Lucie Farrugia, Principal

Online Learning '21

I am so proud of the way our students and staff have embraced this unusual return to school this Term and are thriving through our Online Learning ’21 program. It’s been great to see dynamic and creative digital classrooms across all subject areas and I thank our staff for their professionalism in adapting quickly to this new teaching and learning environment. In our Teaching and learning section below you can see examples of the learning activities undertaken as part of Online ’21.

As you would be aware, the Sydney Lockdown has been extended until July 30. Throughout this period of online learning, I will be communicating with families regularly on a Thursday through the Communication to Families update and through this fortnightly newsletter.


Welcome to the new Director of Teaching and Learning

I would like to warmly welcome Louise Millar, our new Director of Teaching and Learning. Louise has commenced at the College in unusual circumstances and I commend her for the way she has adapted and already shown leadership in these first few weeks of Term. A profile on Louise is below in the Teaching and Learning section.


Changes to Upcoming College Events

In my Communication to Families, I have noted the College activities which we have unfortunately needed to cancel due to the Sydney Lockdown. I have listed them again here below for your reference. I will continue to keep families up to date with changes to the College Calendar.

  • Year 8 Camp (Week 1)
  • Senior Leadership Camp (Week 1)
  • Year 11 VET Work Placement (Week 1)
  • Year 7 Student-led Conferences (20 July)
  • Year 8 Allwell Testing (22 July)
  • Write a Book in a Day (23 July)
  • HSC Art and Design Showcase (12 August)
  • HSC Trial Examinations – These have been moved to Week 5 of this Term





New Mercy Girl Sculpture installed at Roseneath Cottage

During the holidays, ‘Mercy Girl’ was installed in the garden at Roseneath Cottage. A collaborative project by four teachers who engaged in the Mercy 5 Formation Programme in 2018, the work is a point of reflection and a reminder of the work and intention of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy. Known as the walking sisters, The Sisters of Mercy were renowned for putting on their boots and walking out into the community to commit to charitable works. Like her forebearers, ‘Mercy Girl’ wears boots and carries a backpack ready to commit herself to merciful actions. I thank the Maintenance staff for their work on the installation and the staff who were involved in that Mercy 5 Formation Program.



Masterplan Building Works

Over the school holidays, the Maintenance Team has been working hard on essential works and preparations for upcoming works. Part of this preparation was the relocation of the Mercy Tree from the Brigid Shelly Building courtyard to Kavanagh Place near the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre. Given most of our community events happen in the AMCC, this is a wonderful, prominent place for the Mercy Tree. During Terms 3 and 4 this year we will see renovation works undertaken in the classrooms in the Brigid Shelley Building. We are very proud that teaching and learning will be uninterrupted by the upcoming building works due to the leasing of our learning space at 12VR. Mercy Girls will enjoy continuity in learning throughout the Masterplan building works. I will continue to keep parents updated throughout the Masterplan building works.

Lucie Farrugia

Online Learning '21

Learning across all Key Learning Areas has been dynamic and interactive over the past few weeks as we, as a community, have embarked on the new Online Learning '21 program!

In Visual Arts and Design and Technology, students have been developing their creative skills.

In a Year 11 Design & Technology double period, Ms Huang pre-recorded a tutorial and walked the students through how to draw a room from a one point perspective during the lesson.

Years 9 and 10 Photographic and Digital Media classes are studying a Unit on Self-Portraiture. In Weeks 1 and 2 of Online Learning '21, they are investigating different lighting techniques and the works of street photographer Vivian Maier. Students have also been exploring the ideas discussed in class to capture their own ‘life in lockdown’ self-portraits.

A Year 8 English class has been writing a story based on Frederick McCubbin’s famous painting “Lost” and their opening lines, which they shared through Zoom, displayed wonderful creative talent.

Year 11 Drama had fun working together on some inspiration for their upcoming essay on character development. 



