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Yapug sets students up for career success

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A person's education does not stop at their ATAR. The University of Newcastle is home to many different pathways which allow students to follow their career dreams. 

Yapug is a pathway program which specifically helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders get into university.

Throughout this program students develop self-discipline and learn skills which provide them with a solid grounding for tertiary education. This includes how to structure essays, reference resource materials and how to get the most out of their study time. Students are able to get a head start on their career by choosing subjects which interest them and align with their study program.  

The Wollotuka Institute provide a range of support services like counselling, tutorial assistance and cultural programs to make sure Yapug students reach their full potential.  

Bachelor of Design (Architecture) student, Shay McMahon, is one of the success stories to come out of Yapug. Since she was a child Shay knew she wanted to be an architect. Unfortunately she did not receive a high enough ATAR to gain automatic entry into the Bachelor of Design, so in order to achieve her long-held dream she committed to another year of study and qualified through the Yapug tertiary preparation program. 

Yapug enabled Shay to focus on arts-related subjects which would help her gain a place in the architecture program, while also developing different learning methods and skills.  

Shay has now completed an internship with the national architectural firm Peckvonhartel and aspires to one day set up her own practice. She has a keen interest in sustainable design and is strongly influenced by the work of leading architects and University of Newcastle academics Professor Peter Stutchbury and Professor Richard Leplastrier, who together designed The Wollotuka Institute's award-winning Birabahn building with colleague Sue Harper.

By completing Yapug Shay has forged a path in an industry where Indigenous women are significantly underrepresented. She one day hopes to apply her skills to designing culturally appropriate buildings for both Indigenous Australians in remote communities and people living in underprivileged circumstances in India.

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