Nic Steepe was a Pinnacle Scholar in 2015, in his final year of his Bachelor in Social Work and Humanities at Charles Sturt University. After graduating, he worked in mental health support and youth advocacy, before returning to Charles Sturt where he is currently studying towards his Masters of Social Work, while working as Project Manager for Equity & Diversity at Charles Sturt.

Nic grew up in regional Australia in Dubbo, and remained in the region, moving to Bathurst for his postgraduate studies and current role.

He explains, “After coming to terms with my sexuality at a young age, I faced the difficulty of family, peer and societal rejection which took a significant toll on my mental health.

“While studying a Bachelor of Social Work at Charles Sturt University in Dubbo, I was awarded a Pinnacle Foundation scholarship, which assisted in relieving the burden of tertiary education. However, the mentorship was the most rewarding part of being a Pinnacle Scholar”

“Having a role model who was the same sexuality, and in the same discipline was invaluable, and has really shaped where I am today.”

“However, being a part of the Pinnacle Family goes further than this. They have helped me expand my networks and community, continued to support and encourage me well after my scholarship had finished. I feel that I have made long-lasting connections with other scholars, other mentors and members of the Pinnacle team.”

In addition to his further study, other commitments and full time work, Nic is a dedicated member of the volunteer Management Committee at The Pinnacle Foundation, in his role as Scholar Advocate & Liaison.

“I want to give back to an organisation that has had such a positive impact on my life, and that continues to support so many other LGBT+ young people reach their full potential.”

Nic’s dedication and tireless energy in the advocacy and the support for regional LGBT+ communities is inspirational. During his undergraduate studies in Dubbo, Nic secured a job with headspace Dubbo, and contributed significantly to the conversation around youth mental health, marriage equality, and inclusion for LGBT+ individuals within the Central West Region.

Nic is a also a key member of the Central West Pride March Committee, and is heavily involved in the Central West Rainbow Alliance.

Nic was also awarded the  Out for Australia’s Young Professional Role Model Award of the Year, and was also Runner Up in Mr Gay Pride Australia this year.

“I strongly encourage any LGBT+ student who is passionate about their studies and their community to apply.
It is honestly life-changing.”