Stephen Walsh, Former Principal

Dear families,

I write to you today to inform you of the passing of a very much loved member of our community - Mrs Christine Bourke. All OLMC families will have come into contact with Christine and her husband Paul, as they jointly managed the College Uniform Shop for well over 20 or more years. Prior to the Uniform Shop, Christine and Paul were heavily involved in the College P&F as well as working for the Sisters of Mercy in a number of advisory roles.

Christine Bourke was a true Mercy woman. There was never a day I saw Christine without her cheerful smile, her pleasant manner and her dedicated capacity to serve the families of our community. Christine will be sorely missed by all of the OLMC family.

Christine passed away in the early hours of today after a fairly short illness.

I know that Christine would welcome the words of Catherine McAuley:

“…will you tell them all (the sisters) to get a good cup of tea - I think the community room would be a good place - when I am gone, and to comfort one another - but God will comfort them.”

RIP Christine

Mary Mother of Mercy, Pray for Christine

Venerable Catherine McAuley, Pray for Christine


Last Friday, the College community come together to celebrate our Opening School Mass. After our Eucharistic celebration, we acknowledged the past Principals who were present of OLMC - Sr Janet, Sr Ailsa and Mrs Kitty Guerin, and Sr Edith in her absence, for their outstanding service and leadership of OLMC Parramatta.

Sr Edith Angel1966-1977
Sr Janet Woods1978-1989
Sr Ailsa Mackinnon1990-2004
Mrs Kitty Guerin2004-2013

This is a combined total of 53 years of Leadership of this wonderful College.

There was a line from an Industry Superannuation Fund advertisement a number of years ago which says ‘from little things big things grow’ which talks about how a little investment can set you up for the future. I can only imagine what the 9 Pioneering Sisters would say if they were here with us today to witness the tremendous growth in OLMC over the past 130 years. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus speaks to us “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” How we have grown in 130 years to be a blossoming tree – a Mercy tree with our branches outstretched touching the lives of so many as we educate young women of greater western Sydney.

It is fitting for us in 2019 to acknowledge the dedication and service of the Pioneering Sisters and the many women who joined the Sisters of Mercy and, over more recent years, the many lay teachers and support staff, all whom have contributed to the growth and development of this wonderful school now known as Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta. It's a community that we can all be justly proud of and one we are all committed to serving on behalf of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta.

Sr Mary-Louise Petro rsm, Congregation Leader, presented the College with a framed series of pictures of the Pioneering Sisters and spoke of their individual qualities. She invited the girls to choose one of the Pioneering Sisters as their ‘Spirit Mother’.



In Week 2 we welcomed back our 2018 HSC High Achievers for a special Assembly!

Mercy Girls heard from OLMC's Highest Achiever Cassidy Kealy-Ashby about her journey to HSC success. 

It was lovely to see the smiling faces of our recent school leavers as they took the chance to catch up with their Mercy friends and former teachers who helped them on their journeys.

Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2018 - it was a pleasure to have you back at the College!

Here is an excerpt from Cassidy's speech:

"Grit and hard work go hand in hand. Grit is about having passion and perseverance for a goal and sticking with it, regardless of how hard it gets. Grit is that feeling of being uncomfortable or our favourite term, as Mrs VandePeer refers to it…  “being in the learning pit.” I really believe that grit is one of the most significant predictors of success and students who display grit show the greatest improvements in their learning. Something I’m sure we can all relate to is when we receive an assessment back and feel as though it doesn’t reflect our hard work. However, grit is having the ability to pick yourself up from it, dust yourself off and work even harder- to re do the Mathematics concepts that you don’t understand or to spend time with your English teacher asking for clarification."

(visit our Facebook page to view a video of the event and see more photos)


MATTHEW ESTERMAN - Director of Learning Technologies & Innovation

On the first day of the 2019 school year, the College's new Director of Learning Technologies and Innovation, Matthew Esterman, shared his thoughts on how OLMC is preparing students for the jobs of the future as part of a back-to-school feature on ABC TV News. 


As we have commenced a new finishing time of 3.20pm, I am well aware of concerns expressed by some families in regards to bus transport arrangements and the traffic in North Parramatta. We commenced our discussion with all the bus companies back in May 2018 in regards to the proposed changes. We have now finalised a change in one bus to move from Market Street to Ross Street. Traffic in the area is impacting on bus arrival and departure times.

