Alumni story: Reuben Wakefield’s love affair with the Territory has just begun


Reuben Wakefield moved to Darwin for only six weeks in 2013, and then, like many people who experience living in the Territory, he fell in love with the place and never left. Now working as a Doctor in Central Australia, IHD
reached out to Reuben to find out about his experiences studying at Charles Darwin University and delved deeper into what it was like to live at IHD from 2015 – 2017.   

Rueben had one clear goal when he first started studying at CDU and that was to find something that excites him. He studied a Bachelor of Science followed by a Doctor in Medicine.

My only goal when I started studying was to find something that I found interesting. I was lucky and always found that in science. Fortunately, CDU paved a pathway that opened career opportunities for me.

Fortunately for Rueben, his goals continue to remain the same and help guide him in his interesting and fulfilling career.


Living at IHD – was an opportunity to make lifelong friends

Rueben applied to live at IHD because a friend loved living there, it was the perfect location, and it was a great opportunity to be surrounded by a great community of people.

“The easy access to facilities and classes made the degree much more achievable in the early days of my study.
“I still keep in touch with my first roommate there (Rens Van der Vegt). The relationships I built at IHD. I really believe they are relationships that I will keep for life. I am very grateful to these people.”


“The staff were also always so nice to me, in particular Penny, and Phil. They were always easy to live and work with. This made the journey easy. Furthermore, they were always available to offer advice or help which I am very thankful for.”


During his time at IHD, Rueben was also Resident Leader in 2015, 2016
and 2017. He also won the Harry Edmonds Award not once, but twice in 2016 and 2017.

Advice for prospective students

Rueben suggests that Darwin is a nurturing place for prospective students who are bit unsure about which academic path they’d like to take.


“Darwin is a great place to find what it is you want to do. Without the pressure of the hustle of the bigger cities, one can focus and take their time deciding their future.

“Darwin is a very diverse city that exposes students to a broader global community. This gives students from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills that will allow them to work anywhere in the world.”

“It’s a beautiful city with wonderful people. What is not to love!”

What’s on the cards now

Since graduating, Reuben now calls Alice Springs home, and his love affair of the Territory continues.

“I have been fortunate enough to move to Alice Springs for my career. This was only made possible by CDU. I’m
able to work in a health system with some of the most interesting people in Australia.

“My experiences in Central Australia have been some of the most rewarding and interesting in my life.”

What next?

Reuben would love to make his way back up to Darwin, but for now is continuing to work in Alice Springs.

“I have decided to work in Alice Springs for 2022. I will continue to move during the early stages of my career to gain as much experience as possible. I hope one day I get the opportunity to come back to Darwin. Until then, I will continue to welcome new experiences and challenges and see where the road takes me.”