Lucie Farrugia, Principal

Opening School Mass

On Friday 11 February we celebrated a new school year with our 2022 Opening Mass. We were so pleased to be joined by Bishop Vincent Long and Father Walter Fogarty for this special day. Bishop Vincent gave an inspirational homily that included a reflection about the value of Catholic education:

"Catholic education is much more than making you academically gifted, orientating you to a high-flying career, or having you well-situated on the pecking order. Rather, it is more about bringing the best person out of you. It is about drawing out the full stature of Christ in which you were created. It’s enabling you to become the whole person God intends you to be: body, mind and spirit." Bishop Vincent Long 

The Mass was a great opportunity to formally congratulate Sister Barbara McDonough rsm on receiving an Order of Australia in late January. She was acclaimed with a resounding ovation from our students and staff.

Sister Mary Louise Petro rsm, Congregation Leader of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, presented a reflective address after the Mass. At this time our community also officially thanked three retiring staff members. Glenn Waddell, Janet Stephens and Mark Turl were each presented with an inscribed glass plaque from the College. Between these three staff members, there are over 100 years of service to the OLMC community! We wish each of them all the very best in their retirement. 

Year 7 Activities Day

Thank you to all staff who facilitated the Year 7 Activities Day which took place after the Opening School Mass on Friday 3 February. The girls had a wonderful time swimming and playing games and it was such a great opportunity to get to know other girls in their Year Group. It was a fitting end to the Transition Program for our newest Mercy Girls and all are settling in beautifully to their classes and to the demands of high school learning.

 

House Welcome Evening

Last Monday evening we welcomed Year 7 parents for the House Welcome Evening. This was a chance for parents to meet other families in their Houses and also their daughter’s House Mentor and Head of House. Thank you to all families who attended this wonderful community evening. The girls excitedly received their House Polo Shirts – just in time to be worn proudly at the Swimming Carnival a few days later!

Open Day Coming Up

A reminder that our annual Open Day is coming up on Sunday 6 March. Please feel free to extend an invitation to any family and friends who may be considering a Mercy Education for their daughter. The P&F is also inviting parents to assist with the BBQ on Open Day. If you can assist, please CLICK HERE. See more information below in the P&F section of this newsletter. It’s a special day when we can open our College to the wider community and tell of the many wonderful reasons families should consider OLMC for their daughters.

 

Twilight Swimming Carnival

Last Thursday our Twilight Swimming Carnival was a great success! It is events like this that truly highlight the strength of our Mercy Spirit. Congratulations to Mercedes for their victory as Champion House and to Callaghan for their victory as Champion Spirit House. Whilst a lot quieter than previous years (as we upheld COVID restrictions such as not cheering), the girls were highly spirited visually through bright costumes, lights, banners and accessories. Well done girls and hopefully all will be back to our boisterous selves next year.

 

COVID Update

The College has received the next batch of RAT tests. Distribution to students and staff has commenced. Today Years 7 and 9 received theirs and tomorrow Years 10 and 12 will receive their tests.

The current reported COVID cases at the College are as follows: 

  • Year 7 – 2 cases
  • Year 8 – 3 cases
  • Year 9 – 2 cases
  • Year 10 – 3 cases
  • Year 11 – 0 cases
  • Year 12 – 1 case
  • Teaching staff - 1 case 

In very welcomed news today, it was announced that from Monday 28 February, restrictions for schools in NSW will ease. Masks will no longer be mandatory for students and staff and visitors can be invited onto the school site.

 

 

 

Collection Notice for parents/guardians: 2022 Student Residential Address and Other Information

The Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection (the Collection) informs Australian Government school education policy and helps ensure funding for non-government schools is based on need basis. The information collected will be used to inform school funding calculations. It is combined with data held by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to calculate a non-government school community’s anticipated capacity to contribute to the costs of schooling.

Please click here to read the Collection Notice

 

Season of Lent

Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and this marks the commencement of the season of Lent. In the Catholic Church’s calendar, this is the most important liturgical season. Lent challenges us to pause and reflect upon our faith, our devotion to Jesus who is our brother and the ultimate sacrifice He made for all generations to follow.

