Our Board

Peter Debnam

Peter Debnam – Chairman

Qualifications: MB, MAICD

Other Board Memberships: President Muscular Dystrophy New South Wales, Vice Charman of Care Australia, Chairman of NSW Kids in Need Foundation, Chairman of Advisory Board of Our Big Kitchen and Director of ParaQuad NSW

Peter’s management experience began with his Navy service followed by executive roles in business development and general management in the aerospace and rural service industries.  He completed an MBA in 1993 before being elected to the NSW State Parliament the following year.  In Parliament for 17 years, Peter was a Shadow Minister in many portfolios and Leader of the Liberal Party and State Opposition between 2005 and 2007.

Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy:
After leaving State Parliament in 2011, Peter has contributed much of his time and energy to serving on the boards of a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations.


Anne Ashford

(Margaret) Anne Ashford – Secretary

Qualifications: Home Economics Teaching Certificate (NZ) Tasmanian Teachers’ Certificate BEd

Anne has had a varied career – raised four children, taught in NZ and in Tasmania, owned and operated a Caravan Park, managed a Day Respite Centre for the Elderly, and worked in Tertiary Administration to Manager level.

She has been a member and/or officer of Australia Federation of University Women; Neighbourhood Watch Tasmania, Muscular Dystrophy Tasmania; The Christian Trust for Mariners, Migrants and Minors; Crime Prevention and Community Safety Council of Tasmania; Neuro Alliance Tasmania; Hobart Embroiderers Guild.

Having now left the younger generation to carry on the work of the above organisations, she currently works mornings at the Maritime Museum of Tasmania as Acquisitions Officer (voluntary position) and retains her position as Director/Secretary for Muscular Dystrophy Foundation Ltd and Muscular Dystrophy Australia Ltd.

Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy:
Anne’s interest in Muscular Dystrophy began when her youngest grandson was diagnosed at age 4 with Duchenne MD. Since then she been a committee member/President of MDTasmainia(now retired) and is a Director and Secretary for the two National MD Boards.  Sadly, Michael died in 2010.


John Caruso

Qualifications: Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws

Other Board Memberships: Muscular Dystrophy SA

John is currently a partner with Duncan Basheer Hannon

Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy:


Brendan Murphy

Qualifications: BEng, Mining Engineering (Hons), MFin

Multiple senior operating mining roles across a range of commodities and mining methods afor both global and local mining companies.

Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy:

Brendan’s interest in muscular dystrophy is primarily due to his youngest brother Conor who passed away due to complications with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2014.  Conor was inspirational in his efforts as a disability advocate and Brendan’s interest is in carrying on this work.



Graeme Newton

Qualifications: Various Communications, Broadcasting and Television related

Other Board Memberships:  Director and Vice President of Muscular Dystrophy Association of Queensland (MDQ)


Graeme is a Senior Technical Specialist with Broadcast Australia. He has over forty years experience in the General Communications, and Broadcast and Television industries as a Technical Specialist. His experience includes project management, technical team management, disaster recovery, and risk management.

Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy:

Graeme’s interest in Muscular Dystrophy is due to his youngest son who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Graeme has a past interest in disabilities in Cairns as the President of the FNQ Disabled Children’s Support Group.  Graeme finds it very rewarding to see improvements in the quality of life of people with Muscular Dystrophy.


David Kay

Qualifications: Bachelor of Commerce and Administration (Economics), Bachelor of Arts(Public Policy), Graduate Diploma in Public Administration, Master of Public Policy

David is a Director of KPMG’s Health, Ageing and Human Services team.  He has more than 10years’ experience in advising governments and large not-for-profit organisations on human services sector reform, program review and evaluation, strategic and operational planning and operational improvement.  The majority of David’s recent work has focused on the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and on the disability sector’s response to and readiness for the NDIS.

Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy: David lives with Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy and want to ensure that the views and perspectives of people with muscular dystrophy are central to discussions and decisions on matters which affect them.