Lucie Farrugia, Principal

Course Preference Evening Tonight

Tonight we will welcome Year 10 Mercy Girls and their parents to the HSC Course Preference Evening. This is a very important, compulsory event which will provide a chance to hear from Leaders of Learning and subject teachers and the courses available, learn about HSC requirements and how the ATAR works. All parents and students are welcome to visit our HSC excellence online hub to view videos about our Key Learning Areas and view details about our HSC results. CLICK HERE to view the HSC Excellence hub. 

At OLMC we are very proud of the HSC learning experience we provide. Our girls thrive and achieve their potential and beyond, in a caring and supportive environment. We firmly believe that girls' schools produce the best outcomes for girls’ learning and the research supports this:

  • An all-girl environment can stimulate discussion, dialogue and self-discovery in an atmosphere that “for the most part” is “free from ridicule and the fear of undermining self-image”. (Younger, 2016, September).
  • Australian and British researchers have found that girls in single-sex schools are less affected by ‘stereotype threat’ where girls are stereotyped as ‘bad’ at something, including science and mathematics (Booth, Cardona-Sosa and Nolen, 2013).
  • An American study of co-ed schools found that “adolescent females may shy away from competition and perform less well in Mathematics in the presence of males” and may, therefore, benefit from single-sex classes in mathematics and science (Hill, 2015).


Changes in Pastoral Care

We welcome the following teachers to temporary roles within Pastoral Care. I am pleased to assure parents that Pastoral Care is paramount at OLMC amongst all staff and I thank the following teachers for taking up these specific roles in caring for all our girls during Semester 2.

  • Assistant to the Director of Pastoral Care - Cathy McNulty
  • House Leader - Jared Palmer replacing Cathy McNulty In Doyle House
  • House Leader - Catriona McKellar replacing Sharlyn Teo in Kavanagh House who will be on Parental Leave
  • House Leader - Lauren Camilleri replacing Antonija Mustac in Callaghan House who is on Long Service Leave in Term 3.

As a reminder:

  • The Acting Director of Pastoral Care is Ann-Marie Herd
  • The House Leader for Mercedes continues to be John Hamey in Term 3 until Christine Romanus returns in Term 4 
  • The House Leader for Clare continues to be Melinda Chand until the end of the year
  • The House Leader for Callan is Danielle McManus
  • The House Leader for McAuley is Laura Bell
  • The House Leader for Stanley is Rebecca Webb

We also welcome the following teachers to the role of Assistant House Leaders for Terms 3 and 4;

  • Brittany Clark
  • Joseph Lee
  • Rebecca Knox
  • James Franklin

Parents, please do not hesitate to be in contact with your House Leader with any questions you might have as we travel the rest of this year together.

Careers Breakfast featuring Alumnae

This morning the College held its first Careers Breakfast in AG14. This inaugural event provided a fantastic opportunity for students from Years 10-12 to hear different perspectives from alumnae on the varied career paths they have taken.

Our knowledgeable speakers gave personal insights into what motivated them in their senior years and how their Mercy education helped them achieve their career goals. They also provided some tips in terms of subject choice for Years 11 and 12.

Thank you to all our speakers including Sajneet Pooni (Class of 2013) Mechatronics Engineer at BlueScope; Milarose Ramos (Class of 2012) Solicitor with the Australian Department of Home Affairs; Oliva Ciampa (Class of 2011) PHD Candidate at the Garvin Institute of Medical Research; and Emily Dwyer (Class of 2017) currently studying Biomedical Engineering.

We are looking forward to our next Careers Breakfast which will be held in Term 3 (date to be advised).


Mercy Tree Appeal

I invite you to consider making a donation to our Mercy Tree appeal before the end of the financial year (June 30). Donations to the 2020/2021 appeal will go to Women’s Community Shelters. Click here to read more and to make a donation.


New Student Leaders Inducted

At yesterday’s Assembly, we formally inducted our new Student leaders for 2021/2022. At this special Assembly we acknowledged and thanked the outgoing leaders who served our community so selflessly over this past year. I wish our new Student Leadership team all the very best as they embark on their leadership term. Thank you to the parents/carers who joined us for this special assembly and morning tea.


