Lucie Farrugia, Principal

Mother Daughter Mass

It was lovely to see students and their mothers fill the Edith Angel Hall on the afternoon of Monday 9 May for our beautiful annual Mother-Daughter Mass. This was an opportunity to give thanks for our mothers and other significant women who have supported us throughout our life. It is timely that this important celebration takes place in May, the month we honour Mary our Mother.

I would like to thank College Chaplain, Father Walter, and staff and students who contributed to this event. A special thank you to the P&F for providing the delicious afternoon tea and to all the Dads who helped prepare and serve the food.

Thank you to our Volunteers

This year’s National Volunteer Week theme is ‘Better Together’ as we celebrate the power of volunteering to bring people together, build communities and create a better society for everyone. I invite everyone to take a pause from our busy lives and join us in recognising the vital work of volunteers, particularly our P&F and Alumnae committees and those who volunteer their time at Open Day and the various other events. To all our volunteers, we say a heartful thank you.

Central Australia Immersion

I would like to take this opportunity to wish our 50 students from Years 10 and 11 and 5 staff: Mrs Gabby Scanlon, Ms Annette Chippendale, Mr Joe Lee, Miss Abbey Connor and Mr Steve Adams, who are participating in the upcoming immersion to Central Australia from 24 May all the very best. This long-awaited immersion has been in the balance since the beginning of the pandemic, so it is now wonderful to know it can proceed. I thank all participants in advance for being open to the learning experiences that await and for taking up the chance to be ‘mercy in action’. We look forward to your return and your sharing your stories with our community.

Women in Leadership Forum - 25 May 2022

Last week you received an e-invitation to our 2022 Women in Leadership Forum.  I am very proud that OLMC has such good standing in the wider community that we have once again secured a first-class panel of inspirational women for this special event.  We will hear from, Rosemary Kariuki-Fyfe (Advocate for migrant and refugee women), Amanda Rose (Founding Director of Western Sydney Women), Dr Mary-Clare Waugh (Paediatrician & Paediatric Rehabilitation Specialist) and Joanna Ryan (Financial Services Specialist).

I warmly invite each person in our community (and beyond) to come along for this exceptional evening. CLICK HERE for more information and to register. I look forward to seeing you there.

SAVE THE DATE: 2022 Celebration of Achievement

This year, the College will hold the Celebration of Achievement evening at Quaycentre, Sydney Olympic Park at 6pm on Monday, 5 December 2022. More information will be forthcoming as we draw nearer to the night. Please note that Student attendance will be compulsory and parents are strongly encouraged to attend. I look forward to celebrating with our whole community the achievements of 2022 at this special evening which will be filled with wonderful music and performances, and recognition of our students’ achievements in a venue befitting this milestone occasion.

Lucie Farrugia
Principal 


Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Identity

Mother Daughter Mass

Our annual Mother Daughter Mass was a wonderful celebration shared by over 300 people in our community. Fr Walter Fogarty led a lovely eucharistic celebration which was accompanied by beautiful music provided by Mrs Belinda Angilletta and the Music Department.

Mrs Regina Elias, mother of Ebony and Chanel spoke about her experiences as a Mercy mother and spoke about the importance of faith and a strong education for her daughters.

I believe two of the most fundamental gifts we can give our children are education and faith. These are gifts that they will have for the rest of their lives and can never be taken away from them.  We are fortunate at OLMC that our daughters are nourished with both, within a supportive, values-based environment, and are given the opportunity to learn, explore and build on the early education and faith lessons we as parents have taught them, so that by the time they are ready to graduate and spread their wings, they have the self-determination to do so. 

Thank you to all who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our celebration as a community was a great experience for all.

Year 10 Reflection Day

On Thursday 12 May, Year 10 students went to St Joseph’s Retreat Centre at Baulkham Hills for their Reflection Day. The theme of the day was “We are Stewards” and looked at the role each person plays in the world in regard to both relationships with others and the earth.

Kim Pearce from The Possibility Project spoke to the girls, who also participated in a range of activities, reflection and prayer. These days are always great community-building days, full of laughter and happy memories.

School Strike 4 Climate Rally

On Friday, 6 May, four OLMC girls took part in The School Strike 4 Climate Rally and march, which was an opportunity to put into action our Mercy value of stewardship. School students of all ages came from across New South Wales to march in support of action against climate change. The strike was organised by School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C), who have previously organised Australia’s biggest climate mobilisation ever. SS4C is a student-led, grassroots organisation that encourages everyday communities to take action for the greater good. As the next generation of Australians, we will experience the impacts of climate change more drastically than any others before us. It was so empowering to see other young people passionate about their future and using their voices to speak up about issues and decisions that will affect all people in the years to come. The experience was eye-opening and encouraged hope for a future where we can all be stewards of the Earth.

These rallies are held each year and we hope this can become an annual event so that more girls in the college can participate! Thank you to Mrs Briggs for organising the excursion and escorting us on the day.  

Charlotte Saker and Isobel Cassin

 

Central Australia Immersion

On May 24 we farewell the 50 students and 5 staff members who will be participating in our first Indigenous immersion. The group will travel to Central Australia and will visit Uluru and King’s Canyon before spending time in community at Kurku and Rodna. 

We wish them safe travels and look forward to hearing about their experiences upon their return. 

 

Mrs Gabby Scanlon
Director of Identity 


Riley McIntosh

What is your leadership Portfolio? Sport

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? Encouraging the OLMC community to engage and participate in sports co-curriculars, carnivals and lunch time activities

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2022? As Sports Leaders we want OLMC girls to have fun with sport and enjoy trying new activities through co-curriculars and carnivals.

What is something about you that others might be surprised to know? I am a Learn to Swim Teacher   

What would be your superpower? Why? Teleportation so I could avoid traffic and travel around the world. 

 

What are your interests outside of school? I love swimming, listening to One Direction and watching reality TV.


Drama

In early May, our Year 11 and 12 Drama students visited Riverside Theatres where they were treated to a double bill of monologues ‘Stardust' and 'The Mission’. These performances showcased the stories of two fascinating Australian men. 'Stardust' explores the life of bandleader and trumpet player, Col Brain. 'The Mission' tells the story of ‘Fighting Gunditjmara’ man, Allan McDonald, one of the first Aboriginal soldiers from Victoria to enlist in war. This was a great experience to help the girls develop their understanding of theatricality. They saw how a strong actor/audience relationship can be created using a minimalist set, transformational props and dynamic performance skills. This has inspired them to apply these ideas to their own performance work.

Visual Arts: HSC Intensive Art Course

During the Christmas and Easter holidays, five Year 12 students had the opportunity to attend the HSC Intensive Art Course at the National Art School in Darlinghurst. They joined over 100 students from around Australia to develop their respective mediums, which were Painting, Life Drawing, Digital Photography and Darkroom Photography. To conclude the program, works developed over the time of their course were displayed in an exhibition which was open to family, friends and teachers.   

Careers

With Year 10 students starting to consider their course options for the HSC and Year 12 exploring their post school options, the following letter from Australia’s Chief Scientist 2016-2020, Alan Finkel, originally published in Cosmos, provides some great advice regarding subject choices and the changing world of work.

Donna Jones
Careers and VET Co-ordinator

Letter to Year 10 student from Chief Scientist

Originally published by Cosmos

 

Dear Julie 

You lamented that you are anxious about your subject choices for Years 11 and 12. You’re not alone! These are important decisions and there’s lots of confusing advice around. 

In my career I’ve been an academic researcher, a businessman, a university chancellor and now a government adviser. Based on this experience, some warm advice …

For starters, build a solid foundation to keep the doors of opportunity open. This means building your expertise in the two fundamental subjects: English and mathematics. Neither can be picked up easily later in life. They are best learned layer upon layer, from prep school through to Year 12.

Mastery of language is crucial to succeeding in whatever you do – whether it’s writing a report to advise the government on electricity markets or a job application. Your ability to “win friends and influence people” will only be as good as your language skills. The best way to hone them is to read a lot, and read some more. Novels, histories, science-fiction – it doesn’t matter, just read!

Mathematics is the language of science and commerce. I can’t overemphasise that for many tertiary study fields you must have strong knowledge of mathematics. These include medicine, science, engineering, economics and commerce. If you like, you can look at it from a fundamentalist point of view: in the beginning, there was mathematics, and mathematics begat physics, and physics begat chemistry, and chemistry begat biology, and biology begat commerce.

With the basics in place, next choose subjects that will stretch you. Why is breadth a good thing? In my case, I studied sciences and mathematics right through but I also picked up Year 12 Economics, which helped me in business and policy development. You’ll find it easier if you choose subjects you like, although my own experience is that nearly all subjects (even economics) are interesting once you knuckle down and get past the initial barriers.

What’s left?  We’re not just intellectual robots. We are a complex fusion of mind, body and emotion.  Besides English and mathematics, there are two other fields that you should keep up as long as you can, even if you don’t do them as formal subjects. These are music, the language of the emotions, and sport, the language of the body. Music and sport complete us as human beings, and like English and mathematics they are incredibly difficult to pick up later in life.

I don’t know why, but some well-meaning advisors will suggest that you pick easy subjects so that you will achieve a higher raw score. Don’t do that! You won’t be doing yourself a favour, you’ll be diminishing your long-term prospects. Instead, choose the enabling subjects, the ones that will keep the doors of opportunity open. Every time you drop an enabling subject – bang! a door of opportunity slams shut.

You’ll hear lots of talk about “21st Century skills”, such as resilience, clear thinking and collaboration. These are important, but truth is, these were 20th Century skills, too. I learned them, a long time ago. They are important, but they are useless unless you study demanding subjects through which you can practise these skills. It’s like playing basketball – you need to know the rules and on-court behaviour – but unless you practise you won’t make the team.

There is no substitute for raw knowledge, even in the age of internet search. After all, there is no use learning to collaborate if you don’t have anything distinctive to contribute. 

Another way to build these 21st Century skills is by volunteering to do some community service or taking a casual job, perhaps at McDonald’s or a local café.

To finish, two comments about careers. 

First, be aware that employers look for “T-Shaped” individuals, where the vertical pole of the T represents deep discipline-specific knowledge and the horizontal bar of the T represents 21st Century skills. Restrict your focus to one or the other and you will be limiting your employment options.

Second, the era in which your tertiary studies determine your lifelong career is over. You might do science but pivot into business. You might do engineering but pivot into politics. You might do accounting but pivot into a job that hasn’t been invented yet. The critical thing is to do your initial tertiary studies really well – that’s how you hone your skills – then after that, in the workforce, it will be easy to pivot from one career to another.

There is, of course, much more to a fulfilling life than these suggestions, but I trust that they will help.

With warm regards,

The Incurable Engineer 

 


From the College Counsellor

Reframing: Learning to find the silver lining during stormy times.

One of the things that people find most helpful about seeing a counsellor or ‘venting’ to a friend is that these chats can often bring a new perspective. But changing your perspective of a situation is a skill you can learn to do all on your own. Reframing (or adjusting your perceptions) can change your experience of a stressful or challenging situation.

Reframing can often bring into perspective one event in a lifetime of experience - a negative experience alternatively can be viewed as a learning experience, or a personal challenge can be used to highlight a generally privileged life.

Reframing is important, because it not only changes our feelings about stressful situations – but has the power to change our physical stress responses to stressful situations. Feeling less stressed about a situation allows the body to return to its normal relaxed state.

Practising reframing – this skill can be broken down into 3 parts:

Part 1 -  Recognising your own thoughts:

It is important to first stop and think about some of the negative thinking patterns we all have. A normal healthy brain automatically recognises the bad parts in any situation. Our brains generally do this so we can learn what harms us and avoid it next time. The problem is when that is ALL our brain noticees about a situation.

What is important about this step is catching ourselves when we are slipping into only negative and stress inducing thoughts or thought patterns. Just observing our own thoughts and being mindful about the things we think about is the first step to changing our perceptions.

Part 2 - Challenging your thoughts:

Once we have learnt how to recognise our thoughts, we need to start checking them for truth and accuracy. Remember that having a thought, or a feeling - does not make it a fact. Ask yourself, is there another possible way to interpret the same set of events? Is there a way to possibly see the same event which does not make you helpless in the situation? Are the things that that I allow myself to think about or ruminate on, even true?

Get in the habit of challenging ALL of your negative thoughts.

Part 3 - Replacing your old thoughts with better ones:

Where possible adjust your self-talk. Instead of using strong and negative words, replace these with milder words. For example, instead of ‘I hate Math, it’s too hard for me’ say ‘Math isn't my favourite subject, it uses a lot of brain power and I have to work harder at it’. Try to view stressful or less favourable situations as challenging rather than threatening.

Try to actively look for the 'silver lining' in each situation and try to see them in a way that still fits the facts of your situation, but that is less negative and more optimistic and positive. 

It is surprising how practising reframing can impact your life experience of stress— changing your perceptions will truly change your life.

 

Rose Sedra
College Counsellor

Ann-Marie Herd – Director of Student Wellbeing

It is always so nice to report, and congratulate the girls on the positive impact our students are having on those they meet. At the recent Athletics Carnival, the SOPAC canteen staff remarked on the kind, thoughtful and polite manner with which the girls interacted with their staff on the day. Additionally, last week we received an email from a commuter who took the time to let us know how respectful and cooperative our girls were on the bus from Castle Hill. 

Term 2 is proving to be a very busy term with lots of activities. In the Wellbeing space the upcoming events are:

·        Tuesday 31 May – Paul Dillon will speak about Drug education to Years 10-12 students

Paul Dillon has been working in the area of drug education for more than 25 years. Through his own business, Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA) he has been contracted by many agencies and organisations across the country to give regular updates on current drug trends within the community.

DARTA provides some valuable resources for parents. Paul has also written an informative piece on vaping “Vaping: Sorting out ‘fact from fiction’ for those parents struggling with the issue” which is highly informative.

·        Tuesday 7 June Dr Prue Salter will present Study Skills to Year 7 in the evening to both the girls and their parents

·        Wednesday 8 -10 June Year 10 will attend Camp

·        Wednesday 15 June Year 7 & 10 will have vaccinations

For Parents:

There is an opportunity for our parents to participate in a webinar on Vaping – the details are below.

“In response to the growing problem of children and adolescent vaping and in the lead up to ‘World No Tobacco Day’, we have organised an information session. Join Professor Renee Bittoun, an internationally recognised expert in the field of nicotine addiction and smoking cessation as well as Principal and Deputy President of Secondary Principal Council, Christine Del Gallo and NSLHD Alcohol and Tobacco Manager, Melissa Palermo on the topic of vaping.

Date: Tuesday 24 May 2022
Time: 7.00 - 8.30pm
Where: Online via MS Teams
Registration: Scan the QR Code (on the flyer below) or click on the link to register.

This session will support parents, carers and teachers:

•             To understand vaping and its health impacts

•             To feel confident talking to your child or students about vaping

 

•             Practical strategies and resources to educate children”

 


Ann-Marie Herd
Director of Student Wellbeing

 


Sport

Saturday Netball

You can view draws and results on the ERNA website - https://www.ernanetball.com.au/

Crazy Hair and Sock Day has been scheduled for week 6, Saturday 21 May – ERNA encourages all players, umpires, coaches, volunteers and parents to don their craziest socks and hair – all for a great cause – to fundraise for the Kids’ Cancer Project.

Donations of coins and notes will be collected on the day.

 

Saturday Soccer

Round 3 of the IGSA Soccer washed out with ground closures but here are the results from round 2:

OLMC 1 defeated Meridan (7 - 2)

OLMC 2 defeated Santa Sabina (8 - 3)

OLMC 3 were defeated by Meridan (8 - 1)

 

 

PDSSSC Teams Tennis

On Monday May 6, OLMC competed at the PDSSSC Teams Tennis event at Penrith. The team consisted of Catherine Yue, Renee Poon, Mia Fogolin and Archa Chavan. The girls all competed in an individual set and a doubles set against each school. OLMC competed against and defeated both Marion and Cerdon Colleges without losing a set, only losing 6 games in total. By winning the PDSSSC Teams Tennis event the girls now get to compete at the NSWCCC Teams Tennis event at Bathurst on May 30th. Good luck girls!

 

PDSSSC Cross Country

On Friday, 13 May, the PDSSSC Cross Country Carnival was held and the following girls participated; Kavya Patel, Hiya Mahida, Matilda Webb, Alexis Hedges, Frances Nolan, Caterina Valore, Marisol Carey, Stephanie Lake, Heidi Francis, Jemima Scothern, Zoe McIntosh, Niamh Nolan, Mia Fogolin, Skyla Stewart, Bronte Herberstein, Lucie Francis, Bianca Salloman, Sophie Assaad, Amelia Johnston, Katherine Baker and Sofia Polson.

Congratulations to Sofia Polson, Katherine Baker, Niamh Nolan, Matilda Webb and Lucie Francis who, by finishing top 6, have all qualified for NSWCCC Cross Country on 7 June at Eastern Creek raceway. Both Matilda (13 years) and Lucie (16 years) were Age Champions winning their age events! Well done girls and best of luck!

 

 

OLMC Athletics Carnival 2022

 

On Friday 6 May, the annual Athletics Carnival was held at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre Warm-Up Track. The College community, once again, entered enthusiastically into the spirit of the day. The track and field competitors enjoyed participating at the arena in cool conditions in a traditional carnival. Thankfully the weather was very kind and the rain held off.

 

A special thank you to the PDHPE staff for assisting in the set up and running of the carnival. A big thank you also to all the staff who helped with the various duties on the day.

 

It is great to see that the OLMC spirit is still overflowing with enthusiasm and commitment, and obviously dominates wherever you may be. In the future we hope to again see the wonderful House “colourful” outfits that were on display.

 

A special thank you to the Sports Leaders, Riley McIntosh and Tarni Sutton, and all the House leaders for their help in preparing for the carnival, and their enthusiasm and leadership, illustrated on the day of the carnival.

