Jack Townsend

Melbourne Vic, Law

I’m very grateful to have been granted a Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship for 2018. As I finish my final year of law, the support the Pinnacle Foundation is providing me is of invaluable assistance as I prepare to enter the legal industry as a graduate.
In particular, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be connected (through the mentor program) with the LGBT+ community within the legal profession. I’m excited to pursue a career in the law and use the skills I gain to advocate for the rights of the vulnerable within my community.


Nic Wright

Sunshine Coast Qld, Bachelor of Science (Psychology & Criminology)

The support the Pinnacle Foundation has given me is immeasurable. The financial aspect of the scholarship has allowed me to focus on my degree and mental health in a way that I definitely wouldn’t have been able to otherwise and has made my life so much easier.
The biggest impact it has had on me though is the feeling of community and connectedness. Coming from a small country town I have never had the opportunity to have a network of people around me that are so accepting and understanding of me. Being surrounded by such unapologetic queerness has given me so much more confidence in myself and who I really am. Thank you Pinnacle, you have done so much for me, and for many other young people


Kai Schweizer

Perth WA, Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing)

I am deeply honoured to be a 2018 Pinnacle Scholar. For the first time in my studies, I am able to focus on working toward the best possible grades without financial barriers. Unfortunately, here in WA, it is still difficult to be a trans person at university, but I know I have the support of the Pinnacle family behind me when I face challenges.

I am so glad to have connected with a community of other young LGBTQIA+ scholars from across the country, and an industry mentor who has been so willing to offer guidance and industry connections. I am so much closer to a career in my dream industry than I could ever have had without the Pinnacle Foundation’s support.


Rhian Mordaunt

Sydney NSW, Bachelor of Arts


Tamasyn Carman

Brisbane Qld Physiotherapy

It is both an honour and a privilege to been named a 2018 Pinnacle Foundation scholar. Foundations like Pinnacle are changing the lives of young LGBT+ people, like myself, across Australia. My scholarship will substantially lessen the financial burden of university study, thereby allowing me to fully dedicate myself to my studies and clinical placements over the coming year. Moreover, I am confident that the academic and emotional support of my mentor will prove invaluable as I pursue my dream career of Sports Physiotherapy. As the country continues to strive for equality, it is exciting to know that foundations like Pinnacle are having such positive impacts on young LGBT+ peoples’ lives.


Caitlin Frost

Melbourne Vic, Cert IV Youth Work

The Pinnacle Foundation is everything I stand for. My current goal through study is to work with LGBTI+ youth and I am so grateful for the support from Pinnacle to help me achieve that. Not only the financial assistance but the community of mentors and other scholars that come along for the ride.

I live my life adjacent to the magical world of Harry Potter and so I enter my schooling year with his words as a constant reminder for if I start to doubt myself. ‘I know some things, I can, you know, do math and stuff.’-Harry James Potter


Ruben Blackwood

Sunshine Coast Qld, Psychology

I have never had a community of people around me who were casually and unassumingly accepting and supportive of my identity, so I failed to realise the difference in my life that would make. Yet, Pinnacle has easily offered me this and a mentor whose willing to commit to making time for me to help in my academic goals and aspirations.

I felt incredibly impassioned having met the largest group of other LGBT people in my life. It is much easier to imagine a future where I can be myself and I am immensely grateful to Pinnacle for this, as well as their support.


Stefan Boyd

Melbourne Vic Bachelor of Information Systems

During my time at Swinburne I came across the Pinnacle Foundation scholarship program which I’m thrilled to be part of. This scholarship will help to alleviate the financial pressure weighing down on me; such as the cost of groceries, textbooks and student fees. This scholarship will not only help me re-direct my income towards other expenses such as fuel, medical costs but also enable me to fully commit to finishing my studies. I hope to use my relationship with the Pinnacle Foundation to form the basis for networking in the Information Technology field and secure the opportunity to work as a Business Analyst one day!

This is only the beginning and I can’t wait to work alongside with the Pinnacle Foundation in achieving my dreams and goals.

I would like to again thank you all for believing in me as you have light the spark inside me!


Tilly Houghton

Melbourne Vic Law

Being an LGBTIQ student last year was difficult for everyone – and law school sometimes makes hypothetical situations out of very real and traumatic experiences faced by gender-diverse and same-sex attracted people. I’m an old scholar: thankfully, Pinnacle has made my seventh (and final!) year at university far easier to complete than it would have been otherwise. The plan now is to try to help others to the best of my abilities using the knowledge I have about the law and how it operates to protect others (and oppress, too, but I’ll be working on that). Also, I really love dogs and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Nora Zeale Hurston.


Izzy Treacy

Melbourne Vic Law

The Pinnacle foundation has provided me with unbelievable opportunities through the presentation of this scholarship. The Foundation does such amazing work for young LGBT+ youth, and this scholarship will allow me to speak out in my own community to spread the message that you are not alone in this journey, which is something that Pinnacle continually endorses.

This scholarship has given me the opportunity to continue studying, at a tertiary level, which is something that i am so grateful for. The mentorship program that Pinnacle offers is a great way to get an insight into what you can achieve if you work hard.


Jacinta Clark

Adelaide SA Medicine

I talked myself out of applying for a scholarship 3 years in a row because I thought I wasn’t queer enough or disadvantaged enough. It wasn’t until I was about to start my final year that I decided I truly needed it and now I’m here and cursing my past self for being so worried all of those years.

I am so incredibly grateful to have been welcomed into this beautiful, diverse Pinnacle family. The financial support will get me through my final year of study and that is just wonderful but what I am truly grateful for, and what I really didn’t expect, is the chance to be connected with such an inspiring group of humans from across the country. The Pinnacle Foundation are just a truly spectacular organisation and I am so proud to be one of their 2018 scholars.


Ricky Stocker-Johns

Adelaide SA Medicine

If you’d have told a 14-year-old me he’d be the recipient of a scholarship specifically for Queer Students he’d have never believed you. To be the recipient of Pinnacle Scholarship in 2018 is both incredibly humbling and validating as young gay man. Having moved from the country to Adelaide in 2016 to study Medicine the last two years of my life have been incredible but also immensely difficult, emotionally, physically and financially. To have this scholarship behind me takes some weight off of my shoulders and will allow me to fully dedicate myself to my degree and prepare myself well as I transition into the hospitals and further my training. The support of the Pinnacle Foundation is so immensely important to me and I am honoured to be a part of the family.


Lewis Gentle

Melbourne Vic Bachelor of Commerce

Pinnacle has provided a lifeline in furthering our education as LGBTQI+ youth. Not only can we now meet the financial obligations of university, but have also been given mentors who are able to offer invaluable career and personal guidance.

Moving from Coffs Harbour to Melbourne to study Commerce at Monash University has been a huge change in my life, and I’m so grateful to have Pinnacle and all of my fellow scholars by my side.


Hannah Worsley

Canberra ACT Bachelor of Education

As a rural queer person, being awarded a Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship is not only a massive honour, but also a rare and important opportunity to become a part of a supportive LGBTIQ+ organisation. This scholarship takes a great deal of financial pressure off, and allows me to continue activities that make me who I am, such as horse riding, volunteering, visiting home, and involving myself in many extracurricular aspects of university life.

