Our Board


Sandra Di Blasio – Chairman

Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts in Accountancy (University of South Australia), CPA

Other Board Memberships: President Muscular Dystrophy Association of SA Inc. (MDASA), School Board (where children currently attend)


Sandra has over 20 years experience in internal and external audit, risk management and governance, having worked in the public and private sector both in Adelaide and Sydney. This range of experience has provided her with the tools to be able to look at issues from many perspectives and problem solving to ensure solutions are practical outcomes.

Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy:

As a mother of three young children and having always had a social conscience, Sandra felt she needed to contribute to something greater than day to day life.

Sandra was invited to join Muscular Dystrophy Association in SA and has learnt a great deal about the Muscular Dystrophy community and their needs.

Anne Ashford

(Margaret) Anne Ashford – Secretary

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

Other Board Memberships: President, Muscular Dystrophy Association of Tasmania (MDATas), Director and Secretary/Treasurer of The Christian Trust for Mariners, Migrants and Minors, Board Member of the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Council of Tasmania (CPCSC), Secretary/Treasurer of the Neuro Muscular Alliance Tasmania (NMAT)

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. Now retired serves in a voluntarily capacity for NHW, CPCSC, MDATas and NMAT.

Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy:
Anne’s interest in Muscular Dystrophy began when her youngest grandson (now nearly 17) was diagnosed at age 4 with Duchenne MD. Since then she been a committee member and officer of MDATas and represents MDATas on National MD Boards.

Peter Debnam

Peter Debnam

Qualifications: MB, MAICD

Other Board Memberships: President Muscular Dystrophy New South Wales, Director Care Australia, Director ParaQuad NSW, Director Disability Sports Australia Ltd, Director Outcomes Australia – Soils for Life, Director Our Big Kitchen, Director PaddleNSW Inc,

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.

Elli Baker

Elli Baker

Qualifications: Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Sydney University, University Medal), Masters in Finance (London Business School), CFA, GAICD

Other Board Memberships: Prior board memberships include Tasmanian Gas Pipeline Pty Limited and Merredin Energy Pty Limited.

Elli’s career in financial services has spanned both listed and direct investment markets. Working for Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan between 1996 and 2004, Elli was responsible for providing investment advice to Australian and international institutional funds management clients investing in the Australian share market. Since 2005 Elli has focused on structured finance and direct infrastructure investments for superannuation funds and other large investors or asset owners. Currently Elli is NSW Treasury’s Investment Manager for the state owned water businesses which includes Sydney Water Corporation.


Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy:
As a mother of two and having always had a strong social conscience, Elli was keen to contribute to the community and was particularly drawn to muscular dystrophy as a less well known disorder. Elli joined the MDF board in October 2013.


Brandan Murphy

BEng, Mining Engineering (Hons)
Graduate Diploma, Banking and Finance
Senior site management positions in global and local mining companies both in Australia and overseas.

Qualifications: BEng, Mining Engineering (Hons)

Senior site mangement positions in global and local mining companies both in Australia and overseas.

Interest in supporting muscular dystrophy:

Though my brother Conor is no longer with us, I aspire to have his courage and to carry on the voice he had for others less able or inclined to speak for themselves whilst supporting those very same people by ensuring a strong support organisation”.



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.