2016 Scholarship Recipients:

 

Vincent Pearson_portraitVincent Pearson
24, from South Australia, studying a Bachelor of Nursing at Flinders University

“I am in my final year of Bachelor of Nursing at Flinders University. I enjoy helping people and the interactions that I have with people.  Nursing to me is more than just a job. It is about helping people and the community.  The scholarship will facilitate my growth as a person.  The mentorship will allow me to become a better member of the LGBTIQ community.  With the assistance of the Pinnacle Foundation, I will be able to successfully complete my final year at University. The Pinnacle Foundation has been enabling and worthwhile for me, which I would recommend to other LGBTIQ students.”

Jen ChenJen Chen
20, from Sydney NSW, studying a Bachelor of Law and Commerce

“It has been incredibly difficult for me this year as I was outed to my conservative, religious parents and even now they continue to reject my sexual identity. It was during this period of my life that I felt isolated, alone and mentally exhausted. However organisations like the Pinnacle Foundation have given me hope that society is moving towards greater support and acceptance of the LGBTIQ community.
It is a great privilege to be selected as a scholar for the Pinnacle Foundation. This opportunity will allow me to fully pursue my education and dreams of becoming a lawyer, minus the concerns of financial issues. I also know that this support from the Pinnacle Foundation will provide me with the necessary emotional encouragement so to continue advocating for greater change and equality with the LGBTIQ Community.”

Brandon SapturaBrandon Saputra
18, from Sydney NSW, studying a Bachelor of Commerce at University of NSW

“What drew me to the Pinnacle Foundation is its unique opportunity for LGBTIQ youth. Not only will the scholarship provide me with financial aid that will go a long way in helping me acclimatise to my first year in uni but the Foundation also conducts a mentorship program.

Having already met my mentor, I know that this will be a valuable relationship as he is someone who can provide personal insights and advice on challenges that I may encounter in my upcoming year. It is also worth mentioning that the continual effects of the Pinnacle Foundation raises awareness of the disadvantages faced by LGBTIQ youth and in doing so promotes ideas of acceptance and tolerance.”

AngelStJamesAngel St James
17, from VIC and now in the Sunshine Coast QLD, studying a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Creative Writing, a Major in Journalism and a Minor in Sociology at the University of the Sunshine Coast

“I feel incredibly humbled and honoured to be welcomed into the Pinnacle family! This scholarship will allow me to focus fully on my studies and becoming the person I need to be to pursue the career of my dreams and make a difference in the world. I am beyond thrilled to meet my mentor who will be an invaluable source of support and instrumental in establishing confidence and a sense of belonging within me. Truthfully, I cannot express the depth of my gratitude to the Pinnacle Foundation for this opportunity of a lifetime, and for its remarkable, inspirational work for the LGBTIQ+ community.”

Shae Maree NicholsonShae Maree Nicholson
21, from the ACT, studying a Bachelor of Science and Arts, Majoring in Psychology at the Australian National University

“When I found out about the Pinnacle Foundation I never believed that I could actually be a Scholar, I thought that I would give it a shot and hope. When I completed my interview I was almost certain that I wasn’t going to get it, many words of doubt rose in my mind and the financial stress of the upcoming year settled in. After I received the call that I had been granted the scholarship I burst into tears I was so happy, because of the Pinnacle Foundation I will be able to work towards my degree with the best of my ability. There are no words for the gratitude and admiration for what the Pinnacle Foundation has done for me and I am so excited to be a part of the Pinnacle Family.”

Kat ReedKat Reed
20, from the ACT, studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at the Australian National University

“2015 was the hardest year of my life. I was trying to manage various personal issues arising in my life due to my identity as well as navigating the stresses of university and working to completely support myself out of home. My identity has had a huge impact on my ability to dedicate myself fully to study. Unfortunately, this is a common experience in the queer community. Too many queer youth are homeless due to familial conflicts due to their identity and unfortunately this impacts their ability to manage their study commitments.

The Pinnacle Foundation is doing incredible work supporting young students and I feel honoured to have received a scholarship for 2016. The financial aid will help me to pay for study essentials as I continue studying Psychology and relieve the stress of financial hardship. Additionally, the mentorship program will be tremendous help for me in formulating my future and ensuring I get that Masters degree. With the support from the Pinnacle Foundation, my year is going to be less stressful and I’ll be able to achieve my academic goals.”

Harry KoelynHarry Koelyn
19, from Melbourne VIC, studying a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies (double degree) at Monash University

“I am extremely grateful and feel truly blessed to receive the Pinnacle scholarship for 2016. It means so much to me that there’s someone out there that are very willing to support my education and overall my livelihood. Over the past years, I wasn’t able to fully cope with school and university due to my health. Getting access to a medical specialist was quite financial consuming. With this financial assistance, I believe I can get back to my student life on track and make my studies a bigger priority, instead of worrying whether I can pay for my university stuff or my next doctor appointment. Also having a mentor and being part of the Pinnacle family gives me great hope in achieving my goals and dreams that I set out to accomplish and gives me great assurance that my mentor and the Pinnacle Foundation are out there to give me support and guidance. Thank you so much Pinnacle Foundation for this amazing opportunity.”