At Assembly yesterday, I asked our girls to take up the challenge to consistently be kind to all; to the friends they have and to the stranger; to consider their words and actions more fully during Lent and to allow for a deepening of their convictions to help one another and to be mindful of others at all times.

I pray for all Mercy Girls and all families at this important time in the Catholic Church year.

Condolences 

I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to Zoe (Year 8) and Lara (Year 7, 2023) Samar and their family on the recent passing of their mother, Margarita. I ask you to please keep the Samar family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.  

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

 

Lucie Farrugia
Princpal 

 


Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Identity

Lent

Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Catholic calendar. On this day we are invited to stop and reflect on our lives and the way that we are all people who need to seek repentance in one way or another at some time in our lives.

The Mercy International Association has its base in Dublin, Ireland. Their website, Mercy World, is a worthwhile place to go for resources and prayers, and during Lent you can watch a pre-recorded Lenten Program session which will be available each Thursday. Click here to find out more details.

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Shrove Tuesday

The Mercy Action Representatives are running a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Stall to launch our Caritas Project Compassion Appeal. This will be held on Francis Kearney Playground on Tuesday 1 March from 7.30am. Pancakes will be $2 each and come with a range of toppings. Cash and card options available.

Ash Wednesday

All staff and students will participate in an Ash Wednesday Liturgy during Period 1 on 2 March. This will be a time for prayer and to make a personal pledge during our year of Stewardship.

Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal 2022

Project Compassion boxes are available in Homerooms for donations, and once a week we will make the Cashless Tap and Go machine available for those who wish to donate using their card.

Donations to Project Compassion allows Caritas Australia, the Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.

The theme of Project Compassion 2022 is ‘For All Future Generations’ and reminds us that the good that we do today will extend and impact the lives of generations to come. It invites us to make the world a better place by working together now and finding long-term solutions to global issues. 

 

Central Australia Immersion

A reminder to all families that the Pre-Departure Meeting 1 takes place on Wednesday 2 March at 6pm in the Edith Angel Hall. Please enter the College through Gate 3.

Gabrielle Scanlon
Director of Identity


Audrey Baysari

What is your leadership Portfolio? Callaghan House Leader.          

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? Organising House and Homeroom activities, running Chapel Assemblies and House Councillor meetings and assisting girls to get involved within College life.

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2022? To encourage girls to get involved within the school community, even if it's out of their comfort zone.                

What would be a good theme song for your life? Why? An Abba song because their songs are so catchy and I love them.                        

What would be your superpower? Why? To be able to control time. I would go back in time to meet people who I find influential.          

What are your interests outside of school? Reading books and playing different sports.


What is MASSH?

MASSH (Mercy After School Study Hub) operates in the Catherine McAuley Library each Monday to Thursday afternoon from 3.20pm – 5.30pm during Term time.

The library is open until 4.00pm on Fridays.

Students from all Year Groups are welcome and encouraged to attend. This time provides students with an opportunity to complete unfinished classwork, homework, assessment tasks, organise their tasks or to read a book. Students are encouraged to work independently or in small groups as required.

All students are required to sign into the library by 3.45pm and sign out in order to comply with the OLMC evacuation and lockdown procedures.

Academic Supervisors

The College also offers the services of Academic Supervisors (new for 2022). This roster of OLMC staff, along with Mrs. Rugg, will facilitate small group sessions across a number of subject areas, assisting students as required.

There is no charge for this service.

Term 1 Roster

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Mathematics

English

History

Religious Education

English

Science

Mathematics

All staff can assist with other areas e.g. time management, organization, assessment tasks.

 

Do I need to book?

Yes! Preference is given to those students who have booked; however, students may be able to join a group on the day (numbers permitting). If interested, students can see Mrs. Rugg (Library) after school Monday – Thursday (3.30 -5.30pm) or alternatively parents/students can email:  cheryl.rugg@olmc.nsw.edu.au with the following details:

  • Student’s name and Year Group.
  • Subject/area they want to work on with an Academic Supervisor
  • Which afternoon/s you prefer
  • The number of sessions you would like to book. e.g. 4 weeks/ all Term 1

Once this request has been confirmed an email will be sent with the date/ time of the sessions.

