Click here for more information in our Guidelines and Policies

Who do I contact?

For scholarship application assistance or inquiries email here

For general inquiries here

What if I can’t finish the application form in one go?

In order to complete your application, you will need to create an account on the scholarship application page: https://thepinnaclefoundation.submittable.com/submit

Once you have created your account, you can complete your application in one go or you can complete it in parts. The system will automatically save your work as you go so when you want to return to complete the application, just return to your application page and enter in your login credentials and it will return to where you left off. When you complete your application, please ensure that you press Submit.

It is really important to finish the application form and submit it before September 15. If you have a problem with a question, contact us. All discussions will be confidential.

Once you have finished your application, read through it carefully and make sure that you have completed all the questions, before you submit it. Applicants who complete the documentation fully will be considered for short-listing and interview (confidential and held in November).

What are the age requirements to be eligible for a Pinnacle Foundation scholarship?

Pinnacle scholarships are granted to eligible applicants who are at least 17 years of age, and younger than 27 years of age, as at the closing date for applications (15 September 2020).

What are the academic requirements to be eligible for a Pinnacle Foundation scholarship?

Applicants are evaluated on the whole of their response to the selection criteria including academic achievements; financial and social need; extracurricular activities; personal circumstances, personal resilience and self-determination; as well as goals for their future. Whilst academic results are one part of the selection criteria, we also take into consideration your background and personal circumstances and assess your response holistically.

We are looking for individuals who have the potential to achieve academically and want to use their education to make a difference and be future leaders in the community.

Is it advantageous to submit my application early?

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as applications open (July 2020) as this gives you more time to better prepare your responses, edit your responses when need and make any changes before the application closing time. Check this website for opening date.

Do I have to pay this money back?

No, the Pinnace Foundation Scholarship is not a loan. You will receive a debit card which you can use responsibly according to the terms and conditions and the agreed spending criteria.

It is intended that scholarships are primarily for study related costs such as the following items:

(a) technology (inclusive of laptop/PC, printer, storage devices i.e. hard drives/cloud membership, course relevant software, tablet/iPad, laptop/tablet cables and charging devices, keyboard, mouse, stylus/electronic pencil)

(b) the cost of uniforms, clothing and/or shoes associated with the education/vocation being undertaken

(c) the cost of textbooks and online related services

(d) the cost of fees or dues to an approved educational institution

(e) student union and professional association fees

(f) professional equipment, memberships or tools of trade associated with the education or vocation being sought

(g) public transport student concession passes

(h) additional travel and accommodation costs associated with Vocational placements, internships and volunteering which is undertaken as a requirement of an Australian based educational or training course and where the Scholar is not entitled to be paid any remuneration

(i) a contribution towards the costs of attending an overseas educational course

(j) cost of fees associated with tuition to address a learning disability

(k) relevant (to their academic studies and career) registration costs associated with attendance to domestic conferences or forums.

Other scholarship expenses must relate to the wellbeing of the Scholar.

Items such as living expenses, medical, optical and dental treatment, medication and optical expenses are all acceptable.

When will I find out if I have been successful?

The Pinnacle Foundation will contact you by email early November if you are selected for a video call interview which will take place during month of November. Successful candidates will be notified by phone in December once reference checks have been conducted and the scholarship and accompanying mentorship will be confirmed after you submit the details of your tertiary placement offer to us.

What does the mentorship involve?

The Pinnacle Foundation assigns a mentor to each scholar. Generally, this person will have the same sexual identification, be professionally engaged in the field you want to study and be located near where you are living. The Mentor is there to provide advice and support to you throughout your scholarship. They will be as valuable to you and your future as the scholarship.

The role of a mentor

The main role of a mentor is to be a “sounding board” and provide guidance on academic and related issues to a scholar. Communication is key to being a successful mentor (and a successful scholar). A mentor is there to help their scholar navigate the everyday challenges of long-term studies, society and the community by drawing on their greater knowledge and experience, and their genuine concern for young people.

A mentor’s role includes:

  • Offering support, encouragement, optimism and hope;
  • Offering guidance and realistic advice as requested;
  • Assisting with goal-setting; suggesting possible courses of action, and support in making choices;
  • Helping the scholar to identify their strengths and thereby strengthen their self-esteem;
  • Being “a sounding-board” for ideas and problems;
  • Helping them develop their skills and knowledge in their area of study;
  • Offering a consistent, non-judgmental relationship;
  • Where appropriate introducing them to their work environment, and engaging in some social and recreational activities with the scholar; and
  • Helping the scholar deal with any sense of alienation and loneliness.
Do I have to be LGBTIQ+ to apply?

Yes, as a young student you must be able to demonstrate that because of your gender identity, sexual orientation or sexual characteristics you have been prevented or hindered from achieving your academic aspirations. You should also have a history of participating / or capacity to participate in the LGBTIQ+ community or be able to demonstrate that you plan to be an LGBTIQ+ leader in the future.

Can application deadlines change?

No. Applications close September 15 and short-listed candidates are identified soon after.

What is the selection process?

There is a dedicated Selection Committee assigned for each state who read your application and are guided by the eligibility and selection criteria requested in the Application Form.