Zach HayesZachary Hayes
24, from NSW, studying a Bachelor of Financial Planning and Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accountancy

“I feel very fortunate to have received a scholarship from the Pinnacle Foundation as it will allow me to focus on establishing my career and also focus on my post graduate studies with little financial strain for my upfront education fees. Having a mentor from the industry to offer support and guidance to help me stay focused in what will be my most challenging but exciting year, not only academically but personally, and in my career is a comfort I wasn’t sure i would achieve. Having a mentor to discuss strategies in dealing with work/study loads, career goals whilst finding time for myself and my partner is going to be an enormous help and something I am very grateful for.
Pinnacle is truly an inspirational group offering a network to a community of people who are often in need of support particularly at this young adult stage of life & i can only hope that one day in the near future I can join as a mentor and offer the same help and support they will give myself as a scholar in 2016.”

Arlyn SwainArlyn Swain
21, from NSW, studying a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Economics (double degree) at the University of NSW

“As a CommBank Pinnacle Scholar I am being backed by 2 organizations that have a dedicated interest in the welfare of LGBTIQ Australians. This award is an investment in my future – it gives me a lot of confidence to be acknowledged as having the potential to create a positive impact for LGBT rights.

The Pinnacle Foundation has opened this door for me, and with their support, I look forward to continuing university education and increasing my involvement in the queer community in 2016. I have a particular interest in raising the awareness of PrEP treatment, and under guidance from a mentor, start discussing diversity in my workplace.”

Morgan PechMorgan Pech
23, from Melbourne VIC, studying a Bachelor of Clinical Science (Osteopathy) at Victoria University

“I am incredibly grateful to the Pinnacle team for their consideration and selection of me as a scholar. Having previously received a scholarship whilst undertaking a different course, I’m humbled and proud to have their ongoing support as I figure out what I want to do with my studies.

This year I am particularly looking forward to building a relationship with my mentor, and hopefully gaining insights into life as a trans person beyond study. It is a fantastic feeling to be awarded a Pinnacle Scholarship and I’m thoroughly looking forward to my year ahead.”

Tyler AvesTyler Aves
19, from Sydney NSW, studying a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Sydney

“Being a scholar for the Pinnacle Foundation has not only relieved the financial stress related to university expenses, but has increased my motivation to do better with my degree; knowing that I am supported by such an organisation and will have a mentor to provide assistance and direction this upcoming year. It has made me believe that I am more than capable of achieving my goals and has improved the confidence I have towards my studies, which I am very thankful for.”

Valerie Nizette-WisemanValerie Nizette-Wiseman
18, from NSW, studying a Bachelor of Media and Communications (Journalism) at LaTrobe University

“Having the privilege of being awarded this scholarship means more than words can express. Moving to a different state, far away from everything that I know is a huge and daunting step, and knowing that I have the Foundation behind me will allow me to relax and focus during this important and exciting stage of my life.”

Patrick EidPatrick Eid
22, from Sydney NSW, studying a Masters of Clinical Counselling at the Australian Catholic University

“The Pinnacle Foundation has surpassed the expectations of a scholarship. In addition to providing financial aid to assist in the continuation of my education, it has played a vital role in creating both a well-being and social support network. The Foundation provides opportunities for professional development through mentorships, and fosters further networking within our LGBTIQ community.  Without the support from The Pinnacle Foundation, I would not have the opportunity to prosper academically, socially, and emotionally.”

Sarah BradfordSarah Bradford
19, from QLD, studying a Bachelor of Science and Business Management at the University of Queensland

“I am extremely grateful and honoured to have been chosen as a 2016 recipient of the Pinnacle Foundation’s Manikay Partners scholarship. The financial assistance that this provides will be invaluable as I move out of home and begin my university education and it will allow me to focus more of my energy on my studies. I am also very grateful for the opportunity to network within the LGBTQIA+ community and for the guidance that having a LGBTQIA+ mentor will give me throughout my degree.”

Cai LangfordCai Langford
23, from Adelaide South Australia, studying a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies at the University of Adelaide

“I feel incredibly grateful to have received a Pinnacle scholarship. This enables me to work towards my future goals in a secure and enriching environment. Pinnacle does an amazing job of equipping young people with the tools to succeed, and I am looking forward to the opportunities have ahead of me to study without the huge financial burden that comes with being a student. Possibly the most exciting aspect of being selected as a Pinnacle Scholar, is that I am being given the skills that will help other young queer people in the future.”

Tamika Dartnell-MooreTamika Dartnell-Moore
18, from Sydney NSW, studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney

“Receiving the Pinnacle Scholarship for me is an enormous privilege. I am grateful for the Pinnacle Foundation’s support and encouragement of sexually and gender diverse youth, such as myself.

This scholarship has taken a large amount of financial stress off my shoulders; so that I can be successful in focussing on achieving my goals in tertiary study. The most exciting part of being a Pinnacle Scholar is being guided by a mentor, and being surrounded by a community with shared experience. I am thrilled to be starting the year; and look forward to working hard to live up to the values of the Pinnacle Foundation.”

We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2016; Caitlyn Georgeson, Wade Goldwyer, Rhiannon Harris, Brendon Hori, Erik Ly, Morgan Petrie, Darby Savage, Nicholas Tarpey and Daniel Wang.

2015 Scholarship Recipients:

Richelle Osborne 2015_BWRichelle Osborne
23, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Nursing at Australian Catholic University

“I feel incredibly grateful and lucky to receive a scholarship from The Pinnacle Foundation. Having a group of people recognise how important my education is to me and taking me on as a Scholar means a tremendous amount.