  • Head Girl: Maeve Nolan
  • Assistant Head Girl: Moana Tuala
  • Src President: Charlotte Gillies
  • Src Vice President: Sarah D’Souza
  • Creative & Performing Arts: Sophia Santos and Anastacia Wanandy
  • Debating & Public Speaking: Sakshi Chouta and Stephanie Ogle
  • Liturgy: Alyssa Dib and Ebony Elias
  • Mercy Action: Jewel Jackson and Mikayla Simpson
  • Stewardship: Samantha Emeish and Charlotte Saker
  • Sport: Riley McIntosh and Tarni Sutton

House Leaders                               

  • Clare: Lorraine Coorey and Kirsten Patel
  • Callan: Olivia Holsinger and Amel Moussa
  • McAuley: Olivia Kim and Madeline Wright
  • Doyle: Tyra Di Giulio and Tara Nann
  • Mercedes: Eliza Gordon and Catherine Hanna
  • Callaghan: Chanel Achie and Audrey Baysari
  • Stanley: Caroline Lee and Zara Reedman
  • Kavanagh: Rishona Johnwilfred and Serene Mawad

I would like to wish all our students, staff and parents all the very best for these upcoming holidays. I hope you have the chance to enjoy a restful break. Thank you to the staff who will be coming in for the HSC study week in the first week of the holidays. These study sessions are invaluable for our HSC students.

Term 3 commences on Monday 12 July for Student-Led Conferences for Years 8, 9 and 10. Classes resume on Tuesday 13 July.

Lucie Farrugia

History and HSIE Report

The HSIE and History Departments have been incorporating enriching work and meaningful learning experiences into our teaching and learning programs this semester. Beautiful Work is a concept that stems from Ron Berger’s studies with the Harvard Graduate School of Education into learning. The concept being to provide the opportunity through time and space for students to craft meaningful work that they are proud to acknowledge as their own. To that end our students have been set the goal to: write sentences, paragraphs and responses that are well crafted and meaningful; to make presentations that are engaging, well researched and creative; and, to submit only learning activities that capture their own understanding at what ever level that may be at. Below are some of the 'beautiful work' samples from across the grades including the Year 8 Geography Animated book on natural hazards and disasters and the Year 11 Society and Culture Beautiful Work on display for International Women’s Day.

This semester has also seen the students of HSIE and History engage in a range of diverse learning experiences both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. The focus has been on bringing the curriculum to life through meaningful engaging learning experiences. Below are some of the highlights from this semester.

Aboriginal Studies Excursion

On Monday 3 May, Year 10 Aboriginal Studies students went to the Parramatta River to learn about the Traditional Owners of the land, the Darug People. Chris, a Darug Elder, spent the afternoon discussing the traditional way of life on the river, the hardships that have been experienced since invasion, the continued struggle from Land Rights, and the continued connection to land of the Darug People. This insightful talk provided the students an opportunity to reflect on the historical and contemporary experiences of Aboriginal Peoples, factors that influence non-Aboriginal peoples’ perceptions of Aboriginal Peoples and cultures, and the effects of these perceptions.

Senior Geography Excursion

On Monday 31 May, Year 12 Geography students participated in fieldwork at Collaroy Beach as part of their case study of Coastal Sand Dunes in their Ecosystems at Risk topic. While there, students investigated the dynamics of the ecosystem, using various techniques and equipment such as anemometers to determine the speed of the wind, clinometers to measure the slope of the various zones on the beach and identification cards to determine the type of vegetation found there. Students also observed the impacts of human activity on the sand dunes and the current management strategies employed to restore and preserve this vulnerable ecosystem. 

Year 12 Society and Culture interviews Head of Education for ABC

On Tuesday 1 June we were thrilled to host Annabel Astbury, Head of Education for the ABC, in one of our Year 12 Society and Culture classes. Our students asked their prepared questions and engaged in a deep discussion around many aspects of popular culture (our current unit) and more specifically, our focus on children’s television. As the most trusted source of Australian content, the ABC represents a critical point of information, discussion and entertainment in our society. This experience developed both the knowledge of the girls and also their skills in interviewing and developing strong, open-ended questions based on our syllabus.

Gillian Carpenter
Leader of Learning HSIE and History


MASSH (Mercy After School Study Hub) operates in the Catherine McAuley Library, Monday to Thursday 3-30pm to 5.30pm.

