Yapug graduate Keith’s pathway to study Medicine has been far from conventional. After leaving school he tried his hand at a few things; as a sound engineering, in construction and even as a carnival worker.

Keith saw a need for greater healthcare in his Indigenous community and decided to go back to study, enrolling in the Yapug pathway program, so that he could make a difference in the lives of others.

Keith never thought he would attend university and didn’t see it as part of his future. “I never thought I’d go to uni. I wasn’t great at school and I thought university was just for people who wanted to be doctors, lawyers or scientists”.

After being out in the workforce for 10 years, he decided to take the leap to study Yapug. “I wanted a change in my work life, I started thinking about what I wanted to do that would make me happy. When I started Yapug I was 100% set on being the deadliest psychologist and researcher I could be but as I progressed and learnt more, I realised I could become a doctor and next thing I knew I was being accepted into the Joint Medical Program”.

“The drive to help others is what motivated me to study Yapug and now Medicine, I knew the only way I could help is by getting an education. I am hoping to be able to give back to the Indigenous communities that have helped me,” said Keith.

Keith explains, “As a medical doctor, I just want to provide the best care possible to my patients. The root of my journey started with mental health and I would still love to work and study in that field while providing health to Indigenous communities that need it”.

Keith encourages other Indigenous students to study the Yapug program. “Studying isn’t easy, but it was easily the best decision of my life. If you’re ready to do it, commit fully to it. Like many things in life, you get out what you put in”.

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Keith Cole

Keith Cole

Keith's on a pathway to becoming a Doctor after graduating from the Yapug program.

The drive to help others is what motivated me to study Yapug and now Medicine.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.