For some classes, the first time they have met as a class has been via Zoom! Ms Monteiro's Year 8 Geography class is one example. Ms Monterio asked her students to upload anything that could introduce themselves to her as a learner in Geography. They had to include what they were confident with, what they struggled with, and what success at the end of the course would mean for them. This was their opportunity to show their teacher who they were as individuals and they had the freedom to choose a format to use in order to introduce themselves. The girls used a wonderful array of different media (videos, posters etc), demonstrating that our students go above and beyond and are such reflective learners.




The Science Department has been extremely creative in adapting to this new learning environment - from live streaming experiments to using everyday household items to explain scientific concepts.

Year 11 Chemistry students took a field trip to their kitchens to calculate the moles of household substances via Zoom and breakout rooms.

A Year 7 Science class worked virtually over Zoom to create a Dichotomous Key to classify five items found in their home.


Year 11 PDHPE has developed their very own theme to stay inspired throughout the lockdown. The theme is Be like Ash Barty!

Meanwhile, a Year 7 Maths class has been playing some online games. The games are helping students become quicker in numerical recall which helps with simplifying fractions and creating equivalent fractions.



Welcome to New Director of Teaching and Learning

Louise Millar joins OLMC from St Gregory’s College in Campbelltown, where she was most recently the Director of Teaching and Learning.

Inspired by her high school teachers, Louise pursued a teaching career and now has 20 years of experience behind her, predominantly teaching English and history.

Louise is a big believer in helping students learn how to learn, in order to foster life-long learning. The College’s vision for ‘Courageous Advocates. Limitless Possibilities’ resonates with her sense of the power of education to create continued improvements to opportunities for young women.

Though Louise has commenced at the College in unconventional circumstances in this period of online learning, she feels that “every teacher, leader and learner has been open, welcoming and generous.”

“I have always loved learning: the main thing I want to see in schools is that we help our students find that thing that will switch on their own passions, and gear them into learning which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives, no matter what they do."

Year 8 Course Preferences Live Stream

Yesterday afternoon our new Director of Teaching and Learning delivered an address to Year 8 students and their parents as part of the Year 8 Course Preference Livestream.

Religious Education

Welcome back to Term 3 2021! We find ourselves in a period of online learning once again, but this time we are fully equipped to meet this challenge head-on and are completing our lessons in very similar ways to that which we would normally do. It has been lovely to see the girls and hear their chatter as they discuss ideas in breakout rooms.

The Course Preference process is underway for Year 10 students, with Year 8 and 9 students making their decisions for different courses over the next few weeks. Years 11 and 12 students are preparing for exams, so while in many ways our world has changed, much remains the same. I find myself challenged at the moment to find different ways to teach and to pray but I am discovering new things all the time. You may find of use; it is full of resources to help us remain connected to our faith at this time.

In the virtual Classroom, Year 12 are continuing their depth study of Islam by delving into the religion’s ethical teachings and how they apply to the environmental issues of today’s world. 

Year 11 are examining the origins of Islam in their foundational study of that religion. They are using a variety of strategies such as watching film clips, completing quizzes, co-constructing notes and completing research activities.

Year 10 have just started looking at a new unit on Catholic Social Teaching which will allow them to explore how we make decisions. Year 9 are exploring the Human Search for Meaning and Year 8 are Striving for Goodness. 

Year 7 are being Stewards of Creation, conducting treasure hunts around the home for ideas on how to be stewards of the Earth. Mrs Harvey’s class enjoyed a Fun Friday via Zoom showing off their findings.

I thank you all for adapting so beautifully to this ever-changing situation and looking upon each new challenge as an opportunity to expand our learning and faith beyond what we know it can be.

Ellen Lonergan
Leader of Learning Religious Education


Careers Information

University Open Day season is upon us and whilst many universities will have to switch to virtual Open Days, there is the advantage that students can engage with a number of universities from the comfort of their home. Included is a link with a summary of the Open Days. I encourage all students in Years 10, 11 and 12 to make the most of the opportunities to visit these universities even if it is virtually!

At the end of last term, students in Year 10 attended the Course Preference Evening. This evening provided information on the subjects available at OLMC and also those subjects available through external organisations such as TAFE. For those students wishing to enrol in an external VET course, please contact me for the enrolment forms. Forms need to be completed and returned to me no later than 23 August 2021.

