Lucie Farrugia, Principal

HSC Examinations Commence 

I would like to wish all our Year 12 students all the best as they continue their HSC examinations which commenced last week. All Staff are looking forward to celebrating with you after your exams at the Graduation Mass and Ceremony on Friday 3 December and your Formal later in December.

 

Catherine McAuley Anniversary

As a Mercy school, we remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Sisters of Mercy Founder Catherine McAuley, on the anniversary of her death on November 11, 180 years ago. Last Thursday morning, staff and students gathered around the Catherine McAuley Statue for a reflective prayer service to commence the day. Later that day, we joined together with the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta for a special Morning Tea in the Convent Garden to mark this important anniversary.

 

Masterplan Update

Yesterday marked the official handover of the Brigid Shelly Building to the builders to commence the first stage of our new Masterplan. The planning of this Stage is a result of the dedicated effort of many people including College Staff, Mayoh Architects and Novati Builders. 

Consisting of a new extension and a refurbishment of the eastern wing of the Brigid Shelly Building, the first Stage will provide upgraded and flexible General Learning Areas to ensure that it is at the forefront of modern education and learning. The work will also enhance the existing heritage fabric of the site. Hoarding will be erected around the site from tomorrow to ensure safety for students and staff. We are looking forward to its completion in Term 4, 2022 so that it can be enjoyed by current and future students.

Mercy Scholarships for Year 7, 2023 Entry

A reminder that applications are now open for Mercy Girls commencing in Year 7, 2023 for Mercy Scholarships. OLMC offers a Mercy Scholarship for Academic Excellence, a Mercy Scholarship for Music Excellence and a Mercy Scholarship for Alumnae. Please CLICK HERE to find out more and to apply.

Mercy Tree Christmas Gift Certificates

The Mercy Tree Christmas Appeal launched last week and Christmas Gift Certificates are now available. Donations raised from this appeal will go to support Women’s Community Shelters. I invite you to consider purchasing a Mercy Tree Christmas Gift Certificate to support this worthy cause. Thank you to the many in our community who have already generously made donations.CLICK HERE to purchase a Mercy Tree Christmas Gift Certificate.

Remembrance Day

In Homeroom on November 11, students and staff viewed a video reflection on Remembrance Day where members of our community shared what remembrance means for them. At 11am, across both College campuses, we stopped to observe one minute's silence, pausing to remember all the men and women of the Defence Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Lest we forget.

New College Bus Service – Limited Places Remaining

Last Friday we invited registrations from our families for the new College Bus Service! The response has been overwhelming and there are now only limited places available.

Providing safe and convenient travel for students from Northwest Sydney, the Service is available from the first school day of 2022 for all Mercy Girls in all Year Groups. Commencing at Rouse Hill Interchange, the bus will travel through Kellyville, Bella Vista, Glenwood, Seven Hills and Constitution Hill to OLMC.

The cost of this service is $250 per term. CLICK HERE for more information (including the route and timetable) and to register.

New P&F Committee Elected

Congratulations to our new P&F Committee who was elected at last night's Annual General Meeting. Please refer to the P&F section of this newsletter for the new Committee list. Thank you to our outgoing Committee for their work over the years.

Mercy Artist Shortlisted

Congratulations to Wendy Jin from Year 10 who has been shortlisted for her series in the ATOM PhotoComp exploring the theme of 'Turbulence.' It is lovely that your skills and hard work have been recognised at a national level.

Changes to College Titles

The College Leadership Team has been working to review the titles of some staff roles and key events to ensure they are clear and accurately reflective of that area of the College, particularly in our wider context. We believe that these new names should further improve clarity and communication.

