Lucie Farrugia, Principal

Welcome to Term 4

Welcome back to school for Term 4. We commence this Term with many reasons to be positive and hope filled. Whilst we begin the term in Online Learning, we are preparing our return to school management plan to bring us back together onsite safely. I hope to share this with families in the coming days.

Additionally, we are looking at ways to connect parents and teachers through Student Led Conferences which were scheduled in Term 3 and then postponed due to the lockdown. We will provide families with more information regarding this later this week.

Mercy Girl Wins Photography Award

I was delighted to be notified during the holidays that Year 12 student Tamsyn Houseman was the recipient of the People’s Choice Award for the prestigious Olive Cotton Portrait Photography Award for 2021. Tamsyn receives a $250 prize in recognition of this achievement. The College community congratulates Tamsyn on this wonderful achievement and I personally acknowledge the very many OLMC students, staff and parents who voted for this worthy recipient.

Upcoming Parent Event

All parents are warmly invited to attend an online parent webinar coming up on Wednesday, 27 October from 6-7pm. The webinar, entitled Supporting Your Teens to Make Term 4 Count!, will cover a number of areas including understanding our teens’ current psychological state, how to best improve communication skills, installing hope and more.

The presenter is Dannielle Miller OAM, CEO of Australia’s leading provider of in-school wellbeing programs for teens, Enlighten Education. She is also a best-selling parenting author, media commentator and the Director of Education and Special Projects for Women’s Community Shelters, and is the founder of The School Toilet Project. Earlier this year, she was awarded an OAM for her work with women, youth and in education.

An invitation will be emailed to families in the coming days.

This event is the first in a series of online webinars and face-to-face forums to support parents in the coming year.

Best Wishes to the Class of ‘21

I wish our Year 12 girls all the very best for their HSC examinations preparation. Thank you to the Wellbeing Team who arranged for the delivery of lovely care packages for our Year 12 students during the holidays. The girls were surprised to receive these gifts which helped them to remember they are in our hearts and will remain there. I also acknowledge the tireless efforts by all teachers throughout Term 3 and in particular, teachers completing HSC Courses with our Year 12s. The creative ways that teachers have found to keep our Senior girls engaged has been remarkable and much appreciated by the girls and their parents.

Staffing Updates

With great pleasure, I announce that at the end of last Term, Ms Ann-Marie Herd was appointed as the College’s Director of Wellbeing. Ann-Marie is most deserving of this permanent role as an exemplary and visionary leader in the field of Student Wellbeing. As a valued and long standing member of the OLMC Staff, Ann-Marie is well placed to develop wellbeing initiatives, frameworks and contemporary thinking to promote resilience and self esteem in our girls to help them grow confidently as courageous advocates with limitless possibilities.

The College recently commissioned an external consultant to undertake a review of strategic and key functions at OLMC. The purpose was to determine whether the College is positioned, structured and resourced to meet current and future demands and to assist the College in ensuring the alignment of the OLMC Mission, Vision and Strategic Direction.

One outcome of this review has been a slight restructuring of the College Leadership Team, to ensure we are well placed to achievee our strategic vision. The Leadership Team encompasses:

  • Principal – Ms Lucie Farrugia
  • Deputy Principal – Mrs Marie Wood
  • Director of Teaching and Learning - Mrs Louise Millar
  • Director of Student Wellbeing – Ms Ann-Marie Herd
  • Director of Identity – Mrs Gabrielle Scanlon
  • Director of People and Culture – Ms Kathleen Polo
  • Director of Innovation and Partnerships – Mr Matthew Esterman
  • Director of Business Services – Mr Michael Cuzic

I am blessed to work with individuals who are both professional and expert in their fields and who give themselves selflessly in service to the students of OLMC. As a collective, this Team is second to none in their work ethic and their collegial support for one another and for me as Principal.

I would like to wish Mr Stephen Dufty and Ms Boronia Davie all the very best for their Long Service Leave in Term 4. We thank Ms Annette Chippindale for leading the Art and TAS Departments in Stephen’s absence. This term we welcome back Mrs Roumanus from Parental Leave and Mrs Mustac from Long Service Leave.