Term 3 commences on Tuesday 13 July and concludes on Thursday 16 September.

Students from all Year Groups are encouraged to attend to complete unfinished classwork, homework, assessment tasks, organise their tasks or to read a book. Students are encouraged to work independently or in small groups where required.

Students are supervised by the MASSH Coordinator Mrs Rugg and Library Assistant Mrs Pinto.

All students are required to sign in (by 3.45pm) and out of MASSH to comply with the OLMC evacuation and lock down policies.

What is Academic Coaching?

Academic coaching is held in the Catherine McAuley library between 3.30 – 5.30pm.

The College employs ex-students who are currently studying at university to assist students of all Year Groups across a range of subject areas.

Academic coaching begins Week 2, Monday 19 July and ends on Thursday 9 September. The areas of focus on each day are as follows:





Mathematics all levels

All subjects 7-10

English / History



How to book an Academic Coaching session?

Students can do the following:

·        See Mrs Rugg in the Library after school Monday to Thursday (3.30 -5.30 pm), or

·        Email: with the following details:

Ø  Student’s name and Year group.

Ø  The subject they want to work on with an Academic Coach.

Ø  Preferred days.

Ø  Once this request has been received an email will be sent to confirm the exact times.


I encourage all students in Year 10, 11 and 12 to attend the Western Sydney Careers Expo being held at The Dome, Sydney Showground from 24 – 27 June. The Expo will host seminars focused on subject selection, tertiary courses, careers, employment and gap opportunities. There will also be exhibitors from universities and TAFE as well as information on apprenticeships and traineeships. You must purchase tickets online to attend.

In addition, if you are interested in studying information systems, actuarial studies or banking and finance the UNSW Business School is hosting a Girls in Business Digital Camp at UNSW from 6-7 July 9am to 5pm. The program is free, and tickets are limited, so register now to secure your spot!

HSC Subject Selection

Following are some useful resources and websites for students currently in Year 10 and preparing to select subjects for the HSC.

UAC Steps to University for Year 10 students

UAC Subject Compass

TAFE TVET Guide 2022

OLMC Careers website

Year 10 students are welcome to book an appointment with me next term through the OLMC Careers website to discuss their options for next year and beyond.

Work Experience at Taronga Zoo 

From 7-11 June, I had the privilege of taking part in Taronga Zoo’s School Work Experience program in the education and guest experience division. As part of this experience, I was able to learn about how the education and guest experience teams at the zoo operate, as well as the different roles available. I had the opportunity to interact with and learn from a range of teachers and guest experience officers who taught me about their experiences and gave me advice surrounding the best way to get my dream job in the future. Work experience was an incredible opportunity that I will never forget and would strongly encourage other girls to take up similar opportunities that present themselves.

Zsofia Varga-Strike

Year 10 

Western Sydney University Visit

We were delighted to recently visit the Parramatta CBD campuses of Western Sydney University. Our generous hosts Professor Barney Glover, Bill Parasiris, and Professor Michele Simons, showed what the future of tertiary education looks like. Ms Farrugia, Mrs Wood and Mr Esterman were guided through the state-of-the-art learning studios, conference facilities and specialist spaces that exist at the heart of our city. Both 1 Parramatta Square (1PSQ) and the Engineering Innovation Hub are inspirational, flexible, and innovative.

We look forward to engaging our staff and students in a range of initiatives in these spaces and beyond, as part of our growing partnership with Western Sydney University this year.

Matthew Esterman
Director of Learning Technologies and Innovation


Short Sharp Theatre

Sharp Short Theatre is a competition run by Riverside Theatres. It requires students to self-devise 10-minute performances. Now in its sixth year, Sharp Short Theatre is a chance for young writers, directors and performers to showcase their stories on Riverside’s stage and learn from industry mentors.

All entries perform in a heat. The best pieces are invited to perform in the final where students are awarded prizes in categories including best script, best direction, best performance and best overall production. Plays come from all theatrical genres including comedy, documentary, suspense, period, drama and fantasy, giving students a chance to play to their strengths and interests and let their imaginations run wild!