FAQs

Do I need to book into MASSH?

  • Students do not need to book to come to MASSH if they are working independently - on arrival they must sign in by 3.45pm.
  • Students must have all resources required for study as they cannot leave MASSH once they have signed in (unless going home).
  • Students are to sign out when they leave MASSH to exit the College grounds.
  • Students must be leave and/or be collected from Gate 2.

Do I need to stay for the whole 2 hours?

  • Students are not required to stay until 5.30pm unless they have a booked session that concludes at 5.30pm.
  • Students may leave at any time; however, students are to remain in the library until they are being collected or travelling home.
  • Students cannot wait in the playground area or outside the gate as these areas are not actively supervised by staff.
  • Students need to be under direct staff supervision for their safety and wellbeing and in order to comply with the College Evacuation policy.
  • Students cannot leave the school grounds (e.g., to buy food) and then return to the College grounds.

What if after school arrangements change and I cannot contact my daughter?

·         Please call the MASSH/ Library’s direct line ph.: 8838 1233.  Ring at any time from 3.30pm – 5.45pm.

What if my daughter needs to eat?

  •     Students should pack extra food that they can eat prior to signing in to MASSH.
  • No food can be consumed in the Library during MASSH.
  • Students are not permitted to leave the school grounds and return to MASSH.

Can my daughter use her mobile phone?

  • MASSH adheres to the OLMC Personal Electronic Device Policy.
  • Mobile phones can be set to vibrate/silent and be in their pocket to receive messages/calls regarding pick up.
  • Students are not to use phones to take photos or engage in any form of social media.

Can my daughter listen to music/use air pods/ earphones?

  • Students may listen to music but must follow the OLMC Personal Electronic Device Policy. 

From the College Counsellor

Developing Healthy Habits

Developing healthy habits often incorporates changing old habits, making major lifestyle adjustments and an element of initial or ongoing sacrifice. Changing old habits can be particularly challenging, because it involves giving up an ingrained behaviour or way of thinking. There are ways to develop healthy habits and maintain a healthy mindset and they are summarised below.

A)   Making a thorough plan.

  1. Firstly, identify the behaviour you want to change and build awareness of your current behaviours.
  2. Identify other patterns and triggers – what is causing your currently unhelpful behaviours? What precedes the behaviour, and can this be avoided?
  3. Make a plan that includes small, reasonable goals and specific actions you’ll take to move toward them. You may choose to only make one small measurable change a week.
  4. Reject an “all-or-nothing” approach or mindset. Healthy habits are not about perfection they are about consistent progress. Trying to change too much at once is likely to lead to failure, disappointment and ultimately abandoning the goal. Instead, start small, and be consistent. Allow yourself to make incidental steps towards your goal as well as structured and planned steps. Every step counts.

B)    Create a supportive environment.

  1. After planning and identifying triggers you may find that you will need to change your surroundings. Find ways to make your choices easy and remove temptations from your immediate environment.
  2. Ask for support, reach out to a family member, friend or colleague who might be able to support you in the change you're looking to make. Your support person might join you in your healthy habit goals or just be a great encourager, either way you don't have to do it alone!

C)   Track your progress.

  1. Keeping a record can help. You can use a paper journal, computer program, or mobile app to record your measurable goal.
  2. Identify negative thoughts about your progress and turn them into realistic, productive ones. Remember, that the aim is not perfection but consistently small steps. If you need to, you may need to adjust elements of your plan or environment to make healthy choices easier.
  3. Studies show that staying on track with a goal can be significantly helped by imagining the future benefits. We can learn to postpone immediate gratification through episodic future thinking, or imagining future positive experiences or rewards.

D)    Celebrate milestones in ways that are not counterproductive to your new healthy habit goals.

E)   Be patient and kind to yourself. Improvement takes time, and setbacks will happen. Setbacks do not equate to failure but teach us what other changes might need to be made along the way. Setbacks are a healthy, normal part of change. Focus on progress, not perfection.

Remember that while you are developing healthy habits, you don’t want to lose a healthy and balanced mindset. College Counsellors can help your daughter to develop healthy habits by taking them through the process of goal setting. Please reach out to the College Counsellors, should you feel your daughter could use this support.

