Stephen Walsh, Former Principal

Dear families,

Student Leadership Team 2019/20

Last Thursday we announced the Portfolio and House Leaders for 2019/2020. Congratulations to all our new leaders. Below is a complete list of the 2019/2020 Student Leadership Team. We wish you well as you commence your Mercy leadership journey.


Josie Connelly

Assistant Head Girl

Justine Kim

SRC President

Yvette Roque

SRC Vice President

Jessica D’Souza

Creative & PerformingArts

Stephanie Arulthasan


Antonia Khalil

Debating & PublicSpeaking

Daphne Fong


Lily Tambrchi


Amelie Loof


Gabriella Nimmo


Charlotte Burns


Anya Maclure


Katarina Butler


Abirami Prakash


Pene Bonovas


Thalia Lake

House Leaders:



Lilly Gilmour


Josie Wehbe


Charlize Galayini


Olana Lal


Jaimee Abrahams


Sarah Wardan


Brianna El-Bayeh


Daniella Younes


Jazmin Cleary


Renuga Inpakumar


Amelia Assaad


Tara Wall


Alexandra Brett


Deanna Samios


Jan Manasan


Zoe Panagiotopoulos


Leadership Handover Lunch

Yesterday at the Leadership Handover Lunch, our Student Leaders of 2018/19 provided some very-welcomed advice to the new Student Leaders for 2019/20 to help them settle into their new leadership roles.



Comedy for a Cause

The P&F's Comedy for a Cause event on Saturday evening was a wonderful community occasion and a great success. Thank you to the P&F for organising this event. Money raised from this event has been donated to the Mercy Tree and this will go to support the Parramatta Women's Shelter.

130 Year Anniversary Studio Concerts

Thank you to everyone who attended the evening concerts on Monday and Tuesday. It was a great experience for the students to perform in front of an audience, demonstrating the skills they have learnt in the first Semester.

Click here to read more.

Mercy Tree

I encourage you to make your Mercy Tree donation before June 30, the end of the financial year. Donations go to support Women’s Community Shelters (in particular, the new Parramatta Shelter scheduled to open this year). Click here to make your donation.

     This Friday is the last day of Term 2. Term 3 commences on Tuesday 23 July. A reminder that Years 8 -10 Student-led Conferences are taking place on Monday 22 July. I would like to wish all families a happy and safe holiday break.

God bless,

Mr Stephen M Walsh

26 June 2019Year 7 Student-led Conferences (3.45-7.30pm)
28 June 2019Term 2 ends 12.30pm
22 July 2019Year 8, 9 & 10 Student-led Conferences (9.00am-7.00pm)
23 July 2019Term 3 Begins
 P&F Meeting


The LOTE Department continues to provide students with learning activities that allows them to engage, discover, wonder and create.

As is the case with many other subjects, the LOTE Department has been focusing on the introduction this year of the new Stage 5 Syllabus (Year 9) for French and Japanese. The new Syllabus is organised around two strands: Communicating and Understanding. Specific objectives and outcomes fall under each of the strands. The focus of the new Syllabus is about making learning tasks more authentic, so that they relate to the students’ world and everyday life.

In Year 9 Japanese, students engaged in an oral paired task where they compared their life to a student in a Japanese school (Seien Girls’ High school- our annual visitors to OLMC). Some of our girls’ work will be presented to the students from Seien Girls’ High when they visit later this year.

Meanwhile, Year 9 French students were engaged in presenting a role-play in French where they interviewed a French exchange student, with the purpose of comparing schooling and daily life between France and Australia. Coincidently, OLMC will be welcoming a French exchange student in July-August this year and our girls will have the opportunity to engage further in conversation.

As part of the ongoing Connecting Beyond Borders Project, Year 9 Japanese students have engaged in letter writing with Japanese students from Shonan Shira Yuri Gakuen High School in Japan. The letters will be sent to the Japanese students who will be visiting our College early next term. They will also be interacting with all the Japanese classes throughout their two-week stay at OLMC.

Year 8 French students have come a long way in their learning of the language, having just completed approximately 50 hours of their mandatory study in Stage 4. The students recently presented a role-play in French as part of an assessment. In pairs, students collaborated to bring ideas and knowledge of the language concepts to ‘showcase’ their learning. Students presented some very creative pieces and thoroughly enjoyed viewing each other’s presentations. At the end of Term 1, the Year 8 French students also took part in a school-based mini competition set up through Education Perfect. This was an opportunity to consolidate the learning and revise key vocabulary and structures in preparation for the following term. Students enjoyed competing against other classes and prizes and certificates were awarded.

The students in Stage 6 French and Japanese classes have also experienced a change to assessment as part of NESA’s new requirements. Although the Syllabus for Stage 6 French and Japanese remains quite similar, there is a new focus on assessing multi-skills and ensuring authenticity. The LOTE teaching staff have been engaged in designing assessment tasks that incorporate different skills and allow students to demonstrate their learning in authentic ways. One example is our Year 11 French Beginners students who have recently created a Vlog in French as part of their speaking skills assessment.