At OLMC we held an internal competition on May 20. From this we selected our finalists to compete at the Riverside Competition on June 11. We had a group that included Mercy Girls from Year 7, Year 9 and Year 10. They got to experience all aspects of the theatre, from dressing rooms, technical rehearsals to the final performance in the evening. They all performed wonderfully and made the most of this opportunity.

Our Year 9 Team were successful in making it to the final which will be held on the evening of June 18. Tickets are available on the Riverside Theatre website.

Caroline Rowland
Drama Teacher

Public Speaking and Debating


As the Debating season draws to a close, our girls can rightfully be proud of their efforts. When finalists were announced, only one school of the many that took part had four teams qualify for finals. OLMC was then one of only a handful of schools that had three teams make the finals, a truly impressive result. A complete list of wins (from six debates) for each of the teams is below.

  • 7A 6 wins (undefeated) qualify for semi-finals after the holidays: Vishnu Gude, Isabel Homairi, Celeste Ieronimo, Sofia Tong and Shiloh Julien
  • 7B 6 wins (undefeated) qualify for semi-finals after the holidays: A’ishah Ali, Lizzy Butler, Pia Goradia, Bianca Mina and Celina Wassef
  • 8A 4 wins: Isabella Cotter, Bronte Herbertstein, Sierra Lake, Jennifer Wang and Kaira Dasgupta
  • 8B 4 wins: Alexandra Attard, Gabby Fleming, Stefanie Gabriel, Jasmine O’Brien and Kristina Fry
  • 9A 2 wins: Megan Keller, Isabella Samaha, Neha Sharma and Jasmine Velasco
  • 9B 5 wins qualify for the elimination semi-finals this week: Zoe Borger, Tia Monga, Summer Rayne Roughley and Alyssa Taouk
  • 10A 3 wins: Olivia Easton, Arlene Kumar, Tijana Pavlovic and Freya Scothern
  • 10B 2 wins: Sophie Assaad, Niamh Nolan, Ruwindri Parndigamage and Hayden Rodewald
  • 11A 3 wins: Sarah D’Souza, Samantha Emeish, Stephanie Ogle and Sophia Santos
  • 11B 2 wins: Tvesa Agrawal, Tarni Sutton, Cassidy Turrell and Mikayla Simpson
  • 12A 3 wins: Sabrina Catania, Sofie Del Rio, Anne Nguyen and Riley Rodewald
  • 12B 3 wins: Sakshi Chouta, Iris McKenna, Maeve Nolan and Jeeviha Sangar

Siobhan Cassin, Ashlyn Kumar, Jemima Scothern and Juliana Merioles also kindly filled in when many regular debaters were absent on camp. 

Congratulations to all teams and their coaches: ex-students Priyanka Sangar, Lily Tambrchi, Jessica D’Souza, as well as Ms Knox, Mr Altura, Ms Rowan, Ms James, Mr Palmer and Mr Hamey.

Ex-students Gabi Mizzi, Allison McGuirk, Priyanka Sangar also adjudicated as did Mrs Anne Kumar. We appreciate all their efforts.

Thank you also to those many volunteers who helped show our visitors such wonderful hospitality on the several evenings when we hosted.

We look forward to following the progress of the teams that made the finals.


Our girls continue to shine in the Parramatta Eisteddfod. In the last fortnight, our students were involved in two more events. The results were excellent. In the Telephone Pairs section, Imaani Sivaganesan, teaming with girls from outside the school, was 1st, Isabella Chivers and Zara Lewis were 3rd, Zoe Samar and Jiya Shah were 4th, while no fewer than five of our teams received a Highly Commended certificate: Kavya Samtani and Ojasvi Yadav, Pia Goradia and Haynin Lai, Harbir Bajwa and Celina Wassef, Georgia Draiby and Teresa-Maree Saba and Emma Kouros and Jacintha Prasad. A special thank you to Ms Katherine Bull who attended the event to support the girls.

In the Prepared Public Speaking event for 13 and 14 year-olds, Arlene Kumar came 1st while Willow Higgins and Ria Sallakonda received Highly Commended awards.

This coming weekend, which is the final weekend of the Eisteddfod, we have twelve students competing across three events. Our girls have worked hard in preparation so we are hoping for more success. A full report in the next Parragraph.


