Scott Burgess left school in year ten to embark on a journey - originally working on a horse stud farm, now he's on his way to becoming a doctor.
The proud Wiradjuri man hailing from Singleton on Wonnarua Country has ventured into diverse roles spanning across various industries.
Eventually, Mr Burgess found his calling in community services, igniting a dream to pursue a career in medicine and make a positive impact on his community. This led him to pursue tertiary education.
Upon encountering Wollotuka Institute and Yapug, a pathway program established by the University of Newcastle with the aim of assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals.
Yapug helps students in acquiring the necessary skills for pursuing undergraduate degrees, Mr Burgess immediately recognised the opportunity it presented for him to fulfil his aspiration of becoming a doctor.
"After reading about the Yapug program, I felt it was a perfect fit for me and so I decided to apply," he said.
"During my studies in the Yapug program, I have learnt and continue to learn all the skills I will need to successfully move into my undergraduate degree; not only academic skills but also how to navigate the university as a whole.
Mr Burgess has discovered a sense of belonging and support within the Yapug program and Wollotuka Institute.
These institutions not only enhance his academic abilities, but also offer various opportunities and workshops to assist him in maintaining a balanced life and overcoming challenges.
As he contemplates his aspirations, Mr Burgess envisions Yapug as the initial stride towards his ultimate goal of becoming a doctor through the Joint Medical Program at the University of Newcastle.
Mr Burgess desire to work in the medical field is not merely a fanciful notion, but also a means to inspire his two young children, by demonstrating that determination and dedication can lead to success.
He aims to serve as a positive role model for his children, instilling in them the belief that they too can accomplish anything they set their minds to.
"Becoming a doctor is not just my dream, but a way to further help my community by being able to provide great healthcare," he said.
"It's also a way to show my two boys that they can achieve anything in life and to teach them about the importance of education."
The University of Newcastle recently celebrated its largest graduation ceremony to date. Over the course of four days, 3,300 students proudly graduated in 12 separate ceremonies. Among the graduates was a proud Mr Burgess.