The Pinnacle Foundation has two Scholarships available each year:

  • The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship of $3,000 for the first year of tertiary studies and $2,000 for subsequent years. For Year 12 students the scholarship amount is $2,000; and
  • Sponsored and Named Scholarships of $5,000 for first year of tertiary studies and $3,000 for subsequent years.

Scholarships will be provided for 16-24 year old LGBT+ students who desire to undertake full-time education at a public or private secondary school (final year) or public institution of higher education in Australia. It will be for the purpose of gaining an educational or vocational qualification in any profession, trade or the arts.

Scholarships will be granted for a period of one year and a scholars application form needs to be submitted by 1 October each year. However, an existing Scholarship holder is entitled to reapply for the Scholarship should they comply with the goals enshrined in The Pinnacle Foundation Criteria and Process Policy.  If during the course of full time studies exceptional circumstances arise which require a Scholar to reduce study load the Foundation will compassionately consider such a request from the Scholar.

The intention of the Scholarship is to mainly cover expenses associated with their studies, for example, the cost of tuition fees or dues to an approved educational institution not covered by HELP^, laptop and printer, textbooks, printing and stationary, uniforms, professional membership or student union fees, professional tools of trade and public transport concession passes are all acceptable expenses. Expenses relating to the well being of the scholar are also allowable and include medical, optical and dental expenses, medication, as well as occasional accommodation payments and supermarket shopping.

The Scholarship is paid directly to the scholar, with funds accessed by way of a debit card loaded with the scholarship amount in two instalments throughout the year. The administrators of the Foundation are able to monitor expenditure to ensure that the funds are being utilised in accordance with the proposed expenditure set out in the application and within The Pinnacle Foundation’s acceptable expense categories.

Special Scholarships

These Scholarships are highly prized by students and valued by our Foundation since they represent an outstanding opportunity to succeed, thanks to the generosity of specific donors.  The Scholarships are generally of a higher value and available to students who undertake specific courses, attend a particular University or are undertaking a specific standard of study such as Bachelor or Masters degrees. There may be other requirements which the Donor or Sponsors has requested.  Due to our very generous Corporate Sponsors & Cornerstone Donors, we’re able to offer the following special scholarships:

Sponsored Scholarship: The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is proud to be a part of The Pinnacle Foundation and will continue to be a long-standing supporter of community activities and organisations. This support is directed at a broad range of activities that bring long term benefits to all Australians and reflect community activities and organisations. Areas of particular emphasis include education, medical, youth, science and technology, the arts and the environment. In education, the Commonwealth Bank’s aim is to develop financial literacy, especially for youth, as well as online learning. The Commonwealth Bank looks to support educational programs which provide professional and credible learning activities. In line with their vision to excel at securing and enhancing the financial wellbeing of our people, businesses & communities, the Commonwealth Bank will be offering annual scholarships with mentor support available to student applicants. To learn more about this program, see the Start Smart program.

Named Scholarships:

The Clark Walton Pinnacle Scholarship is offered in memory of Clark Walton for students studying architecture, design and planning or visual and creative arts at either TAFE or University level.  Read more about Clark.

The Manikay Partners Pinnacle Scholarship for a student coming from rural or regional areas in Australia studying in a Finance or related field at an Australian University.

The Darryl Wild Pinnacle Scholarship for Marketing studies at an approved tertiary institution.

The Snow Foundation Pinnacle Scholarship for a student studying or living in ACT/Canberra Region undertaking a course at an approved tertiary institution.

The Brooke Horne & Tom Snow Scholarship is a named scholarship open to all Pinnacle Scholarship Applicants.

The Brian Terrence Reilly Pinnacle Scholarship for two students undertaking a University Bachelor degree in any discipline at an approved tertiary institution.

The Paul Zahra Pinnacle Scholarship for a meritorious student completing undergrad or post-grad studies in business or commerce.  Read more here.

The Selig Family Pinnacle Scholarship is a named scholarship open to all Pinnacle Scholarship Applicants.

The Pippa Downes Pinnacle Scholarship 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. Read more here.

The James Collins and Tony Nelson Scholarship for students keen to pursue studies in Science, Digital or Aviation. Read more here.

The Andrew Staite & Anthony Hoppe Scholarship is for high potential gay males based in Victoria in the fields of liberal arts, visual or performing arts, or commerce.