Over the holidays, the eight girls selected to represent OLMC at the Australian Debating and Public Speaking Titles in Canberra in September will be attending a full-day workshop as a starting point for their training towards this highly challenging event. Because of their talent, there is no doubt they will be very competitive. The Senior team comprises Sakshi Chouta, Sarah D’Souza, Sophia Santos and Mikayla Simpson while our Junior team is Gabby Fleming, Sierra Lake Neha Sharma and Jennifer Wang.

Christopher Ostrowski
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator

Music Performance

The Chamber Ensemble performed at the Cumberland Women's Health Centre' Mothers Day event on Wednesday 26 May, providing some lovely music for the luncheon. The girls gave of their time and musicality to ensure the event was a success.

Thank you to Veronica Chacty, Ashleigh Ko, Kiana Napernikova, Sadinya Randeniya, Tharuki Randeniya, Gabrielle Wanandy and Jennifer Wang who, the same afternoon, performed at the College's Women in Leadership Forum

Belinda Angilletta
Music Leader of Learning 



A reminder that  students who compete for OLMC in any sports can collect Merits from Mr Guthrie.


The AMCC Gym is open for students in Years 9 – 12 to use before school – 7:45 to 8:30am, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

If students would like to use the gym (free of charge), CLICK HERE to sign up.

PDSSSC Junior Soccer

On Wednesday June 2, OLMC competed at the PDSSSC Junior Soccer Championships at Jamison Park Penrith. The team consisted of Isabella Zoghbi, Mia Totino, Niamh Nolan, Kyla Jones, Elyssa Wakim, Leah Kolosakas, Sharon Sebastian, Giselle Al-Mir, Alexandra Attard, Helena Rizk, Teyana La Brooy, Sophia Lees and Kasey Bolt. The girls should be extremely proud of their efforts during the Championships as they were very unlucky to just miss out on playing in the Final. After a slow start and losing to Cerdon 2-1 the girls came back to beat St Clare’s 7 nil, defeat Xavier 1 nil and to have an agonisingly close draw with St John Paul II after leading the whole game and then letting a goal through with 10 seconds to spare. This result left the girls 2nd overall where that last goal would have left them in 1st. I was very proud of how the team played especially with several girls having to play out of position. Well done to all the girls. A big thank you to Mrs Emeleus for all her help with the team.

CGSSSA Gymnastics

The 2021 CGSSSA Gymnastics Championships were held at the Sydney Gymnastics Centre at Rooty Hill on June 2. OLMC was represented by Maelys Pace, Heidi Francis, Sarah El-Sabbagh and Alliyah Gabreal. Well done to all the girls on their efforts and skills displayed on the day. Congratulations to Alliyah who finished first on the Vault (level 4), to Maelys who finished 1st on the Vault and 3rd overall in Level 5 and to Heidi who finished 1st on the Bars, 2nd on the beam, 3rd on the Vault and 2nd Overall in level 5 – a fantastic effort by all! A big thank you to Miss Papazoglou who helped out with the team.

NSWCCC Cross Country

The NSWCCC Cross Country Championships were held on Tuesday June 8 at Eastern Creek Raceway. OLMC was represented by Kasey Bolt, Niamh Nolan, Lucie Francis and Sofia Polson. All the girls ran exceptionally well. Congratulations to Lucie Francis who came 2nd in the 15 years and qualified for NSW All Schools Cross Country Championships. The PDSSSC 15 years girls team also won the team event. Well done girls!

Saturday Netball

With school holidays approaching there will be a few weekends where netball will not be on. The final game for Term 2 will be on Saturday June 19 then we will have 2 weekends off. Term 3 games will then start back on Saturday July 10, which is the last weekend of the holidays.

The weekly results can be viewed here 

Saturday Soccer

The Saturday Soccer Season is now over. Well done to all the girls on a fantastic season and thank you to all the parents who came out each week to support the girls.

Here are the results from Round 7:

OLMC 1 Drew with Frensham, 4 all

Here are the final placings of our teams:


OLMC 1 - 4th S04

OLMC 2 - 3rd J03

OLMC 3 - 3rd Y703

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator

Please note that on Thursday June 17 the Uniform Shop will be closed.

Opening Hours and Purchases: The Uniform Shop is open Monday to Thursday, from 8.00am – 9.30am, and 3.00pm – 4.30pm on Monday and Wednesday (school days only).

