About us

The Himalayan Trust is an international non-profit humanitarian organisation working in the Everest region of Nepal. We work with local partners to bring quality education, safe water, and better healthcare to communities living in this remote, mountainous region of Nepal.

Sir Edmund and Louise Hillary founded the Himalayan Trust in the 1960s. Ever since then, they’ve inspired New Zealanders to give their time, money and support to help the people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust.

A large proportion of our funding is raised by generous New Zealanders and we are also thankful for the ongoing support from the New Zealand Aid Programme.

To Sir Ed, his greatest achievement was not climbing Everest, but helping the people of Nepal.

Ed begins it all

It all began in the early 1960s when Sir Ed asked a Sherpa: “If there was anything I could do for the Sherpa people, what do you think that would be?”

The Sherpa replied: “Our children have eyes but they are blind and cannot see. We would like you to open their eyes by building a school in our village.”

This touched Sir Ed’s heart and he immediately set about building the first school in Khumjung. He went on to build schools, hospitals and health clinics across the Solukhumbu region in the foothills of Everest.

Learn more about Sir Ed

Helen Clark, Patron of the Himalayan Trust

As Patron, I am delighted that the Himalayan Trust has played a crucial role in the development of the Everest region. Since Sir Edmund Hillary founded the Himalayan Trust in the 1960, it has touched so many lives and given choices and options to many remote mountain communities in their changing world.

Introducing the Himalayan Trust Board

Mike Gill (Chair)
Founding member of the Himalayan Trust

Mike Gill is a founding member of the Himalayan Trust. Mike was a close friend of Sir Ed and accompanied him on many of his adventures. He has recently written a biography of Ed, as well as the book Himalayan Hospitals about the Khunde hospital and its volunteer doctors.

Mike brings to the board his vast experience of the Solukhumbu region and its people. He also bring a wealth of historical knowledge about the Himalayan Trust and its long-term impact.

Claire Newman (Deputy Chair)
Financial management and strategic growth

Claire’s career spans the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors, where she has held CEO, financial director and governance roles in New Zealand and the UK. Claire has extensive experience in financial management, growth strategies and strategic planning, including scaling up organisations from local start-up to multi-site operations.

Spending three months in Nepal prior to the 2015 earthquake reinforced her passion for enabling sustainable community development.

Keri Barnett
Passionate about education

Keri is a teacher who is passionate about education and learning. She has been involved in the Teacher Training Program in the Solukhumbu and has experience with funding proposals and implementation, risk management policies and performance monitoring. Keri is committed to community development and believes that it takes a village to raise a child. In 2016, Keri cycled from Cape Reinga to Bluff and raised over $5,000 towards the Himalayan Trust’s Nepal earthquake rebuild work.

Diane McKinnon
Educational development and welfare

In 1966, Dianne and her husband John became the first volunteer couple at Kunde Hospital. Since then, Diane has continued a long association with the people of the Solukhumbu with frequent return visits. She has always been a strong advocate for their educational development and welfare. Diane was also a Board member of New Zealand’s Volunteer Service Abroad and has a passion for the continuing educational work of the Himalayan Trust.

Bruce Jefferies
Conservation and sustainability

Bruce has worked extensively on biodiversity conservation and protected area planning and management across the Asia Pacific region, including 25 years with New Zealand’s National Park system.

In the 1970s, he lived in Nepal with his wife Margaret and their three children, providing technical support during the establishment of Sagarmatha National Park. Bruce went on to work with the United Nations protected areas strengthening project where he visited most of Nepal’s conservation areas.

Lindsay Strang
Doctor and former volunteer doctor

Lindsay was 13 years old when Sir Ed spoke at his Nelson school. He was inspired right then to become a doctor, take up climbing and volunteer overseas. From 1971-1974, Lindsay and wife Genevieve volunteered for the Himalayan Trust at Kunde hospital in Nepal. Since his return to New Zealand, Lindsay has worked in general practice medicine in Christchurch and for many years was a member of the Medical Committee of the Himalayan Trust.