 

Congratulations to Clare on their success as House Champion and to Stanley on their success as Spirit Champion for 2022. All Houses should be congratulated as the results were all extremely close.

 

A wonderful result was achieved in the Junior 800m Walk with Matilda Webb setting a new record of 3:36.91, beating the 2009 record by over 10 seconds!

 

Congratulations also to the following girls on their efforts and achievements at the carnival and as a result being crowned age champions:

17+ years – Brooke Luksic
16 years –   Lucie Francis
15 years –   Eleni Mestousis
14 years –   Lily Johnston
13 years –   Matilda Webb
12 years –   Amelia Johnston

Finally thank you to the staff at SOPAC for all their assistance during the preparation and completion of the carnival.

 

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator

Public Speaking and Debating

The last fortnight has seen a flurry of activity in both Debating and Public Speaking.

The CSDA Debating competition got under way when we hosted Pius X College two weeks ago. Congratulations to 8A, 8B, 9A and 9B who recorded wins. While our other teams did not taste success this time, it’s the beginning of a long season and many opportunities for our girls to display their debating skills. Thank you to all our girls for welcoming our guests, acting as chairpersons and timekeepers and setting up all the competition rooms. Thank you also to Mrs Portelli who assisted with the catering.

The second week of competition saw us travel to Domremy College, where our girls came through with flying colours, winning nine out of the twelve debates. Well done to 7A, 7B, 8A, 8B, 9A, 9B, 11A, Senior A and Senior B. This is an exceptional result and hopefully, a sign of good results to come.

Term 2 is an extremely busy one for our public speakers. The commencement of the Parramatta Eisteddfod two weeks ago has seen several of our girls competing. In the 11 to 12 years section of Prepared Public Speaking, Nehal Wadhwa of Year 7 was awarded a Highly Commended certificate. While our other speakers were not among the major placegetters, it was their first competition and they learned much from the experience. Well done to Year 7 students Alexiah Byrne, Shalini Kanagasudaram, Lily Verdich, Ritisha Kadire and Sandithi Suraweera.

The second weekend of the Eisteddfod saw success at many levels. Our girls were entered in four separate events and we won two of those sections. Well done to Arlene Kumar of Year 11 who took out her division in the 15/16 years Prepared Public Speaking and to Matilda Connolly and Olivia Easton of Year 11 who presented a highly entertaining telephone conversation between a mother and her 15 year old daughter who wanted a tattoo. Many other girls received recognition for their efforts in various sections. Demi Kalogeras of Year 11, Kaeshia Suthakaran of Year 8, and Allison John and Neha Sharma of Year 10 all were awarded third placings, while Sophie Assaad and Summer Rayne Roughley of Year 10 came fourth. Makenzie Williams of Year 9 and Janine Delertpradit of Year 10 received Highly Commended awards as did Zoe Borger and Isabella Samaha of Year 10 and Jheyanne Mostoles and Roshni Singh of year 11 in the Telephone Pairs.  

Two weeks ago, two of our students were in the Junior Regional Final of Rostrum Voice of Youth. It is an achievement in itself to reach that level so congratulations go to Year 8 students Lucy Tapley and Sophia Tong who delivered both prepared and impromptu topics impressively. Commiserations to Karen Pannu of Year 10 who had reached the Senior Regional Final but was forced to withdraw at the last moment. Nevertheless, we are proud of these girls’ efforts.

On Monday evening of this week, two of our outstanding Year 9 speakers, Sahanna Sri and Jennifer Wang, competed in the Parramatta Rotary Clift Public Speaking competition held at Club Parramatta. Both girls spoke on the topic “From little acorns, big oaks grow”, giving very different interpretations. In addition, entrants had to respond to the impromptu topic “We are all neighbours”.  In an outstanding performance, Jennifer was declared the winner of the Ern Clift shield but both girls should be proud of their efforts.

Next week, the Eisteddfod continues with many of our girls competing in several events while on Monday, talented speaker Megan Keller participates in the Regional Final of the Plain English Speaking event.

 

Christopher Ostrowski
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator

 


Thank You

Thank you to the OLMC Dads who assisted with the wonderful afternoon tea served after the Mother-Daughter Mass.

Joe Palos
Ammon Cassin
Tom Donohoe
Rodney Elias
Michael Johnston
Kugan Thiru

Also, thank you to Bakers Delight Baulkham Hills and Bakers Delight Merrylands for the discounted bread served on Open Day. Their generosity is very much appreciated.

 


Women in Leadership Forum