It is such a privilege to be involved with Pinnacle, and to be so well supported in both professional and personal fields. I am so grateful for the support of the Foundation and my mentor, and I feel that I will be able to reach my full potential this year because of this.


Oliver McGrath

Brisbane Qld Medicine

I am very grateful to be awarded a 2018 Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship, and knowing that I have the support and encouragement of the Foundation, and my mentor is invaluable. I am looking forward to being able to use this opportunity to excel in my studies and career path, and work towards improving the health of the LGBTIQ community.


Victoria Knight

Adelaide SA Bachelor of Arts (History and Cultural Studies)

The Pinnacle Foundation has opened so many doors for me that I would not have been able to access without that support. I have been able to combine two vital parts of myself, that of a passionate student as well as a bisexual young person. Thanks to the foundation, I have been able to explore these intersecting parts of my identity to the fullest. The financial, emotional and academic support I receive as a part of this scholarship is completely invaluable.

Additionally, being granted this scholarship and the mentoring relationship which comes with it has empowered me to have faith in my skills and abilities to reach my full potential. I look forward to continuing with my studies at a higher level; this is certainly in part due to the support of the Pinnacle family, of which I am incredibly grateful to now be a member.


Ainsley Mann

Canberra ACT Bachelor of Arts/Science

The Pinnacle Foundation has done more for me than I could ever really put into words. Not only have they helped me move away from home and into the city for uni but they have also given me the support and the encouragement to achieve my dreams. Not only that but I met one of my closest friends through the Pinnacle Foundation and it is a friendship that I will hold close to me for a long time. I hope through the support of Pinnacle I can start my career into the Science community and be a positive role model for younger LGBT+ students.


Laura Cripps

Melbourne Vic Law

Receiving the Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship has been a highlight of my University career. Not only has the foundation given me financial support through my Scholarship, sponsored by SHK Asia Pacific, but also the opportunity to meet amazing people, including my mentor, other scholars and members of the foundation. The combination of financial and personal support has made my final year of university not only less stressful, but is also helping me prepare for life beyond University and the plethora of opportunities which present themselves to me both during my final year and beyond.


Max Taylor

Geelong Vic HSC

Receiving this scholarship has been the most life changing experience for me, and I am so thankful and happy to be a part of the pinnacle family. The pinnacle Foundation provides more than just financial aid, and the sense of community already developing between current scholars, mentors and Pinnacle members is very valuable to me. Having a scholarship for me means I am able to focus fully on my studies, and gives me a feeling of pride for being part of the lgbtq+ community.

I couldn’t be more thankful to the Pinnacle Foundation team, and will continue to be thankful for the coming year as I study and engage with the queer community.


Tynah Pearson

Melbourne Vic Bachelor of Education

The Pinnacle Foundation is a big community that welcomes you with open arms to a safe and caring family. I feel so privileged to be apart of such a wonderful foundation that supports and cares for young LGBT+ people. Having a mentor to talk to and let know about the good and bad times is something not many other scholarship foundations have, and it helps to ease the stresses that come along with tertiary studies. Being a member of the LGBT+ community in the past few years has come with adversity that has often affected my studies and having many of the burdens eased and a community of scholars and mentors to fall back on when times are tough makes such a difference to the external stressors of university.

I feel so honoured to be a recipient and voice for the Pinnacle Foundation and all that it stands for in 2018.


Sam Kroon

Sydney NSW Microbiology

“you never swim in the same ocean twice; its never the same ocean, and its never the same you”

(author unknown)


Elliot Rentoul

Brisbane Qld, Master of teaching

I was surprised and humbled to be receiving the Pinnacle Scholarship this year. Although I think we all face the professional realm with a bit of healthy trepidation, having the support of a mentor in my final few years of study has eased my fears about the future. If so many LGBTIQ+ people have “made it” before me, despite the trials we as a community face, so can I.

The financial assistance from Pinnacle will also help ease my transition from university to professional life in the classroom. Although I love composing music, I’ve always thought it was important to share the joys of music with young people, just like my music teacher did for me. Armed with an arsenal of whiteboard markers, plenty of enthusiasm and a dog-eared copy of Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, I’m excited to see where this year will take me.


Joshua Reilly

Brisbane Qld Master of Teaching (Science)

The Pinnacle Foundation has provided me with an amazing start to the next stage of my studies. Not only has the financial support alleviated a lot of my stress, the mentoring received by the foundation has helped me immensely. I consider myself so lucky to be associated with a community which celebrates and builds the capabilities of LQBTIQ+ Australians. This experience has made me more socially connected, self-aware and inspired to enact positive change in the world.


We are proud to support our returning scholars from 2017: Angel Star St James, Jordan Brown, Wade Goldwyer, Cody Luke, Harrison Norris, Brandon Saputra, Rhiannon Harris, Cai Mia Langford, Alex Bradford, Axel Rose, Lara Tonkin, Joel Wilson

Axel-Nathaniel Rose

Sydney NSW, Bachelor of Arts

The support of the Pinnacle Foundation has not only incomparably improved my financial situation, making university study possible, but shown me a pathway forwards as an LGBT+ scholar. My mentor is a living representation of the potential of young LGBT+ people like myself. The existence of the Foundation gives such an inspiring, hopeful perspective on the world, and the changes in how LGBT+ people are treated, in both awareness and in opportunity. It is an honour and a privilege to be involved with the Foundation.


Harrison Norris

Brisbane Qld, Bachelor Law & Bachelor Commerce

Brisbane Qld, Bachelor Law & Bachelor Commerce
Moving from Regional Queensland and undertaking a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce degree, there are many expected emotional and financial adversities which will arise. Being awarded a Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship will enable me to focus on my studies, by easing foreseeable financial hardships. Furthermore, having the emotional support and guidance from a mentor will add to my support network and allow me to excel while undertaking tertiary education.
I wish to thank the Pinnacle Foundation for creating an environment to support LGBT+ people in their endeavours, as too many would not be able to achieve their potential without Pinnacle’s support. Moreover, being awarded this scholarship will give me the opportunity to fulfill my academic goals, as well as benefit from continued personal growth and become a better member of the LGBT+ community.


Gale Chan

Sydney NSW, Bachelor Arts (Sociology)

I am incredibly honoured in being chosen to receive a Pinnacle Scholarship. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to do better in my studies by taking away some of the financial burdens associated with university. This will make the overall year less stressful for me, which in turn enables me to focus on my education goals with more motivation and clarity.
As the Scholarship does not just provide financial aid, I look forward to further developing my personal skills through the Foundation and engagement with my mentor. I hope that the things I learn will in the future assist me in helping out the LGBT+ community and that one day I can inspire those that have been in my position to achieve their goals.


Oliver Robertson

Melbourne Vic, Final year VCE

I am studying year 12 VCE this year. I am studying biology, sociology, psychology, general English and health & human development. I only heard about the Pinnacle Foundation in 2016 and immediately wanted to apply. I am truly grateful to be given the financial and educational support the Foundation provides. It has been difficult at school as I am a guy at a “girls” school, I came out in late 2014 and since then all of the school has been supportive of my transition and my gender identity. The scholarship will help lift financial stress off not just mine but my family’s shoulders and I will be able to apply as much effort as I possibly can to my studies.


