The latest round of scholarships to assist 16–24 year old LGBTI young adults in furthering their education was recently announced by the Pinnacle Foundation.

The 26 scholarships were awarded to students from across Australia, bringing the total to more than $284,000 having been awarded since the program started in 2010.

The scholarships, awarded to secondary and tertiary students, cover academic disciplines such as the arts, sciences, architecture, teaching, social work and fashion design.

Pinnacle Foundation executive chairman and co-founder Sean Linkson said it was the sixth and “most remarkable” year the organisation has granted scholarships and provided mentors to some of Australia’s most deserving LGBTI students.

“To award nearly $100,000 across 26 scholarships all around Australia, is a fantastic achievement considering we’re 100 per cent run by volunteers,” he said.

“We may be biased, however we feel every single one of our scholars are special in their own way.

“For instance, one of our 2015 scholars, James Clarke, was awarded the WA Young Person of the Year and also named winner of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Participate Award in November 2014.

“These scholarships will be life-changing for these young scholars and it’s a real privilege thanks to our extraordinarily generous benefactors.”

The Pinnacle Foundation scholarships program receives funding via individual and corporate donors.

Tarryn Dorrough said being a recipient of the 2015 scholarships program would help her a “great deal” in achieving her tertiary education ambitions while also provide the support of a mentor in her 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 LGBTIQ issues and rights that I believe in,” said Dorrough, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Science/Engineering (Hons) (Telecommunications) at the University of Newcastle.

Harrison Comino, who studies a Bachelor of Design (Honours) at Queensland University of Technology, echoed these sentiments.

“Receiving a scholarship from the Pinnacle Foundation meant a great deal to me, a lot more than just receiving financial aid,” he said.

“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.”

The 2015 scholarship winners:

Commonwealth Bank Pinnacle Scholarships

* Nathan Watts, 23, from Brisbane, QLD, studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at Queensland University of Technology

* Caitlyn Georgeson, 20, from Adelaide, SA, studying a Bachelor of Law/Arts at the University of Adelaide

* Josh Lavery, 19, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Fashion Design at RMIT University

* Charlie Jackson-Martin, 23, from Sydney NSW studying a Bachelor of Arts at University of Sydney

James Clarke, 18, from Perth WA and relocated to Sydney NSW, studying a Bachelor of Arts at University of New South Wales

* Laura Partington, 22, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Youth Work) at RMIT University

* Nicholas Steepe, 20, from Dubbo NSW, studying a Bachelor of Social Work at Charles Sturt University

Paul Zahra Pinnacle Scholarship

* Bryan Banks, 20, from Adelaide, SA, studying a Bachelor of Science (Space Science and Astrophysics) at the University of Adelaide

Manikay Partners Pinnacle Scholarship

* Taryn Dorrough, 18, from Newcastle, NSW, studying a Bachelor of Science/Engineering (Hons) (Telecommunications) at University of Newcastle

Clark Walton Pinnacle Scholarship

* Reece Rowe, 20, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Arts (Music) at the Australian Catholic University

* Brendon Hori, 24, from Sydney, NSW, studying a Bachelor of Architecture at University of Technology Sydney

Brian Terrence Reilly Pinnacle Scholarship

* Lesbian2, 20 , studying a Bachelor of Arts at University

Snow Foundation Pinnacle Scholarship

* Daniel Wang, 19, from Canberra, ACT, studying a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Hons) at the Australian National University

Darryl Wild Pinnacle Scholarship

* Morgan Petrie, 20, from Melbourne VIC, studying a Bachelor of Communication (Advertising) at RMIT University

Pinnacle Foundation Scholarships

* Max Cooper, 20, from Adelaide, SA, studying a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) at University of Adelaide

* Daniela Barisic-Sprem, 20 from Sydney, NSW, studying a Bachelor of Arts (Croatian studies) at Macquarie University

* Harrison Comino, 18, from Rockhampton and relocated to Brisbane, QLD, studying a Bachelor of Design (Honours) at Queensland University of Technology

* Wade Goldwyer, 19, from Perth, WA studying a Bachelor of Arts (Archaeology) at Edith Cowen University

* Rhiannon Harris, 18, from North Tasmania, studying Year 13 at Don College

Erik Ly, 17, from VIC studying the Victorian VCE

Ben Nielsen, 22, from Sydney, NSW, studying a Master of Arts (Journalism) at University of Technology Sydney

Richelle Osborne, 23, from Melbourne, VIC, studying a Bachelor of Nursing at Australian Catholic University

Renee Pope, 19, from Adelaide, SA, studying a Bachelor of Teaching/Arts at University of Adelaide

Darby Savage, 18, from Melbourne VIC, studying a Bachelor of Arts/Business at Swinburne University

Michael Sun, 17, from Sydney NSW, studying a Bachelor of Arts/Law at University of Sydney

Nicholas Tarpey, 22, from Orange NSW, studying a Bachelor of Dental Science at Charles Sturt University

© Star Observer 2017 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.