About Us

Our Story

RideAid is a unique Australian aid organization started by Frank Surgener that works to provide valuable funding resources to an alliance of grassroots Non-Profit Organizations in Cambodia. We pride ourselves in the deep relationships we forge with our partners, and our active engagement in their projects.

 

Originally started as an offshoot of Frank’s efforts to help organizations that he encountered on a life-changing motorcycle journey through Cambodia in November 2004, RideAid volunteers and donors take an active role in supporting much-needed projects that are truly making a difference.

 

 

 

Our Mission

Our mission is short and sweet – to utilise our collective expertise and funds to help educate and aid disadvantaged and disabled youths. We apply the spirit of this mission to all that we do, and we seek out projects and partnerships that embody this goal.

 

 

Our Founder’s Letter

RideAid started as a personal statement and a solo journey and has grown into a wonderful collective experience. I have always enjoyed adventurous traveling, most especially by motorbike. Several years ago events in Cambodia motivated me to move from observation to action. My objective was to contribute back into the disadvantaged communities that I had engaged in my travels. I had a desire to reconcile my diverse experience and worlds by somehow connecting them. I wanted to involve my friends and work colleagues from the outset. I had an inclination that this would be a two-way benefit and that in the process of helping those less fortunate that we would all be enriched by the experience of genuine engagement, if we went about this in the right manner and spirit- RideAid was born.

 

My life has certainly never been the same since the moment that I proclaimed “I am doing this.” The journey has been stressful and daunting but ultimately satisfying and fascinating.

 

To those of you reading about us for the first time there are possibly a couple of points of note. Firstly, myself and a small group of supporters have all worked to date for no financial reward. We have also funded most of the considerable costs involved in building an off shore operation. This is not meant to be self congratulatory information but it is a factor that has engaged many of our supporters, as waste and expensive use of funds are a factor that puts many off supporting charitable causes.

 

Secondly we are no mere boutique funding agency. We are passionate and actively engaged with our partners. Many have indeed become like family to us and we share the highs and lows of these relationships.

 

To our supporters thank you for your steadfast faith in RideAid. You have enriched thousands of lives and together we can help transform many more in the future.

 

Onwards,

 

Frank Surgener

 

 

Our Team

Founder

Frank Surgener

Frank is an Edinburgh University commerce graduate and early in his career held several national and international roles with major sports companies Adidas and K-Swiss.

 

In later years he has owned his own sales agency in WA and has helped develop many companies – most notably, the Brooks sports company.

 

Frank has spent the past seven years establishing projects in Cambodia to help young disabled and disadvantaged people. The East Fremantle resident rode a motorbike across the country and decided he needed to act and improve the lives of people in the region. In 2004 he established RideAid, which focuses on establishing schools, and sustainable development projects for both disabled and street children.

 

Board of Directors

Bruce Fitch

 

 

Partner/Director of Texas Peak P/L. Most of Bruce’s working career has been in Sporting Goods; serving for the last 20 years as a Director of Texas Peak with his partners has given him not only the insight into large business operations, but also the opportunity to build great relationships with staff and customers, many of whom have become fantastic friends of RideAid over the years. Bruce, his wife Carol and his children Aimee and Jake are an integral part of RideAid. While suppporting all aspects of the organisation his particualr passion is developing The Men with Hammers volunteer projects.

 

 

 

Martin Reed

Company Secretary – RideAid; Director – Insight Business. Martin is the nominated Company Secretary of RideAid and has a keen interest in helping people through his involvement in the Not-for-Profit Sector. Having traveled and lived in South-East Asia as a Management Consultant for several years, he returned to Australia horrified at the conditions and plight of the young and impoverished people of this region.

 

On a professional level, he is a R & D / Grants Consultant and has been running his own firm, Insight Business since 2001. The company’s core focus is helping businesses to receive grants, reduce taxes and access other incentives from the government. He holds a Masters of Business Administration and is currently completing a Doctorate of Business Administration in Finance and Innovation.

 

Chris Anderson

Chris held sales positions with a Nashua dealer in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1978 to 1981 when he immigrated to Australia. Upon arrival he worked as a salesperson with Nashua Australia in Melbourne, transferring to the newly established franchise in 1982 and became Sales Manager of Nashua East in Melbourne in 1985. The opportunity to buy into the Perth operation presented itself in 1988 and Chris moved to WA and was instrumental in turning round the business there.

 

Chris has successfully run sales, service and administration departments within the office equipment business over a 28 year period and has a great enthusiasm for his latest venture, the Well Connected group which offers a variety of hardware and software solutions for the modern office which can save both time and money. Running a business and with three teenage kids his spare time is limited but Chris has a keen interest in all sports; however, he is most passionate about both golf and rugby.

 

Volunteers

 

Rideaid has an annual volunteer program affectionately know as Men with Hammers. We recognised that many people wanted to physically contribute to projects and had the collective skills to do so. We combine this with tours of our projects and have a lot of fun and adventures in the process. We ride motorbikes, take 4 wheel drives, and explore remote Cambodia. We engage with our in country partners and locals and we all seem to drink an extraordinary amount of beer!