Damian Maher

Brisbane Qld, Bachelor of Arts (Honours)/Economics

I never thought a scholarship program like the program run by the Pinnacle Foundation would exist, let alone that I would be fortunate enough to be a part of it. The financial, professional, and personal benefits provided by the Pinnacle Foundation, as well as my Pinnacle Mentor, will be invaluable as I pursue an Honours Degree in English Literature at the University of Queensland.
The scholarship will enable me to continue to volunteer during my honours year whilst still being able to focus on my studies. I am very grateful and humbled by the recognition and support.


Joel Wilson

Canberra ACT, Bachelor Science

I feel extremely honoured to be a 2017 recipient of the Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship. The past few years have presented me with numerous challenges whilst coming out and transitioning. As such, this scholarship will not only relieve some of the financial burden of being an independent transgender university student but will allow me to excel further in my studies and continue to give back to the community that has guided and helped me many times in the past.
I am very excited to be given the opportunity to make strong connections within the professional LGBT+ community whilst also being guided by my mentor through my academic pursuits in mathematics and beyond. My goal is that this scholarship will ultimately place me in a position which will allow me to continue contributing to our Australian LGBT+ community.


Gabriel Olaer

Adelaide SA, Bachelor Marketing/Communications

This Pinnacle scholarship is such a wonderful opportunity in gaining support to enable me to achieve my goals. As it would be my personal legend to make something out of myself and to prove to people that anyone has the potential, that we are all equally capable and that it only takes willingness and perseverance; regardless of skin colour, creed, language or preferences. I see this as a chance to fulfill a statement that we are all empowered to make a difference.


Jordan Brown

Sydney NSW, Bachelor Law/Communications

During a time where I am fully discovering myself, I feel that receiving this scholarship not only supports my education, but also my identity as I enter a new and exciting chapter of my life. The Pinnacle Foundation provides the educational, financial and well-being encouragement of LGBT+ students. Coming from a rural area, this was something that I had missed out on.
For me, receiving this scholarship has been incredibly reassuring, recognising the struggles that I and many other queer teens have during their high schooling. The Pinnacle Foundation lets me know that I am not in this alone, and that there are many others just like me who because of their sexual identity, struggle to reach their full potential as a student.


Cody Luke

Regional NSW, Bachelor Creative Arts

I like to tell stories and create the worlds they live in. I am a studying artist and designer in Wollongong, Australia. For me the Pinnacle Foundation scholarship and mentorship is a chance to make my art and design study more accessible and serves as means to connect with my community – the LGBT+ community through mentoring relationships, the people I meet and experiences I have as a member of the Pinnacle family. I understand what Pinnacle stands for in helping LGBT+ youth, these values resonate with my perspective. I see a better future in a society that communicates about broader identity and tells more stories about how normal it is, to be a little different. With the help of a professional mentor and the financial aid that the scholarship provides, I am better prepared for my journey to find my passion and make a difference in our ever-changing society.


Yianni Marinos


Melbourne VIC, Bachelor Nursing

I have so much gratitude and I am extremely humbled to be selected as one out of few people to be receiving the 2017 Pinnacle Foundation scholarship. Living in a society that can be at times daunting for LGBT+ youth, It is refreshing to see organisations such as the Pinnacle Foundation aid queer youth like myself in times of need.
With the bursary I am able to have 100% commitment to studies and achieve academic excellence in a field that I hold close to my heart- nursing. The mentorship program that I have been granted will enable me to find acceptance within myself and develop further my confidence. Thank you, Pinnacle Foundation, again and again for this amazing opportunity to allow myself to become the best person I can be!


Lara Tonkin


Sydney NSW, Bachelor Arts/Applied Science (Hons)

I am extremely honoured and grateful to become a scholar for the Pinnacle Foundation. This scholarship has given me opportunities I never thought possible allowing me to overcome so much of the stress that comes with attending university during a very turbulent time in my life.
The Pinnacle Foundation has opened many doors for me, especially through the mentorship program, and I am extremely excited to meet my new mentor and building a long-lasting relationship. I am determined to use these opportunities to the best of my ability, and hopefully I can make a difference in both the Scientific, and LGBT+ community.


Scott Aldred


Albury NSW, Bachelor Podiatric Medicine

I am incredibly grateful and honoured to be a recipient of a Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship. It is amazing to know that there are institutions like the Pinnacle Foundation who are willing and able to provide financial and mental support to myself and other LGBT+ youth, as the obstacles we can face can prevent us from becoming our best. The financial support alone will help lift an immense burden this year as I undertake four months of external placements. This scholarship will enable me to dedicate more time and energy towards focusing on my clinical experience which will allow myself to develop into a more prepared and confident health professional.
There is no doubt that this year will be stressful at times as I come closer to completing my degree, but to know that I have the support from my partner, the Pinnacle Foundation and have the guidance and advice of a Mentor who is a professional in Podiatry will help keep me on track towards success.


We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2017; Alex Bradford, Angel St James, Arlyn Swain, Brandon Saputra, Caitlan Langford, Caitlyn Georgeson, Darby Savage, Harry Koelyn, Jennifer Chen, Katherine Reed, Rhiannon Harris, Shae Nicholson, Taryn Dorrough, Valerie Nizette-Wiseman, and Wade Goldwyer.

Jen Chen

Sydney NSW, Bachelor of Law and Commerce

It has been incredibly difficult for me this year as I was outed to my conservative, religious parents and even now they continue to reject my sexual identity. It was during this period of my life that I felt isolated, alone and mentally exhausted. However, organisations like the Pinnacle Foundation have given me hope that society is moving towards greater support and acceptance of the LGBT+ community.
It is a great privilege to be selected as a scholar for the Pinnacle Foundation. This opportunity will allow me to fully pursue my education and dreams of becoming a lawyer, minus the concerns of financial issues. I also know that this support from the Pinnacle Foundation will provide me with the necessary emotional encouragement so to continue advocating for greater change and equality with the LGBT+ Community.


Zachary Hayes

NSW, Bachelor of Financial Planning and Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accountancy

I feel very fortunate to have received a scholarship from the Pinnacle Foundation as it will allow me to focus on establishing my career and also focus on my post graduate studies with little financial strain for my upfront education fees. Having a mentor from the industry to offer support and guidance to help me stay focused in what will be my most challenging but exciting year, not only academically but personally, and in my career is a comfort I wasn’t sure i would achieve. Having a mentor to discuss strategies in dealing with work/study loads, career goals whilst finding time for myself and my partner is going to be an enormous help and something I am very grateful for.
Pinnacle is truly an inspirational group offering a network to a community of people who are often in need of support particularly at this young adult stage of life & i can only hope that one day in the near future I can join as a mentor and offer the same help and support they will give myself as a scholar in 2016.


Vincent Pearson

South Australia, Bachelor of Nursing

I am in my final year of Bachelor of Nursing at Flinders University. I enjoy helping people and the interactions that I have with people.  Nursing to me is more than just a job. It is about helping people and the community.  The scholarship will facilitate my growth as a person.  The mentorship will allow me to become a better member of the LGBT+ community.  With the assistance of the Pinnacle Foundation, I will be able to successfully complete my final year at University. The Pinnacle Foundation has been enabling and worthwhile for me, which I would recommend to other LGBT+ students.


Tyler Aves

Sydney NSW, Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Psychology

Being a scholar for the Pinnacle Foundation has not only relieved the financial stress related to university expenses but has increased my motivation to do better with my degree; knowing that I am supported by such an organisation and will have a mentor to provide assistance and direction this upcoming year. It has made me believe that I am more than capable of achieving my goals and has improved the confidence I have towards my studies, which I am very thankful for.