Key Dates for Term 4

Later this week we will be sharing the College’s Return to Onsite Learning Plan and this will determine some of the key dates and activities of Term 4. In the next newsletter, I will share with you the key dates for the upcoming Term.

Term Dates for 2022

The Term Dates for 2022 have now been published. Click here to view the dates on the College website.

Ms Lucie Farrugia
Principal

 


Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Identity

Dear Father,

Today we bring before you every vulnerable girl across the earth. Let them know your loving kindness. Be their shield, and their hope. Relieve the sufferings of all who have been oppressed.

Renew in your people the firm resolve to protect the most vulnerable in society, especially our children.

Amen.

International Day of the Girl Child

The United Nations has declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. This day seeks to raises awareness about the challenges girls living in poverty may experience. It is a time to showcase achievements and promote empowerment.

This year’s theme is ‘Digital generation. Our generation’ and focuses on how the pandemic has forced us to connect and earn through digital platforms. It is at this time that we are reminded even more that some may not have access to the internet and are likely to feel disconnected.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyCj6g0vOxA


Mikayla Simpson

What is your leadership Portfolio? Mercy Action Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? To promote knowledge, understanding and action regarding local and global Social Justice issues throughout the Mercy community. I also have the privilege of leading a team of Mercy Action Representatives who help spread our vision across the community.             

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? Over the coming year, I hope to educate the Mercy community on key issues and encourage them to enact meaningful change, both locally and globally, through a focus on inclusion and reconciliation within various communities across Australia.         

What is something about you that others might be surprised to know? After working in the environment/conservation sector, I hope to enter politics.    

What would be a good theme song for your life? Why?The 1, by Taylor Swift because it is all about dreaming about what could have been and resilience. Whenever I experience a challenging situation, I just remember the line "if you never bleed, you're never gonna grow."   

Name one person with whom you would like to share a meal and why? Mariska Hargitay. As a woman who's worked in the male-controlled film industry, I would want to ask for her advice on having a social and political voice and using this to speak up for others. I think I would also want to talk with her about her charity, the Joyful Heart Foundation, and its work with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.   

What would be your superpower? Why I think my superpower would be the ability to communicate with the natural world. I've always felt at ease in nature and a connection with the world around me, and I think that ability would allow me to help others do the same.              

What are your interests outside of school? My volunteer work at Taronga Zoo, the environment, and political and social justice issues like women's and First Australian's rights.                                                           

                                                                                                                                            

Olivia Kim

What is your leadership Portfolio? McAuley House Leader            

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? As a McAuley House Leader, some of my key responsibilities include organising House activities and events, being a representative for McAuley girls, and acting as a role model who embodies the values of Catherine McAuley.   

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? In the coming year, I aim to build upon the House spirit which previous leaders have established. I hope to strengthen the bond between McAuley girls, which allows them to feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinion. As the band, ‘Sister Sledge’ once sang, “We Are Family”! Maybe this year, McAuley will be able to take home the coveted Spirit Cup. GO MCAULEY!              

What is something about you that others might be surprised to know? I love musicals, especially the soundtracks. Despite having little ability to dance, I’d love to be in one when I’m older. But for now, I’ll stick to the College Choir.                         

Name one person with whom you would like to share a meal and why? It would be so fun to have a meal with Lin-Manuel Miranda. I love ALL of his work, especially his music. With hard work, creativity, and passion, he has become an inspiration for many, including myself. I mean, how could you say no to this!       

What would be your superpower? Why? I’d like to have super speed as I could run everywhere and save on travel fees.                           


Online Learning '21

Our Mathematics staff continued to make Mathematics fun and relevant during Online Learning in Term 3. Girls in Year 9 have recently been working with trigonometric ratios. They first investigated finding unknown sides of shapes and then, unknown angles, using these ratios. Students applied their knowledge to real-life situations, bringing in questions to solve during Zoom lessons. 