Eligible applicants will be assessed for a Scholarship by the Selection Committee and State/Territory Committees based on the eligibility and selection criteria which involves –

Eligibility criteria:

An eligible candidate is someone who meets all of the following requirements:

(a) aged between 17 years of age and no older than 26 years and 364 days on the day of closure of applications

(b) is an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident of Australia

(c) identifies as being a member of the LGBTIQ+ Community, both commonly understood and as defined; and

(d) has achieved good or reasonable results given the applicant’s circumstances.

Selection criteria:

(a) The applicant has faced and attempted to overcome challenges because of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation and/or sexual characteristics

(b) has personal or social circumstances which may hinder completion of their education. Personal and social circumstances may include whether the applicant is first in family to attend a tertiary institution, identifies as being from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, are from a non-English speaking background, has been in foster care, has been homeless, or was raised or lived in a regional, rural or remote area of Australia

(c) can demonstrate sufficient motivation to complete a course or the remaining years of a course (as the case may be) of full-time study and demonstrates understanding of the rigors of academic life

(d) is clear about where their studies may take their career; and

(e) is proud to be a part of a diverse Australian community, including with respect to gender identity, sexual orientation and sexual characteristics.

Does the Pinnacle Foundation provide scholarships to residents of foreign countries?

The application process is open only to Australian citizens and those with permanent resident status. We require proof of residency and citizenship from all our applicants.

What are my chances of being selected as a Pinnacle Scholar?

Every year there is strong competition for our scholarships. Make sure you have read the questions carefully and consider your responses. Make sure you answer every question to the best of your abilities, and you will have every chance.

What is the value of the scholarships?

You will receive from $5,000 to $7,000 in the first year of the scholarship and slightly less in subsequent years. Pinnacle Foundation Scholarships are multi-year and are designed to support you throughout your degree.

What expenses does the scholarship cover?

Pinnacle Scholarship covers a variety of expenses including (but not limited to) tuition fees where HECS is not available. The Scholarship can also cover other educational expenses including the cost of textbooks, professional membership or student union fees, professional tools of trade, uniform, lap top computer, printer expenses, public transport, and cost of living expenses including rent.

What kinds of tertiary education costs are considered?

At the Pinnacle Foundation, we encourage studies from a wide variety of different fields such as creative arts, business, medicine, marketing etc. We require that the course is undertaken in a certified Australian public tertiary institution and that the course is undertaken as full-time load.

What does the Pinnacle Foundation require from Pinnacle scholars?

The Pinnacle Foundation requires that selected scholars commit to upholding The Pinnacle Foundation’s values:

  • Thirst for learning – creating opportunities, new horizons and joy through learning
  • Sense of belonging – supporting each other, being part of a community, showing gratitude and having fun
  • Will to transform – changing lives by having a go, challenging boundaries, being courageous and celebrating achievements.

In doing so, all scholars will be required to:

  • Respect and treat other members of the Pinnacle family and LGBTIQ+ community equally despite difference
  • Strive for academic excellence and maintain a satisfactory level of academic achievement (to be reviewed half-yearly by The Pinnacle Foundation)
  • Be forthcoming with The Pinnacle Foundation regarding any significant life changes, areas of concern and academic issues that may impact upon my financial or academic position. Always communicate openly and honestly
  • Respond to all communications from The Pinnacle Foundation in a timely manner, meet requested deadlines and maintain an ongoing relationship with The Pinnacle Foundation
  • Complete ten hours of community service per annum to the satisfaction of my mentor and maintain a meaningful mentor – scholar relationship in accordance with the mentor – scholar relationship undertaking. (Community Service may include volunteering with on-campus LGBTIQ+ groups.)
  • Be actively involved in The Pinnacle Foundation family and maintain an ongoing relationship with my local state or territory committee
  • Always be conscious that they are a representative of The Pinnacle Foundation and that their behaviour will reflect the standards of the Foundation.
If I apply once and am not selected as a Pinnacle Scholar, can I reapply?

Yes, you can reapply if you meet the following criteria:

• You are at least 17 years of age, and younger than 27 years of age, as at the closing date for applications (15 September 2020)
• You are an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia and can verify your residency status
• You have because of your gender identity, sexual orientation or characteristics been prevented or hindered from achieving your academic goals
• You are a serious, consistent student who has achieved acceptable scholastic results given your background and circumstances
• You are 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), and
You demonstrate pride in and dedication to the LGBTIQ+ community.

When I reapply, can I reuse my original application responses?

No. You need to submit a new form. Not only do we refine our application form each year to make the process more efficient and informative for applicants and the Selection Committee, but your circumstances will also have changed.

How can I apply?

For the upcoming year, an application form and instructions can be found on this site here.

I’d like to apply for a scholarship for the following year. When will that be possible?

Scholarship applications start in July for study in the following academic year (i.e. apply in 2020 for 2021 study).

Is my application confidential?

Yes, your application will be read only by Pinnacle Foundation members involved in the selection process and members of the management team. All records will be kept securely and confidentially. Please see our Privacy Policy for more details.

The Pinnacle Foundation is committed to protecting your personal information. The Pinnacle Foundation is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals.