Lucie Farrugia, Principal

Dear Families.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the challenging Term we have come through and thank each person in our community, our students, staff and families, for working together. Our strong community here at the College is one of our biggest assets and I am very much looking forward to being able to come together again and provide many opportunities for connection in 2022.

Term 4 Plan

In our communication to families tomorrow we will outline the College’s plans for learning in Term 4. We are confident that our plan has carefully synthesised the best advice and takes into consideration the special circumstances of our College, in order to create the best outcome for our girls. Tomorrow’s communication will also include information about the Term 4 calendar.

Spring Photo Competition

Tomorrow is the final date for students to submit their photos for the Spring Photo competition! Please click here for details. I have included here below a sneak preview of some of the wonderful entries. Thank you to those students who have submitted photos already.

I wish all a safe a relaxing holiday break.

Lucie Farrugia
Principal 


Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Identity

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a person took, and sowed in their field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches”.  Matt 13: 31 – 32

Mercy Day 2021

September 24 is the date we celebrate Mercy Day around the world. This is the day that Catherine McAuley opened the doors of Baggot St to the poor, sick and women and children in need in Dublin. This year, whilst the world remains largely shut down, we are able to participate in a virtual celebration of this important day, and, as we begin to emerge from a time of global crisis and pandemic, we are mindful of our call to continue Catherine’s legacy and vision into the future.

The theme for this year’s Mercy Day is “Opening Doors to an Emerging Future” which is timely and relevant as world leaders have called us to 'Build Back Better' and justice advocates have challenged us to find new solutions and systems which support both people and planet. These calls challenge our Mercy world to open our doors wide and explore what is possible for the future.

The following reflection has been adapted from Boots, Cracked Pots, and a Place at the Table: Mercy in a World Becoming by Madeline Duckett RSM:

This past year we have learned what it is to be vulnerable. Vulnerability can close us down in fear or open us up to previously undreamed possibilities. Possibilities for the future that is emerging, for ourselves and those to whom we minister. Catherine McAuley always stood midway between vulnerability and possibility. Can we stand with hope and faith in this place of possibility, allowing the Spirit’s dream of Mercy to gently unfold? 'To be truly merciful, we must sometimes become defenceless, powerless, like the poor we serve.’

I wish you all a happy Mercy Day for 2021. Despite our distance from each other, our unified belief and trust in Jesus, and the promotion of the Works of Mercy in our daily lives should instill in us a sense of calm and hope.


Gabrielle Scanlon
Director of Mission


Charlotte Saker

What is your leadership Portfolio? Stewardship  

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? Ensuring the environment is taken care of, encouraging Mercy Girls to actively understand environmental issues, and doing all I can to work toward addressing these issues in creative and engaging ways!         

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? As Stewardship leaders we wish to make Eco-OLMC more engaging, inviting and open to more students. We want to enable students to become more interested in environmental issues by raising awareness and funds. We also want students to become more actively engaged and committed to improving our actions and outlook on the environment. To achieve this, we will organise events and activities to endorse Stewardship at OLMC and make this experience more enjoyable. We will also create fun and unique videos to present at assemblies and work with charities and organisations to improve our environment. We will also encourage students to use recyclable objects.

What would be a good theme song for your life? Why?Why did it have to be me? ABBA/Mamma Mia 2. This is what comes to mind often when I am faced with a minor inconvenience!

Name one person with whom you would like to share a meal and why? Matty Healy from The 1975 because that is my favourite band!             

What would be your superpower? Why? Shape shifting! That way I can shapeshift into something invisible, something that can fly and maybe into Einstein!

Charlotte Gillies

What is your Leadership Portfolio? SRC President    

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? In this position, I work closely with the SRC Vice President, Sarah, to lead the Student Representative Council. The SRC is comprised of a team of leaders from various Year Groups. Together we work to implement initiatives that address the interests of the student body – such as Wellbeing Week and Gelato Day. In leading the SRC, Sarah and I organise fortnightly student meetings and attend Executive meetings to relay the students’ ideas to the senior staff at the College.

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? My main goal is to maximise student voice and engagement at OLMC. I would love for all girls to fully immerse themselves into the many activities run by the Student Leadership Team in order to get the most out of their schooling experience. I also hope to empower students to have the confidence to raise issues and suggestions with either Sarah and myself or their House representatives. It is so important that girls feel supported by their leaders as this is the first step to enhancing students’ experiences.               

What would be a good theme song for your life? Dancing Queen - not that I can dance, but it's the perfect song to put you in a great mood.

