Kinjia May Munkara-Murray: Humans of BioSciences

Meet Kinjia May Munkara-Murray, a Tiwi and Rembarrnga woman who grew up in the leafy tropics of Darwin. It was there that she first developed a love for insects, and is now pursuing this interest through a major of zoology in the Bachelor of Science.

Kinjia portrait
What do you enjoy doing outside of science? 

Outside of study, I enjoy staying active through walking, dancing, and working out. I love looking for insects when I am out in nature and am trying to get better at photographing them! Thankfully, these are all things that I can still do during the lockdown.

At the University, I also derive a lot of satisfaction from tutoring other Indigenous students through the  Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS). I have received tutoring myself through this program for many semesters and it has greatly contributed to my learning. Murrup Barak are always keen to have more bioscience-focused ITAS tutors so I encourage other students to check it out if they have tutoring experience.

Photo of Ladybug taken by Kinjia

How have you met the challenge of studying from home?

The most important thing for me was finding a way to maintain a consistent routine while at home. One benefit to studying at home is not having to worry about travel time when planning my day, and I can now use that extra time to study (or sleep in!). A downside to being in one place all day is how difficult it is to separate ‘study’ and ‘relaxation’ time. To address this I try and find ways to mentally separate work-mode from home-mode, such as going for a walk or having a meal when switching between them.

Do you have any advice for other undergraduate students?

Consider taking on arts breadth subjects that specifically encourage you to expand your creative writing and communication skills, as this will greatly improve your scientific writing as well.

Invest the time into creating a study plan and timeline of assessments at the beginning of a semester as this can save you a heap of time later. If you’ve already compiled all the important information you need in one format, assessments and due dates are less likely to sneak up on you.

Always endeavour to balance your life and study needs the best you can. This will be a continual process but making time to relax and recover mentally will give you a strong foundation from which to excel in your studies. This is especially important right now during the lockdown.

Kinjia collecting water bugs

The Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS) is a specialised free tutorial program run by Murrup Barak. Qualified tutors are employed to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with their studies.

'Humans of BioSciences' is a special new series to introduce the School of BioSciences' undergrad and postgrad students, our academics, professional staff and associates.