The financial assistance for educational expenses and equipment will break down some of the difficulties associated with studying and will provide me with the best opportunity for success. The Pinnacle Foundation’s support means I can focus on my studies as my first priority, instead of worrying about financial constraints to purchase textbooks and equipment required for classes.
Also to be mentored by a successful LGBTIQ identified person who is working in a discipline I am interested in, really creates confidence and provides an invaluable experience. This scholarship will enable me to succeed with my goals and has shown me that hard work and perseverance pays off. I’m very much looking forward to getting started with my course and mentor. Thank you so much to The Pinnacle Foundation for creating such a fantastic opportunity for the LGBTIQ community.”

Bryan Banks 2015_BWBryan Banks
20, from Adelaide, SA, studying a Bachelor of Science (Space Science and Astrophysics) at the University of Adelaide

“I’m extremely grateful to the Pinnacle Foundation for giving me this scholarship and allowing me to continue with my studies with financial security that is so necessary in a student’s life. Managing both university life and a community-based production fortnightly show is difficult, but well worth the reward, and the Pinnacle Foundation are whole heartedly furthering me with their generosity.

Giving me a mentor will also keep me grounded which I believe is something so essential in a student’s life and I think everybody at some point in their life would love a bit of guidance from someone who’s been through it all, and the Pinnacle Foundation are providing that which I’m ever so thankful for. So I’ll just say this, thank you Pinnacle Foundation, you are an amazing group of people.”

Charlie Jackson-Martin 2015_BWCharlie Jackson-Martin
23, from Sydney NSW studying a Bachelor of Arts at University of Sydney

“The Pinnacle Foundation has filled my coming university year with exciting prospects and opportunities. I feel privileged and incredibly lucky to have been chosen as a scholar and am particularly excited to build my relationship with my mentor in the coming year. Thanks to my scholarship I now have the ability to purchase a laptop along with textbooks and other university equipment. Pinnacle really is leading the way in breaking down the barriers that queer students face in their ability to access higher education.”


Estelle Clarke
18, from Perth WA and relocated to Sydney NSW, studying a Bachelor of Arts at University of New South Wales

“With the Pinnacle Foundation supporting me in my journey, I don’t believe there will be much I won’t achieve. Being backed by such an inspiring Foundation, one that really helps students (including myself) reach the pinnacle of their personal and educational success, is an opportunity I am so thankful to be given.
I am delighted to be chosen as one of the Pinnacle Scholars for 2015. This opportunity will have an extremely positive impact on my move to Sydney and my studies at the University of New South Wales. The feelings I have towards the Pinnacle Foundation are those of gratitude and admiration. What a way to start the year!”

Nicholas Steepe 2015_BWNicholas Steepe
20, from Dubbo NSW, studying a Bachelor of Social Work at Charles Sturt University

“To be awarded this scholarship from The Pinnacle Foundation means more than words can express. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone, and I am honoured and privileged to be chosen. The scholarship will allow me to fully commit myself to my studies without the financial burden that would be otherwise placed on me. In addition, the mentor program will allow me to further develop and learn skills that will allow me to excel in my chosen field.”

Taryn Dorrough 2015_BWTaryn Dorrough
18, from Newcastle, NSW, studying a Bachelor of Science/Engineering (Hons)  (Telecommunications) at University of Newcastle

“Being awarded a Pinnacle scholarship for 2015 has done a great deal to help me achieve my ambitions of tertiary education whilst also providing the social and emotional support of a mentor in my chosen field of study. This scholarship has allowed me to discover and explore Uni life without the stress of study related expenses such as textbooks and equipment, as well as provided continued motivation and opportunity to advocate for LGBTQ issues and rights that I believe in. The Pinnacle Foundation’s support has meant that I now have the resources to achieve my dreams and for that I am truly grateful.”

Lesbian (details withheld for privacy)
20 , studying a Bachelor of Arts at University

I feel truly blessed to have been allowed the opportunity for a better standard of living with the help of the Pinnacle Foundation.

I was at first hesitant at sharing my story and enlisting the help of the Pinnacle Foundation. I tried to talk myself out of applying, that I could get through it on my own like I always have… But I did something different. I took a risk. And it paid off in a big way. I cannot explain what it means to me that people believe in my future, and have judged me worthy of this fantastic opportunity.
With the help of Pinnacle, I’ll be able to afford my textbooks and new equipment to further my studies and achieve the best out of my university career. I’ll also be able to abolish some of the barriers that I have lived with for a majority of my life, and be able to realise my true potential. I wish to establish a career in my chosen discipline, before going on to inspire other muslim LGBTQI+ youths to be more open and honest about their sexuality, at least to themselves, and not allow it to limit their life.
I want to devote my life to making sure that no one goes through what I went through because of my sexuality, both as a young child and a young adult.

It’s not wrong to be who you are and to love who you love, no matter what anyone tells you.”

Morgan Petrie 2015_BWMorgan Petrie
20, from Melbourne VIC, studying a Bachelor of Communication (Advertising) at RMIT University

“I feel privileged to receive a Pinnacle scholarship for 2015. It is without question that this opportunity will create boundless opportunities to network with many people from a variety of different backgrounds within the LGBTIQ community, whilst also easing the financial pressures that are associated with studying away from home, that are inevitable to anyone from a rural background such as myself. This support is vital for rural LGBTIQ youth, who often face different pressures and issues throughout their youth and study time. Pinnacle has provided me with the opportunity of a lifetime, and I cannot wait to harness this opportunity throughout 2015 and the years beyond.”