Rose Sedra
College Counsellor

School Student Travel in 2022

Students who need a School Opal card or travel pass but have not yet applied need to apply or update their details as soon as possible.

CLICK HERE to read the full notice from Transport for NSW.

 

School Vaccination Program

Each year NSW Health works in partnership with schools to offer the vaccines recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for adolescents as part of the school vaccination program.

CLICK HERE to read the NSW SCHOOL VACCINATION PROGRAM – SCHOOL NEWSLETTER TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS

Ann-Marie Herd
Director of Student Wellbeing 


Sport

CGSSSA Cricket

On Wednesday February 16, Mercy Girls attended the CGSSSA Cricket Gala Day. It was wonderful to attend our first Sports Gala Day since Term 2 2021. This year we ventured to a wonderful new venue in Gannon’s Park Peakhurst. The OLMC Cricket team consisted of Sharon Julien, Madison Stewart, Jaaniya Shah, Teyana La Brooy, Caroline Thewlis, Vaishnavi Deobhankar, Tanisha Majumdar and Tarni Sutton. The girls had a tough first game against a very strong Monte side then narrowly lost to Loreto Kirribilli by 4 runs. From here on OLMC grew from strength to strength and won their remaining 3 games, finishing third overall. All girls played exceptionally well, especially considering half the team were either in Year 7 or 8! Well done girls on a wonderful result. A big thank you to Miss Millgate for all her help with the team.

Saturday Soccer

Saturday Soccer will be held in Term 2. All students have been emailed a registration form. Any students who would be interested in playing will need to hand their Registration form into the Student Centre Sports Box by Friday, March 4.

OLMC Swimming Carnival 2022

The Annual College Swimming Carnival was held on Thursday, February 17, at the fabulous Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre. The College community entered into the spirit of the day with the girls dividing their time between competitive events and COVID safe "cheering" for their House. It was great to see so many dressed in a colourful and patriotic display for their respective Houses. It was also wonderful to see so many students participating in the swimming events throughout the night, especially the seniors.

A big thank you to the Sports Leaders and to all the House Leaders, who inspired such enthusiasm, spirit and commitment from all students, as well as enthusiastically and generously assisting in the preparation for the Carnival.

Congratulations to the following students for their outstanding swimming efforts throughout the Carnival. These girls were awarded Age Champions:

  • 12 Years: Amatra Ranjan
  • 13 Years: Kasey Bolt
  • 14 Years: Tiana Karl
  • 15 Years: Mia Cleary
  • 16 Years: Emily Shumack
  • 17+ Years: Riley McIntosh

A big congratulations to Eliza Gordan, Catherine Hanna and all Mercedes students for their victory on the Night as Champion House and to Chanel Achie, Audrey Baysari and all Callaghan students for their victory as Champion Spirit House.

Finally, a big thank you to all the staff and students for their efforts on the night.

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator

Dance

In Week 3 the Co-Curricular Dance Open Ensembles launched for 2022. Open to all students, the Open Dance Ensembles meet in the Dance Studio (B111) at 7:30am before school and they are run in a variety of dance styles including:

Tuesdays
 7:30-8:20am

Open Contemporary Ensemble

Wednesdays
7:30-8:20am

Open Hip-Hop Ensemble

Thursdays
7:30-8:20am

Open Jazz Ensemble

 

Each Ensemble is led by an industry-professional dance tutor who works with students to develop their fitness, improve their dance technique and create a routine that will be presented in a dance showcase later this year.

Participation in the Cocurricular Dance Program involves a fee of $85 per Term for each ensemble. This covers tutor expenses. These fees will be charged to the student’s account at the end of each term.

Students can register for an Open Ensemble by collecting a note in the Student Centre. Accounts will be adjusted for late registrations.

If you have any questions, please contact Ms Ieroianni. 