Last year, I also consulted with the Principal of St Patrick’s Primary School about our new finishing time where we both believed that the change will assist with the traffic flow around the schools.

However, continued work on O’Connell Street, due to preliminary works for the new light rail, slowed down traffic and is making it more difficult to exit left from Ross Street - both mornings and afternoons. I have asked Parramatta Council and Parramatta Police to look at the traffic flow in North Parramatta around the three schools.

I strongly encourage families to plan for extra time if they intend to drop off / pick up their daughters in Ross Street or to find another close and suitable location away from the busy streets.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind parents to please take extra care when driving around the College. Please refrain from making U-turns on Ross Street (especially over double unbroken lines or outside Trott St which is one way) as it is very dangerous given the high volume of children (both from St Patrick’s and OLMC) in the vicinity.

I would like to make it very clear I will not accept rude and offensive parents taking out their frustration on any member of the College staff who are supervising your daughters crossing the road or waiting for buses. I personally witnessed this week a number of near misses that would have caused an accident. Your daughter’s safety is paramount! I have been on the receiving end of rude and aggressive parents myself over the past fortnight and I find this completely unacceptable from members of a Mercy community and it must stop. I am always happy to meet with any parent who may have a concern to raise in a dignified and respectful manner.

School finishing time will not change from 3.20pm for this year. We will also evaluate the length of lunch. The extended day was to allow for students to arrange to meet with their House mentors or House Leaders throughout the year, for some of the co-curricular activities to take place, and for teachers to meet. The College Leadership team will evaluate the school finishing time, buses and traffic throughout the year especially as we receive more information from the Light rail consortium and buses companies about the ongoing development and changes to the local roads around North Parramatta. Please be aware that the long term plan is that Church Street will be closed to all car traffic and the main route through North Parramatta will be via O’Connell Street.

God bless,

Mr Stephen M Walsh



26 FebruaryYear 7 House Welcome Evening (AMCC, 6.30pm)

Public Speaking


A hearty welcome back to all girls and an invitation to be involved in public speaking at OLMC in 2019. The College has an outstanding reputation in the public speaking community, with our girls having a level of participation unequalled by any other school. Over 100 students compete throughout the year in a wide range of events, from local competitions to National titles. All students have been emailed with information. Application forms, including all necessary details, can be collected at the Student Centre.

First indications would suggest this may be our biggest year yet, with a multitude of new Year 7 girls already swooping on the Student Centre to collect forms. The closing date has been extended to Friday 15 February but must close after that as the entire year’s events need to be organised shortly afterwards.


Over the Christmas holidays, we received the sensational news that Jessica D’Souza of Year 11 had been selected in the Australian team to compete at the World Independent Debating and Public Speaking Competition in Toronto, Canada, in April this year. Jess had tasted remarkable success at the Australian titles last September and truly deserves her place in the team. The event is an extremely demanding one, comprising a minimum of eight separate performances in various categories over three days of competition and of course, against some of the best student speakers from around the globe. Congratulations to Jess who will undoubtedly meet the challenge with her usual combination of dedication and talent.


As part of the Year 7 Orientation program, all new students were taken through a series of activities focusing on Listening and Speaking skills. While several teachers were there to support the activities, thanks must go to the many Year 8 and 9 students whose own expertise in public speaking was evident to all. These girls freely volunteered to act as mentors and group leaders throughout the day: Sakshi Chouta, Alyssa Dib, Samantha Emeish, Julia Kable, Riley McIntosh, Ainslie McNally, Ambeikaa Misra, Stephanie Ogle, Tijana Pavlovic, Sophia Santos and Freya Scothern. Special mention must go to Year 8 students Ainslie and Freya who delivered their own excellent presentation on how to deliver a speech. Nevertheless, all girls deserve praise for their contributions.

A special thank you to 2017 Public Speaking leader Amishi Handoo who gave up her day to come in and help and in particular, to deliver her wonderful prize-winning speech on “The Golden Years” which provided an excellent model for younger students. It was a speech particularly suited to the day’s theme of “Embracing Kindness”.

