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2021 BRA President Isobel Kuo’s Semester 2 Report

Despite the tumultuous year for residents with the onset of COVID-19 at college, Burgmann residents banded together in a true celebration of the college spirit. This year, BRA set out with three key goals in mind: (1) working towards Cultural Change, (2) reinvigorating College events which did not occur in 2020, and (3) centralising the handover process. I am proud to report that all three goals have been achieved.


From the first moment residents arrived at College, our leaders worked hard to create a culture of inclusivity and egalitarianism. O-Week chair Eve Rayner and her incredible team worked tirelessly to deliver an outstanding program of events which set the tone for college events for the year to come. New N-Week activities such as the culture discussion and the continuation of events such as Nights In paved the way for further productive work in our ongoing Cultural Change.

This year, we also saw the return of events that we were unable to run in 2020 due to the pandemic. Most notably, Mr Burgmann, Bush Week and Family Weekend. A particular vote of thanks is owed to the VPs in their organisation of what was the biggest Family Weekend in Burgmann history. The Family Weekend Gala Dinner was held at the QT hotel on 8 May, and festivities included speeches, the annual charity auction, and a performance by the BNO band. As a result of the high level of interest from families and the COVID-19 requirements, we split the event across the Ballroom and the Eureka Room to accommodate all 533 guests. While the event’s aim is to break even on costs, the generosity of families during the silent auction made BRA a profit of around $3,000.

The usual excitement was abuzz during Burg Day. Great reverence was shown to St Beryl in her blessing of the brick and as always, the brick race was a great show. Thank you to Alannah Milne and her team for pulling together an event which combined tradition, fun and inclusivity.

With plans for ‘End Week’ – an end of the year celebration taking place from the 21st to 27th of November – other traditions such as Dawborn, Burg Ball, Valete, Nav Night and SPARTOS will also make a comeback. Not only do these events provide an excellent opportunity for residents to step into leadership roles but they also showcase the wonderful traditions Burg ressies have celebrated for 50 years.

I am proud to report that Burgmann has finished 2nd on the Interhall Sports shield and is currently sitting 2nd on the Interhall Arts shield.

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The BNO Band performing at Family Weekend (photo credit: Luka Mrsnik)
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Penny Mina attempting a jump ball in AFL 9s against BnG college (photo credit: Luka Mrsnik)


With what appeared to be a normal year ahead, the snap lockdown and its subsequent extension has been challenging for all members of our community. However, leadership rose to the occasion and went above and beyond to support residents. I would like to thank the BRA House Committee for their resilience in event planning. Undoubtedly, the work of reps created a sense of unity and connection even in isolation. From covid-safe gardening bees, to online paint and sips, to zoom murder mystery nights in the village, to sports challenges and of course, 30,000 and counting (a short-film created by the residents of 2B); lockdown was a little bit easier because of the BRA Exec and House Committee’s work. Of special note is the dedication of the team to event running even in holiday periods to provide social interaction for residents.


On top of the robust social calendar for residents, BRA took 2021 as an opportunity to critically examine our college culture. This year, the team worked closely with the Cultural Change Working Group to provide extensive feedback on the Cultural Change Action Plan. The Action Plan is a 60-page document which provides a roadmap for tackling the 5 sections identified by the 2018 NOUS Review and is a landmark moment for the College and represents the ongoing dedication Burgmann and BRA have to self-improvement.


Despite the difficult and tumultuous year we have faced, the resilience, generosity and positivity of the Burgmann community has enabled us to not only survive this year but thrive in it. I am incredibly thankful for the work of the leadership team and staff in guiding the college through unprecedented times. I look forward to the work of the 2022 BRA team and trust that they will continue to make this place somewhere we are proud to call home.

Isobel Kuo
2021 BRA President

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