progJonathon Welch A.M. and the Choir of Hope and Inspiration (formerly the Choir of Hard Knocks) visited the Albury Wodonga region as guests of Border Trust over the weekend of 15 August 2009. Border trust invited the Choir to the area as a major fundraising event for 2009.

Founding Musical Director, Dr Jonathon Welch AM and the original members of the ARIA, Logie and Helpmann award-winning Choir of Hard Knocks formed the Choir of Hope and Inspiration early in 2009.

The original choir came together via a program to support homeless and disadvantaged people. The Choir has grown to become what is now a national identity. The choir, through its performances and youth education programs promotes public awareness of the issues of homelessness, drug & alcohol addiction and mental health in the community.

Money raised from the performance will support Border Trust’s Grants Programs funding community projects promoting social inclusion within our region.

YOUTH WORKSHOP Friday 14 August 2009 Choir of Hope & Inspiration Regional Tours & Educational Program

j welch wild ch aug09 w shopThe Choir of Hope & Inspiration presented its inaugural Youth Workshop in Albury Wodonga as part of its Regional Touring & Educational Program. Jonathon and the Choir members engaged with 130 local youth to promote education and understanding of issues around mental health, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction and disadvantage within the context of their own stories.

As part of the workshop, the participants viewed excerpts from one of the choir’s DVD’s, completed quiz exercises and experienced their own private performance by the Choir. This was followed by story sharing and discussions highlighting the issues faced by young people.

Local welfare, mental health and other support agencies provided information for participants.

Thanks to

  • Julie Perkins of Border Trust
  • Marg Crisp of North East Local Learning & Employment Network
  • Mandy Wilson Youth Liaison Officer with Albury City
  • YES Youth & Family Services
  • Gateway Community Health
  • Albury Wodonga Community College
  • Cities & Shires of Albury, Wodonga, Greater Hume, Indigo, Towong, Corowa & Alpine.

This educational program was the first of its kind delivered by the Choir in Australia and was supported with funding from Vic Health as well as Border Trusts sponsors of this event.

Thanks to local business & community leaders who participated as “Change Leaders”:

Wodonga Police, Australian Defence Force Bandiana, Wodonga TAFE, Kooka Brotha’s Patisserie, Wodonga Council , Indigo Shire, Border Trust and YES Youth & Family Services; and to the School Student Liaison & Community Liaison Officers from across the region who attended and provided support to the students.

Border Trust thanks the students, participants & supporters of the Youth Workshop and is proud to have hosted this event.

PUBLIC PERFORMANCE Saturday 15 August 2009

On Saturday 15th August 2009, the Choir of Hope & Inspiration performed many of the songs that have made them famous since their rise to fame on the ABC’s documentary Choir of Hard Knocks. The audience was treated to an uplifting and vibrant performance. Several standing ovations were a tribute to the Choir’s enthusiastic & inspirational delivery of their message through song.

The opening support act from Albury Wodonga MusicAbility Inc.’s “WILD CHOIR” was as enthusiastic as it was inspirational. In the words of Jonathon Welch….. “Wild Choir – You ROCK!!”

wild choir

wild choirAlbury Wodonga MusicAbility.Inc’s “Wild Choir” have evolved from the ‘Wild on the Border’ music program that began in April 2006. The program promoted the creative expression of people who have a disability and champions their equal participation in society in a seriously fun way.

The Wild Things and Wild Choir have produced a DVD and CD, have featured at several community performances including The Albury Applause Festival, Wodonga Carnivale, The Yackandandah Folk Festival, Wodonga Carols by Candlelight, the National Rural Health Conference and All Abilities Dance Parties.

The evening ended with thanks from Senator the Honourable, Ursula Stephens, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion.


choir sponsors

Border Trust gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsorship of the following local businesses and organisations and thanks them for their financial and in kind support in staging this event.

choir sponsorsHume Building Society, Albury City, Indigo Shire, Greater Hume Shire, Towong Shire Council, Corowa Shire Council, Albury Wodonga Community College, Telstra Country Wide, Gateway Community Health, The Scots School Albury, SS&A Club, Victoria Police Youth Foundation, Mars Pet care, Back To Reality Foundation, North East Learning & Employment Network, Yes Youth & Family Services, Dysons Bus Lines, Lake Hume Resort, YWCA, Rotary Clubs of Albury North and Albury West, Lions Club Albury, Stuart Baker – Baker Motors, Sweethearts Pizza, Paynter Security and Country Link.

With special thanks for exceptional in-kind support from:

Lake Hume Resort – Accommodation. Scots School & SS &A Club – Venues. Lake Hume Resort, SS&A Club, Alliance Catering, Sweethearts Pizza – Catering. Country Link, Dysons Bus Lines – Travel. Hume Building Society – Box Office & Printing.


The Border Trust would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank those who were able to participate at the Mid Winter Workshop at the Butter Factory Theatre.

The group discussions and exchange of ideas which culminated have set some clear and innovative possibilities for the future direction of Border Trust. The Board will more fully consider the results in it’s future planning.

The performance by the Highwater Theatre group that culminated the day’s activities was outstanding, with powerful messages conveyed: worthy recipients of support by Border Trust Grant Program.

mars logo

Generously Sponsored by Mars Petcare Australia