The Pinnacle Foundation march in the Pride Parade for the first time

There’s a long list of organisations and companies taking part in the Pride Parade for the first time.

Among those making their debut is The Pinnacle Foundation, an organisation that provides scholarships to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer students who are marginalised or disadvantaged.

While the Pinnacle Foundation enjoys a high profile on the east coast, it’s only in recent years that its output in Western Australia has begun to grow.

Michelle Rogers, who sits on organisation’s national board, caught up with OUTinPerth to tell us a little more about the work they do.

“It think it’s important that people know we’re a national charity.” Rogers said. “It’s been active in WA for the last six or seven years.”

The Pinnacle Foundation help younger LGBTI people entering the workforce by setting up mentorships that will help them in their careers.

Rogers said many people are willing to give up their time to help others, but often don’t understand what a mentor relationship is, so its important to make sure everyone knows what to expect from the relationships.

“What we find is we are inundated with people who are willing to be mentors, but they don’t always feel equipped to assist and be a mentor in a way that’s really going to improve people’s careers paths.”

“We really look for people who can help others with their education and then their subsequent career. The more leaders who are LGBTI the better!”

“Mentoring is different to being a friend, it’s different to befriending as well, and there are organisations who do befriending, and it’s different to coaching and counselling. It’s about being able to provide some advice and guidance without overstepping the mark.

“It’s quite a formal relationship. Typically we see someone for about an hour once a month, and they usually meet in a neutral place. Not everyone will get their head around that, but the people who do find it really rewarding.”

Rogers explained that, as much as possible, the organisation tries to match mentors and scholars who are in the same industry area.

The Pinnacle team will be appearing in the parade with assistance from Auto Classic who are lending them a very stylish mini. The team dropped by the MINI Garage with Perthonality Famous Sharron to collect their wheels.

While The Pinnacle Foundation will be appearing in the parade for the first time, Rogers is very experienced in marching in Pride Parades.

Aside from previously being on the board of Pride WA and taking part in the parade several times, she marched in London’s Pride Parade for two decades when she was based in the United Kingdom. Rogers has fond memories of her first Pride experience.

“I found it liberating, I loved it. I found it really amazing to be surrounded by people who were from my community.” Rogers said.

Look out The Pinnacle Foundation in tonight’s parade, it gets underway at 8pm. 

(L-R) Serena Horrocks (Auto Classic MINI Garage), Suzie Day (Pinnacle Alumni), Famous Sharron, Jamie Robertson (Pinnacle mentor) and Michelle Rogers (Pinnacle Board Member).

OIP Staff

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