Lucie Farrugia, Principal

Celebrations of Achievement

This week is a week of celebration at the College! Our Celebration of Achievement Ceremonies for each Year Group, have provided an opportunity to come together to recognise the diligence and hard work of our students during this challenging year. Congratulations to all our Mercy Girls!

 

 

 

 

Farewell and Thank You

As we approach the end of the year, I am pleased that our College staff has remained stable throughout 2021 and into 2022. There is, however, movement between roles within the College and this is testament to the multiskilled expertise of the staff of OLMC. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge staff who will be retiring or the few moving onto other schools in 2022 and thank them for their service to the College.

  • Christine Hackett will retire from her Library Leadership Position at the end of this year but will continue on in a part-time teaching role.
  • We wish Nerylin Cheeseman all the best as she commences her retirement and thank her for her professionalism and collegiality over the past 10 years.
  • Janet Stephens has been a laboratory Assistant at OLMC for 32 years. She has been a faithful and tireless member of the OLMC family and will be missed, however, we wish her well for a well-earned retirement.
  • We also farewell teachers Jacques Willems, Katherine Bull, Susan Tymoszuk, Catriona McKellar, Rhys Hancock and Gillian Carpenter as they move on from the College. We wish them all the best as they begin new chapters in their teaching careers.
  • We thank Jacinta Ebbott and Blake Hicks who have worked in temporary teaching roles in the Library and in Visual Arts in the latter part of this year.
  • We thank Janna Mastrofilippo for her service in our College Canteen for 16 years. From Term 1 next year, the College will have a new canteen provider.

New Staff and Appointments commencing in 2022

I would also like to introduce some new staff members and advise of new appointments commencing in Term 1, 2022.

  • Benedict Walsh has been appointed to the role of Head of History/HSIE. Ben is currently the Head of History/HSIE at St Paul’s College, Manly.
  • Joel Ford has been appointed as the Head of Library Services. Joel brings a broad range of library leadership and teaching experience within his career so far.
  • Leanne Portelli has been appointed to the role of Leader of Accreditation. We thank Leanne for taking up this position in support of all teaching staff to meet or maintain their professional accreditation.
  • Christine Roumanus has been appointed to the role of Leader of Student Wellbeing. We look forward to the initiatives this significant leadership role within the Wellbeing Team will provide to our care of students.
  • Amy Rowan has been appointed Head of English.
  • Cynthia Martins has been appointed Assistant Head of English.
  • James Franklin has been appointed Head of Mercedes House.
  • Melinda Chand has been appointed Head of Clare House.
  • Tara Milgate will take up the role of Coordinator - Duke of Edinburgh Award. Special thanks to Lorraine Dredge for her valuable contribution to coordinating this program to this point.
  • Cathy McNulty returns to her role as Head of Doyle House. We thank Cathy immensely for her work as Assistant to the Director of Student Wellbeing through 2021.
  • Jared Palmer will replace Sharlyn Teo (Parental Leave) in the first semester as Head of Kavanagh House.

Congratulations and thank you to all these staff members who are taking on these leadership roles or returning to their substantive position at OLMC in the coming year. I feel sure the discernment which has occurred at all levels will result in the very greatest commitment and expertise from our staff to benefit our students.

12VR Campus

It has been a blessing this Term to have access to the high-quality facilities at our 12VR campus, as we endeavoured to keep Year 12 separate from the rest of the school, to separate our Year Groups and to accommodate the building works which commenced toward the end of the Term.

The girls have reported enjoying their dedicated space and the high quality of the facilities.

In planning for 2022, the College Leadership Team has taken the decision to keep 12VR as a dedicated Senior Campus, with mainly Year 12 classes being held there (along with some Year 11 classes). This approach minimises total movement (of students and staff) between our campuses and lost time between lessons. Specialised classes such as science, art, technology, dance and drama will take place on the main campus as will the lunch break for all students, homeroom and pastoral care lessons. Year 12 will be entrusted to navigate their way between campuses without direct staff supervision.

Fees in 2022

Last week, families would have received notification of the College Fees in 2022. Changes to the fees are in response to several factors including, most significantly, a reduction in government funding for the College.

If this change to fees presents too great a challenge for your family at this time, I encourage you to reach out to the College’s Finance Department to discuss payment options in 2022.

New Parent Portal

We are very excited to be launching our new Parent Portal in Term 1, 2022. The portal will help parents stay informed and actively involved with all aspects of the College. Acting as a central point of communication and information for parents, our new Portal will be accessible via desktop and mobile applications and will provide many features that will be launched each term over the course of next year. Some of these will include College news and upcoming events, notifications to parents, fee statements, reports and student timetables.

