Sean Linkson OAM Founding Patron
Sean is one of the four Co-founders of Pinnacle along with Philip Comans, his partner of 20+ years, Susan Brooks, and their long-term friend Paul Clark.
Inspired by the Point Foundation in the US, Sean, Philip, and Paul and Susan set up Pinnacle with pro bono help from Herbert Smith Freehills Lawyers and Saatchi & Saatchi.
After leading the management committee and volunteer team as CEO since inception, Sean handed over the role to Janine Middleton in December 2017, remaining on the board until December 2018.
Until retiring in June 2017, Sean was Managing Director at a large international Executive Search firm, Allegis Partners. Prior to joining the firm, he was Managing Director of A.T. Kearney Executive Search, spending nine years at the firm growing their Australian and New Zealand business.
He commenced his search career with Australia’s largest human capital consulting company Morgan and Banks. In preceding years he worked for the Australian subsidiaries of international banks JP Morgan, Chase Manhattan and Lloyds. Prior to this, he spent nine years in project management with a leading Australian construction and engineering company.
Sean has a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Commerce majoring in finance.
Every day Sean sees the advantage of a good education. His passion is putting people into careers they love. Seeing people achieve their full potential is what inspires him and this was the inspiration for The Pinnacle Foundation.
“I would love to see every young LGBTIQ+ person achieve their full potential and make a mark in the world.”
Philip Comans Co-Founder
Philip is the partner of Sean Linkson, and the youngest in a family of four children born in Canberra in 1959.
Philip was lucky enough to attend the Australian National University during the Whitlam Government years when tertiary education was free, gaining a Bachelor of Economics Degree.
“I experienced first hand how having a tertiary degree opened doors to me. I was lucky it was free and I see how hard it is for young people today to juggle part time work with study. Add gender expression, discrimination and coming out to the mix and it’s no wonder there are young people out there needing Pinnacle’s help.
“It’s deeply rewarding to see how Pinnacle has supported so many terrific young people to attain their educational goals. I can’t thank enough all our volunteers and mentors for the hours and passion they put into Pinnacle daily.
“I love the fact that what may have made a young person’s life difficult growing up, is actually what makes them eligible for a Pinnacle Scholarship!”
Susan Brooks Co-Founder, Risk and Compliance Advisor
Susan, one of Pinnacle’s co-founders is our compliance guru and has extensive experience in managing regulatory risks and consumer issues from within executive government, statutory administrative bodies (Australian Broadcasting Tribunal and Australian Securities Commission) and the financial services sector (Chief Compliance Officer, Westpac and has been the Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman).
Susan holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters of Law.
“Being a co-founder and now member of the Management Committee, I am able to apply the wealth of experience I gained through corporate life. It also allows me to give back to our community. Back in the Seventies, I was a beneficiary of the Labor Government’s new approach to university entrance, so I understand the benefits of education and how it can change your life. In semi-retirement I can now devote significant time to the Foundation and at the same time enjoy travel and quality time with my partner Janis.
“My role with the Foundation is best described as a ‘Jill of all trades’, since as well as formerly chairing the Scholarship Selection Panel, I provide governance and general policy advice and design processes for us to use. All to ensure compliance with our policies and Constitution since our reputation is very important to us. In the next couple of years I will also be implementing a program to boost the number of registered mentors.”
Paul Clark Co-Founder
Paul is a Co-founder of Pinnacle Foundation. He was inspired by the vision of fellow founders Sean Linkson, Philip Comans and Susan Brooks to help bring that vision to life.
Paul’s professional experience reflects his passion and commitment for driving positive social outcomes. He has worked for over twenty years, both locally and internationally, developing and managing programs with a positive impact in partnership with organisations across the corporate and government sectors.
Now a senior manager at the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, Paul is responsible for overseeing development and delivery of programs designed to improve the online safety of vulnerable Australians.
In 2011, Paul stepped back from actively working with the Pinnacle Foundation to take up a position in Seattle with Microsoft’s Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs team. This included managing Microsoft’s Corporate Strategic Partnership with the World Economic Forum. Before moving to the USA, Paul was a key member of Microsoft Australia’s Corporate Affairs team where he managed all aspects of their Corporate Responsibility programs.
Before joining Microsoft, Paul held a range of senior stakeholder engagement roles with eminent cultural institutions, including the Australian Museum and Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of NSW and Graduate Certificate in Business Management from the University of Technology Sydney.