Meet the team behind the Foundation


Gordon Jackman

Chief Executive

Gordon contracted poliomyelitis aged 10 months, which resulted in partial paralysis of both legs and necessitated the wearing of callipers throughout his childhood. The ongoing experience of the effects of polio has profoundly influenced his life and career and has given him abilities in terms of empathy and understanding of discrimination. Our cultures response to physical disabilities and difference has necessitated that he develop his own strategies for self-definition and has resulted in a remarkable capacity for achievement, compassion and analysis which contribute to his skills in a way that cannot be measured.

Gordon was most recently the Programme Manager with Polio NZ, and holds a number of Board and Trustee positions in the not for profit sectors.

Gordon has worked in the field of environmental science as a private consultant, with Jackman & Black Environmental, and was an archaeologist for 25 years.

Working with diversity is Gordon’s vital skill including tangata whenua, communities, service providers and institutions. Gordon is honoured to be the founding Chief Executive for the Duncan Foundation and intends to use his knowledge and influence to see people with neuromuscular conditions live to their maximum physical potential.


Joe Duncan

Duncan Foundation Chair
Investor, Director and Shareholder

Joe is an active investor across a range of industries and sectors, including Property Development, Finance, Technology (Fintech and Blockchain) and Agriculture. He has been involved in a number of privately held companies in New Zealand and Australia which include companies such as Ihug, e-Solutions, The Better Drinks Company, Focus Capital, Alleasing, RentPlus and Equipment Leasing and Finance. All of these have been successfully sold to listed entities or Private Equity organisations.

Joe is a Trustee for the Sir Thomas and Lady Duncan Trust, a significant donor to neuromuscular disorders. He, along with his fellow Trustee’s and Gordon, founded the Duncan Foundation, a national support service for people living with neuromuscular conditions and the health professionals who treat and support them. Duncan Foundation provides access to expert assessment and clinical practitioners who understand the management of selected neuro muscular conditions, as well as ongoing support for the person and their families.

Previously, Joe was CEO, Director and Shareholder of Leasing and Finance Limited. This business trades under the Speirs Finance & Yoogo Leasing brands. He spent eight years working in the financial markets for J.P Morgan where his roles and responsibilities included heading up the Interest Rate Derivatives Risk Management Desk in Tokyo as a Vice President. Joe holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Management, Majoring in Economics.

Tim Edmonds


Tim worked for 10 years in Universities in NZ and the UK. His responsibilities included developing and securing funding for large-scale European partnership projects.

In recent years, Tim has worked for New Zealand’s leading child health research charity, Cure Kids, as their Research and innovation Director. He is responsible for overseeing a research funding portfolio spanning more than 50 active projects, worth close to $10m. Tim works with many of the country’s leading researchers and clinicians to identify collaborative opportunities for addressing priority child health challenges.

Tim is also the General Manager of Cure Kids in Fiji, which has a focus on delivering new research-based child health programmes across the Fiji Islands in partnership with the Fiji Ministry of Health and a variety of government and corporate funding partners.

Sally Paterson


Sally Paterson is an experienced communications professional with a background in public relations for not-for-profit and corporate clients. She has worked in the not-for profit sector for the past six years providing strategic communications advice and hands-on media relations, mostly recently with the Sir Peter Blake Trust. During her time at the Sir Peter Blake Trust she worked with New Zealand leaders, scientists, conservationists and also led the team as interim Chief Executive.

She consulted to the highly regarded PR company Sherson Willis and spent three years working closely with child health funder, Cure Kids and ran the media campaign for the 2013 and 2014 Red Nose Days. Also managed complex relationships and media relationships with NZ Rugby and the All Blacks, Cure Kids Professorial Chairs, Universities, key funders and families of Cure Kids ambassadors.

Sally has also worked in other public relations consultancies with key NZ companies and organisations and individuals including: Restaurant Brands, Vodafone, Mitre 10, Bach Care, ADHB and local and international authors. 


Julie Rope

Trustee and Head Clinical Manager

Julie has a passion for working with the neurological population and ensuring they have access to assessment and support where ever they live in NZ and sharing knowledge with other professionals about neurological condition management.

For Julie this has included passing competencies to be a LSVT BIG therapist providing treatment to Parkinson’s patients and completing competency examinations to provide Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation assessment and treatment and accreditation in prescription of step initiated Functional Electrical Stimulation System Bioness L300.  More recently on behalf of the Duncan foundation  Julie has embarked on developing the specialist skills to assess and manage people affected by Polio and the management of the late effects of living with Polio disability. Julie is providing assessment clinics and resources alongside educational lectures on the assessment and management of Polio.  She is excited about the prospect of facilitating access to neurological rehabilitation options to those with other neuro muscular conditions.

Julie graduated from Otago University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Credit. Following junior rotations at Auckland Hospital she worked the next 6 years in England and Wales where she found her niche working in Neurology and Neurosurgery. On return to New Zealand Julie worked at Auckland City Hospital in the neurosurgical unit and providing senior neurological support prior to setting up an independent clinic specialising in neurological rehabilitation.

Julie has extensive experience within acute neurosurgical and neuro-medical units, stroke rehabilitation units and community teams with both young and elderly client groups, neuro intensive care units, a brain injury assessment unit for the minimally conscious, neuro oncology and infectious diseases, vestibular rehabilitation clinic, neuro hydrotherapy, spinal cord injury rehabilitation, Parkinson and dystonia management.