The changeover to the new portal is a two-step process. The first part of the process is to set up new parent log-ins. Parents will receive an email later this month that will include step-by-step instructions about how to set up their new username and password.

Merry Christmas

Finally, I would like to wish all students, staff and families a very Merry Christmas and all the blessings of this special season. I hope each of you have the opportunity to rest, recuperate and celebrate with your families over these holidays. I also hope you will join in the many Catholic Church liturgies throughout this time with your daughters as an important commemoration of Advent as a time of waiting for the birth of Jesus and a time of hope for all humanity.

Term 1, 2022 commences on Monday 31 January for Years 7, 10 and 12 and Tuesday 1 February for Years 8, 9 and 11. I look forward to a great start to 2022 and a wonderful year ahead for our community.

Lucie Farrugia
Principal 

 

 

 

 


Mercy Day Celebrations

Our community celebrated this day united in prayer and action. After our recorded Liturgy, we heard from Mrs Chand who spoke to us of the wonderful works of Mercy Works and their partnership in Timor Leste. There was a buzz in the air all day, as there always is when we have a mufti day! Thank you to everyone who donated to the day. We raised over $1,500 for Mercy Works towards their wonderful projects which aim to assist women and children in Australia and overseas.

Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Identity

Vinnies Hampers

The response to our annual Vinnies Hamper Appeal was overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who donated food, toiletries and Christmas items to ensure that families in our local area are able to celebrate Christmas together with their loved ones.

A special mention to Mrs Johnston and her classes who moved, sorted and packed the hampers for our local Vinnies Conference to collect next week. Your dedication and acts of service do not go unnoticed - thank you all!

Advent

Advent is a period covering the 4 Sundays before Christmas, during which we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth and anticipate his coming again at the end of time.

As we continue our Advent journey, you may like to engage with some of these prayers and reflections.

Advent Week 1

Advent Week 2

 

Advent Week 3

Advent Week 4

End of Year Liturgies

If 2021 has taught us anything, it is about being agile and embracing each moment as it arises. Our End of Year Liturgies were a wonderful way to be able to join as Year Groups and reflect on the theme of HOPE - the knowledge that we can always look forward with awe and wonder to tomorrow.

 

Thank you to all involved behind the scenes to ensure that these liturgical celebrations were both a celebration of our faith and a sharing of our prayers. A special mention to Ms Chippendale who made our lovely banners, Mr White for his AV assistance, Mrs Reyes and Ms Lonergan for assisting in the planning and preparations, and to the girls who always do such a wonderful job.

I would like to wish all families a very happy and holy Christmas. May this time of year be full of the true meaning of Christmas- taking time out to be with loved ones. I have loved working alongside you all to bring Mercy alive to our community and I look forward to 2022 and all the joys and wonder it will bring to us all.

Mrs Gabby Scanlon
Director of Identity

 


Moana Tuala

Assistant Head Girl         

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?         

To support and collaborate, not only with our Head Girl but the entirety of the Student Leadership Team in strengthening the positive learning environment within the OLMC community while striving to uphold and influence girls to encompass the Mercy Values within everyday life. Specifically, through my public key responsibilities of cooperatively coordinating, attending, and creating school events and engaging school addresses, where the proposals and planning of these events are discussed thoroughly in Student and Staff Leadership meetings.          

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022?

To nurture the individuality and value of each Mercy Girl. I will lead with an inclusive and optimistic attitude to enhance pride in self, school spirit and ambition within a connected and supportive community.   

What is something about you that others might be surprised to know?

My ethnicity. My background is from New Zealand, China and Samoa.                                              

What would be your superpower?Why?

I would love to be able to manipulate luck enabling me to achieve anything. For example, learn to play the piano in a day or minimise Global Warming. This would enable me to solve many major world issue! 

What are your interests outside of school?

I try to use many different skills. I sketch, often when I am bored. I enjoy building, everything from Lego to my own personal computer. I also played Basketball from Years 7-10, competing in the State Cup.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Kirsten Patel

Clare House Leader        

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?         

To develop fun initiatives for our House and encourage girls to contribute to these activities.

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021 and 2022?

To encourage Mercy Girls to strive to do their best and make a difference.                               

What would be a good theme song for your life?

High School by Umi, because it’s an energetic and fun song and I feel like it matches my energy.                

What would be your superpower?Why?

To fly. It would be fantastic to travel all over the world. 

What are your interests outside of school?          

I enjoy painting, cooking and sewing.