During Term 3, Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 Advanced English students have had the opportunity to study a selection of Shakespeare’s work. Year 9 have been studying the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, exploring insights into human nature and how these are conveyed through Shakespeare’s unique literary and dramatic features. Macbeth has been the focus of Year 10 English. The girls were asked to draw or write about the most significant line in the play according to them.

Ella McGirr painted a fantastic representation of the 'fruitless crown' quote (Act 3, Scene 1). ‘This quote references Macbeth's infertility and inability to pass on his crown to his offspring. My painting demonstrates this through the depiction of a baby's skeleton, rotten fruits, a burning candle and Macbeth's crown.’

As part of their study of Othello, Year 11 Advanced English students participated in a Performance Project. While the intention was to have students perform these scenes in front of their peers, the ongoing lockdown required flexibility. The girls demonstrated their ability to adapt, recording their performances and uploading to CANVAS.

Year 8 Religion students have been looking at the different signs and symbols in the Sacraments of Initiation. In one class, they had to visually present those signs and symbols and upload them to Padlet.

Music

From a very young age, most children are natural-born performers. They love to sing, dance and act, with parents/carers being their first audience. Funny then, that at this current time, our parents/carers have once again become an audience to the students in Music. We have returned to a time when family is of utmost importance and how better to spend some time than to create music to keep us entertained.

Music isn’t entirely about performance however, and the Department usually asks students to think outside the box - which is exactly what has been occurring during the past Term.

Year 7 Music has been using common household items such as cups, and chopsticks to perform and compose pieces that explore the use and manipulation of duration, such as rhythms, time signatures and rhythmic unison versus polyrhythms.

Year 8 Music started their course by looking at mixtapes. We may remember fondly the creation of a cassette tape, carefully selecting songs that would suit a mood, be it happiness, heartache or just relaxation. What we created was a theme, and Year 8 has been deconstructing a theme with reference to the concepts of Duration and Pitch. They have also played virtual drums and keyboard and learnt some music for the whole family to listen to.

Year 9 and 10 Music looked at Musical Theatre. This allowed students to explore the composition of music for theatre as well as the format used in the musical creation process. Year 10 used their understanding of musical theatre conventions to begin planning musical adaptations of some well-loved stories, including 10 Things I Hate About You, The Great Gatsby, Inside Out and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Remote performances from Frozen also kept musical theatre in progress.

Year 11 Music students have been studying Music for Small Ensembles with a focus on exploring some lesser-known cultural music traditions including Klezmer, Celtic and Choro music. Students have worked hard to rehearse and recreate some typical repertoire from these traditions by recording their instruments and/or voices from home.

Year 12 Music students were focused on their HSC, completing the course with quality performances, compositions and viva voces that demonstrated the hard work they put into their music studies. 

Although it’s been a challenging second half of the year, the girls have worked well to keep Music alive and we look forward to our return to school when the music building will once again be filled with sound and activity for all to enjoy.

Belinda Angilletta
Leader of Learning Music


Ann-Marie Herd – Director of Student Wellbeing

To all our families, welcome to Term 4.

This will be, in some ways, another challenging term as we begin the transition back to school although, at the same time, it will be wonderful to have the girls and the staff back on site. It has felt as though the College has been in hibernation so there is no better time than Spring to be back at school!

We recognise that some of our girls will be counting down the days to be back but for some returning to school could well be a source of stress and concern. Recently I took part in a webinar with Dr Murray Wright, the Chief Psychiatrist for NSW Health. He had a number of important messages but in particular, he made note of the following which hopefully will provide some food for thought:

We need to acknowledge that in many ways we have been “short-changed” as a society and as a result, people will be feeling:

  • Unhappy
  • Maybe even distress
  • feelings will be different for different people and no one way is right or wrong – it just is.

As a family, it will be important to focus on self-care and keep the focus short term

  • Things that can’t be controlled should not be the focus rather the focus should be on what can be done in the current circumstance
  • Avoid speculation about the future
  • Make use of stress management techniques
  • Have conversations around the dinner table or when out on a walk with your daughter about how she is feeling about returning to school.

Most of all though, please remember that we are here to support the girls and our families. So please reach out to your daughter’s Homeroom Mentor, House Leader, a College Counsellor or myself if you have concerns.