Valerie Nizette-Wiseman

NSW, Bachelor of Media and Communications (Journalism

Having the privilege of being awarded this scholarship means more than words can express. Moving to a different state, far away from everything that I know is a huge and daunting step and knowing that I have the Foundation behind me will allow me to relax and focus during this important and exciting stage of my life.


Harry Koelyn

Melbourne Vic, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies (double degree)

I am extremely grateful and feel truly blessed to receive the Pinnacle scholarship for 2016. It means so much to me that there’s someone out there that are very willing to support my education and overall my livelihood. Over the past years, I wasn’t able to fully cope with school and university due to my health. Getting access to a medical specialist was quite financial consuming. With this financial assistance, I believe I can get back to my student life on track and make my studies a bigger priority, instead of worrying whether I can pay for my university stuff or my next doctor appointment. Also having a mentor and being part of the Pinnacle family gives me great hope in achieving my goals and dreams that I set out to accomplish and gives me great assurance that my mentor and the Pinnacle Foundation are out there to give me support and guidance. Thank you so much Pinnacle Foundation for this amazing opportunity.


Morgan Pech

Melbourne Vic, Bachelor of Clinical Science (Osteopathy)

I am incredibly grateful to the Pinnacle team for their consideration and selection of me as a scholar. Having previously received a scholarship whilst undertaking a different course, I’m humbled and proud to have their ongoing support as I figure out what I want to do with my studies.
This year I am particularly looking forward to building a relationship with my mentor, and hopefully gaining insights into life as a trans person beyond study. It is a fantastic feeling to be awarded a Pinnacle Scholarship and I’m thoroughly looking forward to my year ahead.


Tamika Dartnell-Moore

Sydney NSW, Bachelor of Arts

Receiving the Pinnacle Scholarship for me is an enormous privilege. I am grateful for the Pinnacle Foundation’s support and encouragement of sexually and gender diverse youth, such as myself.
This scholarship has taken a large amount of financial stress off my shoulders; so that I can be successful in focusing on achieving my goals in tertiary study. The most exciting part of being a Pinnacle Scholar is being guided by a mentor and being surrounded by a community with shared experience. I am thrilled to be starting the year; and look forward to working hard to live up to the values of the Pinnacle Foundation.


Patrick Eid

Sydney NSW, Masters of Clinical Counselling

The Pinnacle Foundation has surpassed the expectations of a scholarship. In addition to providing financial aid to assist in the continuation of my education, it has played a vital role in creating both a well-being and social support network. The Foundation provides opportunities for professional development through mentorships and fosters further networking within our LGBT+ community.  Without the support from The Pinnacle Foundation, I would not have the opportunity to prosper academically, socially, and emotionally.


Cai Langford

Adelaide South Australia, Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies

I feel incredibly grateful to have received a Pinnacle scholarship. This enables me to work towards my future goals in a secure and enriching environment. Pinnacle does an amazing job of equipping young people with the tools to succeed, and I am looking forward to the opportunities have ahead of me to study without the huge financial burden that comes with being a student. Possibly the most exciting aspect of being selected as a Pinnacle Scholar, is that I am being given the skills that will help other young queer people in the future.


Kat Reed

ACT, Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)

2015 was the hardest year of my life. I was trying to manage various personal issues arising in my life due to my identity as well as navigating the stresses of university and working to completely support myself out of home. My identity has had a huge impact on my ability to dedicate myself fully to study. Unfortunately, this is a common experience in the queer community. Too many queer youth are homeless due to familial conflicts due to their identity and unfortunately this impacts their ability to manage their study commitments.
The Pinnacle Foundation is doing incredible work supporting young students and I feel honoured to have received a scholarship for 2016. The financial aid will help me to pay for study essentials as I continue studying Psychology and relieve the stress of financial hardship. Additionally, the mentorship program will be tremendous help for me in formulating my future and ensuring I get that Master’s degree. With the support from the Pinnacle Foundation, my year is going to be less stressful and I’ll be able to achieve my academic goals.


Arlyn Swain

NSW, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Economics (double degree)

As a CommBank Pinnacle Scholar I am being backed by 2 organizations that have a dedicated interest in the welfare of LGBT+ Australians. This award is an investment in my future – it gives me a lot of confidence to be acknowledged as having the potential to create a positive impact for LGBT+ rights.
The Pinnacle Foundation has opened this door for me, and with their support, I look forward to continuing university education and increasing my involvement in the queer community in 2016. I have a particular interest in raising the awareness of PrEP treatment, and under guidance from a mentor, start discussing diversity in my workplace.


Shae Maree Nicholson

ACT, Bachelor of Science and Arts, Majoring in Psychology at the Australian National University

When I found out about the Pinnacle Foundation I never believed that I could actually be a Scholar, I thought that I would give it a shot and hope. When I completed my interview, I was almost certain that I wasn’t going to get it, many words of doubt rose in my mind and the financial stress of the upcoming year settled in. After I received the call that I had been granted the scholarship I burst into tears I was so happy, because of the Pinnacle Foundation I will be able to work towards my degree with the best of my ability. There are no words for the gratitude and admiration for what the Pinnacle Foundation has done for me and I am so excited to be a part of the Pinnacle Family.


Brandon Saputra

Sydney NSW, Bachelor of Commerce

What drew me to the Pinnacle Foundation is its unique opportunity for LGBT+ youth. Not only will the scholarship provide me with financial aid that will go a long way in helping me acclimatise to my first year in Uni but the Foundation also conducts a mentorship program.
Having already met my mentor, I know that this will be a valuable relationship as he is someone who can provide personal insights and advice on challenges that I may encounter in my upcoming year. It is also worth mentioning that the continual effects of the Pinnacle Foundation raises awareness of the disadvantages faced by LGBT+ youth and in doing so promotes ideas of acceptance and tolerance.


Angel St James

Vic/Sunshine Coast QLD Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Creative Writing/Journalism/Sociology

In 2016, I was humbled and honoured to be welcomed into the Pinnacle family. I am incredibly excited for another year brimming with possibility as this scholarship continues to enable me to fully focus on my studies and becoming the person I need to be to pursue my dreams and make a difference in the world.
I remain eternally grateful for my mentor, whose continued support is invaluable, and is instrumental in developing my confidence and belief in myself. Truthfully, I cannot express the depth of my gratitude to the Pinnacle Foundation for this opportunity of a lifetime and for its remarkable, inspiring work for the LGBTQ+ community.


We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2016:Caitlyn Georgeson Rhiannon Harris, Brendon Hori, Erik Ly, Darby Savage, Nicholas Tarpey, Daniel Wang

Michael Sun


Sydney NSW, Bachelor of Arts/Law

The vital support of the Pinnacle Foundation at this time in my academic career has been an overwhelming privilege to receive. This generous scholarship will not only help to relieve the financial burden of my full-time studies but will also provide me with a mentor who will help to foster my development as both a student and as a member of the LGBT+ community. I look forward to working with such a remarkable foundation in 2015.


Darby Savage


Melbourne Vic, Bachelor of Arts/Business

The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship has given me the most invaluable gift I could have ever asked for; the funds, freedom, and support to be able to leave a rural area and start a great degree.  The Foundation has been paramount in changing the lives of so many young Australians and I am absolutely honoured to be another part of it, and to receive the amazing opportunities the scholarship provides.  Having such an inspirational mentor has strengthened my drive to achieve in both an academic and professional sense.


