pinnacle Foundation
Fran Kelly, Geoff Selig and Paul Zahra

Former David Jones Limited CEO and Managing Director and PwC Diversity Board Member, Paul Zahra; ABC Radio presenter Fran Kelly; and former NSW Liberal Party President and IVE Group Chairman Geoff Selig have joint the Pinnacle board

“Having well respected community members like Paul, Fran and Geoff join our board is enourmously influential,” Pinnacle Chairman and Co-Founder Sean Linkson said. “Firstly and most significantly, they are powerful role models for our young scholars whose self-esteem can be crushed by bigotry and discrimination.

They often have no concept of success. Secondly, they bring a wealth of experience and connections that will help grow our support base among the community and corporate Australia.”

The abuse, bullying and homophobia directed toward young people who are out or coming out, can have a devastating effect that is an issue largely unrecognised by the wider community. Often ostracised by their families, schools or communities, these young people experience a much higher prevalence of anxiety and depression, with suicide rates eight to 15 times higher than the general population. For many, education becomes secondary to survival.

Paul Zahra, a Cornerstone benefactor for The Pinnacle Foundation feels strongly about where his not-for-profit interests should be directed.

“This is something I’m looking forward to and it will be a great chance to give something back. I found the stories of past and present scholars not only inspiring, but it resonated for me personally too. I want the next LGBTI generation to enjoy th eempowerment that education and a fulfilling career can bring, hopefully without the grief.”

Fran Kelly, presenter of the influential ABC RN Breakfast current affairs program, is honoured to join The Pinnacle Foundation Board. “Education is the key to a better life for so many of us, so anything I can do to help young LGBTI Australians get access to the transformative powers of education and help them overcome the hurdles that might be placed in their way by society’s prejudice is a privilege.”

For IVE Chairman Geoff Selig, joining the Pinnacle team “is a wonderful opportunity to make a contribution to an organisation that is clearly focused on profividing disenfranchised youth in the LGBTI community with tangible support and encouragement at what is most often a seminal point in their lives.”

Twenty-six students across Australia received scholarships this year across a range of academic disciplines including arts, science, architecture, teaching, law, astronomy, social work and fashion design.