Previous NameNew Name
Leadership TeamCollege Leadership Team (CLT)
Director of MissionDirector of Identity (DI)
Director of Pastoral CareDirector of Student Wellbeing (DSW)
Leaders of LearningHeads of Department (HoD)
House Leaders (staff)Heads of House (HoH)
Student-Led ConferencesParent/Teacher Conferences

 

Vale Sister Shirley Dunn rsm

I was recently informed that, sadly, Sister Shirley Dunn has passed away. Sister Shirley was a Parramatta Sister of Mercy and an ex-student of the College from the Class of 1944. May she rest in peace.

Lucie Farrugia
Principal 


Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Identity

Vinnies Christmas Appeal

Students have created Christmas cards which will accompany our donations of food and toiletries donations. These will be collected by our local Vinnies Chapter in December. We will continue to collect non-perishable food items and toiletries until the end of this Term. Donations can be placed in the boxes at the Staff Common Room or on Level 4 at 12VR. CLICK HERE to view the list of items that can be donated.

Mercy Day Celebrations

We are delighted to be able to hold our Mercy Day Liturgy and modified celebrations which will enable us to fundraise for Mercy Works. We will mark this important Mercy celebration on Tuesday 23 November with a Liturgy and a Mufti-Day (students are asked to bring a $2 donation). All money raised will be donated to Mercy Works to assist women and children in Timor Leste and PNG. 

Advent

The story of Christmas begins with a mother

The season of Advent commences on 28 November and concludes on Christmas Eve. The word 'advent' means 'coming'. It is a time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. This period of waiting and preparation can be marked with daily prayer. Caritas Australia is the Catholic Church in Australia’s social justice body and they will explore the themes of hope, peace, joy and love in Advent and invite us to reflect on the Gospel, learn about the people Caritas Australia serves, pray and take action. Follow the link here for more information and additional resources for your family.

Catholic Earthcare Youth Summit

On Wednesday, November 10, five Year 9 girls attended the Catholic EarthCare Youth Summit. We expanded our knowledge of environmental situations and discovered ways in which we can work to make our school more environmentally friendly. Guest speakers included Ann Marie Brennan (COP26 representative), Alicija Borciuch (Australian Young Christian Worker), Bishop Vincent Long (Bishop of Parramatta) and Taabeia Ilbouri (from the Good Samaritan ministry). During the Summit, we collaborated with many schools from around NSW and learnt about the environmental strategies implemented at each school. In one activity, we worked with different schools to find alternative terms for the words ‘Climate change, Extinction and Global warming.’ By learning to work effectively together, we came up with suitable alternatives including ‘Climate crisis, Ecocide and Global heating.’ The Catholic EarthCare Youth Summit was a great way to learn about environmental strategies that we can implement at OLMC.  - Giselle Kinaan, McAuley 4 

Gabrielle Scanlon
Director of Identity


Rishona Johnwilfred

Kavanagh House Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?  My responsibilities as Kavanagh House Leader are ensuring that all is running well within the House, organising events, running House Assemblies, working alongside with our House Council to improve the House, taking care of our fellow Kavanagh girls and encouraging them to have a growth mindset towards learning.            

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? My vision as Kavanagh House Leader for 2021/2022 is to encourage Mercy Girls to strive to do their best and follow in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley. I would like to inspire Kavanagh girls to step out of their comfort zone and come together as a community to support one another as we overcome challenges in a positive manner. I would love to see Kavanagh become a confident House that thrives on positivity and optimism.           

What would be a good theme song for your life? Why? One Way or Another by One Direction. This is because no matter what, I manage to find a way to break through barriers and achieve my goals - one way or another.            

Name one person with whom you would like to share a meal and why? I would like to share a meal with my late grandaunt. I never got to say goodbye.                

What would be your superpower? Why? I'd love to have the power of flight so I can travel the world and meet new people.           

What are your interests outside of school? Outside of school, I enjoy playing and listening to music, drawing, playing sports, and spending quality time with family and friends.  

Maeve Nolan

Head Girl            

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? Supported by the Student Executive Leaders, I am responsible for the wellbeing of the student leaders and coordinating student leadership meetings to address the concerns, hopes and welfare of the student body. I also liaise with Ms Farrugia and the Staff Pastoral Team to bring concerns, ideas and feedback on leadership activities.    

