Border Trust veteran Tim Frazer reflects on his service to the organisation and how the charity benefits an array of causes

HELPING wayward kids through drumming lessons and giving refugees the chance to learn to swim. 

They are activities a world apart but for Tim Frazer they epitomise the value of Border Trust, an organisation which has raised money for worthy causes for nearly 11 years.

“It was just a really alternative type of program and you think ‘why would you go there?’, but the feedback was that it made a difference,” Mr Frazer said of the drum beat program.

The chartered accountant was the inaugural chairman of the Border Trust and remains the only pioneer board member.

Under my skin: Border Trust board member Tim Frazer reflects on his service and projects, including a drumming program for struggling youngsters which impressed him. Pictures: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Under my skin: Border Trust board member Tim Frazer reflects on his service and projects, including a drumming program for struggling youngsters which impressed him. Pictures: JAMES WILTSHIRE

But even though Border Trust has been around for more than a decade, Mr Frazer said there was still a lack of awareness about it.

“The most common question is around what we do and then drawing them around and asking them what they're interested in and what the potential might be,” Mr Frazer said.

“Because of the considerable experience we've had it's quite easy to draw on parallel experiences which fit their circumstances and interests and then we can engage them back.”

Such a stance has seen the trust give more than $700,000 and accrue $500,000-plus which is invested in term deposits and equities.

The trust, which was the first body of its type to form in regional Australia, has also attracted the interest of Melbourne philanthropic group the Scanlon Foundation, which has provided $100,000.

“They tracked us down based on our reputation, so they had a lot of confidence in us as an organisation,” Mr Frazer said.

“For Scanlon to step outside that capital city structure and say ‘we want to explore regional opportunities’, that was great. Similarly with the City2City (walk/run), it launched with Albury Wodonga Health and they needed a host organisation that could work with them and they thought there were synergies and now City2City is part of Border Trust.

“There's also a lot of smaller ones we help that put a smile on your face and a glow in your heart.

“They're the type of organisations that have the ideas but find it difficult to get momentum behind funding.”

The demise of the Shane Warne Foundation and questions over its management threw the spotlight on the charity sector’s administrative requirements which include annual audits.

“It's a real priority to have good governance and accountability but also have an efficient model,” Mr Frazer said.

“We don't limit ourselves with where we can help but a lot of that is around discussions and what people have got to be aware of and how they step through that minefield.”

As Mr Frazer can appreciate not everybody marches to the same drum beat.