Scholarships offer more than cash to students

Natalie Hudson

Applications for scholarships to assist marginalised or disadvantaged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) youth to complete their studies close on October 1.

The Pinnacle Foundation scholarships, awarded annually, provide young people with money to put toward their education, and the guidance of mentors
and donors.

Scholarships are available for full time students at public schools and public higher education institutions across Australia.

Year 12 students are able to apply for a $2000 scholarship. Scholars enrolled in their first year of tertiary studies receive $3000, and $2000 for students enrolled in subsequent years. Students can be gaining educational or vocational qualifications in any profession, trade or in the arts. There are also a variety of additional Commonwealth Bank sponsored scholarships and named scholarships for specific regions and areas of study. For more information visit The Pinnacle Foundation website at

Notable patrons of the Pinnacle Foundation include Michael Kirby, Catherine McGregor and Dr Kerryn Phelps.

Natalie Hudson teaches at the Hunter School of Performing Arts and is Newcastle Teachers Association’s New Activist Contact.

Positive effects on life

Final year Charles Sturt University Bachelor of Social Work student Nicholas Steepe said his Pinnacle Scholarship has had positive effects on his life and study.

These include involvement and networking with fellow scholars, workshops on team building and goal setting as well as the reduction of financial burdens.

Nicholas has been able to use the skills and advice provided by his mentor to continue and grow the support networks for young LGBTIQ people in Dubbo as well as complete his tertiary studies.

He intends to complete post-graduate studies in social work in the future, and will be able to draw on his mentor and Pinnacle Foundation networks when he undertakes these studies.

Nicholas overcame significant challenges to complete his HSC, the first person in his family to do so. He studied Community Services at TAFE and then enrolled in his social work degree. He was one of Natalie’s students in Dubbo.