Erik Ly


Vic, Victorian VCE

I really didn’t think that the Pinnacle Foundation would take into consideration my application even though I had known about the Foundation for quite a while, until one of my referees said to me that I should totally apply for it.
I feel very grateful and honoured that the Pinnacle Foundation believes in me and has given me such an amazing opportunity, to not only do my best in year 12 but also create an opportunity for me to meet other talented young Pinnacle scholars. Being awarded this scholarship will definitely help lift financial pressure off my shoulders. Now I can pay for school fees, books and stationery that I need without having to worry about running short of money every time.
I cannot thank the Pinnacle Foundation enough for giving me such a wonderful resource, for helping me do my best at school and to achieve my academic goals.


Rhiannon Harris

North Tasmania, Year 13 Don College

I am truly grateful and humbled at being selected as a recipient for an education scholarship from The Pinnacle Foundation for another year. The financial aid provided will alleviate the financial burdens associated with studying full-time at university, allowing me to apply myself to my studies without having to worry if it will be affordable. It is a great privilege to be selected as a scholar for The Pinnacle Foundation, and I cannot thank the Foundation enough for their ongoing support in my academic career.


Harrison Comino


Rockhampton/Brisbane Qld, Bachelor of Design (Honours)

Receiving a scholarship from the Pinnacle Foundation meant a great deal to me, a lot more than just receiving financial aid.  It meant an amazing education, a lifestyle that I want and the realisation of my dream profession.  It meant that I can be the person I need to, and it meant that I can make a difference. I’d like to think I’d be able to accomplish all of those things regardless of the Pinnacle Foundation’s involvement, simply because I have faith in myself.  But at times when that faith weathers, and money could have been tough, or I could have been feeling all alone, it’s reassuring to know that those things will never be an issue. Because receiving the Pinnacle Foundation scholarship meant that I have a mentor who is dedicated to giving me support and it meant that a whole organisation has faith in me, so much so that they’re willing to put their money behind me. And that is why this scholarship is priceless to me.


Wade Goldwyer


Perth, WA Bachelor of Arts (Archaeology)

I am truly grateful for being awarded a most needed scholarship by the Pinnacle Foundation. It means the world to me and will allow me to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming an Archaeologist (aka. The next Indiana Jones!). Being born and raised in a strictly cultured third world country has allowed me to realise what a privilege it is living in Australia, a country with so much more to offer. As I do not have a large family, I consider Australia to be my home and am now fortunate enough to be a part of the Pinnacle family. I feel extremely privileged to have been given this fantastic opportunity in life and will endeavour to succeed to the best of my abilities. Thank you so much 🙂


Lesbian (details withheld for privacy)


Bachelor of Arts at University

I feel truly blessed to have been allowed the opportunity for a better standard of living with the help of the Pinnacle Foundation.
I was at first hesitant at sharing my story and enlisting the help of the Pinnacle Foundation. I tried to talk myself out of applying, that I could get through it on my own like I always have… But I did something different. I took a risk. And it paid off in a big way. I cannot explain what it means to me that people believe in my future and have judged me worthy of this fantastic opportunity.
With the help of Pinnacle, I’ll be able to afford my textbooks and new equipment to further my studies and achieve the best out of my university career. I’ll also be able to abolish some of the barriers that I have lived with for a majority of my life and be able to realise my true potential. I wish to establish a career in my chosen discipline, before going on to inspire other Muslim LGBT+ youths to be more open and honest about their sexuality, at least to themselves, and not allow it to limit their life.
I want to devote my life to making sure that no one goes through what I went through because of my sexuality, both as a young child and a young adult.
It’s not wrong to be who you are and to love who you love, no matter what anyone tells you.


Morgan Petrie


Melbourne Vic, Bachelor of Communication (Advertising)

I feel privileged to receive a Pinnacle scholarship for 2015. It is without question that this opportunity will create boundless opportunities to network with many people from a variety of different backgrounds within the LGBT+ community, whilst also easing the financial pressures that are associated with studying away from home, that are inevitable to anyone from a rural background such as myself. This support is vital for rural LGBT+ youth, who often face different pressures and issues throughout their youth and study time. Pinnacle has provided me with the opportunity of a lifetime, and I cannot wait to harness this opportunity throughout 2015 and the years beyond.


Taryn Dorrough


Newcastle NSW, Bachelor of Science/Engineering (Hons) (Telecommunications)

Being awarded a Pinnacle scholarship for 2015 has done a great deal to help me achieve my ambitions of tertiary education whilst also providing the social and emotional support of a mentor in my chosen field of study. This scholarship has allowed me to discover and explore Uni life without the stress of study related expenses such as textbooks and equipment, as well as provided continued motivation and opportunity to advocate for LGBT+ issues and rights that I believe in. The Pinnacle Foundation’s support has meant that I now have the resources to achieve my dreams and for that I am truly grateful.


Nicholas Steepe


Dubbo NSW, Bachelor of Social Work

To be awarded this scholarship from The Pinnacle Foundation means more than words can express. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone, and I am honoured and privileged to be chosen. The scholarship will allow me to fully commit myself to my studies without the financial burden that would be otherwise placed on me. In addition, the mentor program will allow me to further develop and learn skills that will allow me to excel in my chosen field.



James Clarke


Perth WA, Bachelor of Arts

With the Pinnacle Foundation supporting me in my journey, I don’t believe there will be much I won’t achieve. Being backed by such an inspiring Foundation, one that really helps students (including myself) reach the pinnacle of their personal and educational success, is an opportunity I am so thankful to be given.
I am delighted to be chosen as one of the Pinnacle Scholars for 2015. This opportunity will have an extremely positive impact on my move to Sydney and my studies at the University of New South Wales. The feelings I have towards the Pinnacle Foundation are those of gratitude and admiration. What a way to start the year!


Charlie Jackson-Martin


Sydney NSW, Bachelor of Arts

The Pinnacle Foundation has filled my coming university year with exciting prospects and opportunities. I feel privileged and incredibly lucky to have been chosen as a scholar and am particularly excited to build my relationship with my mentor in the coming year. Thanks to my scholarship I now have the ability to purchase a laptop along with textbooks and other university equipment. Pinnacle really is leading the way in breaking down the barriers that queer students face in their ability to access higher education.


Bryan Banks


Adelaide, SA, Bachelor of Science (Space Science and Astrophysics)

I’m extremely grateful to the Pinnacle Foundation for giving me this scholarship and allowing me to continue with my studies with financial security that is so necessary in a student’s life. Managing both university life and a community-based production fortnightly show is difficult, but well worth the reward, and the Pinnacle Foundation are whole heartedly furthering me with their generosity.
Giving me a mentor will also keep me grounded which I believe is something so essential in a student’s life and I think everybody at some point in their life would love a bit of guidance from someone who’s been through it all, and the Pinnacle Foundation are providing that which I’m ever so thankful for. So, I’ll just say this, thank you Pinnacle Foundation, you are an amazing group of people.