Wade Goldwyer 2015Wade Goldwyer
19, from Perth, WA studying a Bachelor of Arts (Archaeology) at Edith Cowen University

““I am truly grateful for being awarded a most needed scholarship by the Pinnacle Foundation. It means the world to me and will allow me to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming an Archaeologist (aka. The next Indiana Jones!). Being born and raised in a strictly cultured third world country has allowed me to realise what a privilege it is living in Australia, a country with so much more to offer. As I do not have a large family, I consider Australia to be my home and am now fortunate enough to be a part of the Pinnacle family. I feel extremely privileged to have been given this fantastic opportunity in life and will endeavour to succeed to the best of my abilities. Thank you so much :)”

Harrison Comino 2015Harrison Comino
18, from Rockhampton and relocated to Brisbane, QLD, studying a Bachelor of Design (Honours) at Queensland University of Technology

“Receiving a scholarship from the Pinnacle Foundation meant a great deal to me, a lot more than just receiving financial aid.  It meant an amazing education, a lifestyle that I want and the realisation of my dream profession.  It meant that I can be the person I need to and it meant that I can make a difference. I’d like to think I’d be able to accomplish all of those things regardless of the Pinnacle Foundation’s involvement, simply because I have faith in myself.  But at times when that faith weathers, and money could have been tough or I could have been feeling all alone, it’s reassuring to know that those things will never be an issue. Because receiving the Pinnacle Foundation scholarship meant that I have a mentor who is dedicated to giving me support and it meant that a whole organisation has faith in me, so much so that they’re willing to put their money behind me. And that is why this scholarship is priceless to me.”

Rhiannon Harris 2015_BWRhiannon Harris
18, from North Tasmania, studying Year 13 at Don College

“First of all, I would just like to say a big thank you to The Pinnacle Foundation! I am honoured to have been considered and then to be selected as a recipient of a 2015 scholarship! It is an amazing opportunity, for which I am incredibly grateful for. Not only does this scholarship provide me with financial support for my education, it has also filled me with a great confidence that good things do and will happen!”

Erik Ly 2016Erik Ly
17, from VIC studying the Victorian VCE

“I really didn’t think that the Pinnacle Foundation would take into consideration my application even though I had known about the Foundation for quite a while, until one of my referees said to me that I should totally apply for it.
I feel very grateful and honoured that the Pinnacle Foundation believes in me and has given me such an amazing opportunity, to not only do my best in year 12 but also create an opportunity for me to meet other talented young Pinnacle scholars. Being awarded this scholarship will definitely help lift financial pressure off my shoulders. Now I can pay for school fees, books and stationery that I need without having to worry about running short of money every time.
I cannot thank the Pinnacle Foundation enough for giving me such a wonderful resource, for helping me do my best at school and to achieve my academic goals.”

Darby Savage 2015Darby Savage
18, from Melbourne VIC, studying a Bachelor of Arts/Business at Swinburne University

“The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship has given me the most invaluable gift I could have ever asked for; the funds, freedom, and support to be able to leave a rural area and start a great degree.  The Foundation has been paramount in changing the lives of so many young Australians and I am absolutely honoured to be another part of it, and to receive the amazing opportunities the scholarship provides.  Having such an inspirational mentor has strengthened my drive to achieve in both an academic and professional sense.”

Michael Sun 2015_BWMichael Sun
17, from Sydney NSW, studying a Bachelor of Arts/Law at University of Sydney

“The vital support of the Pinnacle Foundation at this time in my academic career has been an overwhelming privilege to receive. This generous scholarship will not only help to relieve the financial burden of my full-time studies, but will also provide me with a mentor who will help to foster my development as both a student and as a member of the LGBTIQ* community. I look forward to working with such a remarkable foundation in 2015.”

We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2015; Ben Nielson, Brendon Hori, Caitlyn Georgeson, Daniel Wang, Dibs Barisic Sprem, Josh Lavery, Laura Partington, Max Cooper, Nathan Watts, Nicholas Tarpey, Reece Rowe and Renee Pope.

2014 Scholarship Recipients:

Nathan Watts 2015_BWNathan Watts
23, from Brisbane, QLD, studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at Queensland University of Technology

“I feel truly honoured to be awarded a scholarship for 2014 from the Pinnacle Foundation.

For me to be considered and accepted for the Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship, gave me a sense of feeling worthwhile in the eyes of society. The Scholarship will allow me to access the resources and materials to help me achieve, and the mentor program will give me the guidance and assistance to excel in my field of study.

Without the support from the Pinnacle Foundation, I would of had a difficult time accessing the cost of attending university and in turn this opportunity has boosted my confidence and self esteem in my abilities.

I have been afforded the chance to make a difference with this scholarship, not only in the lives of people around me but in the community at large; regardless of where my studies take me I know I will have been a leader in the community enacting change and promoting equity.

Reece Rowe 2015_BWReece Rowe
20, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Arts (Music) at the Australian Catholic University

“Receiving this scholarship from the Pinnacle Foundation is like a dream come true! Knowing that I have the support I need to get through my degree is such a relief and a weight of my mind! I am so grateful to the Pinnacle Foundation for all of their support from financial support, to mentor support as well. I’m so glad to be working with Pinnacle again this year!

Scholarship Recipient

Brendon Hori
24, from Sydney, NSW, studying a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Technology

“I feel incredibly fortunate and privileged to have received a scholarship from the Pinnacle Family. Words cannot describe how much it means to have people believe in my future and think me worthy of such a fantastic opportunity.
The financial assistance for my educational expenses will mean that some of the barriers I would have had are eliminated and this really puts me on an even playing field in achieving the best I can.
More importantly, to be mentored by a gay person who is doing exceptionally well and making a difference in the discipline I too am interested in, really creates a sense of ambition and aspiration for me. I hope that one day, I too can inspire other LGBTIQ young adults and make a difference to people’s lives. Thank you so very much.”

Scholarship Recipient

Max Cooper
20, from Adelaide, SA, studying a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) at the University of Adelaide

“In 2013 Pinnacle enabled me to focus on my studies in a way that would not have seemed possible to me without the scholarship. I was able to stop counting every cent, and my ability to take advantage of the opportunities offered to me was hugely increased. The quality of my work improved because I could focus on it, and I had a much richer experience academically and socially than I would have without the support of everyone at Pinnacle, especially my mentor.”

Scholarship Recipient

Daniel Wang
19, from Canberra, ACT, studying a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Hons) at the Australian National University

“Growing up gay, and what it represented, always had a stigma attached to it. Knowing however the Pinnacle Foundation is behind me, supporting me for what and who I am, and what I believe, is something that I never thought possible.

With the Foundation’s assistance, I will be able to better concentrate on my future studies rather than worrying about when, and if, I will be able to attain the essential resources I need for university. I am so grateful for what The Pinnacle Foundation has provided for me.

Scholarship Recipient

Morgan Pech
21, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Associate Degree in Design (Furniture) at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

“The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship has enabled me to have a flying start to my year. Not only has the financial support helped alleviate some of the stresses of beginning study, but the confidence I’ve gained in my abilities through the application and mentor process has been invaluable. It is also a huge honour to be awarded a Pinnacle Scholarship, and to be recognised for my achievements even before starting my course makes me feel extremely competent and validated as a scholar.”

Scholarship Recipient

Ben Nielsen
22, from Sydney, NSW, studying a Master of Arts (Journalism) at the University of Technology Sydney

“It is a pleasure to continue my relationship with the Pinnacle Foundation during my final year of tertiary education. Pinnacle has played an integral role over the past several years: providing text books, musical equipment, professional development opportunities, and of course facilitating my mentorships with Lachlan Philpott and Matt Gilbertson. When I don mortarboard and gown at the end of the year, it will largely be due to the invaluable support of the Pinnacle Foundation.”

Scholarship Recipient

Edwina Memic
18, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Law at the Australian Catholic University

“The Pinnacle Foundation’s support means that I can finally put my education first and strive towards my ambitions without being held back due to financial difficulties and a lack of support. This scholarship will enable me to succeed as it has shown me that hard work and persistence does pay off even in difficult times. I’m truly honoured to have been recognised by such an organisation and for them to provide such opportunities that I shall forever remain grateful for.”

Josh Lavery 2015_BWtestJosh Lavery
19, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Fashion Design at RMIT University

“I cannot communicate the difference that this scholarship will make to my life. Not only will it ensure that I am able to start my academic career with the same opportunities as others, it will mean that I am able to commence my studies stress free. The additional benefit of a mentor is just wonderful. Thanks to this scholarship I am now so excited to embark on this next phase of my life!”

Renee Pope 2015_BWRenee Pope
19, from Adelaide, SA, studying a Bachelor of Teaching/Arts at the University of Adelaide

“I’ll never forget the feeling of absolute awe and disbelief when I found out I had been selected as a 2014 Pinnacle Scholar. It is such an honour and a privilege, and for me it is life changing. As an activist and a young member of the LGBTQI+ community I have so many visions for the future, and with the help of Pinnacle and my mentor I can strive to achieve my goals and help make the world a better place for young people struggling with their identity and sexuality. I am so thankful for this opportunity and am looking forward to a fantastic year of learning and experience ahead.”

Scholarship Recipient

Kirsty Herbert
24, from Perth, WA, studying a Bachelor of Literary & Cultural Studies (Hons) at Curtin University

“It took me until the second year of university to admit that I needed help along the way. This scholarship not only means that I can receive the support that will enable me to finish strong in my final year, it also showed me that trusting others by asking for help is not always a bad thing. I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I am today and to have that recognized by the Pinnacle Foundation makes me thankful in ways that words cannot describe.”

Scholarship Recipient

Caitlyn Georgeson
20, from Adelaide, SA, studying a Bachelor of Law/Arts at the University of Adelaide

“The vital support of the Pinnacle Foundation at this time in my academic career has been an overwhelming privilege to receive. This generous scholarship will not only help to relieve the financial burden of my full-time studies, but will also provide me with a mentor who will help to foster my development as both a student and as a member of the LGBTIQ* community. I look forward to working with such a remarkable foundation in 2014.”

Scholarship Recipient

Dylan Lewis
22, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Diploma of Alcohol/Mental Health at the Chisholm Institute

“I’m completely honoured and grateful to the Pinnacle Foundation for not just the financial support but also the opportunity to work with a mentor. Most of the time my anxiety and insecurities get the best of me, having someone that can both keep me on track and educate me in the field is a vital asset to both my studies and confidence.

This opportunity will help me gain the right knowledge I need to help support and tackle the serious issues of youth mental and physical health in today’s society. Thank you Pinnacle Foundation, this would be difficult without your support.

Scholarship Recipient

Nathan Fullbrook
20, from Sydney, NSW, studying a Diploma of Commerce at the Sydney Institute of Business & Technology

“I graciously accept this scholarship as it an honour to be granted it. I believe with it, as well as the support from The Pinnacle Foundation and my mentor; that it will help me reach my full potential for this year and set up a promising path for the future.”

 

Scholarship Recipient

Alice Knichala
24, from Bendigo, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Education at LaTrobe University

“To be considered for a Pinnacle scholarship is humbling, to actually receive a scholarship is amazing. The scholarship means I will be able to concentrate on my studies and have access to the best resources. Having access to the internet will enable me to engage with the queer community outside of my town. I am grateful to The Pinnacle Foundation to all the assistance they have given me in achieving my goals.”

Scholarship Recipient

Alex Zerna
22, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Arts (International Community Development) at Victoria University

“When I came out as a Queer-identifying country boy four years ago, I could never have fathomed that there was an organisation giving scholarships to LGBTIQ students. Receiving this honour has changed my life beyond any quantifiable measure as it has proved that there is tangible support out there for someone like me and it validated my journey through this world.

I am so blessed to have access to the resources that the Pinnacle Foundation has given me, especially the chance to meet other Queer scholars and Mentors that have been where I am right now. I encourage any scholar in the LGBTIQ community to go for their dreams and let the Pinnacle Foundation help them on the way.

Scholarship Recipient

Caleb Nichols-Mansell
18, from Burnie, TAS, studying a Certificate of Business at TAFE Tasmania

“Being awarded the Pinnacle Foundations Scholarship for 2014 has given me the opportunity to further pursue my career goals through study. The Pinnacle Foundation has lifted the burden of financial pressure off my back and allowed me to focus wholly on my education, ensuring I have the support from my mentor and the Pinnacle ‘family’ along the way to achieve the best possible academic results.”

We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2014; Audrey Cremer, Veronica Mason, Tanisha Devene, Lee Taube, Dibs Barisic-Sprem, Laura Partington, Lauren Sanford, Ashton Brenton & Nicholas Tarpey

2013 Scholarship Recipients:

Scholarship Recipient

Nicholas Tarpey
22 from New South Wales, Bachelor of Dental Science at Charles Sturt University

“ The continued support of the Pinnacle Foundation is an amazing and generous opportunity to focus on the ever increasing difficulty and immersion that my course requires. Developing my practical skills and knowledge steadily over the last couple of years has been made possible with the equipment, textbooks and opportunities required, that would have been otherwise out of my reach, and for this I am eternally grateful. I am a better student, dentist and person for having been a Pinnacle Scholar.”

Scholarship Recipient

Lauren Sanford
20 from Melbourne, Bachelor of Arts at Monash University

“ I am amazed and honoured to have been awarded a 2013 Pinnacle scholarship. For me, this is a reminder of the importance of both hard work and community. It is a reward for the years I have precariously balanced study with difficult health and family situations, and an encouragement and source of support in continuing to do so. But it is also a moment to appreciate the strength and generosity of the queer community. Regardless of where my studies take me, I look forward to working within that community to enact positive change and support others, just as the Pinnacle Foundation and so many others have supported me.”

Scholarship Recipient

Ashton Brenton
19 from NSW, Bachelor of Ecology at University of New England

“ The support of the Pinnacle Foundation is a vital hand in the dark for me, as it is for many other students. It’s wonderful to know that there is an organisation looking out for people like me, and I am extremely grateful to have been chosen to be supported by them. Without their help, I would struggle to make it to university to study the course I have been looking forward to since early high school. Having the Pinnacle Foundation behind me this year will boost my confidence and resolve to achieve great things and give back to the community in the future.”

Scholarship Recipient

Cecilia Kavara-Verraro
23 from Melbourne, VIC, Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT University

“I am super honoured and excited to be awarded such an important scholarship. It is really going to help me excel and complete my studies. I think it is super important to support people who have barriers in accessing education and the stability and resources required to see that education through. The Pinnacle Foundation have identified the need for more support for LQBTIQ youth and education. Keep up the good work!”

Scholarship Recipient

Luke Jobson
21 from Melbourne, VIC, Bachelor of Social Sciences & Communications at Swinburne University

“To be considered for, and receive, such a prestigious honour ensures that I can look forward to a stress free start to achieving my University degrees. The sheer magnitude of generosity and kindness displayed and witnessed here is testament to the big hearts of all involved. This is truly and unequivocally one of the most defining moments of my life. Thank you for making my dream of achieving my degrees come true.”

Scholarship Recipient

Annelise Rashoo
17 from Victoria, VCE at Adult Education Centre

“Receiving this scholarship from The Pinnacle Foundation has not only taken the added pressure of financial stress out of my studies for 2013, but has also motivated me to do my absolute best to exceed what is expected of me. Without having to worry about being able to afford school fees and the other expenses that are necessary to complete my VCE, I can focus on my studies and pursuing my goals for the future! I can’t begin to express my appreciation for the immense opportunity that The Pinnacle Foundation has provided me with, but I will thank them for every piece of success I achieve in my career.”

Scholarship Recipient

Max Cooper
20 from Adelaide, SA, Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) at University of Adelaide

“I’m looking forward to the year ahead, and this is greatly enhanced by the opportunities that the Pinnacle Scholarship will offer me. The financial benefits will be enormously helpful, but even more than that I look forward to having the chance to work with an experienced mentor who will be an invaluable source of guidance and wisdom in an important year of my undergraduate study.”

Scholarship Recipient

Ben Nielson
20 from Adelaide, SA, Bachelor of Music & Bachelor of Media at Adelaide University

“It is humbling to be chosen by the Pinnacle Foundation as a 2013 scholar, and thus an ambassador for LGBTIQ youth. The Foundation’s assistance is a validation of my efforts, ambitions, and ultimately my worth as a member of the community. It is reassuring and empowering that the difficulties facing LGBTIQ youth are recognised and that a scholarship has been designed specifically for us. The Pinnacle Foundation has made a generous investment at a pivotal time in my course. The scholarship will alleviate the collective pressures of living and study expenses, allowing me to focus on my study and professional development. I look forward to collaborating with my mentor, as well as purchasing essential musical equipment.”

