Vinka Barunga


As a Worrorra woman from Derby, in the Kimberly region of Western Australia, Vinka grew up in the Aboriginal community of Mowanjum before moving down to complete high school in Perth. Vinka’s mother died from an aggressive brain tumour in her first year of medical school. Just a few years later, Vinka also lost her father, who she had been the sole carer for. Despite her pain, Vinka used the support from her community and their high expectations of her as reason to carry on. She graduated medicine from the University of Western Australia and is her hometown’s first Aboriginal doctor, currently training in Melbourne with a view to a career in Paediatric surgery, with the ultimate goal of returning to practice in far-North WA.