Pastoral Updates and News

Year 12

At the end of the last term, the Student Wellbeing Team and the Student Centre Staff put together care packages for Year 12. It contained:

  • A candle
  • Rosary Beads
  • The Suscipe
  • “Oh the places you will go” poem
  • Lollies, tea bag and a face mask or an eye mask – so the girls could take time to pamper themselves
  • A House-coloured pen, pencil, eraser and a black pen
  • The below message of encouragement

Dear Girls,

Here is a small gift to sustain you over the next few weeks of study and the final preparations for your HSC examinations.

We recognise that the last two years have presented unusual and difficult circumstances for you as students, and we are enormously proud of the stamina and determination that you have displayed throughout your senior studies.

May you use this time for a little pampering and to recharge yourselves as we move into the last round of high school study. Stay in touch with your friends and teachers-they are an excellent support and only want the very best for you!

We are looking forward to celebrating the end of your school with you as we join together for House Farewells, the Graduation Ceremony and a beautiful Formal.

All our best wishes and God bless.

The Student Wellbeing Team

Year 7 NSW School Vaccination Program

The most recent advice I have from the Clinical Nurse Consultant at the NSW School Vaccination Program is the plans for the School Vaccination Program are still awaiting confirmation. Once a decision has been made, NSW Health will communicate with the College, and our parents.

They have indicated that all Year 7 Vaccination Consent Forms remain valid until the end of 2022 and this will allow NSW Health to complete any catchups when times are more certain. There is no requirement for parents to complete vaccinations through their local doctors, but you can do if you so wish.

Thank you and take care,

Ann-Marie Herd
Director of Student Wellbeing

 


Public Speaking and Debating

Australian Titles

While many students were taking a well-earned rest in the holidays, eight of our girls were involved in the Australian Individual Debating and Public Speaking Competition and its Junior counterpart, Speakfest. Apart from the three days of “live” competition through Zoom at the start of the holidays, our girls also had to submit pre-recorded videos in two events: prepared speaking and interpretive reading. On the actual competition dates, entrants were involved in two rounds each of debating and impromptu speaking. The preparation for these events began three months ago and our girls spent many hours in writing and editing as well as participating in several Zoom workshops. Well done to our Senior team of Sakshi Chouta, Sarah D’Souza, Sophia Santos and Mikayla Simpson, all from Year 11, while Gabby Fleming, Sierra Lake and Jennifer Wang of Year 8 and Neha Sharma of Year 9 represented the College in the Junior parallel competition.

The standard of speakers from schools all over Australia is always exceptional in this event and while our girls were not announced as winners in individual events, the scores for each participant will be released soon and there is no doubt our entrants will prove to have been highly competitive. Congratulations to all girls for the huge effort they put into their preparation.

Thank you must also go to Mrs Maria Bujnowski and Miss Naomi James who supported the girls in their preparation and also gave up their time adjudicating in the competition.

Legacy and Speaking 4 the Planet

Other public speaking events continue to give students more opportunities. The Legacy competition saw Year 9 students Isabella Makhoul and Shanika Nawani submit speeches which they prepared thoroughly and delivered very well on video. In the Speaking 4 the Planet competition, Sophia Tong of Year 7, Annoushka Maikap and Sahanna Sri of Year 8 and Samantha Emeish of Year 11 were also very well prepared for their submissions. While these girls did not progress to the next rounds, they reflect the talent and effort we have come to expect from our public speakers. Well done to all of them.

Upcoming Events

Over the next few weeks, we have many other girls entering competitions.  Eight students are involved in the UN Youth competition, nine more are participating in the Festival of Speech while no fewer than fifteen are taking part in the Captivate the Future event. The Parramatta Rotary competition, previously cancelled but now reinstated, will also see Year 9 student Mia Fogolin as our representative. Together with the ten Year 7 students about to face the challenge of the CSDA debating finals, this enthusiasm says much about the talent and attitude of our Mercy Girls.

Christopher Ostrowski
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator


Library Monitors in 1990


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.


Mercy Futures Special Event