Janine Middleton Chief Executive Officer

Janine has in excess of 25 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry, working in both Australia and the United Kingdom. Janine spent 13 years with J.P. Morgan in London, the last five as Managing Director in the Investment Bank.

On returning to Australia, Janine moved to Private Equity and was a founding partner of a mid market private equity firm, Tasman Capital Partners, she is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a Masters in Applied Finance from Macquarie University.

Since returning to Australia in 2012, Janine has become heavily involved in the not-for-profit sector. Janine joined Australian Marriage Equality in 2014 and was appointed Co-Chair in January 2015, a position she still holds. She was named as one of Australia’s Top 100 Women of Influence in 2016.

A sound education and a good mentor are fundamental to helping young people achieve their full potential and I feel privileged to be part of the team at The Pinnacle Foundation and their work with LGBT+ youth.

Susan Brooks Risk and Compliance Advisor

Susan 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). She is currently a member of the ABC’s Independent Complaints Review Panel and several Managed Investment Compliance Committees. She holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters of Law.

“Being a 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 chairing a small team responsible for scholarship selection, 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.”

Dr. Jim Sait Mentor Manager

Dr Jim Sait worked in the higher education sector for 35 years. He has taught at universities in the UK, Canada and Australia before crossing to the ‘dark side’ in university administration at the University of Sydney where he ran the International Office.  In 2005 he moved into Executive Search where he used his HR skills and experience assisting Australian and New Zealand universities and health care providers to recruit the best professionals from all over the world.

Jim is passionate about the transformative power of education to improve both individual lives and the life and culture of the nation.  He has been an active member of the LGBT+ community since the early 70’s, and in the early 80’s set up an AIDS patients’ assistance program in regional NSW.  A member of the Pinnacle Foundation family since 2011, he sees his current role as Mentor Manager as a logical extension of a lifetime of networking.

Jim has a PhD from UCL; and an MA and a BA (Hons) from UBC.  He also has a DipEd from UNE.

Warren Perumal Chair of the Scholarships Selection Committee

Warren joined the Pinnacle Foundation in September 2016 as the Chair of the Scholarships Selection Committee. He is a long term employee of the Commonwealth Bank and currently is the Executive Manager Process Architecture.

As a founding member of the Commonwealth Bank’s LGBT+ & Allies Diversity & action group ‘Unity’ in 2012, Warren led the Events, Community & Sponsorship streams. He is no stranger to the Pinnacle Foundation, as one of his first objectives in Unity was to build partnerships with key organisations within the LGBT+ community – particularly with those aligned with education. This led to the landmark agreement between the Commonwealth Bank and the Pinnacle Foundation, whereby the Bank, as Principal Sponsors, provides for a number of annual scholarships with mentoring support provided by its staff.

“I am proud to have the opportunity to be part of an amazingly gifted and dedicated team that strives towards the betterment of the community as a whole, and help our LGBT+ youth achieve their potential.”

Andrew Housden Chief Financial Officer

Andrew joined the Pinnacle Foundation in March 2018 as the Chief Financial Officer. Andrew works for the Commonwealth Bank, leading a finance team supporting CBA’s Wealth Management division, and has previously held finance and audit roles at Deutsche Bank and Deloitte. Andrew is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA (AGSM), a Diplôme d’Études Supérieures Européennes de Management (NEOMA Business School, France) and a B.Bus (UTS).

Andrew co-founded Deutsche Bank’s Australian LGBTIQ+ employee network, dbPride in 2012 and co-chaired the group from 2013-2015. During this time Andrew worked closely with The Pinnacle Foundation raising funds and corporate support. Andrew was also one of the founders of the LGBTI Interbank Network Sydney in 2013 which brought together the LGBTI network groups of several large international and domestic banks and financial institutions.

“Learning and helping others to achieve their full potential are core to my values which is why I believe so strongly in The Pinnacle Foundation’s work.”

Andrew Hoppe Chief Marketing Officer

Andrew has worked in Broadcast and Digital Media Strategy for the past 25 years, and has worked with some of the biggest brands including Viacom, MTV, Sony Music Entertainment, Austereo and Microsoft. Starting in television production, programming and audience strategy, he moved overseas to live in Hong Kong and New York, and has led the creative and programming teams in the launch of MTV Networks across the Asia Pacific Region.

Back in Australia, he took his international experience and drove the international marketing of Sony Music Australian Artists overseas, including Tina Arena and Silverchair. He was the Managing Director of Soundbuzz, a digital music company which built and provided music download, streaming and content services for Telstra, Optus, ninemsn, Yahoo and Nokia.

Returning overseas joined Microsoft’s Online Publishing Division International Leadership team, responsible for the Asia Pacific Region, living in Singapore and Tokyo.

He now consults and mentors media and technology companies, is an active lifesaver and educator at Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, a member of the Lifesavers With Pride committee, and is honoured to be able to contribute his expertise to help the Pinnacle Foundation grow, and positively improve the lives of young LGBT+ in our society.

Nicholas Steepe Scholar Advocate

Nicholas, 23, has grown up in regional Australia and currently lives in Bathurst. After coming to terms with his sexuality at a young age, Nic faced the difficulty of family, peer and societal rejection which took a significant toll on his mental health. Whilst studying a Bachelor of Social Work at Charles Sturt University in Dubbo, Nic secured a job with headspace Dubbo, and contributed significantly to the conversation around youth mental health, marriage equality, and inclusion for LGBTIQA+ individuals within the Central West. Nic was also the first in his immediate family to graduate University.

Nic is one of the key individuals responsible for the Central West Pride March, and is heavily involved in the Central West Rainbow Alliance, promoting inclusion and support for regional LGBTIQA+ individuals. After receiving a scholarship from the Pinnacle Foundation in 2015, Nic wanted to give back and agreed to take on the position of Scholar Advocate within the Pinnacle team during 2016.

After completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Project Management, Nic began working as a Project Manager, Equality & Diversity for Charles Sturt University at the start of 2018. In addition, Nic is currently enrolled in his Masters of Social Work (Advanced Practice, Research/Dissertation strand) which he is aiming to complete in 2019.

Timothy Stutt Company Secretary

Tim is a senior associate in Herbert Smith Freehills’ head office advisory team (HOAT), where he advises publicly listed companies on corporations law, governance, executive remuneration and shareholder engagement/activism matters.

Tim holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from Monash University in Melbourne. Tim has previously worked as a financial analyst at an investment manager based in the San Francisco Bay Area and, in 2010, was one of two Australians to receive a Young Leaders’ Program scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education. Tim is based in Sydney and lives on the lower north shore with his husband, Scott, and their poorly behaved frenchie.

Carol Burger Administration Manager

Carol lives in rural South West Victoria on a farm with her husband, 3 young children and puppy Snoopy
Carol has about 20 years of administration experience with her employers being CFA, RMIT and Local Learning Employment Network.
She currently works with her father & mother in a small family business as well as volunteering her time between her children’s school, Australian Marriage Equality and the Pinnacle Foundation.

Irene Addison Project Manager