Online purchases can be made via the Online Uniform Shop ( and all orders will be delivered to the Student Centre for collection by students.

Winter Uniform: Students are to wear their winter uniform during Term 2 and Term 3. For the senior winter uniform, the long sleeve shirt is optional.

Scarves: There are scarves available for purchase either online or at the Shop.

Tights: The Uniform Shop has tights available for purchase with the winter uniform.  If you are purchasing these elsewhere, the requirement is 70 denier opaque, colour - Ink Navy.

Old College Uniforms: If you have any old-style College uniforms (green and white/red), these items can be returned to the Uniform Shop for recycling.

Black Tights: The Uniform Shop has a small number of black tights available for purchase for use outside of school, they are Kayser, 50 denier, opaques tights, $5.00 each. There are only 2 sizes available, M or XLarge. These tights are not available online, and can only be purchased by visiting the uniform shop.

If you have any concerns regarding uniform items, please do not hesitate to contact the Uniform Shop on 8838 1275 or


College Canteen

A reminder that the Canteen is open daily before school from 8.00am (for breakfast) and during recess and lunch.

Parents can use Flexischools to order and pay for Canteen orders.

For more information about the College Canteen CLICK HERE.

Pastoral Care Presentations

Paul Dillon

On May 25 Paul Dillion spoke to Years 10 – 12 about drug education. Paul Dillon has been working in the area of drug education for more than 25 years. Through his own business, Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA) he has been contracted by many agencies and organisations across the country to give regular updates on current drug trends within the community.

He has worked extensively with a range of sporting organisations including the Australian Cricketers Association, the Rugby Union Players Association and the Football Federation of Australia to provide training workshops to elite athletes on a range of alcohol and other drug issues. In 2009 his best-selling book for parents was published titled ‘Teenagers, Alcohol and Drugs‘ and has since been released internationally, being translated into a number of languages. With a broad knowledge of a range of content areas, Paul regularly provides media comment and is regarded as a key social commentator in Australia, appearing on a wide range of television programs including Sunrise, TODAY and The Project discussing topical issues. 

DARTA provides some valuable resources for parents Paul has also written an informative piece on vaping “Vaping: Sorting out ‘fact from fiction’ for those parents struggling with the issue” which is highly informative.


Dr Prue Salter – Study Skills for Year 7 and 8

On June 1 Dr Prue Salter presented to Year 7 and 8 girls and their parents a range of invaluable study skill strategies. This interactive session, which this year included Year 8 as they had not heard the presentation in 2020, providing families with the opportunity to discuss with their daughters’ techniques that will assist in setting up the girls for success in their academic studies.

OLMC has access to her website and I would encourage parents of all year groups to review the various modules which are designed to help students of all ages.

To access the handbook, go to and login with these details:


password: 64results


Michelle Suwandy: Kavanagh Leader            

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? My responsibilities are to ensure that my House is running smoothly and cohesively. This includes working with our House Councillors towards collective goals, increasing House unity and spirit, as well as, preparing for events such as Mercy Day and sporting carnivals. I also work with the leaders of our sister House, Stanley. This further extends to assisting all the other student leaders as we work collectively, as one team, to serve our College community.   

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2020/21? My vision as Kavanagh House Leader is to better instill a sense of community within my House - I would love for Kavanagh to become a family! This would encourage girls to support and uplift each other, through every step along our high school journey. I would love to see this support increase the confidence of all girls and allow them to truly shine, sharing their passions and dreams with not only our House, but the greater school community.           

What is something about yourself that others might be surprised to know about you? I love musicals! You can talk (or sing) about musicals such as Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen or Six and I will definitely join in.                                                            

What are your interests outside of school? My interests outside of school lie in my love of animals (especially my dog Coco) and theatre/film. I am also passionate about theatre/film and its ability to connect with people and transcend the barriers of race, class and gender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


From the College Counsellor

How to look after your mental health this winter

For many people, as the season shifts from Autumn into Winter and the days get shorter and colder, they can notice a change in their mood and wellbeing. The cold and gloomy winter weather can mean that we prefer to stay indoors, exercise less, be less sociable and eat unhealthily. Some ways that we can ensure that we are looking after our physical and mental wellbeing is to try the following tips:

1. Get outside in the sunlight

Sunlight helps increase our levels of vitamin D. A deficiency in vitamin D can contribute to low moods. During winter, Australians may require more sunshine to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D. Please refer to the Cancer Council for further advice about how to do this safely.

