Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle Foundation
As a young gay woman ﬁnishing her Bachelor of Music in 2019, I was feeling disillusioned with both the world of academia and the music industry. Majoring in music production meant that I was quite often the only woman in the room, and certainly the only LGBTIQ+ identifying person. It was common for me to feel imposters syndrome, as globally only 5% of working engineers are female- identifying. I felt that my music and work were often overlooked, and the opportunities I was given were only in the name of performative inclusivity and tokenism. Moving forward in my masters, I longed for a level of community and support my university was unable to provide. I found The Pinnacle Foundation late one night and quickly applied. I had never seen a scholarship program aimed at young LGBTIQ+ students in Australia and was excited at the prospect of joining a community of high achieving queer people.
What have you gained from being part of the Pinnacle program so far?
Since the Scholar Induction weekend, I have developed many meaningful friendships with my fellow scholars. This has allowed me to develop a valuable support network throughout the last six months. The ﬁnancial contributions have provided me with conﬁdence and peace of mind during the pandemic. The funds have provided me with textbooks, train fare, music production technology and everyday living expenses. As a part-time worker, this ﬁnancial aid has allowed me to focus on my studies to a degree that would otherwise be impossible.
What has your experience with your mentor been like?
I have developed a dynamic and trusting relationship with my mentor. Throughout the ﬁrst half of this year, she has supported me in my academic, professional, and personal trials. Through monthly digital calls I have felt consistently supported by her guidance and feel very lucky to be her scholar.
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about applying for The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship Program?
Believe in yourself and your achievements. The Foundation is a warm and welcoming community that recognises your talents even when you don’t. The tireless work of Nic, Jim, Andrew, Paula and the whole team ensures all the scholars feel heard and supported. Beyond the ﬁnancial support, Pinnacle oﬀers you a family of likeminded queer people and a personal mentor who will work alongside you. Being recognised by your peers as a high achiever is invaluable. Pinnacle will help you on your journey, wherever it may lead.