Scholarship Recipient

Dibs Barisic Sprem
20 from Sydney, NSW, studying a Bachelor of Arts (Croatian studies) at Macquarie University

“Being awarded this scholarship by the Pinnacle Foundation means I can relax and enjoy my first year of university. I feel very lucky to not only have part of my financial burden be taken care of but to receive support from a mentor. Having this assistance would make a big difference in any person’s life and I look forward to using this gift to guide me through this next challenging and exciting stage of my life.”

Scholarship Recipient

Tanisha Devene
16 from Townsville, QLD, Year 12 at Kirwan State High School

“I never thought that I could achieve anything on my own, especially being a young LGBT member in an unaccepting society, but now I feel I have security and guidance from the Pinnacle Foundation who have granted me a 2013 scholarship to help me achieve something great in life, to help people and to change the course of humanity. I am truly grateful to the Pinnacle Foundation for giving me the chance to achieve great things.”

Scholarship Recipient

Mat Russo
22 from Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Education (Primary) at Australian Catholic University

“Receiving a scholarship from The Pinnacle Foundation has given me incredible confidence to achieve the academic and professional goals I have set for the final year of my Primary Education degree. Through the joint assistance of the Foundation and my Mentor Maurie, I believe 2012 will be a pivotal year for my development as a Teacher and will allow me to continue to be a role model and advocate for kids within and outside the LGBTIQ community.”

Scholarship Recipient

Kaitlyn Shepherd
17 from Melbourne, Intermediate VCAL & Automotive VETis at Havestor Technical College

“Being awarded this scholarship means more than words can express, the scholarship that The Pinnacle Foundation has given me will be helping me finish Year 12 and the second year in my automotive studies. This scholarship and mentoring is an honour and privilege to be awarded, and will be helping me tremendously with my ambition to becoming a fully qualified Diesel Mechanic which could lead to a career in the Australian Army which would be amazing!”

Scholarship Recipient

Logan Ward
19 from Perth, Bachelor of Psychology at Curtin University

“ I feel really honoured to receive this scholarship, it means a lot to me. The scholarship provided by Pinnacle has given me the opportunity and support to continue studying full time and build relationships with my LGBTIQA peers.”

We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2013; Ashleigh Scriven, Audrey Cremer, Brodie McGee, Laura Partington, Lee Taube, Nathan Li, Suzie Day & Veronica Mason

2012 Scholarship Recipients:

Scholarship Recipient

Ashleigh Scriven
21, from Newcastle, NSW, Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science – Diagnostic Radiography

“Having a driving force such as the Pinnacle Foundation behind you is an unparalleled experience, one which embeds within you a determination to change the world. The support and encouragement that the Foundation seemingly inexhaustibly grants you, in conjunction with the sense of self worth it reinstates within you, affords young LGBTI people such as myself the means to embrace their future and become someone of value.”

Scholarship Recipient

Audrey Cremer
17, from Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Combined Law at the University of Sydney

“I am honoured to be included as a Pinnacle Foundation Scholar in 2012, as this support will undoubtedly aid my navigation of what I anticipate to be a precarious year. A reminder that my ambitions are attainable, I believe the effects of this scholarship will also reverberate within the LGBTQ community through the assertion of my aspirations.”

Scholarship Recipient

Nathan Li
20, from Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney

“Being a Pinnacle Scholar means that someone recognises not just the hard work that I have already put into myself and my community, but rather has the foresight and faith in me to see all the good work I could do in the future.”

Scholarship Recipient

Steven Walker
23, from Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales

“I am truly grateful to The Pinnacle Foundation for providing me with a mentor as part of my scholarship. It means I can pick the brains of someone with experience in the areas of study I will be focusing on. There is also the bonus of being able to concentrate entirely on my education without the added stress of sourcing funds for text books, laptops etc.”

Scholarship Recipient

Lindsay Stewart
18, from Geelong, VIC, Studying Victorian Certificate of Education [Year 12]

“I am very grateful receiving The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship as it will allow me to continue my education. I am honoured to be acknowledged for my abilities and raising awareness of disadvantaged transgender youths in regional areas. My family was very disadvantaged when I was growing up and they are very proud of me reaching year 12.”

Scholarship Recipient

Laura Partington
22, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Youth Work) at RMIT University

“The Pinnacle Scholarship means a great deal to me. If it weren’t for this scholarship I would not be continuing my education this year due to certain circumstances, and I would most likely be working at the pub full time. It has given me the opportunity to do what I always wanted to do and love, and for that I am more than grateful. In return I will be supporting others soon including the GLBTQ community as a Youth Worker.”

 Scholarship RecipientHarriet Horsfall
19, from Hamilton, QLD, Bachelor of Law & Criminology at Queensland University

“This scholarship marks a watershed for my development as a young scholar. I am exceedingly grateful for the support of the Pinnacle Foundation, which will allow me to remain steadfast in my commitment to academic excellence and social change. There are so many negative connotations around being young and identifying as GLBTIQ, and it is beyond exciting to know that with the honour of this scholarship comes the opportunity to act as a role model for change.”