Richelle Osborne

Melbourne Vic, Bachelor of Nursing at Australian Catholic University

I feel incredibly grateful and lucky to receive a scholarship from The Pinnacle Foundation. Having a group of people recognise how important my education is to me and taking me on as a Scholar means a tremendous amount.
The financial assistance for educational expenses and equipment will break down some of the difficulties associated with studying and will provide me with the best opportunity for success. The Pinnacle Foundation’s support means I can focus on my studies as my first priority, instead of worrying about financial constraints to purchase textbooks and equipment required for classes.
Also, to be mentored by a successful LGBT+ identified person who is working in a discipline I am interested in, really creates confidence and provides an invaluable experience. This scholarship will enable me to succeed with my goals and has shown me that hard work and perseverance pays off. I’m very much looking forward to getting started with my course and mentor. Thank you so much to The Pinnacle Foundation for creating such a fantastic opportunity for the LGBT+ community.


We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2015; Ben Nielson, Brendon Hori, Caitlyn Georgeson, Daniel Wang, Dibs Barisic Sprem, Josh Lavery, Laura Partington, Max Cooper, Nathan Watts, Nicholas Tarpey, Reece Rowe and Renee Pope.

Brendon Hori

Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Architecture

I feel incredibly fortunate and privileged to have received a scholarship from the Pinnacle Family. Words cannot describe how much it means to have people believe in my future and think me worthy of such a fantastic opportunity.
The financial assistance for my educational expenses will mean that some of the barriers I would have had are eliminated and this really puts me on an even playing field in achieving the best I can.
More importantly, to be mentored by a gay person who is doing exceptionally well and making a difference in the discipline I too am interested in, really creates a sense of ambition and aspiration for me. I hope that one day, I too can inspire other LGBT+ young adults and make a difference to people’s lives. Thank you so very much.


Nathan Watts

Brisbane, Qld, Bachelor of Education (Secondary)

I feel truly honoured to be awarded a scholarship for 2014 from the Pinnacle Foundation.
For me to be considered and accepted for the Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship, gave me a sense of feeling worthwhile in the eyes of society. The Scholarship will allow me to access the resources and materials to help me achieve, and the mentor program will give me the guidance and assistance to excel in my field of study.
Without the support from the Pinnacle Foundation, I would have had a difficult time accessing the cost of attending university and in turn this opportunity has boosted my confidence and self-esteem in my abilities.
I have been afforded the chance to make a difference with this scholarship, not only in the lives of people around me but in the community at large; regardless of where my studies take me I know I will have been a leader in the community enacting change and promoting equity.


Reece Rowe

Melbourne, Vic, Bachelor of Arts (Music)

Receiving this scholarship from the Pinnacle Foundation is like a dream come true! Knowing that I have the support I need to get through my degree is such a relief and a weight of my mind! I am so grateful to the Pinnacle Foundation for all of their support from financial support, to mentor support as well. I’m so glad to be working with Pinnacle again this year!


Renee Pope

Adelaide SA, Bachelor of Teaching/Arts

I’ll never forget the feeling of absolute awe and disbelief when I found out I had been selected as a 2014 Pinnacle Scholar. It is such an honour and a privilege, and for me it is life changing. As an activist and a young member of the LGBT+ community I have so many visions for the future, and with the help of Pinnacle and my mentor I can strive to achieve my goals and help make the world a better place for young people struggling with their identity and sexuality. I am so thankful for this opportunity and am looking forward to a fantastic year of learning and experience ahead.


Josh Lavery

Melbourne Vic, Bachelor of Fashion Design

I cannot communicate the difference that this scholarship will make to my life. Not only will it ensure that I am able to start my academic career with the same opportunities as others, it will mean that I am able to commence my studies stress free. The additional benefit of a mentor is just wonderful. Thanks to this scholarship I am now so excited to embark on this next phase of my life!


Caleb Nichols-Mansell

Burnie Tas, Certificate of Business

Being awarded the Pinnacle Foundations Scholarship for 2014 has given me the opportunity to further pursue my career goals through study. The Pinnacle Foundation has lifted the burden of financial pressure off my back and allowed me to focus wholly on my education, ensuring I have the support from my mentor and the Pinnacle ‘family’ along the way to achieve the best possible academic results.


Alex Zerna

Melbourne Vic, Bachelor of Arts (International Community Development)

When I came out as a Queer-identifying country boy four years ago, I could never have fathomed that there was an organisation giving scholarships to LGBT+ students. Receiving this honour has changed my life beyond any quantifiable measure as it has proved that there is tangible support out there for someone like me and it validated my journey through this world.
I am so blessed to have access to the resources that the Pinnacle Foundation has given me, especially the chance to meet other Queer scholars and Mentors that have been where I am right now. I encourage any scholar in the LGBT+ community to go for their dreams and let the Pinnacle Foundation help them on the way.


Dylan Lewis

Melbourne Vic, Diploma of Alcohol/Mental Health

I’m completely honoured and grateful to the Pinnacle Foundation for not just the financial support but also the opportunity to work with a mentor. Most of the time my anxiety and insecurities get the best of me, having someone that can both keep me on track and educate me in the field is a vital asset to both my studies and confidence.
This opportunity will help me gain the right knowledge I need to help support and tackle the serious issues of youth mental and physical health in today’s society. Thank you, Pinnacle Foundation, this would be difficult without your support.


Kirsty Herbert

Perth WA, Bachelor of Literary & Cultural Studies (Hons)

It took me until the second year of university to admit that I needed help along the way. This scholarship not only means that I can receive the support that will enable me to finish strong in my final year, it also showed me that trusting others by asking for help is not always a bad thing. I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I am today and to have that recognized by the Pinnacle Foundation makes me thankful in ways that words cannot describe.


Nathan Fullbrook

Sydney NSW, Diploma of Commerce

I graciously accept this scholarship as it an honour to be granted it. I believe with it, as well as the support from The Pinnacle Foundation and my mentor; that it will help me reach my full potential for this year and set up a promising path for the future.


Alice Knichala

Bendigo, Vic, Bachelor of Education

To be considered for a Pinnacle scholarship is humbling, to actually receive a scholarship is amazing. The scholarship means I will be able to concentrate on my studies and have access to the best resources. Having access to the internet will enable me to engage with the queer community outside of my town. I am grateful to The Pinnacle Foundation to all the assistance they have given me in achieving my goals.


Caitlyn Georgeson

Adelaide SA, Bachelor of Law/Arts

The vital support of the Pinnacle Foundation at this time in my academic career has been an overwhelming privilege to receive. This generous scholarship will not only help to relieve the financial burden of my full-time studies but will also provide me with a mentor who will help to foster my development as both a student and as a member of the LGBT+ community. I look forward to working with such a remarkable foundation in 2014.


Edwina Memic

Melbourne Vic, Bachelor of Law

The Pinnacle Foundation’s support means that I can finally put my education first and strive towards my ambitions without being held back due to financial difficulties and a lack of support. This scholarship will enable me to succeed as it has shown me that hard work and persistence does pay off even in difficult times. I’m truly honoured to have been recognised by such an organisation and for them to provide such opportunities that I shall forever remain grateful for.


Ben Nielsen

Sydney, NSW, Master of Arts (Journalism)

It is a pleasure to continue my relationship with the Pinnacle Foundation during my final year of tertiary education. Pinnacle has played an integral role over the past several years: providing text books, musical equipment, professional development opportunities, and of course facilitating my mentorships with Lachlan Philpott and Matt Gilbertson. When I don mortarboard and gown at the end of the year, it will largely be due to the invaluable support of the Pinnacle Foundation.