Tim Loftus
Public engagement and marketing

Tim has extensive experience in marketing, public engagement and communications. He has worked with some of the world’s largest outdoor brands focusing on marketing innovation and meaningful customer engagement, and brings to the Board a unique perspective on engaging with the public in a global marketplace.

Tim is passionate about sustainable business, economic empowerment, education, environment and human rights.

Ken Brophy
Raising funds and enabling transformation

Ken has over 20 years’ experience in organisational transformation and has worked with many not-for-profit organisations, supporting them with strategy, design and change initiatives.

Ken is also a long-time supporter of the Himalayan Trust and over the last 10 years has independently organised several physical challenges and raised over $100,000 for Nepal. Ken brings to the Board his knowledge, experience, energy and inspiration!


In New Zealand we are a small operation with part-time staff.

Tim Kay
Fundraising Manager

Tim has worked in the not-for-profit sector for 30 years and brings valuable experience in fundraising, event management and corporate sponsorship to the Himalayan Trust.

Tim founded the Children’s Charity Variety Club and first met Sir Edmund Hillary when he appointed him Vice Patron of the charity. Since then Tim has followed closely the work of the Trust and is committed to honouring Sir Ed’s legacy.

Robina Morrison
Database and Supporter Care Coordinator

Robina has worked for not-for-profit organisations for many years in a variety of organisational roles and brings a wealth of knowledge on all things database to the team. Robina enjoys working closely with the wonderful supporters who are helping make a difference. Outside of work, Robina enjoys getting to the beach, playing tennis and catching up with family and friends.

Lindsay Tallott
Public Engagement Manager

Lindsay first travelled to Nepal as a young backpacker. The people and the place inspired her to study International Development. She has since worked in local community roles and in corporate social responsibility. Thrilled to join the dedicated team at the Himalayan Trust, Lindsay wants to support all kiwis to contribute to Sir Ed’s legacy in Nepal. If you can’t reach her, she’s probably just out hiking or skiing in the nearby Southern Alps.

Louise Beuvink
Communications Advisor

Louise has worked with not-for-profit organisations throughout her career in communications and marketing, including the Blind Foundation and Cancer Society Auckland. She’s passionate about using her skills to make a difference for people in need.

Louise is thrilled to be part of Sir Ed’s legacy by raising awareness and engagement with the Trust’s important work in Nepal.

Elise James
Elise James
Education Programme Management Consultant

Elise is responsible for overseeing the Himalayan Trust’s education projects in Nepal. She has a wealth of experience in international development programme quality and management with multi-national NGOs such as World Vision and Save the Children.

Elise has designed, evaluated and managed projects in various sectors including education, child protection and family violence, health, disaster risk reduction and livelihoods. She is also a qualified teacher and is working towards her Masters in Education which she is due to complete at the end of 2020.

Jason Edwards

Jason is a Partner at HLB Mann Judd and is responsible for the Himalayan Trust accounting matters, ensuring we meet a high standard of public accountability and financial management.



We focus on people and their basic rights. Everyone has a right to basic services such as health and education, no matter where they live. The people and the communities of the Everest region are at the centre of all our work.


We focus on partnership, working with local partner organisations and communities in an inclusive way. Just like Sir Ed, who listened to the people and provided assistance where he could, we listen to communities and support their vision for a better future.

Our partners in Nepal

We work in close partnership with local organisations in Nepal who all have unique local expertise, knowledge and experience. Working together means we can have greater impact and ensure long-term, sustainable change. Our current partners include the Himalayan Trust Nepal, REED Nepal, Action for Nepal, and the Mahendra Jyoti Higher Secondary School Rebuild Committee.

Our partners in New Zealand

We are hugely grateful to our special partners in New Zealand – organisations that go above and beyond to support our work in Nepal and New Zealand.


Help keep Sir Ed's legacy alive

You can help keep Sir Ed’s legacy alive. Every contribution, large or small will make a real difference to the communities in the remote Everest region.

Make a donation