Debating and Public Speaking

A GREAT START

Public Speaking at OLMC continues to grow and in 2022, a record 156 students have put their names down for competition, a number that places Our Lady of Mercy College at the forefront of all schools participating in this valuable cocurricular activity. A major reason for this response must surely be the 73 Year 7 students who registered for competition. For this, we need to thank some outstanding girls who presented a Public Speaking workshop during the Year 7 Transition Program. DAPS Leaders Sakshi Chouta and Stephanie Ogle were joined by Year 8 students Marziyah Patanwala and Celina Wassef in teaching our new students both the skills and the enjoyment of public speaking. The professionalism and expertise of these girls was something to be marvelled at and their enthusiasm played a major role in inspiring our latest Mercy Girls. Sakshi, Steph, Marziyah and Celina deserve every accolade for their contribution.

MORE SUCCESS

Many of our girls have achieved remarkable levels of success in Public Speaking and over the recent holidays, the pattern continued. Captivate the Future was a new competition which asked students from Years 7 to 12 to speak with passion about ways to improve our world. Despite her young years, Annoushka Maikap of Year 8 swept aside older opponents and was declared NSW State Champion for her speech on “Fast Fashion”. The judges used words such as “spectacular” and “amazing” to describe Annoushka’s effort.  To see why, students can go to Information Gateway/Student Speak where there are also many other excellent short speeches by our students on a wide range of topics. Not surprisingly, there are several other contributions by Annoushka which explains how she has honed her skills to an exceptional level. Well done, Annoushka!

It is only early in the year, but already one of our students has met with outstanding success. Selected last year to be our representative in the Lions Youth of the Year competition, Katherine Baker of Year 11 has proven to be the perfect choice to represent the College. Lions Youth of the Year is an exceptionally demanding event, with several judging categories including an interview, community involvement, sporting and academic achievement and of course, public speaking. Only two awards are announced: Overall Winner and Public Speaking Champion. Katherine put in a huge amount of work into her highly sophisticated speech as well as practising impromptu speeches and to say her performances in both events were exceptional is an understatement. It was no surprise when Katherine was declared Public Speaking Champion. Congratulations are well deserved!

CSDA

This Friday sees the first heat of the CSDA Public Speaking competition. As usual, our girls compete at every level and are all preparing keenly for the event which will be held through Zoom. Our entrants are Krisha Kavlani and Miriam Chacty (Year 7), Lara Alam and Jemima Scothern (Year 8), Avria Bergado and Kripa Joshi (Year 9), Summer Rayne Roughley and Deeya Vashi (Year 10) while Kaira Dasgupta (Year 9), Ruwindri Parndigamage (Year 10), Jheyanne Mostoles and Roshni Singh (both Year 11) who are competing at the Senior level. Special thanks to Kaira and Ruwindri who are competing above their year level.

STUDENT SPEAK

All students are reminded that a wide range of student speeches can be found on Information Gateway/Student Speak to see some excellent student speeches and even consider recording their own. You don’t have to be a public speaker to do this: anyone can contribute. All instructions are on that site. Thank you to Mr Matthew Esterman for helping to make Student Speak more accessible to all.

DEBATING

A number of students are asking about debating. This occurs in Term 2 and auditions will happen towards the end of Term 1. All students will be emailed to let them know what is happening so they do not need to worry about missing out.

Christopher Ostrowski
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator

 

 


OPEN DAY - Sunday, 6 March

On Open Day, the P&F supports the College with its contribution to the P&F BBQ. We are calling for helpers who can assist with set up, cooking, service and pack up on the day. This is a great way to meet other parents and represent the College parent community. If you are able to assist, even for an hour, please CLICK HERE.


1962 Swimming Carnival


The OLMC Uniform Shop is located in a historic cottage opposite the main College block on the corner of Ross and Trott Streets. The address is 4-6 Ross Street, Parramatta.

 The Uniform Shop is open (term time only):

Online purchases can be made via the Online Uniform Shop or by emailing uniformshop@olmc.nsw.edu.au

Phone: 02 8838 1275


Open Day - Sunday March 6

CLICK HERE for more information about Open Day.

College Canteen

The College Canteen is operated by Total Canteen Solutions.

CLICK HERE to view the College Canteen Menu.

Students and parents can place an order through Flexischools via this link Flexischools or by downloading the App.


Mercy Futures