Scholarship Recipient

Lee Taube
21, from Melbourne, Vic, Psychology at Swinburne University

“Being awarded this scholarship made me feel worthy and validated not only my career goals but also me as a person. This scholarship means that I won’t be stressed about the financial costs of my education, which I feel relived about. I am even more excited about the mentoring program as I feel supported in growing into a successful mental health professional.”

Scholarship Recipient

Lucy Bonanno
18, from Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Med Science

“This scholarship not only provides me with financial aid but also the means, in the form of a mentor, to properly motivate and help me achieve my absolute academic best, as well as allowing me to become more involved and active in LGBTIQ events and organisations. I’m truly one of the lucky few to embrace such a thorough and practical scholarship”

Scholarship Recipient

Jack Metcalfe
21, from Perth, WA, Bachelor of Science at the University of Western Australia

“Receiving the Pinnacle Scholarship has been a wonderful surprise, knowing that this year I will have some assistance to further my studies in my Sports Science degree. My history within the Queer community has led me to realise that within the Health and Fitness industry, there is a distinct lack of knowledge and research specific to the Trans* community. It is difficult to find comprehensive resources about the effects of hormones on exercise and how best to shape the body to match the identity. With the Pinnacle Scholarship to ease the way, I hope to become well informed enough to better serve the needs of the Queer and Sexually Gender Diverse community. I hope to do so by providing knowledge, workshops, a safe place of understanding, and assistance with training specific to the needs of every unique individual within such a beautifully diverse community as ours.”

Scholarship Recipient

Brodie McGee
23, from Adelaide, SA, Bachelor of Education at Flinders University

“The Pinnacle Scholarship means I can make focus more on my studies, and will be able to improve what I get out of Uni. Partnering with a mentor who is able to provide advice and guidance provides something that a normal uni degree doesn’t, it’s invaluable.”

 We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2012; Isobel Connell Suzie Day & Veronica Mason

2011 Scholarship Recipients:

Scholarship Recipient

Michelle Slattery
23, from Melbourne, VIC, studying Social Science at Swinburne University of Technology

“When you apply for something like this you always hope you’ll get it but when you do it’s like time stands still and you ask yourself did this just happen? This award is an amazing opportunity for me to build professional relationships with my peers so that one day I will be able to give other GLBTI youths the same opportunity. I am excited and honoured.”

Scholarship Recipient

Jake Quilligan
20, from Melbourne, VIC, studying Nursing and Paramedics at Monash University

“Being awarded something is always a great feeling, however, being recognised by The Pinnacle Foundation is a different feeling entirely. It’s amazing! I feel valued, and their support will help me achieve my dream of becoming a health professional. I’m really thankful.”

Scholarship Recipient

Jayke Clayden
20, from Melbourne, VIC, studying International Studies at RMIT University

“I feel very privileged to be awarded this scholarship. I know that the support that I’m going to receive from Pinnacle and my mentor will help me achieve my goals and dreams in the future. Being apart of a mentoring program such as this is an invaluable experience and I intend to make the most of it.”

Scholarship Recipient

Isobel Connell
20, from Newcastle, NSW, studying Psychology & Teaching at Macquarie University

“The scholarship makes my life a lot easier. Without Pinnacle I’d have real difficulty affording (both financially and psychologically) to be able to study full time and create the life I want.”

Scholarship Recipient

Harriet Harding
22, from Sydney, NSW, studying Music Composition at Sydney Conservatorium of Music

“I’m very honoured to be awarded one of this year’s Pinnacle scholarships. As a young gay person who lives ‘out’ in society every day, I am excited to continue my involvement with the broader community. With the help of this scholarship I hope to help change the way our society sees gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people, reaching people through music and encouraging them to engage creatively and compassionately with the world around them.”

Scholarship Recipient

Veronica Mason
22, from Sydney, NSW, studying Arts/Law at University of New South Wales 

“It is with this profound respect for not only education but also the enhancement of identity, culture, knowledge and lifestyle that I am honoured to be a Pinnacle Foundation Scholar. Being the recipient of such a remarkable scholarship will not only allow me to pursue my dreams, by providing the necessary materials to succeed, but also act as an ambassador. It is my hope that I can change the world, and with this scholarship, that has become a possibility.”

Scholarship Recipient

Neville Fields
23, from Adelaide, SA, studying Medicine at Flinders University

“I feel very honoured and proud to be a 2011 recipient of this scholarship and I look forward to the day I graduate and start working in the field so that I too can involve myself in the foundation and give back maybe just some of what has been offered to me when I need it most.”

Scholarship Recipient

Suzie Day
From Perth, WA, pursuing a BA in Library and Information Management at Curtin University

“I am honoured that The Pinnacle Foundation believes in me so much, that they think I am worthy something like this”. One of my referees was one of my lecturers, and when I told her that I had got the scholarship, she replied it was because that they knew that I would one day give it all back to the community. I have never been so flattered or humbled in my life.”

2010 Scholarship Recipients:

Scholarship Recipient

Troy Hewitt
23 from Sydney, Final Year of Masters of Geology, Macquarie University

“ Without a doubt the Foundation and my mentor have made a huge difference in my life, both personally and during my education…The mentorship and financial support has allowed me to for fill both my personal and academic aspirations, which I have previously though to be out of my reach…”

Scholarship Recipient

Simon Byrne
16, from Sydney, NSW, Literacy Skills Development

“Although I struggled in the first 6 months I stuck with it .But later I saw how fruitful it was because of the work I did in the fist 6 months with Lindamood-Bell. I believe that my mentor and the scholarship help me considerably by assuring me I had the skills to make my Year 11 possible.”