HSIE and History Faculties

Preparing for 2022

The HSIE and History Faculty are always keen to hear from our learners on how we can continue to improve our practice and find out how they have been engaging in their learning. Our Commerce Lead Teacher in 2021, Mr Joseph Lee, has sought this information through surveying the cohort of students. While the Commerce team has been receiving student feedback after each unit, they decided to conduct a year survey to help inform our teaching programs, unit sequence and aid in the review of current learning activities.

The Commerce course is exciting in that it allows for both the development of theoretical knowledge and practical life skills. To ensure the course continues to foster and unpack real-world developments and student interests, our learner’s voices are essential. From the survey results, we have been able to gauge the high levels of interest in our legal unit of study 'Law in Action', where students have been highly engaged in the debatable issues surrounding human rights and legal systems around the world. 

After a busy semester of online learning, the HSIE and History Faculty has been excited to welcome our students back into their physical learning spaces for face-to-face teaching for the second part of Term 4. The teachers have strived to make the students’ transition back into on-site learning supportive, fun and meaningful. After months of computer use, we have been focusing on filling our classrooms with more kinaesthetic learning experiences, through students creating models, completing Ted Style Talks and developing mini Biome Restaurants. These structured group work experiences have helped to foster renewed connections with peers and have allowed students to move away from the computer to see how their learning can be applied through creative and practical means.

These learning experiences, like that of the Virtual Work Experience in Year 9 and 10 Work Education, have been taken very positively by our students, as seen by the comments made by Ella McGirr (Year 10):

'My Virtual Work Experience was highly rewarding in allowing me to develop skills that are essential in the workplace; including critical thinking, communication, empathy, and willingness to learn and develop. My chosen course of Psychology enabled me to understand human psychological behaviours which are affected by both biological characteristics and external stimuli. The course consisted of exercises testing personal reactions to stimuli, tracking positive reinforcement and diagnosing symptoms of mental health disorders. As a whole, the course has enhanced my ability to communicate, understand and empathise with others on an everyday basis, which is also applicable in a workplace environment and has offered me many new learning and growth opportunities.'

 

Congratulations

Kasey Bolt (Year 7) was a Regional Finalist in the National History Challenge. Kasey’s entry on ‘The evolution of women's swimwear and its significance as a part of the wider quest for equality’ was considered in the State Level of judging in the History of Sport category. The Judges were impressed by her level of research, historical enquiry and written presentation.

Photo: Kasey Bolt receiving her Young Historian Silver Award from Mr James Franklin.


From the College Counsellor

How to access help during the holidays: 

 As the school year draws to a close and festivities begin, it’s important to note that not everyone finds this time of the year the easiest. There are often high expectations placed on us to see family and friends, enjoy one another’s company, share a meal, exchange gifts, laughter and merriment. The reality is often nothing like this and the higher your expectations the more disappointment you might feel. For some spending time with family can re-open old wounds, for others, it is a reminder of those no longer with us to celebrate. Some will find that they feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness and isolation despite being surrounded by loved ones, possibly leading to low moods and/or anxiety about why they feel this way. 

 If the holidays are a time of stress or distress for you or a loved one, please reach out and get some support. This can be informal support through family and friends, or more formal support via a counsellor or a crisis helpline.  

 If you would like to access a counsellor, often the best place to start is with a trip to your General Practitioner who may provide you with a mental health plan allowing you to access a psychologist for a number of sessions at a subsidised rate. 

Crisis helplines provide free, confidential support, usually 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Lifeline: https://www.lifeline.org.au/ Phone: 13 11 14 

Kids Helpline: https://kidshelpline.com.au/ Phone: 1800 551 800. A service for anyone from 5-25 years of age 

The College Counsellors wish you and your families a safe, healthy and restful break and look forward to supporting your daughters in 2022. 

Sandra Portela
Senior College Counsellor 

 

 


Public Speaking

As the year comes to a close, our Public Speaking girls continue to shine. In the previous edition of Parragraph, we announced that outstanding Year 7 student, Haynin Lai, had reached the State Semi-final of the UN Voice competition. This week, we received the exciting news that Haynin had progressed to the State Grand Final, where the final eight from over 200 initial entrants now compete to represent NSW in the National Final. What makes Haynin’s achievement even more remarkable is that she had to face a panel of judges who questioned her on the viability of her solution to an international problem. For someone so young to respond to this type of scrutiny at short notice is simply remarkable. The Grand Final will be held this Friday and we wish Haynin the best of luck.

Last week, the Parramatta Rotary Club delivered the Ern Clift shield which had been won earlier this semester by Year 9 student, Mia Fogolin, in their annual competition. Mia has a record of excellent results in various competitions but a win in this competition is exceptional. Well done to Mia. She is pictured below with DAPS Leaders Sakshi Chouta and Stephanie Ogle.