Daniel Wang

Canberra, ACT, Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Hons)

Growing up gay, and what it represented, always had a stigma attached to it. Knowing however the Pinnacle Foundation is behind me, supporting me for what and who I am, and what I believe, is something that I never thought possible.
With the Foundation’s assistance, I will be able to better concentrate on my future studies rather than worrying about when, and if, I will be able to attain the essential resources I need for university. I am so grateful for what The Pinnacle Foundation has provided for me.


Morgan Pech

Melbourne, Vic, Associate Degree in Design (Furniture)

The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship has enabled me to have a flying start to my year. Not only has the financial support helped alleviate some of the stresses of beginning study, but the confidence I’ve gained in my abilities through the application and mentor process has been invaluable. It is also a huge honour to be awarded a Pinnacle Scholarship, and to be recognised for my achievements even before starting my course makes me feel extremely competent and validated as a scholar.


Max Cooper

Adelaide, SA, Bachelor of Arts (Advanced)

In 2013 Pinnacle enabled me to focus on my studies in a way that would not have seemed possible to me without the scholarship. I was able to stop counting every cent, and my ability to take advantage of the opportunities offered to me was hugely increased. The quality of my work improved because I could focus on it, and I had a much richer experience academically and socially than I would have without the support of everyone at Pinnacle, especially my mentor.


We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2014; Audrey Cremer, Veronica Mason, Tanisha Devene, Lee Taube, Dibs Barisic-Sprem, Laura Partington, Lauren Sanford, Ashton Brenton & Nicholas Tarpey

Ben Neilson

SA, Bachelor of Music & Bachelor of Media

It is humbling to be chosen by the Pinnacle Foundation as a 2013 scholar, and thus an ambassador for LGBT+ youth. The Foundation’s assistance is a validation of my efforts, ambitions, and ultimately my worth as a member of the community. It is reassuring and empowering that the difficulties facing LGBT+ youth are recognised and that a scholarship has been designed specifically for us. The Pinnacle Foundation has made a generous investment at a pivotal time in my course. The scholarship will alleviate the collective pressures of living and study expenses, allowing me to focus on my study and professional development. I look forward to collaborating with my mentor, as well as purchasing essential musical equipment.


Ashton Brenton

NSW, Bachelor of Ecology

The support of the Pinnacle Foundation is a vital hand in the dark for me, as it is for many other students. It’s wonderful to know that there is an organisation looking out for people like me, and I am extremely grateful to have been chosen to be supported by them. Without their help, I would struggle to make it to university to study the course I have been looking forward to since early high school. Having the Pinnacle Foundation behind me this year will boost my confidence and resolve to achieve great things and give back to the community in the future.


Luke Jobson

Melbourne, VIC, Bachelor of Social Sciences & Communications

To be considered for, and receive, such a prestigious honour ensures that I can look forward to a stress free start to achieving my University degrees. The sheer magnitude of generosity and kindness displayed and witnessed here is testament to the big hearts of all involved. This is truly and unequivocally one of the most defining moments of my life. Thank you for making my dream of achieving my degrees come true.


Annelise Rashoo

Victoria, VCE at Adult Education Centre

Receiving this scholarship from The Pinnacle Foundation has not only taken the added pressure of financial stress out of my studies for 2013 but has also motivated me to do my absolute best to exceed what is expected of me. Without having to worry about being able to afford school fees and the other expenses that are necessary to complete my VCE, I can focus on my studies and pursuing my goals for the future! I can’t begin to express my appreciation for the immense opportunity that The Pinnacle Foundation has provided me with, but I will thank them for every piece of success I achieve in my career.


Lauren Sanford

Melbourne, Bachelor of Arts

I am amazed and honoured to have been awarded a 2013 Pinnacle scholarship. For me, this is a reminder of the importance of both hard work and community. It is a reward for the years I have precariously balanced study with difficult health and family situations, and an encouragement and source of support in continuing to do so. But it is also a moment to appreciate the strength and generosity of the queer community. Regardless of where my studies take me, I look forward to working within that community to enact positive change and support others, just as the Pinnacle Foundation and so many others have supported me.


Max Cooper

Adelaide, SA, Bachelor of Arts (Advanced)

I’m looking forward to the year ahead, and this is greatly enhanced by the opportunities that the Pinnacle Scholarship will offer me. The financial benefits will be enormously helpful, but even more than that I look forward to having the chance to work with an experienced mentor who will be an invaluable source of guidance and wisdom in an important year of my undergraduate study.


Nicholas Tarpey

New South Wales, Bachelor of Dental Science

New South Wales, Bachelor of Dental Science
The continued support of the Pinnacle Foundation is an amazing and generous opportunity to focus on the ever-increasing difficulty and immersion that my course requires. Developing my practical skills and knowledge steadily over the last couple of years has been made possible with the equipment, textbooks and opportunities required, that would have been otherwise out of my reach, and for this I am eternally grateful. I am a better student, dentist and person for having been a Pinnacle Scholar.


Kaitlyn Shepherd

Melbourne, Intermediate VCAL & Automotive VETis

Being awarded this scholarship means more than words can express, the scholarship that The Pinnacle Foundation has given me will be helping me finish Year 12 and the second year in my automotive studies. This scholarship and mentoring is an honour and privilege to be awarded and will be helping me tremendously with my ambition to becoming a fully qualified Diesel Mechanic which could lead to a career in the Australian Army which would be amazing!


Dibs Barisic Sprem

Sydney, NSW, studying a Bachelor of Arts (Croatian studies) at Macquarie University

Being awarded this scholarship by the Pinnacle Foundation means I can relax and enjoy my first year of university. I feel very lucky to not only have part of my financial burden be taken care of but to receive support from a mentor. Having this assistance would make a big difference in any person’s life and I look forward to using this gift to guide me through this next challenging and exciting stage of my life.


Logan Ward

Perth, Bachelor of Psychology

I feel really honoured to receive this scholarship, it means a lot to me. The scholarship provided by Pinnacle has given me the opportunity and support to continue studying full time and build relationships with my LGBT+ peers.


Tanisha Devene

Townsville, QLD, Higher School Certificate

I never thought that I could achieve anything on my own, especially being a young LGBT+ member in an unaccepting society, but now I feel I have security and guidance from the Pinnacle Foundation who have granted me a 2013 scholarship to help me achieve something great in life, to help people and to change the course of humanity. I am truly grateful to the Pinnacle Foundation for giving me the chance to achieve great things.


Mat Russo

Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Education (Primary)

Receiving a scholarship from The Pinnacle Foundation has given me incredible confidence to achieve the academic and professional goals I have set for the final year of my Primary Education degree. Through the joint assistance of the Foundation and my Mentor Maurie, I believe 2012 will be a pivotal year for my development as a Teacher and will allow me to continue to be a role model and advocate for kids within and outside the LGBT+ community.


Cecilia Kavara-Verraro

Melbourne, VIC, Bachelor of Fine

I am super honoured and excited to be awarded such an important scholarship. It is really going to help me excel and complete my studies. I think it is super important to support people who have barriers in accessing education and the stability and resources required to see that education through. The Pinnacle Foundation have identified the need for more support for LQBTQ+ youth and education. Keep up the good work!