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022? As Head Girl in 2021/2022, I hope to inspire Mercy Girls to treat people with kindness, inclusivity and respect. I believe that society could use a bit more kindness, and so, as a leader, I aspire to encourage compassion and kindness at OLMC and beyond the College.          

What is something about you that others might be surprised to know? I am a huge germophobe! I always carry wipes in case I need to disinfect something.    

Name one person with whom you would like to share a meal and why? One person I would love to share a meal with is Louisa May Alcott. She is such a talented author, writing my favourite novel "Little Women," and an early American feminist. I'd love to be able to ask her about her novel and involvement in the suffragette movement.                      

What are your interests outside of school? I love travelling (pre-COVID-19 of course), cooking and spending time with my pets Ruari and Ted.


Careers

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! To date, 89 students have received early offers to a number of universities including Macquarie, UTS, Western Sydney, ANU, ACU, Notre Dame, Wollongong, UNE and Charles Sturt. They are set to study in fields ranging across many industries such as business, health, science, chiropractic, engineering, criminology, psychology, law, arts, education, data science, speech therapy, music design and construction.

Donna Jones
Careers and VET Co-ordinator

 

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Vocational Education and Training (VET)

VET courses are a great way for students to work towards a qualification (currently Cert II) whilst they are studying for the HSC. Both courses offered at OLMC allow students to also sit an exam that then allows their study in the VET course to count towards their ATAR as well as their HSC.

Business Services

This year Business Services students have engaged in various practical and theoretical units which prepare them for the workforce. Through Term 3, there has been a particular focus on adapting to online modes of communication, and the use of digital technologies in an effective manner, which has been particularly relevant with Online Learning. Moving into Term 4, students built on these units whilst completing the four non-HSC units which explore practical skills in the workplace. These practical skills aim to make students more effective, efficient, and reliable workers. The skills studied include keyboard speed and accuracy, producing digital texts and emails, and effective communication in the workplace. The students will be able to utilize these skills when they complete their work placement next year.  

Hospitality (Kitchen Operations)

A large part of the Hospitality course, and specifically the ‘Kitchen Operations’ and ‘Cookery Stream’, was this year offered online through Zoom. The Year 11 and the Year 12 Hospitality students worked on theoretical competency tasks as all practical cooking and kitchen work was not possible due to COVID. Luckily, at the start of this school year, hospitality staff included more practical classes instead of theoretical classes. This has allowed Year 12 students to be able to complete the course and their HSC, whilst Year 11 students, once back at school, were very ready to put on their chefs’ jackets, their aprons and cook up a culinary storm!

Mercy Girls have displayed amazing resilience in the VET Hospitality – Kitchen Operations course. During the course, whether face-to-face or online, they have developed meaningful employability skills and knowledge of the Hospitality industry, as they have worked through many competency tasks, both in theory and practical settings.

Some students attended a week of industry work placement just before lockdown and the others will undertake this wonderful experience within the next few months. They will have hands-on experiences as they work with head-chefs, sous-chefs, chefs de partie etc, in some of the finest hospitality establishments within our local area.

Students worked collaboratively as a team, displaying  skills in food preparation, cookery methods, food presentation and served an array of delicious food items during school events and functions. They have proven to be true ambassadors for OLMC Hospitality. The students, with the professional guidance of Mr. Willems, Ms. Nguyen-Trinh, Ms. Little and Ms. Spits, worked tirelessly to prepare and present a wide range of appetizers and food items for the following events: Meet the Principal, OLMC Open Day, the Women in Leadership Forum and the Alumnae Welcome.