Thankfully and excitedly, Year 12 French students have now completed their third and final in-school assessment task. They then move into the consolidation and improvement phase as they move through to their Trial Examinations. Part of their preparation was attending the French Speaking Day at Castle Hill High School recently. This day enabled students the experience to sit for a ‘mock HSC speaking exam’ and they were interviewed by experienced HSC markers. This was a valuable day as it gave the Year 12 students an opportunity to receive instant feedback on their performance and provided them with guidance on how to develop further.

As we move into Semester 2, we encourage our students to reflect on their learning and set goals for themselves. We invite them to continue to discover and ask the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ as they engage in their study of languages.

Mrs Sheila Ibarra
Leader of Learning, LOTE

Inclusive Learning

We need your Lego! OLMC Lego Drive

Are you ready to clean up, declutter and move on any unused or unwanted Lego?

Is your child ready to donate some Lego?

OLMC Lego Challenge Club is the place to send it.

In Term 3, we look forward to introducing this new co-curricular activity for Year 7-9 students to actively socialise, problem solve and create during lunch. To provide a change in pace in the school day and an opportunity to do something that’s very hands-on, problem-based, creative and social. A chance to think, build and work with others!

Please drop your donated LEGO at College Reception.


NASA Lego woman – time for your daughters to dream big!


This old note to parents by Lego in their box sets in 1970 sums up, our OLMC Lego Challenge:


To Parents.

The urge to create is equally strong in all children. Boys and girls.

It’s the imagination that counts. Not skill. You build whatever comes into your head, the way you want it. A bed or a truck. A doll’s house or a spaceship.

A lot of boys like dolls houses. They’re more human than spaceships. A lot of girls prefer spaceships. They’re more exciting than dolls houses.

The most important thing is to put the right material in their hands and let them create whatever appeals to them.

(Lego 1970s)


Ms Marisa Zadro
Leader of Inclusive Learning


University Open Days

Mr Louise Weihen
Leader of Learning, VET/Career 

Show more

Public Speaking

Parramatta Eisteddfod

Our results at the 2019 Eisteddfod over the last month would suggest it will be a long time before we can match the performances of this year’s entrants. The previous edition of Parragraph reported on many successes and those outstanding results continued to flow in the last fortnight.

There were two separate sections in the 13/14 years Individual Prepared Speaking. In one section, OLMC girls swept all major placings. Ria Iyer (Year 9) was first, Demi Kalogeras (Year 8) came second and Riley McIntosh (Year 9), third. In the other section for this event, Adriana Saab (Year 10) took out first prize, Charlotte Saker (Year 9) was second while Batul Patanwala (Year 9) received a Highly Commended award. Well done also to our other speakers in these events: Shanzeh Hussain, Nandika Kananathan and Nishitha Ravipudi (all year 9) and Jeeviha Sangar and Ariel Santoso (Year 10) who all should be proud of their efforts. These results are exceptional by any standard and the girls are to be congratulated on their performances.

Our girls were also involved in two divisions of Telephone pairs, an event which gives each team thirty seconds to create an impromptu conversation between two characters such as a mother phoning a daughter who has sneaked off to a party. The outcome of these conversations can be hilarious. In the 15/16 years age group, both our teams were awarded Highly Commended. Well done to Rachael Bailey and Skye Gregory as well as Isabella Barakat and Adriana Saab. It is in the 11/12 years section, however, that the girls’ achievements were truly remarkable. Allison John and Stephanie Saab were declared the winners while Mia Fogolin and Bianca Salloman were second. Highly Commended awards were given to Tia Monga and Isabella Samaha, Chanel Elias and Niamh Nolan, and Lily Moujalli and Isabella Makhoul. All of these students are in Year 7. The enthusiasm they showed in coming to practice was reflected in their results. The other teams we had in this section were impressive as well. Pragya Aggarwal and Anissha Raychaudri, Mikayla Alphonse and Leyla Douehi, Shriya Bhandary and Alexis Chang, and Ciara Butphachi Knott and Ria Sallakonda all performed very well. All of these students are in Year 7 except Shriya and Alexis who are in Year 8.

Such a wonderful effort is difficult to surpass but in a week’s time, eighteen of our girls will be competing in three sections of Individual Prepared Speaking. With the talent they have, OLMC is certain to taste more success. Good luck to them all.

A special thank you to Mrs Leanne Portelli, Ms Amy Rowan and Mrs Pauline Shore who gave up their time on a weekend to support the girls in the sessions I could not attend.



