A QUEENSLAND student and LGBTI community member has been named one of nine Australian Rhodes Scholars for 2016 after receiving support from the Pinnacle Foundation.

Harriet Horsfall received the prestigious scholarship to complete two masters degrees in global governance and public policy. She hopes to use her studies to help non-government organisations run more efficiently.

[showads ad=MREC]The Rhodes Scholarship is deemed to be one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world and is awarded to foreign students to complete postgraduate studies at at Oxford University in England. Previous recipients include former US President Bill Clinton and Australian Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Malcolm Turnbull.

“We’re over the moon… we’re immensely proud of her,” said Sean Linkson, founder and executive chairman of Pinnacle Foundation.

The Pinnacle Foundation provides scholarships for marginalised or disadvantaged LGBTI youth.

“She’s just been a dedicated student and applied herself diligently and with such focus,” Linkson said.

“She’s well on her way to achieving her full potential and it’s not only her academic achievements we’re proud of, but her social conscious as well.

“She’s travelling to the far flung, improvished nations on the world… helping people way more disadvantaged than her.”

Horsfall believes the support she received from the Pinnacle Foundation was critical in helping her to secure the Rhodes Scholarship.

“I first applied for a Pinnacle scholarship when I was 19,” she said.

“But two weeks before I was supposed to give in my Honours thesis, I realised it needed to be copy edited which was going to cost $1000. I did not have $1000 at that time.

“Pinnacle were really quick to step up to the plate and help me out.

“Because of that help I got a perfect GPA (Grade Point Average) on my Honours which led me to getting the Rhodes Scholarship.”

Along with financial support, Horsfall also credits Pinnacle with helping her build her professional confidence.

“Pinnacle is run by a powerful, confident group of people… I was in a space where I was not comfortable talking about my sexuality in a professional space,” she said.

“But Pinnacle supported me in a professional environment, they’re backing you and supporting you in a career sense.”

Horsfall’s tip for overcoming trepidation about revealing your sexuality at work is to find like minded people.

“It’s about finding your people and niche in your profession,” she said.

“There’s always LGBTI people in an organisation and finding people that think you’re amazing and can support you can feel empowering and it’s empowering for your career.”

To apply for a Pinnacle Foundation scholarship or to find out more, click here.

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