From the College Counsellor

Positive Self-Talk

Our internal dialogue, also known as self-talk, can range from giving ourselves instructions, random observations about our situation, or just general self-talk. Self-talk is influenced by the subconscious mind, revealing our thoughts, beliefs and concerns. Positive self-talk or having an optimistic voice inside our heads can help with boosting confidence and resilience, reducing stress levels and can support effective problem-solving. Examples of positive self-talk are: ‘I am doing the best I can’, ‘I don’t feel great right now, but I am working hard to help things get better’.

On the other hand, most of us experience some level of negative self-talk, which can even negatively reframe positive life events. Negative self-talk tends to make people feel miserable and can even impact on their recovery from mental health difficulties. Negative self-talk includes: ‘I should be doing better’, ‘Everyone thinks I’m dumb’, ‘Nothing’s ever going to get better.’

Self-talk is a huge part of our self-esteem and confidence. By working on replacing negative self-talk with more positive self-talk, you’re more likely to feel in control of stuff that’s going on in your life and to achieve your goals. Improving self-talk, like any habit takes planning and intention. It is common for young people to fall into the trap of believing their negative self-talk, which ultimately leads to them feeling even worse about themselves.

Below are some things to keep in mind in either helping yourself or your daughter to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk:

1)     Listen to what you are saying to yourself - write down the dialogue in your head and notice if it is mostly positive or negative.

2)     Challenge your self-talk - Once you have some thoughts written down, examine them and ask yourself

a.  What is the evidence that this thought is true?

b.  What would I say to a friend in a similar situation?

c.  What can I do to change the situation I am feeling bad about?

3)     Replace the negative self-talk with more balanced or positive self-talk.

a.  It can be helpful to make a list of the strengths you have and to focus on these rather than any perceived deficits.

b.  Reframe negative thoughts from ‘I will never be ready for my exams’ to ‘If I spend some time each day preparing, when it comes time to my exam I will be ready to give it my best’.

For an interesting short video about improving positive thinking, consider listening to this Ted talk by Alison Ledgerwood.

Sandra Portela and Rose Sedra
College Counsellors


Debating and Public Speaking

PUBLIC SPEAKING

While Debating has finished for the year, Public Speaking continues in a number of competitions and once again our girls have excelled. In the Parramatta Rotary competition, Mia Fogolin of Year continued her run of successes in competition by taking out the Parramatta Rotary Public Speaking event. The prepared topic was “COVID: Then and now” and Mia’s introduction referred to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, something the adjudicator found very imaginative and attention-getting. In the impromptu section. Mia responded to the topic “If I was Premier for a day” where she spoke about helping disadvantaged families at Christmas. The win means that the Ern Clift shield will be held by OLMC for the next year. Well done, Mia.

Several girls submitted videos to the UN Voice competition two weeks ago, then had to attend a Zoom session where they were questioned about the viability of their proposed solution to a social problem. This competition drew hundreds of entries from all over NSW and only the top twenty progressed to the State semi-finals. Congratulations to Haynin Lai of Year 7 who now competes in the junior semi-final next week on Zoom. This is a particularly competitive event and Haynin has done exceptionally well to progress. We wish her luck in the semi-finals.

Ten more girls have submitted speeches to the Captivate the Future competition and we should be receiving news about the results very soon.

The annual Christmas Competition will be held in the week beginning Monday 22 November. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have separate competitions with the winner in each Year level having their names inscribed on the winning shields. Each year, the DAPS leaders choose the topic and girls need to prepare a two-minute speech for presenting in the College Library at lunchtime. Sakshi Chouta and Stephanie Ogle have thrown out the challenge by providing the topic ”If the Grinch got his way”. Advertising posters with details are around the College and entry forms can be collected from the Student Centre. The Christmas competition is open to all students even if they have never participated in other Public Speaking events.

