Nina photo 2

There is no place like Burgmann, a home away from home: Alumna Dr Nina Markovic Khaze (2005–2006) on staying connected with the College

Arriving in Canberra in February 2005 to pursue a Master’s degree in International Relations at the ANU was a life-changing experience. Having never been to the nation’s capital city, seeing Canberra’s bushland below the clouds surrounding a picturesque lake made me feel at ease despite many unknowns about the studies, city or accommodation options. Burgmann College provided me with a new home and an opportunity to pursue my dreams and be one step closer to serving Australia and its people in the public and parliamentary service where I worked upon graduating.

The best part of living in the post-graduate residential area at Burgmann was the freedom of thought and expression, abundance of opportunities, friendships made and physical proximity to my lecturers, tutors, libraries and events happening on campus.

The nature surrounding Burgmann College was also unrivalled and simply spectacular. Very early in the mornings, I would gallop across the luscious green lawns past the John Curtin Medical School across to the International Relations Department to hand my essays physically in before the 7am deadline. Next to me there were wallabies, rabbits and other amazing creatures peacefully grazing away and listening to my footsteps in the mud.

The computer lab facilities that were always available to the students were my place of solace for months, where I would endeavour to explore the depths of my intellectual pursuits while having a cup of tea and debating some vitally important concepts with my peers in the labs.

Burgmann College has given me a sense of identity and belonging in a new and unfamiliar city, a place where I gathered with friends and family visiting from WA, and where I celebrated my birthdays. I am still in touch with some of my friends from Burgmann, although our lives went separate ways.

Most recently, my destiny (of being a food allergy parent) took me to become a co-founder of Immunity Group Australia, a biotechnology translational industry company, with one of the world’s most acclaimed allergists and immunologists, U.S.-based Dr Douglas H Jones from Utah. Jointly, we are advancing the U.S./Australia biotech alliance, whilst advocating for Australia to become the hub of excellence for cutting-edge immunology research and diagnostics technology. Being the world’s food allergy capital, Australia urgently needs new solutions and improvements to patient care and excellence in this space. We also established an NGO in the field of allergy and microbiome research and training—the Allergy Microbiome Foundation. Families in regional and rural Australia urgently need better access to healthcare services and life-saving allergy response medication, which we are advocating for as well.

Based on these abundant life experiences and reflecting back, it is clear that Burgmann College gives you wings to fly in whatever direction you choose with the right support mechanisms and infrastructure that all students need. This includes the Burgmann Alumni & Friends Mentoring Program (BAM), which I have proudly been a part of for many years.

My message to all alumni would be: “Cherish your Burgmann College residential experiences and help others advance and reach for the stars. You never know what impact you will make by supporting others achieve the unthinkable. That is the true spirit of Burgmann College.”

Nina photo 2
Dr Nina Markovic Khaze with Dr Douglas H Jones
Nina photo 3
Nina with husband Adam and children Amelia and Alex
Featured News

Explore more

Ewan isbister

It’s about the journey, not the destination: How Burgmann shaped Ewan Isbister’s story

Alumnus Ewan Isbister (1989–1990) is a fundraising expert in the not-for-profit space and recently became a member of Burgmann College Council. Ewan lends his support to the Advancement Office and is a familiar face at many Alumni Events. Thank you, Ewan, for this interview, and also for your ongoing support of Burgmann!
Read more
Tim payne

Reflections on school, university and college from our mentoring conversations

Alumni Tim Payne (1991–1993) and Joe Negrine (2020–2022) met through our BAM mentoring program and wrote this insightful and thought-provoking article in 2022 about the nature of education in Australia, the value of living on campus, as well as the impact of the pandemic on the education experience.
Read more