We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2013; Ashleigh Scriven, Audrey Cremer, Brodie McGee, Laura Partington, Lee Taube, Nathan Li, Suzie Day & Veronica Mason

Lucy Bonanno

Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Med Science

This scholarship not only provides me with financial aid but also the means, in the form of a mentor, to properly motivate and help me achieve my absolute academic best, as well as allowing me to become more involved and active in LGBT+ events and organisations. I’m truly one of the lucky few to embrace such a thorough and practical scholarship


Jack Metcalfe

Perth, WA, Bachelor of Science

Receiving the Pinnacle Scholarship has been a wonderful surprise, knowing that this year I will have some assistance to further my studies in my Sports Science degree. My history within the Queer community has led me to realise that within the Health and Fitness industry, there is a distinct lack of knowledge and research specific to the Trans* community. It is difficult to find comprehensive resources about the effects of hormones on exercise and how best to shape the body to match the identity. With the Pinnacle Scholarship to ease the way, I hope to become well informed enough to better serve the needs of the Queer and Sexually Gender Diverse community. I hope to do so by providing knowledge, workshops, a safe place of understanding, and assistance with training specific to the needs of every unique individual within such a beautifully diverse community as ours.


Brodie McGee

Adelaide, SA, Bachelor of Education

The Pinnacle Scholarship means I can make focus more on my studies and will be able to improve what I get out of Uni. Partnering with a mentor who is able to provide advice and guidance provides something that a normal Uni degree doesn’t, it’s invaluable.


Steven Walker

Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Social Science

I am truly grateful to The Pinnacle Foundation for providing me with a mentor as part of my scholarship. It means I can pick the brains of someone with experience in the areas of study I will be focusing on. There is also the bonus of being able to concentrate entirely on my education without the added stress of sourcing funds for text books, laptops etc.


Lee Taube

Melbourne, Vic, Psychology

Being awarded this scholarship made me feel worthy and validated not only my career goals but also me as a person. This scholarship means that I won’t be stressed about the financial costs of my education, which I feel relived about. I am even more excited about the mentoring program as I feel supported in growing into a successful mental health professional.


Harriet Horsfall

Hamilton, QLD, Bachelor of Law & Criminology

This scholarship marks a watershed for my development as a young scholar. I am exceedingly grateful for the support of the Pinnacle Foundation, which will allow me to remain steadfast in my commitment to academic excellence and social change. There are so many negative connotations around being young and identifying as LGBT+, and it is beyond exciting to know that with the honour of this scholarship comes the opportunity to act as a role model for change.


Laura Partington

Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Youth Work) 

The Pinnacle Scholarship means a great deal to me. If it weren’t for this scholarship I would not be continuing my education this year due to certain circumstances, and I would most likely be working at the pub full time. It has given me the opportunity to do what I always wanted to do and love, and for that I am more than grateful. In return I will be supporting others soon including the GLBTQ community as a Youth Worker.


Lindsay Stewart

18, from Geelong, VIC, Studying Victorian Certificate of Education [Year 12]

I am very grateful receiving The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship as it will allow me to continue my education. I am honoured to be acknowledged for my abilities and raising awareness of disadvantaged transgender youths in regional areas. My family was very disadvantaged when I was growing up and they are very proud of me reaching year 12.


Nathan Li

Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Laws

Being a Pinnacle Scholar means that someone recognises not just the hard work that I have already put into myself and my community, but rather has the foresight and faith in me to see all the good work I could do in the future.


Audrey Cremer

Sydney, NSW, Bachelor of Combined Law

I am honoured to be included as a Pinnacle Foundation Scholar in 2012, as this support will undoubtedly aid my navigation of what I anticipate being a precarious year. A reminder that my ambitions are attainable, I believe the effects of this scholarship will also reverberate within the LGBT+ community through the assertion of my aspirations.


Ashleigh Scriven

Newcastle NSW, Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science – Diagnostic Radiography

Having a driving force such as the Pinnacle Foundation behind you is an unparalleled experience, one which embeds within you a determination to change the world. The support and encouragement that the Foundation seemingly inexhaustibly grants you, in conjunction with the sense of self-worth it reinstates within you, affords young LGBT+ people such as myself the means to embrace their future and become someone of value.


We are also proud to support our Returning Scholars for 2012; Isobel Connell Suzie Day & Veronica Mason

Suzie Day

Perth, WA, Bachelor of Arts (Library and Information Management)

I am honoured that The Pinnacle Foundation believes in me so much, that they think I am worthy something like this”. One of my referees was one of my lecturers, and when I told her that I had got the scholarship, she replied it was because that they knew that I would one day give it all back to the community. I have never been so flattered or humbled in my life.


Neville Fields

Adelaide SA, Medicine

I feel very honoured and proud to be a 2011 recipient of this scholarship and I look forward to the day I graduate and start working in the field so that I too can involve myself in the foundation and give back maybe just some of what has been offered to me when I need it most.


Veronica Mason

Sydney NSW, studying Arts/Law

It is with this profound respect for not only education but also the enhancement of identity, culture, knowledge and lifestyle that I am honoured to be a Pinnacle Foundation Scholar. Being the recipient of such a remarkable scholarship will not only allow me to pursue my dreams, by providing the necessary materials to succeed, but also act as an ambassador. It is my hope that I can change the world, and with this scholarship, that has become a possibility.


Harriet Harding

Sydney NSW, Music Composition at Sydney Conservatorium of Music

“I’m very honoured to be awarded one of this year’s Pinnacle scholarships. As a young gay person who lives ‘out’ in society every day, I am excited to continue my involvement with the broader community. With the help of this scholarship I hope to help change the way our society sees gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people, reaching people through music and encouraging them to engage creatively and compassionately with the world around them.”


Isobel Connell

Newcastle NSW, Psychology & Teaching

The scholarship makes my life a lot easier. Without Pinnacle I’d have real difficulty affording (both financially and psychologically) to be able to study full time and create the life I want.


Jayke Clayden 

Melbourne Vic, International Studies

I feel very privileged to be awarded this scholarship. I know that the support that I’m going to receive from Pinnacle and my mentor will help me achieve my goals and dreams in the future. Being a part of a mentoring program such as this is an invaluable experience and I intend to make the most of it.


Jake Quilligan

Melbourne VIC, Nursing and Paramedics

“Being awarded something is always a great feeling, however, being recognised by The Pinnacle Foundation is a different feeling entirely. It’s amazing! I feel valued, and their support will help me achieve my dream of becoming a health professional. I’m really thankful.”


Michelle Slattery

Melbourne VIC, Social Science

When you apply for something like this you always hope you’ll get it but when you do it’s like time stands still and you ask yourself did this just happen? This award is an amazing opportunity for me to build professional relationships with my peers so that one day I will be able to give other GLBTI youths the same opportunity. I am excited and honoured.


Simon Byrne

Sydney NSW, Literacy Skills Development

Although I struggled in the first 6 months I stuck with it. But later I saw how fruitful it was because of the work I did in the first 6 months with Lindamood-Bell. I believe that my mentor and the scholarship help me considerably by assuring me I had the skills to make my Year 11 possible.


Troy Hewitt

Sydney NSW, Masters of Geology

Without a doubt the Foundation and my mentor have made a huge difference in my life, both personally and during my education…The mentorship and financial support has allowed me to for fill both my personal and academic aspirations, which I have previously thought to be out of my reach…