2. Move as much as you can

Physical activity is often noted for its physical benefits; but it’s also one of the best ways to relieve and minimise stress and boost mental health. During the colder months we are more likely to skip the gym or stay inside more. Being aware of this is the first step; planning an effective way to stay active when it’s cold is important. Perhaps asking a friend to keep you accountable, setting a daily reminder on your phone, or laying out your active wear so that is visible may help in ensuring the physical activity gets done.

3. Make an effort to be social

We also need to ensure we stay socially active. A tendency to hibernate is natural for many of us once it starts to get cold; but if we isolate ourselves from friends and pleasurable social activities, then we are also denying ourselves a significant source of happiness. Worse, feeling alone can cause depression in those who are susceptible. So, start thinking about how you can keep in touch with family and friends, and not just via social media or technology. Ensure to schedule some face-to-face activities. Simple things such as meeting up with others to go for a walk or to eat a meal at a café can ensure we still maintain connections with others- and take care of some of our other needs.

4. Eat healthily

The cold weather can have us reaching for comfort foods high in sugar and fat. While you may get a short-lived mood boost from these foods, they can negatively affect your overall mood. Focus on fresh foods for most meals. For further information on healthy eating please see Better Health website.

5. Get adequate rest and sleep

Get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep is associated with increased risk for depression and other negative mental health effects. Getting a healthy amount of sleep improves mental and emotional resilience. For adults, it is suggested that a minimum of 7 hours a night is optimal. For adolescents their needs can vary according to their developmental stage, however they should be getting a minimum of 8 hours sleep on most nights. It is also important to value and normalise having downtime or rest breaks. Rest during the day is important in allowing the body to cope with the demands of a busy world. 

6. Get support

Here in Australia, where our winters aren’t really that extreme, it’s unlikely for someone to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). However, that being said, SAD is a very real mental health disorder and those who do suffer low moods may well be likely to experience mild to moderate versions of this specific type of depression. If this is you, then start making plans before winter starts. If you are concerned about your mood or mental health, reach out for support and talk to friends, family and/or health professionals.

Sandra Portela
Senior School Counsellor


Chanel Chidiac: Callan House Leader      

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? My key responsibilities as Callan House Leader are to work with my partner and mentor the Callan girls and assist them as much as I possibly can.      

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2020/21? My vision is to unite the Callan sisters and enable each girl to form a bond with their fellow Callan sisters. I would like to build upon the sense of Callan as a family.                 

What would be a good theme song for your life? Why? A good theme song for my life would be Don't Stop Me Now by Queen, as my life is full of energy and I am always trying to explore and experience new things with my friends and family.                                 

What are your interests outside of school? Outside of school, my interests include sports in particular watching NRL however, I also enjoy playing netball and touch football.                                

Tatiana Harb: Doyle House Leader      

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? To lead Doyle House to victory at various sporting carnivals, to be a nurturing friend and leader to all Doylies, to lead Chapel Assemblies and announce merits at assemblies and to work with the House Council and the Year 12 Student Leadership Team.  

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2020/21? My vision is to continue the legacy of previous Doyle leaders, leading with integrity, compassion and enthusiasm. My key goal is to continue boosting the spirit within Doyle through various initiatives, collaborations with other portfolios and the House Council, and to promote justice within the school. My vision for Doyle House is to create stronger sisterhoods and relationships that go beyond the school gates and to uphold the spirit of the House.         

What is something about yourself that others might be surprised to know about you? I was born overseas.                                            

What would be your superpower? Why? Mind Reading - because I'm very good at judging peoples' characters and can generally know what my friends are thinking before they even say it!                        

Tamsyn Houseman: Doyle House Leader      

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? To encourage and motivate Doylies to participate in College life and sports carnivals.          

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2020/21? To increase participation in Doyle and to win as many carnivals and events as we can.          

What would be your superpower? Why? I would have telekinesis so I can recreate the scene from Matilda when she makes her House move.               

What are your interests outside of school? I love being creative and using photography and digital media as an outlet. I also love playing team sports like netball and ultimate frisbee with my friends.