Although Sakshi and Stephanie were unable to attend the annual Christmas Competition for Years 7, 8 and 9 speakers, because of COVID restrictions, their chosen topic for 2021, 'What if the Grinch got his way?' attracted many students to this event. The winners for this year were Kasey Bolt in the Year 7 section, while Gabrielle Fleming took out the Year 8 division and Deeya Vashi was successful in the Year 9 category. The quality of entrants was outstanding and all who participated are to be congratulated. Thank you also to the teachers who adjudicated: Mr Altura, Ms Bull, Ms Martins, Ms McKellar and Ms Rowan.

We are still waiting on results from the Captivate the Future Competition but well done to all twelve girls who submitted entries.

Finally, thank you to all who have contributed so much to Debating and Public Speaking this year: the College Administration, the support staff, the teachers and above all, to our wonderful students whose talent and dedication have once again shown themselves to be exceptional speakers, able to match it with the very best, not just in our local area but in fact, nationally and internationally. We look forward to more success in 2022.

Christopher Ostrowski
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator   

Sport

Golf

Annoushka Maikap competed at the '2021 Brett Ogle Junior Masters' on 20 and 21 November in Goulburn. She finished Runner-Up in both the 'Scratch' and 'Nett' events in the Girls 12 & 13 year age groups. With one birdie and 17 pars, she climbed up the leaderboard and defeated some of the top junior golfers in NSW. Considering the bitterly cold conditions with strong winds and heavy rain over the weekend, this was a fantastic achievement. Best of luck to Annoushka who also will be competing at the NSW Junior Championships from 6-9 December.

PDSSSC Blues Sports Awards

Congratulations to the following girls who were awarded a PDSSSC Blue Sports Award for their sporting achievements in 2021:

  • Vaishnavi Deobhankar – Cricket
  • Ashleigh Hamilton – Swimming
  • Summer Giddings – Athletics

Congratulations to Tiana Karl who was awarded the PDSSSC 13 Years Swimming Age Champion.

Saturday Tennis

With only a short season, the final 2 weeks of Tennis are now finished. Unfortunately, the final week was cancelled due to rain. OLMC were up against PLC 1 on 20 November. With an injury in the team, St Scholastica’s kindly leant OLMC a player to fill in so the girls could keep playing. Here are the results:

PLC 1

Doubles 1 - Won 8 nil

Doubles 2 – Won 7-1

Singles 1 – Won 6 nil

Singles 2 – Won 5-1

Singles 3 – Lost 4-2 (St Scholastica’s)

Singles 4 - Lost 4-2

Doubles 1 Reverse - Won 5-3

Doubles 2 Reverse – Won 6-2

Thanks to all the parents who made the trips to support the girls.

 

 

 

 

 

NSW All Schools Athletics

Good Luck to all OLMC students competing at the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships from 9-12 December.

There is also a great post from NSW Athletics about Summer Giddings and her experiences with Athletics:

https://fb.watch/9tP6L3UdTS/

Staying Fit & Healthy

On the MyOLMC Sport Canvas page, you can find a document with numerous links to online sport-specific training resources - 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 and space.

 

2021 Thank You

Despite another challenging year, I would like to thank everyone involved in the College's sporting events throughout the year. I wish you all the best over the Christmas break and hope to see you again in 2022, ready and raring to run back out onto the court/field/pitch/oval!

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator


The final P&F Meeting for the year was held on Monday, 29 November via Zoom. At the meeting, our Principal, Lucie Farrugia, thanked all the parents for their support during the year and provided an update on a number of items including the Building Works. The P&F will be contributing towards the forecourt redesign, a beautifully landscaped area with seating and seasonal flora, which promises to be a natural haven for the students to use and enjoy.

 

Key community events to look out for in early 2022 would be the Parent Welcome Cocktail Party scheduled for 25 February and the Open Day scheduled for 6 March. The College and the P&F Committee look forward to welcoming new parents and the existing school community at these events.

 

P&F Committee


Mercy Girls in 2007


While stocks last! The Uniform Shop has a limited supply of gorgeous keepsake bears pictured below.  They are only $10.00 and can be purchased via the online shop.

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 ‘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.

January 2022 Fittings – there are times now available on the College website.  The shop will be open a few days before school begins. Please check the website for open times.

In Term 1 and Term 4 2022, all girls are to wear the full Summer Uniform. 

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

NOTE: The uniform shop will be closed over the school holidays.  If any purchases are made online, they will be processed after the holidays when students return to school.