Christopher Ostrowski
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator

Sport

Saturday Tennis

It was wonderful to have our girls back playing school sport again! OLMC’s Tennis team travelled to Mittagong to compete against Frensham in the first round of IGSA Saturday Tennis. Even though the Tennis competition is just for fun, the girls played exceptionally well, especially since our team is so young, narrowly defeating Frensham. Our Tennis team consists of Catherine Yue, Renee Poon, Zali Lazeravic and Talia Lahoud. All the girls play a single match, and two doubles matches and here are the results:

  • Doubles 1 - Won 5-3
  • Doubles 2 – Drew 4 all
  • Singles 1 - Lost 4-2
  • Singles 2 – Drew 3 all
  • Singles 3 - Won 5-1
  • Singles 4 - Lost 4-2
  • Doubles 1 Reverse - Won 7-1
  • Doubles 2 Reverse - Lost 5-3

NSW All Schools Athletics Championships

Although the PDSSSC and NSWCCC Athletics Championships were cancelled this year, students are still able to compete at the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships and no qualifications are necessary. They will be held from December 9 to 12 at SOPAC.

Please see the following link for more information and how to register (entries close November 29) - https://www.nswathletics.org.au/events/114921/?utm_source=Website

If you decide to compete you will need to wear the OLMC singlet (from the uniform shop) and make your own way to and from the event. Please contact me if you have any questions. 

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 - https://myolmc.instructure.com/courses/39/pages/olmc-sport

If you would like to keep training for your chosen sports during the upcoming holidays, these resources can help you by providing a number of activities and drills you can try at home with minimal equipment, space or people.

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator


On Tuesday 16 November the OLMC P&F Association held its Annual General Meeting (AGM). Please note that due to updates to the Constitution governing the P&F, the AGM has been permanently moved from March each year to November. This change will enable each incoming Executive Committee to start planning events for the following year over the end of year break.

At the AGM our Principal, Ms Lucie Farrugia, provided a summary of the significant events at the school this year and thanked the parents for their support throughout 2021. The Chair of the OLMC Board, Ms Kerrie Walshaw, also attended the meeting to pass on the Board’s thanks to the staff and parents for their efforts in what has been a challenging year.

The outgoing committee members reported on their P&F activities. On behalf of the school community, we would like to thank Aubrey Athaide, Julie Ogle and Melissa Rodewald who are retiring from the Executive Committee this year after many years of service to the P&F.

Thank you and congratulations to those parents who nominated for roles on the 2022 Executive Committee:

PresidentVanessa Cassin
Vice PresidentPedro Sampaio
SecretaryBrindha Kugan
TreasurerMichael Johnson
Social ConvenorDiana Makhoul
PRC RepresentativeSheyana La Brooy
Ordinary MemberKatrina Leonardi

The P&F looks forward to being able to welcome our community of students, staff and parents to many events in 2022.

Vanessa Cassin
P&F President

P&F Meeting - 29 November 2021

We invite you to attend the final P&F Meeting for the year. It will be held via Zoom at 7.00pm on Monday, 29 November 2021.

Please note that your registration is essential. Registration will close at 4.00 pm on Friday, 26 November. Click here to register.

P&F Committee


Second Form, 1961


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 (https://shop.olmc.nsw.edu.au/) and all orders will be delivered to the Student Centre for collection by students.

Year 7 2022 Uniform Fittings have begun and will continue until Monday 13 December. Saturdays are now available for fittings and all bookings can be made via the College website under Uniforms, and then click the tab ‘Make a Uniform Shop Appointment’. House Shirts will also be fitted during this time and delivery will be via the College in Term 1 2022.

A recommended Year 7 College Uniform Package is available on the Online Uniform Shop.

Year 10 2022 Uniform Fittings have begun and will continue until Monday 13 December. If a fitting is not required, uniform purchases can be made via the Online Uniform Shop and will be delivered to the Student Centre for pick up. If you would like a fitting, then please make a booking via the website. To do this, click on the Uniforms tab and then click the tab ‘Make a Uniform Shop Appointment’.

A recommended College Senior Uniform Package is available on the Online Uniform Shop.

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


CLICK HERE to register for the webinar.