Open Morning

Last Wednesday, outstanding Year 7 speakers Laurice Behan and Maddison Starkey welcomed visitors to our second Open Morning of the year. As always, Laurice and Maddi were most professional in their delivery, impressing everyone not only with their speaking skills but in the welcoming manner they displayed to parents as they arrived. OLMC is fortunate to have such wonderful girls who both exemplify the very best in a Mercy girl.


Mr Christopher Ostrowski
Public Speaking Co-ordinator


NSWCCC Cross Country

On Friday 14 June, the NSWCCC Cross Country was held at Eastern Creek Raceway. OLMC was represented by Lucie Francis and Summer Giddings. Both girls ran extremely well with Lucie finishing 3rd in the 13 years event and Summer winning the Senior Multi Class event. Well done to both girls and all the best as they also prepare for the NSW All Schools Cross Country Championships in July.

Saturday Soccer

 Here are the results from Round 6:

  •  OLMC 1 were defeated by Frensham, 9 nil
  •  OLMC 2 drew with Tara, 2 all

 Our final game for the season was held on Saturday June 22. Here are the results from Round 7:

  •  OLMC 1 were defeated by Kincoppal, 6 - 1
  • OLMC 2 were defeated by Abbotsleigh, 4 - nil

  There are no Finals due to a short term. Here are the final placings:

  • OLMC 1 - S03 7th
  • OLMC 2 - J04 7th

Thank you to the parents for your support this term and well done to all the girls on a great season. The girls had tougher games this season as they continue to move higher in the divisions. Great work girls!



Saturday Netball

Well done to our first group of students to complete the Umpire Development Program this season – Tijana Pavlovic, Tvesa Agrawal, Shannon Sison and Samantha Emeish.

A reminder that there are no games in the middle of the July School Holidays (no games – 6 July and 13 July). We will play this Saturday 29 June and 20 July. There will be no training during the School Holidays.

You can continue to view the draw and all results here -

A few reminders from ERNA - no dogs are allowed on the courts (Ryde Council law). Also, girls are asked to not have their ears pierced during the holidays as they must be removed for games, not taped. Finally, all players, umpires, coaches and spectators are encouraged to abide by the Codes of Conduct. If there are any issues on a Saturday, please report it straight away.

Mr Stuart Guthrie
Sport Co-ordinator


130 Year Anniversary Concerts


On Monday 24 June, the College held their Semester 1 Studio Concerts – this is an opportunity for all students who learn an instrument through The Mercy Music and Performance Academy to perform for their parents and peers. It is also an opportunity for all the co-curricular ensembles to present pieces that they have been preparing throughout the Semester.

The design of the Studio Concerts is such that our less experienced musicians perform alongside those students who are more seasoned performers in a safe, secure and encouraging environment.

On Monday evening, there were three Concerts in three different venues - all occurring simultaneously. On Tuesday evening, all the ensembles came together for a concert – At the Movies. Over 100 OLMC students performed, as did a number of primary school students who also have lessons through the Academy.

Students performed admirably, with a noticeable focus on presenting well prepared and polished performances, regardless of their level of experience.

On Monday night I had the opportunity to perform in the Guitar and Vocal Studio Concerts. These concerts are an amazing chance to show the skills you have developed over the Semester and to see other students’ achievements. Seeing our tutors perform was very inspirational and the Year 7 Choir sang beautifully. 

Satya (Year 9)

On Monday I participated in the 130th Anniversary Studio Concert Series. This was a very enjoyable evening as audiences listened to performances by the College’s many woodwind ensembles including the saxophone ensemble, clarinet ensemble, flute ensemble and senior flute ensemble. Many students also performed solos, which were some of the best performances of the night. I was very nervous about my solo, however, once I began playing, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. 

Caitlin (Year 11)

The concert I attended was for the students who receive lessons. It was such a great experience seeing students of all different ages and genders, perform what they had been learning in their lessons, and seeing the potential that they all had. I also had the chance to perform, and it was amazing to see how differently each singer performed and noticing that we all had our own unique way of singing. I used to be scared to perform in front of an audience, but partaking in small concerts like this helped me to get over my fear over time, and so for the school to allow for students, especially the younger ones, to have the opportunity to perform their talent is such a great way to help them overcome their fear. It was truly an honour to be a part of the Concert Series, and hopefully, those very talented students will go above and beyond what they know they can be because they all have such a special gift.

Antonia (Year 11)


Mercy Music and Performance Academy Tutor Spotlight

In his training, Nigel Parry has undertaken lessons with Jacqueline du Pre, Rostropovitch, Paul Tortellier, Andre Navarra, Gethyn Wykeham-George (London Symphony Orchestra) and Helen Just (English String Quartet).

Nigel completed a four-year Performing and Teaching Diploma at the Royal College of Music (London) and has won all major prizes and scholarships for solo cello and chamber music. He was the Principal cellist of British School's Orchestra and the Principal cellist of Royal College of Music Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra. He was Co-Principal of the Welsh Opera Orchestra for two years and Sub-Principal BBC Concert Orchestra and later Principal cellist for 13 years.