For Year 12 students interested in applying for the Macquarie Leaders and Achiever Early Entry program, please complete and submit your application well before the due date of 20 August to ensure your application will be considered for the first round of offers. A summary of Early Entry programs available through all universities can be found here.

During this period of online learning, I am available Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays via email or via a zoom meeting which can be booked through the normal appointment booking process through the OLMC Careers website.

Further information specific to universities, TAFE and other Colleges can be found in Careers Update below under more ….

Donna Jones
Careers & VET Coordinator

Show more

Access to the Library

In order to keep students connected to the services that the Library offers, below are some infographics that will remind students of the things that we can help with.

Students in Years 7-9 are particularly encouraged to continue entering books into “The Premiers Reading Challenge”. If you have forgotten your username and password please contact the Library team.

Students will not be receiving any more overdue notices and all loan dates have been extended.

If students have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Library team.

Christine Hackett
Library Leader of Learning 


Sport Cancellations

Unfortunately, a number of sporting events have had to be cancelled during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. 

The following sporting events have been cancelled so far:

  • PDSSSC Netball
  • PDSSSC Oz Tag
    NSWCCC Netball

The following sporting events have been postponed:

  • NSW All Schools Cross Country (no new date has been set at this stage)
  • PDSSSC and CGSSSA Dance (may move to online video submissions)

Saturday Netball and Cheerleading training have also been halted in the meantime.

Staying fit and healthy

On the MyOLMC Sport Canvas page I have a document with numerous links to online sport-specific training resources you can access here:

If you would like to keep training for your chosen sports while in isolation, these resources can help you by providing a number of drills you can try at home with minimal equipment, space or people.

Saturday Netball

Congratulations to Samanatha Emeish who was awarded the ERNA Unbadged Umpire of the Month Awarded for June. Well done Samantha.

Unfortunately, Saturday Netball games and training have been halted for the meantime. ERNA hope to still be able to have netballers back at Meadowbank to continue the season but I will keep you updated once we have more information.

The weekly results can still be viewed here –

Don’t forget OLMC Sport is now on Twitter, so join in the conversation @OLMCsport

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator


Debating and Public Speaking

Despite the current setbacks with Covid, Debating and Public Speaking continue to give our girls the opportunity to display their talents.


In Debating, the finals have been postponed to a later date and we look forward to both Year 7 teams continuing their undefeated runs during the season. There is also a correction to a previous report that our Year 9A team had won two debates during the season. Megan Keller, Isabella Samaha, Neha Sharma, and Jasmine Velasco had actually won three of their six debates.


Our Public Speaking girls have been achieving wonderful results. The Parramatta Eisteddfod finished just before the holidays, concluding six weekends of this event. As usual, our girls achieved exceptionally well. Over the weeks of competition, OLMC students captured twelve first placings, ten seconds, and numerous third placings. Many more received Highly Commended certificates. These results are a testament to the talent and hard work of our girls.


The holiday workshop to train the eight girls competing in the Australian Titles in September had to be cancelled but arrangements have been made to continue this training via Zoom during Term 3. The Senior team of Sakshi Chouta, Sarah D’Souza, Sophia Santos and Mikayla Simpson and the Junior team of Gabby Fleming, Sierra Lake, Neha Sharm and Jennifer Wang have been preparing despite the change of plans and their work, as expected, is of the highest standard.


Unfortunately, the Soroptimist Public Speaking competition has been cancelled for this year but only two days later, we received details of a new competition to be submitted via video recording. It has been the brainchild of an ex-public speaker from Normanhurst Boys’ School and is open to all students. Known as Captivate the Future, it asks entrants to speak on a topic they are passionate about. Several students have already indicated they want to participate and many more are certain to be involved over the next few weeks.

DAPS Leaders

We welcome Sakshi Chouta and Stephanie Ogle as the new DAPS Leaders for 2021/2022. Sakshi and Stephanie have been outstanding speakers for many years and their enthusiasm and experience make them excellent choices for this portfolio.

