama has travelled throughout the subcontinent, Africa, Europe, and North America giving dawah, teaching, counselling youth, and assisting Mosques in developing programs to guide the Muslim community. He is a consultant to a number of businesses and has a keen interest for innovation in education. With a unique outlook on life, he is an advocate for peace, humanity, and integration and has a pragmatic approach for dealing with issues facing Muslims in the western culture.


Simon is Chief Marketing Officer of the Richmond Football Club where he has worked for the past 13 years. Prior to Richmond, he spent 11 years as a member of senior management at the Essendon Football Club. 

In both roles Simon developed industry-leading community and fan engagement strategies, driving revenue and brand outcomes.

Simon is also a Director of the Bravery Trust which provides emergency financial relief and financial counselling to serving & ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force who have an injury or illness as a result of their service.

Michael Stahl

Michael Stahl is currently Chief Operating Officer at the Richmond Football Club. In this role his responsibilities include overseeing the Club’s finances, facilities, information technology, compliance, and the company secretarial functions.

Michael participates in the Club’s Audit, Governance, Finance, Risk & Compliance, and Football Finance Sub Committees. Michael was previously employed in Ernst & Young’s Sport, Events & Facilities Practice, where he specialised in the provision of feasibility studies, financial modelling, and economic impact assessments.

Silma Ihram

Silma has a long history in education and educational initiatives. Establishing one of the first two Muslim schools in Australia in 1983 and a second K-12 school with additional child-care in 1996, Silma has worked as Principal in 4 schools and as Director of a VET College in between.

Silma is passionate about education and the welfare of students with a consultative approach to management which focuses on facilitating and mentoring staff development, student wellbeing, continuous improvement and embracing of new ideas and technologies.

Having a background in research and Islamic Studies, Silma brings extensive experience, management skills and a drive for the future of education in the Muslim community to the Bachar Houli College.

Dr. Susan Carland

Dr Susan Carland is an academic, author, and social commentator. She is currently a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Fellow and a Churchill fellow in Monash University’s School of Social Sciences. Previously the Director of the Bachelor of Global Studies, her first book was Fighting Hislam: women, faith and sexism.  Susan has spoken about her research and as an expert commentator to the UN in Geneva, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and extensively in print, radio, television, and digital media. In 2022, she was a national finalist in the Australian Financial Review’s “Emerging Leader” In Higher Education awards, and she currently hosts the multi-award winning podcast What Happens Next? She sits on numerous boards, including the Islamophobia Register Australia and the Victorian Government Anti-Racism Taskforce, and has been named on the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World list, and The Age’s 20 Most Influential Australian Female Voices.