He is an experienced pianist and accompanist for students and was the Conductor of the Youth String Orchestra for 10 years. He has performed numerous solo concertos with orchestras and recorded Chamber music broadcasts for the ABC and the BBC.

Nigel is a part-time examiner at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has taught Cello at Trinity Boys School and the Royal College of Music and as well as a number of Sydney private schools including at OLMC Parramatta since 1992.

Interested in Instrumental / Vocal Lessons - click here

Mr Paul Witney
Director of Music Performance

Mercy Tree Appeal

Mercy 6 Junior Day

On Friday 14 June, selected students had the opportunity to attend the Mercy 6 Junior Day with student representatives from fellow Mercy schools. The focus of the day was environmental care for the earth and sustainable practices, and featured a range of hands-on workshops and discussion panels.

“I loved meeting different students from other Mercy schools and learning about their initiatives for school communities. I loved hearing about how different communities can come together to work towards creating a better environment.”

Charlotte Edwards (Year 9)

“My favourite part of the day was learning about native and social bees from a beekeeping specialist. The school we visited had a beehive on the campus and we saw the ways in which the school community came together to create a supportive environment for the bees. I learned that it’s our responsibility to ensure we preserve habitat and provide shelter and an ecosystem bees can thrive in.”

Alyaan Sia-Stone (Year 8)

“I felt inspired after listening to Year 11 student, Sophia, from Monte Sant’ Angelo. Sophia was recently awarded Young Conservationist of the Year by Australian National Geographic. Sophia was inspiring and she received her award for her commitment to the environment from Megan Markle. Sophia taught us about the negative impact of plastic on the environment and discussed what initiatives she had put in place in her own personal life and in the local community to combat this issue.”

Sophia Tapley (Year 8)

“I enjoyed discussing the convenience of shopping and how often with this convenience comes waste, in particular plastic waste. After our discussion, we received a shopping bag of pre-packaged items and had to think of ways to redesign the packets to create a sustainable solution for a supermarket. We then presented our designs to the group to be judged for an award. The winning group redesigned plastic soap packets by using a beeswax wrap. The group then decided that the logo could either be engraved on the soap itself or applied using a rice paper sticker to reduce waste.”

Tiarna Morabito (Year 8)

Refugee Week

Click here to watch a video presented by Phil Glendenning, the President of the Refugee Council of Australia.

On Tuesday 18 June, all Homerooms participated in an activity to raise awareness of refugees and their valuable contributions to Australian society. Each class designed a flag and when completed, they will be displayed around the College.

Jesuit Refugee Service

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is a Catholic international organisation located in Westmead. They work with refugees and people seeking asylum to provide services in areas such as legal, employment, education and advocacy. As well as this work, JRS run a Food Bank where families can obtain household items in a private and dignified manner.

JRS have asked us to provide toiletries to them as their supplies have completely run out. Toiletries are often a more expensive item than food supplies and we appreciate the cost that goes into purchasing some of these items. However, if you were able to purchase any of the following and bring them in to the College for donation, it would be much appreciated:

  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Deodorant (roll on)
  • Sorbolene cream
  • Sanitary items

Donations can be left outside the Staff Common Room, or can be dropped at College Reception. Many thanks for your continued and ongoing support.

Mrs Gabby Scanlon
Director of Mission (Acting)

Wizard of Oz Production 2002

From the Counsellors


Stress refers to the way that our bodies respond to challenging or threatening situations. A small amount of stress can actually be helpful as it can assist us in completing an assessment by its due date. It can lead to increased concentration, drive and output. Whereas an absence of stress can lead to reduced motivation and performance.

Stress triggers off the 'fight or flight' response, preparing the body to take action against potential danger. Hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released, causing the heart rate, metabolism and breathing rate to speed up. The hormones that are released can even increase the speed of our thoughts, helping individuals to quickly plan and navigate out of trouble.

These physical and psychological changes are helpful when people are actually threatened by danger. However if the individual experiences this on a regular basis it has the potential to cause damage to their physical and mental health.

Anecdotally many people feel a reduction in stress when they spend time outdoors. A recent study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that spending between 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that provides you with a sense of nature provided the greatest reduction in the stress hormone cortisol. Participants in the study were asked to avoid aerobic activity, social media, internet, phone calls, conversations, and reading whilst spending their time in nature in order to minimise factors that could contribute to stress.

To manage stress, it is important to try and identify the reasons causing the stress; learn relaxation techniques (yoga, breathing techniques, meditation); practice mindfulness; spend time doing things that you enjoy; create a work/life balance; talk to others; and if this does not help, seek assistance from a mental health professional.

For more information click here.


Mrs Sandra Portela
Senior School Counsellor