Name one person with whom you would like to share a meal and why? Amelia Earheart or Marian Wright Edelman. These are two women who have faced adversities in their vastly different paths, but both epitomize bravery and passion.                            

What are your interests outside of school? I love Netball - coaching, umpiring, spectating and of course playing! I also enjoy baking (only desserts) and playing the violin.


Online Learning '21

In a Year 7 Science class, Mrs Johnston used household items to model the digestive system. Students could choose to join in from home with their own equipment or just watch Mrs Johnston do the modelling.

Year 8 Geography has been learning about Topographic Maps. Students are learning the skills needed to understand and use these maps. They had the opportunity for kinaesthetic learning last week: they used playdough, potatoes and apples to create mountains, replicate contour lines and visualise mountain shapes.  

OLMC student startup pitch impresses leading fintech company

Gabrielle Blaine of Year 9 represented her start-up called You Are to over 100 members of the ZipCo financial technology company, facilitated by Young Change Agents Australia. One of the ZipCo teams interrupted the call after her presentation because she had been moved to tears by Georgia’s brilliant proposal to support better body image and self-care for teenage girls. The College is very proud of the You Are team, as they clearly show how our students are going beyond school to show Mercy in all their pursuits!

National History Challenge

Over the past four months, six students from Years 7-11 took part in the annual National History Challenge. The competition encourages students to conduct in-depth Historical research into a topic of their choosing. This allows them to develop their skills as they research topics that may be outside of the traditional curriculum. The theme this year was 'Significance - History Matters.' It was a pleasure to mentor these six girls who, other than the occasional catch-up meeting, largely worked independently even throughout lockdown and online  learning. Below are the six students who entered and a brief overview of their topics. 

Year 7 

  • Kasey Bolt - The evolution of Women's swimwear and its significance as a part of the wider quest for equality 
  • Lizzy Butler - 'History repeats itself' - the importance of learning History to avoid repeating mistakes
  • Kavya Samtani - The participation of Women in the modern Olympic Games - equal recognition in sport

Year 10

  • Katherine Baker - Recognising the significance of Australian Mission History - the importance of getting Historical terminology right 

Year 11

  • Maeve Nolan and Charlotte Saker - Women of Significance in the mass media age - Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana and Michelle Obama.

James Franklin
History Teacher

Careers

UAC Update

With the changes to the HSC examination dates, UAC has provided the following update for key dates related to university offers.

  • Thursday 20 January 2022 – ATARs released
  • Friday 21 January 2022 – Change of UAC preference deadline (by midnight)
  • Monday 24 January 2022 – HSC results released
  • Wednesday 26 January 2022 – University offers released

SRS

There are no changes to the Schools Recommendation Scheme dates.

Applications close this Sunday 19 September 2021 and offers will be released on 12 November 2021

Early Entry Updates

  • Macquarie University – closes 19 September 2021
  • Notre Dame – closes 30 September 2021
  • ACU – closes 24 September 2021 (some courses) and 8 October 2021
  • Southern Cross University – closes 30 September 2021

TAFE NSW 2022 Career Course Guide

With a diverse range of courses, strong industry connections and approaches to learning that suit all needs, TAFE will help you to get the job you want.

https://www.tafensw.edu.au/documents/60140/197799/TAFE-NSW-CAREER-GUIDE-2020-WEB.pdf

PODCAST – What Career do I pick?

If you’re not sure what career you might be interested in, this podcast interviews some amazing guests and provides behind the scenes intel on their professions including product management, data science, forensic, procurement, speech pathology, demographics, entrepreneurship, user experience design and many others. CLICK HERE to access this on Spotify. It is also available through Apple Podcasts.

Launch Your Future – Hospitality

Last week, three OLMC Year 10 students had the opportunity to connect with hospitality industry employers and employees to further develop their understanding of the opportunities for careers in hospitality.

On Tuesday 7 September, Dana, Laura and I attended the Launch your Future - Hospitality webinar held by TAFE NSW. During the webinar, we heard from several different guests from a range of areas in the hospitality industry such as The Paddington Venue Manager, Daniel Azzopardi and Hamish Watts, the co-founder of Apple Jack hospitality. This opened my eyes to a great deal of opportunities and pathways that will help me grow and progress into hospitality. From the webinar I received insightful information to assist me and my future. Key points discussed that impacted me include the attitude and passion these people had from a social aspect, the engagement with people and collaboration you must desire and that every day in the industry is different. We discovered the secret to customer service and to ensuring that every customer has the best experience possible, along with employability skills that will help advance our careers such as communication, problem-solving and financial transactions. The diversity of working in hospitality is limitless as it ranges from tourism to event management. I really enjoyed this experience and now have a clearer perspective on my plans for the near future. - Elyssa Haddad

At this webinar, many experienced workers in the hospitality industry spoke about the wide variety of opportunities and the many pathways available in the hospitality industry. We leanrt about many employment opportunities including Food and Beverage, wait staff, Housekeeping, Café and Restaurant Mangers, and Receptionists. We heard from many trained employees in the Hospitality industry including Bec Watson who is the Front House Manager at the Forrester’s Applejack Hospitality as well as Harley Norman, the Sous Chef at Sassafras restaurant in Yamba. One quote in particular from Bec Watson resonated with me:“Every day is a new day; you meet someone new and they're going to really inspire you”. We also learnt how hospitality could turn into a career if you have the right attitude. This was an exciting event and an opportunity to learn from others about their Hospitality journey. Thank you very much to Mr Willems and Mrs Jones for this eye-opening experience into this fun and passionate industry.  - Dana Aani

Donna Jones
Careers and VET Co-ordinator

 

Science Report

Why STEM Education?

STEM has become ubiquitous in our conversations these days and often used with a sense of urgency, but what does it mean? At the very least it’s an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, although it’s much more than that.

The literacies associated with STEM, and the later addition of the Arts to make STEAM, are potentially a passport to the future, and not just for those who choose to take up STEM careers. Research has shown that students who study STEM courses are more creative, flexible, and adaptive to the changes that are predicted in the workforce and workplaces of the future. According to one source, STEM occupations are growing at 24%, while other occupations are growing at only 4% and STEM degree holders have higher incomes, even in non-STEM careers. The Federal Government’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment are explicit about the role that science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play in the sustained growth of Australia’s economy and global competitiveness saying that “It’s vital that Australia keeps pace with technological change to advance its economy and prosperity.” According to the National Science Foundation, “In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalisation and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” We know that future careers will also rely heavily on 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, cultural awareness, collaboration and problem-solving.

At OLMC, our attention to STEM education complements the development of 21st-century skills, addressing predictions that future workers will spend more than twice as much time on job tasks requiring science, mathematics and critical thinking than they do today. As the world of work changes, we will need to change our skills to match. The gap between the knowledge generated in the education system and the skills demanded by employers and individuals is widening. Overcoming these limitations requires a priority focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including the development of workplace skills in STEM and, at OLMC, we continue to embrace that challenge and lead the charge.

There is nothing new about the importance of STEM education that is well-framed by our Mercy Values. Our Science curriculum continues to engage students with authentic learning experiences that support the development of 21st-century skills such as creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. Our annual STEM days support and reinforce the importance of STEM in our everyday lives and provide valuable insights into STEM career paths and provide worthy role models. We are maintaining a strong focus on developing global competencies as the foundation skills that unify and integrate each of the STEM disciplines and provide the basis for STEAM. Our work is far from finished in this area and a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement are driving the development of future focused strategies for implementation in 2022 and beyond. We know how difficult it is for students to learn and get excited about what is taught in STEM classrooms if they don’t understand how it might be applied and how it’s relevant to them, and this is the focus of ongoing STEM initiatives at OLMC.

With further integration of the STEM disciplines and cross-faculty collaboration on project-based learning initiatives across key learning areas, we are strengthening the foundations of STEM education and rising to meet the challenges of 21st life, work and learning with stewardship of our Mercy values. We are developing new teaching and learning experiences in Science to embed the explicit teaching and learning of global competencies that are essential skills in STEM careers. Enhanced project-based learning opportunities will also enhance engagement with STEM and make learning more authentic. We will continue to develop and expand the relationships we have with STEM industry professionals to enhance our girls’ understanding of STEM career options and support them to realise their potential.

STEM learning is so important for students in all walks of life in our contemporary world, with the rise of new technologies in biomedicine, microfabrication, robotics and artificial intelligence, just to name a few. The ability to understand and apply data and develop ethical solutions to complex problems will be important life skills for everyone. A STEM education at OLMC, founded on the Mercy Values, provides the perfect springboard for Mercy Girls to become the ethical innovators of our future.

Jonathan Saurine
Science Leader of Learning

 


From the College Counsellor

Holidays in Lockdown

Typically, as the school term draws to a close, a common question tends to be “what are you doing in the holidays?” Given we continue to remain in lockdown, this question may have lost its value for some people. In conversations with students, most report that they are looking forward to the break from meetings, zooms, and structured work, but can’t report anything else that they are able to look forward to. Perhaps it may be helpful to change perspective and view this term break as not just a time to laze around but to use some of your time more intentionally. So, what can we do to be intentional and get the very best out of this upcoming break?

