We rely 100% on donations from our corporate sponsors and donors. For those very gracious donors who are able to make a financial commitment of $50,000 or more to the Foundation, we offer a special Cornerstone membership.

Cornerstone members have the option of having a scholarship named after themselves, another individual, organization or company. Named scholarships are a means of ensuring a living testament to an individual’s, organization’s or company’s commitment to diversity through education.  They make a significant impact in the life of a deserving LGBTIQ student. While a Cornerstone member has the option to direct that a scholarship be assigned to a specific area of study or a specific tertiary institution, the Foundation prefers named scholarships not be too narrowly defined, since this approach makes matching with scholar needs more complex.

Cornerstone members receive:

  • invitations to our annual social function attended by our Patrons and scholars
  • the option of having their name added to our Cornerstone Honour List
  • where available, the option to meet your scholar
  • regular reports on the progress of our scholars and the Foundation itself.

There are two types of named scholarships:

(a) A named scholarship is set at a minimum $50,000 in a lump sum or provided to us over three or four years. It can cover a certain field of study or be directed to those who attend a particular tertiary institution.  Funds are paid into our scholarship fund before the scholarship commences or before each academic year commences.

The Pinnacle Foundation will honour these requests whenever qualified applicants are available. Before recommending an applicant to the donor the Foundation will assess this applicant in the normal way and in accordance with our policy and will manage the disbursement of funds for payment for goods and services. We will also match the scholar with a mentor. If there is no suitable applicant in any one year, we will hold the funds until the next year.

The Foundation will also provide a half yearly confidential report to the donor on the progress of the scholar.

(b) With a contribution of $50,000 (minimum) the Foundation will invest this contribution in our endowment fund and use only the investment income to finance the education of Pinnacle Scholars now and into the future. The capital amount will be held in a specific purpose account in perpetuity. The Foundation will provide the donor with regular updates on interest income, allocation of scholarships and their academic progress.

     Cornerstone Honour List

  • John Douglass and Warren Stanborough
  • Ian Dickson and Reg Holloway
  • Duncan Peerman and Paul Zahra
  • The Selig Family
  • Pippa Downes
  • Alan Joyce and Shane Lloyd
  • Brooke Horne and Tom Snow

Membership Announcements

  June 2011 First Cornerstone Members recognised

The Pinnacle Foundation is proud to welcome the first Cornerstone Members, John Douglass and Warren Stanborough.

Warren and John sought an effective way of giving back to our community.

“For many years we have been donating to several charities. Although we felt we were doing the right thing, we never really got to see how the donation was being used. Was it being used effectively?

They provided a donation of $100,000 over four years and this allowed the Foundation to get off to a flying start in its formative years.

“We are now comfortable supporting Pinnacle, as our major charity, where none of the money goes to salaries or expensive promotions. All the people running the Foundation are successful and competent people doing it out of love and the genuine desire to help young people complete their education”.

Warren has subsequently been a director of the Foundation and a member of the Scholarship Selection Committee.

  November 2011 Pinnacle recognises Clark Walton, architect and painter

The Clark Walton Pinnacle Scholarship for architecture, design and planning or visual and creative arts is the first named scholarship to be announced by The Pinnacle Foundation. The scholarship is for a LGBTIQ student studying in any of the above disciplines

Clark was an out and proud gay man from his early twenties until his death aged 61 in March 2011. He was an award winning architect with many of his designs appearing in leading style magazines. In 2002 he was awarded the Energy Efficiency /ESD Award Architecture Award for the Interactive Learning Centre at Charles Sturt University. He was a member of the RAIA and the Master Builders which is a rare  achievement in itself.

Clark started painting when he was at high school and he achieved a very high result in Art for the HSC.  He continued to paint throughout his working life, something from which he derived great pleasure and recognition from friends, family and colleagues.  In later years Clark devoted more time to painting,  his artistic expression based on the land and seascape around Coledale, where he spent his retirement.

Close friends of Clark’s, Ian Dickson and his partner Reg Holloway said they created an endowment because it was the best way they could celebrate his life and contribution to urban planning and design.   Ian says:  “Clark Walton was an out gay man in the seventies before homosexual acts had been legalised in NSW. He was lucky in that he had supportive and understanding family members who were proud of who he was and what he had achieved. His family understood the importance of education and encouraged his interest in architecture. He was also a great supporter of the LGBTIQ community. So my partner Reg Holloway and I knew that he would be happy that his name was being linked to a scholarship to help those in the community who had not had his advantages. We think he would have been especially enthusiastic about the concept of each scholarship recipient having a mentor to advise and encourage them in their special field of interest. We are delighted that this scholarship can both assist those who might otherwise not have had the chance to make the most of their abilities and keep the memory of our dear friend alive.”

  September 2014 The Paul Zahra Pinnacle Scholarship

Paul and his partner, Duncan Peerman, hold very dear the values and aims of The Pinnacle Foundation.

As a prominent businessman and former CEO of ASX-listed David Jones Ltd, Paul is an outstanding role model for young LGBTIQs seeking to carve a career in the commercial world.  Paul and Duncan have generously offered a scholarship to a meritorious student undertaking undergrad or post-grad studies in business or commerce.

  June 2015 The Selig Family Pinnacle Scholarship

Geoff feels strongly that the Pinnacle Foundation provides tangible support and encouragement to young LGBTIQ students at what is most often a seminal time in their lives.

“I firmly believe that Pinnacle’s support in maximising one’s academic potential and broadened one’s skill base provides a wonderful foundation for the professional journey that lay ahead; whilst at the same time is a key driver in building positive self-esteem. I am very pleased to be a Pinnacle Foundation Cornerstone Member”

Geoff Selig is the Executive Chairman of ASX listed diversified print and marketing communications business IVE Group Ltd. In addition to the Pinnacle Foundation, Geoff also sits on the board of the Heart Foundation of Australia (NSW) and The Lysicrates Foundation. He is a director of a number of other private companies and is a former State President of the NSW Liberal Party. Geoff has 3 daughters (Stephanie, Sarah and Amy).

  September 2015 The Pippa Downes Pinnacle Scholarship

The Pippa Downes Pinnacle Scholarship will provide $5,000 for the first year of studies and $3,000 for subsequent years of full-time study for an athlete competing or training at the national level and aspiring to represent Australia, whilst also pursuing their full-time academic goals in any tertiary faculty or discipline.

“I want to help athletes achieve their full athletic and academic potential, and I understand being gay presents its own set of challenges to reaching this potential.”

Pippa Downes is a professional Non-Executive Director and an inaugural Director of The Pinnacle Foundation. Pippa was previously an appointed Independent Director on the Board of Swimming Australia and the Swimming Australia Foundation. She has a Master’s in Applied Finance from Macquarie University and Bachelor of Science (Business Administration) from University of California, Berkeley. Pippa is also a keen sportsperson being a former member of the Australian Swim Team and has represented Hong Kong at the International Rugby Sevens.