We also farewell Sabrina Catania and Anne Nguyen who have proven to be exceptional in their roles over the last year. Sabrina and Anne not only carried out their roles efficiently but also displayed reliability and initiative in so many ways. Thank you, girls. You were truly inspirational.

Christopher Ostrowski
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator  

Academy of Enterprising Girls Program

We are very excited to announce that a team from the Academy of Enterprising Girls program we ran earlier this year has had their idea identified as a winner of the Future of Fashion Design Challenge!

This Challenge rewards ideas that develop solutions to innovate the fashion industry. Several CEOS and other business leaders formed the panel of judges.

The winning team was Team Bunji which consisted of Batul Patanwala, Tvesa Agrawal, Mikayla Simpson, and Jewel Jackson. 

CLICK HERE to view a video featuring their ideas.

We look forward to seeing more great ideas come through from our entrepreneurial students!

Matthew Esterman
Director of Learning Technologies and Innovation

We invite you to attend the next P&F Meeting via Zoom at 7.00pm on Tuesday, 27 July 2021.

Topics for discussion will be:

·        Building Work - overview of the plan and update on the schedule of work

·        Parent Portal

·        Budget – P&F contribution to College projects


Due to the unusual nature of conducting this meeting via zoom, please note that your registration is essential. Registration will close at 4.00 pm on Monday, 26 July and ID’s will need to be checked prior to attending to maintain our security. Click here to register.

P&F Committee

Sarah D'Souza

What is your leadership Portfolio? SRC Vice President    

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? My position requires me to work alongside the SRC President, Charlotte, along with Miss Knox and Mr Franklin, to lead to Student Representative Council from across the Year Groups and Houses. We work together on initiatives brought to our attention by the rest of the student body. We plan and carry out events for the school community throughout the year, most notably the Senior SRC Dance.   

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? I would love to make OLMC a place where the SRC can truly represent the best interests and desires of the student body. I hope to be approachable enough for people to come to me with their concerns and suggestions, so we can do everything in our power to make school an enjoyable experience for everybody.      

What is something about you that others might be surprised to know I am scarily good at putting together flatpack furniture. I think at this point I've built half the furniture in my house.  

What would be a good theme song for your life? Why? Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood, because I too am always cold. 

Name one person with whom you would like to share a meal and why? My late paternal grandfather. I never got to meet him, but I am told he was a wonderful man, and I hope he would be proud of the woman I have become.                  

What are your interests outside of school? I am an avid binge-watcher and snack mixer (my favourite combination is fries and ice cream).      

Study Skills Handbook

STUDY SKILLS TIP FOR JULY: Evaluating Areas to Improve

Over the mid-year break it is easy to put all thoughts of school out of your mind and just enjoy the holidays. This is not a bad thing, it is important to have a good break and clear your mind. When you return to school, it is important to take some time and evaluate your approach in these key areas, writing down the changes you will make this semester so you can really focus on them.

Review of last semester:


How well did you use your time in class? Who did you sit next to? Did you work well together? Did you listen to teachers and fellow students when they were speaking? Did you participate and contribute in your lessons? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?

If you didn’t understand something in class did you ask a question about it? If you were unsure about an assignment or assessment did you check in with your teacher? If you were struggling with a topic did you ask for help? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?

Did you do enough schoolwork each afternoon? Did you plan out a timeline to do the work for your assessments? When you were working at home did you remove all distractions so you could focus? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?

Did you ensure that you were always clear on what you were being tested on? Did you make study notes along the way so you had them ready for test time? Did you test yourself on the content as you were learning it to see if it was in your memory? Did you do lots of questions to practice the skills of the subject? What are the main changes you need to make in this area?

You and your parents can learn more about how to achieve your personal best HERE by logging in with the details below and working through some of the units.

Username: OLMC

Password: 64results

Ann-Marie Herd
Director of Pastoral Care (Acting)



Eliza Gordon

What is your leadership Portfolio? Mercedes House Leader.       

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? To lead by example, enhance student participation, promote ideas, and strengthen House spirit.            

