Connor Allen

Connor Allen

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle Foundation.

I moved from Perth to Melbourne in 2018 to study medicine at Monash University, but immediately found living independently without familial support to be a challenge. Given that I came out at the airport when departing Perth, I moved to Melbourne with the knowledge that I may very well be on my own financially, which indeed turned out to be the case. In this time my mental health began to deteriorate and without having access to quality mental health care I struggled enormously, this was only exacerbated by being the first person in my immediate family to attend university. Luckily, I stumbled across The Pinnacle Foundation when browsing my university’s external scholarships page and muddled an application together. At first, I didn’t think I would be eligible for the scholarship but still I applied and was very lucky to have been selected as a scholar in 2019.

What have you gained from being part of the Pinnacle program so far?

My mentor has been absolutely fantastic, he is so experienced, knowledgeable, and generous. Additionally, meeting the other scholars at the induction weekend was a terrific experience and allowed me to engage with the queer community in a way I hadn’t before. The financial support I’ve received from The Pinnacle Foundation has enabled me to access psychology for the first time in my life and work towards alleviating my mental illness. Additionally, Pinnacle was excellent during the Covid-19 crisis and provided a safe space for us to discuss how we were feeling and coping during these challenging times.

What has your experience with your mentor been like?

In one word, spectacular. He is such a kind and knowledgeable person with whom I was able to connect with almost immediately. Firstly, his wealth of knowledge both anecdotally in medicine as well as personally as apart of the gay community has assisted me greatly in informing my own perspectives and sense of belonging. Additionally, he has been a great comfort when I’ve had scholarly troubles and doubts regarding my degree and has on a number of occasions presented me with new perspectives and ideas that I otherwise would not have encountered. I think in many ways he has also shown me what it means to belong to queer community as an adult. Before Pinnacle I knew hardly any gay men who were older than me, I think its great to have some accessible and empowering representation.

What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about applying for The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship Program?

Go for it! What’s the worst that can happen? I think this scholarship has altered the trajectory of not only my studies but my identity. It has empowered me to strive for not only acceptance within the community but brilliance, both within myself and the world around me. I’ve seen what talent we have within our community and now more than ever I’m excited to be a part of it. I’d recommend applying to anyone who wants to do the same!

Scholar Welcome 2023 – Victoria

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Isabella Kotasek

Isabella (Izzy) Kotasek

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Lorraine Hall

Lorraine Hall

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Andy Tran

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Scholar Welcome 2024 – QLD

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Dr Glen Lo

Dr Glen Lo

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rhian

Rhian on Studio 10 – Wear It Purple Day 2022

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Renae Papalexiou

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Midsumma Pride March 2023

The Pinnacle Foundation marched proudly (and rather colourfully) in Victoria’s Midsumma Pride March. Scholars, alumni,…

Sujin Jang

Sujin Jang

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

Jennifer Westacott AO, Patron of The Pinnacle Foundation

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Dylan Lloyd

Dylan Lloyd

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James Holland

James Holland

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Partners’ Dinner 2023 – Sydney

Last night in Sydney, at our annual partners’ dinner, we thanked our corporate and philanthropic…

Nathan Cappelluti Photo

Nathan Cappelluti

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Anu Francis

Anu Francis

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Nic Steepe

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Truly a night to remember. The Pinnacle Foundation marched in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian…

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Brisbane Pride Festival March 2021

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Caiti Galwey

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young men at the beach

Article posted in the Star Observer (August 17, 2020)

Philip Comans graduated in the 1970s when tertiary degrees were free for students in Australia….

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The Pinnacle Foundation’s scholars, mentors and volunteer Victorian Committee were at Midsumma Festival’s Carnival. It was…

IDAHOBIT 2022

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Scholar Welcome 2023 – ACT

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Jacinta Clark

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Sarah Sandford – Pinnacle alumnus 

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Alastair Lawrie

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Out For Australia 30 Under 30 Award

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A message from the Governor of Victoria (Patron-in-Chief of The Pinnacle Foundation): Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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The LGBTQIA+ Executive Fellowship 2024

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TasPride 2024

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Hannah Worsley

Hannah Worsley

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

Lewis McFarlane

Lewis McFarlane

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

James Holland – Pinnacle alumnus

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

Georg Tamm

Georg Tamm

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

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The Pinnacle family proudly danced its way up Oxford Street in the 2024 Mardi Gras…

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Julien Grosmaire – Pinnacle alumnus

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Ben Bjarnesen

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Oliver McGrath

Oliver McGrath

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Bronte Charles

Bronte Charles

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

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David Edwards Photo

David Edwards

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

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End of Year Fundraiser 2023 – NSW

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Arthur Forrest

Arthur

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

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Brisbane Pride Festival 2022

This year, the Pinnacle Foundation again participated in Brisbane Pride March. Our Queensland committee was…

Angel St. James

Angel St James

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle Foundation….

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Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

Rhian Mordaunt

Rhian Mordaunt

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

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Last night the Tasmanian Committee held the 2024 Scholar Welcome Event, graciously hosted by Hydro…

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Murray Gatt

Murray Gatt

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

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Lili Murtagh

Lili Murtagh

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

Caitlyn Georgeson

Caitlyn Georgeson

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young men at the beach

Scott Aldred and Zac Hayes

Each year at The Pinnacle Foundation we introduce new scholars into our Pinnacle Scholarship Program….

Benjamin Henry

Ben Henry – Pinnacle alumnus

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

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Scholar Welcome 2023 – QLD

On 23 March, The Pinnacle Foundation welcomed its incoming and returning scholars in Queensland at…

Partners’ Dinner 2023 – Melbourne

On Wednesday night, The Pinnacle Foundation, Australia’s LGBTQIA+ education charity, hosted its annual partners’ dinner…

Leann Duff – Pinnacle alumnus

Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle…

TasPride 2023

So great to see the Tasmanian Pinnacle Foundation family out and proud (very colourfully) at…

Scholar Welcome 2023 – WA

On the 25th of March, we welcomed incoming and returning  scholars and their mentors in Western…

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Pinnacle Foundation gold partner, King & Wood Mallesons believes that responsible business is everyone’s business,…

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The Honourable Justice Thomas Bradley shares with us why he decided to become a Pinnacle…

Laura Cripps

August 2019

Laura Cripps What was it like for you to be part of The Pinnacle Foundation…