From FIFO worker to psychology graduate, and now, medical student | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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From FIFO worker to psychology graduate, and now, medical student

A few years ago, Brad Lines was working as a FIFO driller in the mines when he decided to finally give uni a go. TPP was his pathway to an initial degree in psychology, and now, a new, life-changing career in medicine.

“I always wanted to go to uni, but I didn’t have an OP and I wasn’t sure I could,” Brad says.

“I didn’t want to be a FIFO worker anymore – I wanted a career at home. But it took a redundancy and some strong encouragement from a friend who was studying at UniSC to gain the courage to enrol in TPP, which has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

After five years in the mining industry, UniSC's Tertiary Preparation Pathway helped Brad develop his study skills and confidence. It also gave him a pathway into a psychology degree, where he quickly got involved in student life.

During his time at uni, he worked as a UniSC Student Ambassador, served as a member of the Student Representative Council, and was the President of UniSC’s Psychology Club, where he started a mental health first aid course for first-year students.

“Initially, I wanted to enhance my soft skills and improve employability, but once I started getting involved, more opportunities started to present themselves and I found it so rewarding to see other students engage with the whole experience of what it is to be a university student,” he says.

“I also found that connecting with other students from a range of degrees really broadened my own university experience and worldview.”

At the start of each semester, he returned to the TPP classroom to meet UniSC’s newest students and share his stories and advice about the journey ahead.

“I credit TPP with giving me the confidence I needed going into my degree, and I always felt like I wanted to share the great experience I had with other students and anyone who was thinking about studying – particularly those who hadn’t studied in a number of years,” he said.

When Brad graduated with a psychology degree, he received the Chancellor’s Medal for his outstanding voluntary service as well as academic achievement, which is UniSC’s highest award for a graduating student.

In 2021 Brad decided to take his career change even further, upon discovering he's been accepted into his first preference – Griffith University’s Doctor of Medicine program at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH).

“To get a place in this program is amazing,” he said. “My wife Sam works at SCUH as a nurse and we have family nearby, which will be wonderful for our baby daughter and an essential support for us over the next four years.

“I didn't know that a career in medicine was an option for me as a mature-age student without an OP score until I began studying at UniSC," he said.

"I enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) to work to improve people’s mental health in therapeutic settings, and then I discovered it was possible for me to become a doctor.

"My undergraduate GPA and my GAMSAT score met the requirements for an interview at Griffith University and everything progressed from there. I’m looking forward to meeting the people I’ll be studying with for the next few years, as we examine the life of a doctor.”