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? I want to really encourage everyone in Mercedes to move past fear or anxiety, and make the most of their high school experience. I would love to promote ideas and allow others to use their voice and contribute to the College.  

What is something about you that others might be surprised to know? I used to be very hesitant to leave my comfort zone in high school, and it took bravery to put myself out there.   

What would be a good theme song for your life? Why? You Get What You Give by the New Radicals because I have been singing that song since I was young, and it is has played in the background of many special memories in my life. The overall message is so simple, yet important.

Name one person with whom you would like to share a meal and why? Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She passed away last year but I would have loved to have had a face-to-face conversation with her because she was so influential and I feel that her knowledge, power and words changed our society for the better.            

What are your interests outside of school? Meditation, Pilates, sewing, hanging out with my friends.

Pastoral Care and Wellbeing in Online Learning '21

Our House Leaders have been continuing to build House spirit in this period of Online learning through innovative activities. 

Stanley House had House Shirt Day during Pastoral Care lesson on Tuesday morning. Some Homerooms are focussing on a different theme each week. Clare 3 last week focused their activities on the theme of Friends and this week's theme is Family. On Wellbeing Wednesday they will be doing a Dance-off to We are Family, Thoughtful Thursday will be a short mediation and on Fun Friday they will be introducing their pets via zoom!

Our Sports Leaders have been communicating with all students their ideas for staying well during this period with different suggestions for each day of the school week. This Friday they have challenged girls to do an activity with their family where they have to match Olympians with their sports.


From the College Counsellor

Tips for Wellbeing:

With the current lockdown, Sydneysiders face a number of restrictions, which are in place to try and ensure our safety. These restrictions can seem onerous; however, we need to accept that we cannot change the current situation but rather focus on the things that we do have control over. Taking care of yourself is something that you can control and will be helpful in ensuring you stay physically and emotionally well. The following tips may be helpful in boosting your wellbeing:

·        Take a break from media. Don’t immerse yourself in the constant updates from sensationalised media outlets. Be informed, but get your information from reliable sources such as the World Health Organisation ( or the Australian Government Department of Health (

·        Eat a healthy diet focused on fruits, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates.

·        Get plenty of sleep. Aim for 8 hours a night.

·        Exercise regularly.

·        Acknowledge your worries by writing them down. This can help by getting them out of your head. You can also start to challenge the thoughts and think about whether the thought is true or not. Start to think about which worries you actually have control to do something about. Worrying about things that are outside of our control is not helpful.

·        Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, guided relaxation, meditation and mindfulness are all great ways to reduce stress.

·        Stay connected with family and friends via technology.

Please reach out for support if you need it. Support can include family and friends or external supports such as those listed in the College Diary. For your convenience a few helpful supports are:

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 (They also offer a 24 hour web chat service, although waiting times for this can be up to 40 mins in the evenings)

Lifeline: 13 11 14 (24 hour telephone service and online chat 7am- midnight)

Dr Russ Harris, a qualified GP and trainer in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has put together a short animated video (5 minutes) which has some further advice for managing your feelings at this time.

Parents can also access a number of resources developed by Reach Out to assist you to assist your children during COVID:  Reach Out Resources

Sandra Portela
Senior College Counsellor




Answers with Dr Justin Coulson: Anxiety in your Child - Wednesday 8 September 2021

Anxiety has become one of the leading causes of ill-health in our children. And it’s also affecting more parents than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated what was already an accelerating problem. Can we stop anxiety? Where is it coming from? Are our kids bubble-wrapped snowflakes that just need to “toughen up” and get over it? Or is there an approach to our children’s anxiety that can build them, encourage them, and give them hope?

Dr Justin Coulson, one of Australia's leading parenting experts, has put together Answers with Dr Justin Coulson: Anxiety in your Child to provide the answers every parent needs to help their children – and even to help themselves. This webinar is designed for parents and educators of primary and secondary school students across Australia.  Schools can register on behalf of their parents and educators in order to give them access to the webinar.  

Anxiety in Your Child is taking place on Wednesday 8 September 2021 from 7.30 pm to 9 pm AEST. 


Boarding students in 1938