Plan your time:

  • Whilst resting is important for our wellbeing we need to also focus on being intentional about having fun and resting your brain rather than your body.
  • Plan something active every day such as a walk, kicking a ball around, a bootcamp style workout.
  • Plan something creative every day such as colouring, drawing or baking.
  • Plan something social if possible, with the people you live with such as a boardgame battle, a workout or cooking together.
  • You don’t have to plan every part of every day, but you may like to have a list of ‘options’ of things to do for your free time. This list can help you decide on some activities to do when you feel a bit bored, and don’t want to turn to your screens. 

Learn a new skill:

  • Pick a new skill and get practising. Whether you sign up to free online classes or you choose to practise skills you have long forgotten about, it can be helpful and fun to not only practise these skills but record your progress. You might enjoy looking back at how far you have come in a couple of years.
  • Visit the great wall of China, or the Louvre. You can visit some of the world's greatest cultural experiences from the comfort of your own home. Some of these amazing tours are on offer for free or for a nominal charge and can be found here. Your family may choose to make a theme of the day and pair a day in Paris with a French inspired meal of cheese, crusty bread and croissants.
  • Combine learning a skill with socialising, ask someone at home (or call someone who might be lonely) to help you learn a skill they already know, like an old secret family recipe. Or make a zoom event of it and do a ‘bake off’, ‘dance off’ or ‘dinner competition’ with friends. Planning these sorts of things ahead of time helps to make sure everyone can be free at the same time you are.

Keep moving and get outside:

  • Everyone knows that physical movement is great for hormone balance, healthy bodies, and emotional regulation.
  • Being active is only limited by your imagination. If typical “workouts” aren’t your thing, find an activity you enjoy, and you will find being active is no longer a chore. You might like to sign up to a virtual dance class, battle family on “So you think you can dance”, go for a longer walk than usual every day and try and beat your time, find a fun 10-minute workout online and do it three times a day, roller-skating, bike riding, and yoga.
  • Even sitting in the sunshine and practicing mindfulness, some stretches, or pottering around the garden can do wonders for your mental and physical health.

Lastly, let’s enjoy our holidays, reset our expectations about what holidays “should” look like and give our brains and bodies a big rest from doing the same thing all day. Do your best to avoid hours of sitting still and staring at a screen by limiting your screen time each day, and, if you are going to use screens, ensure that there is a fun, active or interactive component to it.

Have a safe, restful and intentional holiday! We look forward to continuing to support you all in Term 4.

Should you need additional support in the school holidays, please contact:

  • Lifeline - 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
  • Parent line - 1300 1300 52

Rose Sedra and Sandra Portela
College Counsellors

Stanley House receives message of support from Paralympics

On the 24 August Stanley House celebrated the opening of the Paralympics during our Zoom House Assembly. We focussed on the four core values at the heart of the Paralympic Movement - determination, equality, inspiration and courage. These very closely align to our own Stanley values of Courage, Compassion and Perseverance which, now more than ever, are important to embrace. Stanley House Leaders (2021/2022) Caroline and Zara showcased the strength of one our Paralympic Swimmers, Ellie Cole, Australia's most decorated female Paralympian. Stanley House was also honoured to receive a special message of support and encouragement from Greg Towle, Paralympic Mentor Coach and father of Olivia Towle (Stanley House Leader 2020/2021), and our Paralympic swimmers, including Ellie Cole. Their thoughts and good wishes are with our Year 12s as they prepare for their HSC.

R U OK Day

On 8 September the College marked R U OK Day. In these challenging times, it is more important than ever for us to stay connected and the OLMC community is committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment for everyone. R U OK Day resources were shared with the students and staff on this day.

Jersey Day

Friday September 3 was Jersey Day. Students and staff wore the jerseys of their favourite sporting teams during online classes to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation. Our College Leaders created this video to share the story of Jersey Day.

CLICK HERE to read more about Jersey Day.


Sport

Sport Cancellations

Unfortunately, it is likely that all school sport will be cancelled for the remainder of 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.

If any school sporting opportunities appear in Term 4 that students are able to participate in, I will be sure to keep families and students informed.