The SHK Asia Pacific Scholarship for a meritorious student who identifies as Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual who is undertaking a commercially orientated degree, and who has grown up and studying in Victoria

The John Goldbaum Scholarship is a named scholarship open to all Pinnacle Scholarship Applicants.

The Greg Livingstone Scholarship is available to scholars demonstrating a passion and commitment to sustainability in its broadest context. Fields of study might include (but not be limited to) environmental sciences, agriculture, architecture, economics, business or the arts.

Selection Criteria

All Scholarships are open to anyone who…

  1. Is an Australian citizen of at least 16 up to 24 years of age at the time the Scholarships applications close (1 October each year);
  2. Is a permanent resident of Australia;
  3. Identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex or Queer and because of this:
  4. Has personal or social circumstances which provide significant challenges to the person completing their education; or
  5. Has been marginalised due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; and
  6. is a serious, consistent student who has shown scholastic achievement during the student’s school years;
  7. is able to demonstrate a commitment to completing Year 12 of the student’s secondary education, a tertiary degree or vocational training (as the case may be);
  8. has achieved acceptable scholastic results given their background and circumstances; and,
  9. demonstrates pride in and dedication to the LGBT+ community.

For Sponsored or Named Scholarships the following additional selection criteria is applied:

  1. demonstrates the potential to have a positive social impact as a result of being awarded the Scholarship;
  2. has an active interest in extra-curricular activities including, but not limited to, LGBT+ causes, sport, music, a trade and/or the arts;
  3. demonstrates social and political awareness;
  4. is able to demonstrate a character of resilience, independence, courage and determination;
  5. is able to focus on a goal and show a tenacious attitude in achieving that goal; and
  6. shows leadership qualities and an innovative, enterprising attitude; and
  7. can meet any specific requirements set by the named scholarship donor.

Equity in Grants Policy

Unfortunately those who need grants and scholarships the most can’t always access the information, nor do they have the resources to apply. Knowing where to access such funding opportunities, making inquiries and completing applications can be a daunting task for some LGBT+ students. We recognise that the students most likely to have difficulty will probably come from strong ethnic and indigenous backgrounds, are disabled or live in rural areas.

We all know that urban-based gay men are much more organized in terms of communication channels and support systems, however, rural-based gay men and lesbians generally may be less aware of the existence of our program and some will struggle with our scholarship application process.

To ensure that there is reasonable representation amongst applicants and grant scholars from these sub-groups in our community we promise the following:

  • When organising public functions/events, Pinnacle will approach key representation groups from the sub-sectors identified above to ensure their participation and engagement;
  • When promoting our scholarship, Pinnacle will not only use mainstream communication channels such as dedicated LGBT+ avenues but will also use minority communications channels such as dedicated Aboriginal, foreign language and rural outlets, including internet sites, radio and television and the print medium;
  • To improve communication take-up by various outlets, Pinnacle will (if required) organize communications in specific languages (targeted);
  • Pinnacle will provide assistance for any candidate (from the groups listed above) who does not feel confident in completing an application by them;
  • In short-listing candidates, the Chair of our Selection Committee will:
    • Ensure that members declare any conflict of interest in relation to applications received. A potential conflict may arise from the fact that a committee member has met or had discussions with the applicant or has received representations from someone else or the applicant’s behalf. The Chair of the Selection Committee will determine if the relevant committee member abstains from discussing the candidate’s application and/or voting on it;
    • Prior to finalizing the short-list, they will review rejected applications from the above sub-groups to ensure that these applications have been given sufficient considerations. The final decision by the Selection Committee will continue to be made on merit and in accordance with Section 8.2 of the Constitution and Section 7 of its Policy 2008 document;
  • The Board will undertake best efforts to find a Mentor with a similar demographic profile if the successful candidate seeks such a Mentor.

More questions? Check out our FAQs

Apply for a Scholarship

Applications close every year on the 1st October for studies taken in the following calendar year. To apply for a Pinnacle Foundation scholarship you need to comply with the selection criteria, and then complete our online application form. Please create an account when clicking on the application form which will enable you to save your application and return at another time.

Any enquiries regarding your application, or trouble getting it to us, you should contact us at or call 0410 471 504 (Geoff Annabel, Scholar Mentor Manager).

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex & Queer.
^See the study assist site for more information.