Two men have become the first indigenous students to graduate with a bachelor of medicine/bachelor of surgery from the University of Wollongong.
Stephen Henry and Benjamin Armstrong collected their degrees on Tuesday after four years of study.
Both men admitted to being proud to represent their race at this week's ceremony, wanting to be role models for aspiring students.
"I would definitely encourage other indigenous people to study," Mr Henry said.
"In the worst-case scenario, you have some new experiences, some life experiences and in the best case, you come out of it with a degree."
Mr Armstrong, who moved from Tasmania to attend UOW, has been active in the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association, using his study to inspire other indigenous people.
"I really wanted to use my experience to get other people through the degree as well," he said.
"I think some indigenous people just need a good role model; I was lucky that I had my family and people from the association who really helped me and supported me."
Mr Armstrong, 29, is now set to move to Sydney to take up an internship at St George Hospital.
He's keen to work in haematology long term, wanting to blend his love of science with his desire to help people.
"I worked in pathology as a lab assistant and I loved it but I needed the patient contact, I never saw a patient during my time there," he said. "I like haematology because you get that patient contact but you get to take a sample, test it and then go back to the patient - you're involved in the whole process."
Mr Henry, 41, plans to stay in his home town in the Shoalhaven and is hoping to work as a GP.
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