Staying Fit and Healthy

On the MyOLMC Sport Canvas page, you can find a document with numerous links to online sport-specific training resources you can access. Here is the link: https://myolmc.instructure.com/courses/39/pages/olmc-sport

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

Sport During Lockdown

Here are some of our students’ stories of how they are training and staying fit during lockdown:

  • Zoe and Riley McIntosh - Unfortunately, they have not been able to train in a 50m pool, however their swim club has organized gym sessions for daily zoom workouts. These sessions focus on strength and conditioning to maintain fitness and mobility. They have both really enjoyed the variety of workouts and training together. Zoe does have a wetsuit and has been training on resistance bands in their pool. Riley is waiting for the warmer weather!
  • Olivia Towle - Olivia has found it hard to stay 'swim fit' however, has recently started to get into her backyard pool as the weather is warming up (even with water temperatures ranging from 14-17 degrees!). Otherwise, she has been staying active by using YouTube to follow online at home exercise routines. Along with that, she also had a competition with her friends to run a total of 50km over the month of August. Olivia’s Dad has recently been in Tokyo as a mentoring coach on the Paralympic Swim Team. The group of athletes he was working closely with includes Ellie Cole, Will Martin, Jasmine Greenwood, Alex Tuckfield and Tom Gallagher. All of these athletes have done exceptionally well and are returning home with a few Paralympic Medals!
  • Annie Gittany - Annie has been trying to do a daily jog, if not just a walk as well as doing some soccer practice at the local park where she has been trying to perfect her Juggling. She has been looking at tutorial videos online and using them to help perfect her technique.
  • Niamh Nolan - Niamh has also been running each morning and practising her soccer skills individually. Her soccer team has also been doing training via zooms with skills’ practice and zooms to keep fit. Her coach has sent online videos with drills to practice at home.
  • Kasey Bolt - Kasey has really missed swimming during the lockdown. She has recently realised that Lake Parramatta is open so has been able to swim there. She has been training every day with cardio and band workouts to maintain strength.
  • Tahlia Smith – Tahlia has been able to continue all her dance classes this term on zoom which has been amazing as she has been doing all the normal things she would do in the studio. She has also started up running (which she is not a fan of) but has forced herself to go on a run at least once a week. Sometimes she does a workout with one of her friends, or on her own.
  • Joy Yacoub – Joy has been able to train over zoom for cheerleading but these have focused more on muscle-strengthening activities and stretches. She has been practising her flips and her dad helps her.
  • Hannah Moore – Hannah, as well as doing YouTube workouts, has been kicking her soccer ball at a wall to increase reaction time, power and speed but has almost broken her bedroom window, more than once.
  • Lexie Elphinstone – Lexie has been extremely active. She plays basketball but hasn’t been able to train as much as she used to, so aims get outside and dribble around so she doesn’t lose her skills. Lexie has developed an interest in Yoga as it relaxes her and reduces stress. She has also encouraged her family to get outside and play or do workouts that she finds on the internet. Lexie also participates in online dance classes twice a week. Finally, she also has an indoor smart trainer which she uses with her mountain bike. It simulates cycling outside without having to walk out the door.
  • Shanaya Don Peter – Like most families in lockdown, Shanaya has enjoyed going on family bushwalks in her local area.

If anyone else would like to share their good news sporting/fitness/training stories, please get in touch with me via email.

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator

 

Max Potential

Congratulations to the Mercy Girls who have been participating in Max Potential.

The Max Potential scholarship program encourages young adults in the Parramatta area to reach their full leadership potential. This is achieved by making connections with others in their local region, being mentored by a coach and completing a full program of activities including a leadership program, analysing their strengths and weaknesses, creating a personal expression demonstrating their potential and designing a pitch for a community project to benefit the community.

Max Potential scholarship recipients have been working diligently to finalise their community service pitch for the workshop day in mid-October. The girls are yet to complete their final presentation of their Community Service pitch which will occur at the graduation ceremony in mid-October.

At the conclusion of the program, Max Potential scholarship recipients are awarded with a Certificate of Completion to acknowledge the outstanding effort for their contributions. Well done to all the girls this year who have worked brilliantly to produce unique and beneficial community projects reflecting the Mercy Values.

Mercy Girls participating this year include:

  • Stephanie Mavridis
  • Cassidey Turrell
  • Charlotte Gillies
  • Cheyenne Baquial
  • Jewel Jackson
  • Mikayla Simpson
  • Sakshi Couta
  • Bernadette Grima

Trudi-Ann Harvey
Max Potential Coordinator

 


Year 7, 1989


Uniform Shop

Whilst the Uniform Shop is currently closed to students and families, online purchases can still be made. These orders will be processed and delivered to the Student Centre upon the students' return.

Purchases: Online purchases can be made via the Online Uniform Shop (https://shop.olmc.nsw.edu.au/).

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.

If you have any concerns regarding uniform items, please do not hesitate to contact the Uniform Shop on 8838 1275 or uniformshop@olmc.nsw.edu.au.