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Andrew Staite Yarns On Empowering And Enriching Education For LGBTIQ+ Australians On Big Brekky

Andrew Staite is Managing Director and CEO of The Pinnacle Foundation. He is also Non-Executive Chair of search and outplacement firm, SHK. After completing Law and Arts degrees at The University of Melbourne, and being admitted to practice, Andrew joined Melbourne Theatre Company, and subsequently, the Victoria State Opera and Australian Opera companies (now Opera Australia), where he worked in a range of sales and marketing roles. In 1997 Andrew joined recruitment and human resources consulting firm, Morgan & Banks. Andrew was promoted through a series of leadership roles with the publicly-listed business (through various ownership and name changes) to ultimately lead the company across Australia and New Zealand. In 2007 Andrew founded Staite Henningsen Klein (now SHK). He was the firm’s managing director for almost nine years. SHK is now a recognised leader in search and outplacement services. Andrew was a non-executive director of Victoria’s Midsumma Festival from 2013 until 2016. He joined the Board of The Pinnacle Foundation in 2016, chairing the People, Remuneration & Nominations Committee until 2019 when he was appointed as the Foundation’s CEO and Managing Director.

The achievement of marriage equality within Australia has opened doors for many young people across the country. However, research suggests young people that identify as LGBTIQ+ still don’t feel they have the freedom to be open about their identity within our workplaces and communities.

Young adults in LGBTIQ+ communities are still between five and 11 times more likely to attempt self-harm or experience psychological distress directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination, bullying or abuse.[1] It is clear that work still needs to be done to create more inclusive and diverse spaces for young LGBTIQ+ Australians.

Education is the key, and The Pinnacle Foundation works to support young LGBTIQ+ people that have grown up in environments where they have been rejected because of who they are and how they identify. Gaining an education is lifechanging for any young person as it increases their life choices, empowers them, and enriches them.

The Pinnacle Foundation provides educational scholarships and mentoring opportunities for young LGBTIQ+ Australians to create a more diverse and inclusive society with visible LGBTIQ+ role models. This unique model of valuable scholarships and mentorships has proven successful for Pinnacle scholars, with 95% of Pinnacle scholars successfully completing their courses (or continuing their studies) and planning to move into a career that aligns to their studies.

In 2020, despite the impacts of Covid-19, every funded Pinnacle scholar successfully completed their studies for the year, with 98% saying they felt academically supported and 89% rating their mentor relationship as beneficial or extremely beneficial.

The Pinnacle Foundation is encouraging young LGBTIQ+ Australians and particularly regional, rural and remote and First Nations people, to apply as applications for the 2022 round of scholarships close on the 15th of September.

The Pinnacle Foundation enables young LGBTIQ+ Australians to realise their full potential, overcome challenges arising from their identity, become self-reliant, maintain their dignity, and give back themselves. The lasting social and economic benefits for the individual, the LGBTIQ+ community, and wider society are great.

• Young adults in LGBTIQ+ communities are between five and 11 times more likely to attempt self-harm or experience psychological distress directly related to experiences of bullying and discrimination • The Pinnacle Foundation offers young adults in LGBTIQ+ communities educational scholarships and mentoring opportunities with 95% of Pinnacle scholars successfully completing their courses or continuing their studies • Young LGBTIQ+ Australians are encouraged to apply for a Pinnacle Scholarship before the 15th of September and use education to empower and enrich themselves


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