Ma & Morley scholar on a journey from Dubbo to doctor

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Driven by a desire to be a role model for his siblings and give back to his community, Kieran Shipp decided to quit his job and move away from his family to pursue his aspiration of becoming a doctor.

Kieran Shipp

After completing the University of Newcastle’s Yapug pathway program last year, Kieran is now one step closer to his goal as he prepares to start his first semester of the University’s Joint Medical Program.

“My main motivation for entering the program was to be more than what I was becoming at home. I think I would have set myself up to fail if I tried to enter an undergraduate degree without doing Yapug first. It’s provided me with the tools and mindset to ensure my success in my undergraduate degree,” Kieran explained.

The Wiradjuri man from Dubbo is no stranger to determination, having already overcome significant hardship to get to where he is today.

“My early childhood had all the right ingredients for a failed adulthood, including alcoholism, domestic violence and the Department of Family and Community Services,” Kieran said.

“I wanted to break this cycle and be a good, strong male role model for my kids when I have them, and to my siblings coming up behind me. Becoming a medical doctor is something I never thought possible.

“After working for the New South Wales Government for seven years and doing some good work in the community I was determined to be more and maximise my potential. That’s when I decided to become a doctor to help my people and, with some research, discovered Yapug and the Joint Medical Program.”

In recognition of his potential and strong sense of social justice, Kieran was awarded a 2019 Ma & Morley scholarship to help him along his journey.

“This scholarship will allow me to leave my job and focus all my time on my undergraduate degree to get the best marks possible. Being able to learn from socially conscious leaders and like-minded people will also give me skills and ideas that I can implement back in my community when I finish my degree,” Kieran said.

“I’m very excited about officially beginning my degree and it feels good to see my hard work and sacrifices paying off.

“Some of my immediate family have already been inspired to enrol in University degrees, my sister will be studying teaching this year while my Aunty will be studying a human resource course, so I’m really proud to be doing something that empowers the people around me.”

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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.