 Mr Christopher Ostrowski
Public Speaking Co-ordinator



OLMC Sport is now on Twitter, so join in the conversation @OLMCsport

2019 Sports Uniform

In 2019, OLMC will be moving into a new Sports uniform. All students playing in OLMC Representative Teams, whether it be a Saturday Sport or a Gala Day, will be playing in the new OLMC Sports Uniform.

There will be a few changes. All students playing Saturday Netball, Saturday Soccer, Saturday Basketball and Wednesday Touch Football will have to buy their Netball dress, numbered playing singlet or shirt and Rep sports shorts. The new OLMC Sports Tracksuit will also be compulsory in the colder weather.

In addition, students playing in most Gala Days will need to buy OLMC Rep Sports shorts and numbered singlet. The singlet can be used across the majority of sports on offer. OLMC bike shorts can also be purchased.

Here are the uniform requirements for each Sport:



Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts


Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts or bike shorts


Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts or bike shorts


Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts


PE uniform

Cross Country

Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts or bike shorts

European Handball

Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts


Numbered shirt, Rep sports shorts


Club uniform


OLMC Netball dress and bike shorts

Oz Tag

Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts


Numbered shirt, Rep sports shorts


PE uniform

Touch football

Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts or bike shorts


Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts or bike shorts

Ultimate Frisbee

Numbered singlet, Rep sports shorts


PE uniform

Uniforms will be available for purchase in early 2019.


Any students who compete at a State or National level and would like to trial as an individual in the below Sports, please contact Mr Guthrie:

  • Australian Football
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Diving
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Waterpolo

OLMC Swimming Carnival 2019

The annual College Swimming Carnival will be held at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on Thursday 28 February.  

Students are reminded of the following:

  • The OLMC Swimming Carnival is held after school.
  • The Carnival will start at 4:30pm and conclude at 8:30pm.
  • Thursday 28 February is a normal school day (Day 4) with slightly shorter lessons.
  • Students WILL NOT need to bring their notebooks to school on this day.
  • Students in Years 7-10 may come to school in full PE uniform. Students in Years 11 and 12 are to wear school uniform during the day. All students may get changed at school at the end of Period 5.
  • Students are encouraged to bring only a small bag to school this day to help minimize congestion in the grandstands at the Carnival.
  • Please note that girls in Years 11 and 12 with a study lesson in Period 5 on Day 4 will be required to remain at school on this day (rather than leave early).
  • Ages are as at 31st December - JUNIOR (12, 13 & 14 years) INTERMEDIATE (15 & 16 years), SENIOR (17+ years)
  • Appropriately dress in clothes of your house colour.
  • All students are welcome to enter any events on the day, but if students wish to be considered for selection in the PDSSSC Swimming Carnival or would like an official time recorded they will need to fill out the entry form that has been emailed to all students.

There will be NO School on Friday 1 March. 

The Swimming Carnival provides an excellent means of enjoying the wonderful spirit of the College. Students are encouraged to participate in an enthusiastic manner and parents are invited to attend.

Mr Stuart Guthrie
Sports Co-ordinator

School Fees

School fees were due on Friday 8 February 2019. If your account remains outstanding, please ensure that the Finance Office receives payment promptly.

Any queries on fees can be directed to the Finance Office on 8838 1214 weekdays (8am - 4pm) or email


Mrs Danielle Dwyer
Director of Business Services  

Open Day Sunday 10 March 2019

2019 College Open Day

Mercy Scholarships for 2020 Entry - Closing Friday 15 February

Mercy Scholarships

Mercy Futures 2019 Dates

Mercy Futures

HeartKids Fundraiser

TICKET SALES CLOSE 17 FEBRUARY. Search 'HeartKids' on for tickets or visit

OLMC students in 1952

Opening College Mass


Our College community joined together on Friday 8 February to celebrate our 2019 Opening School Mass. Mass was celebrated by our College Chaplain, Fr Walter Fogarty, and was a lovely celebration of 130 years of Mercy education.

We were blessed with the presence of three past Principals, Sr Janet Woods, Sr Ailsa Mackinnon and Mrs Kitty Guerin. Unfortunately, Sr Edith Angel was unable to join us for the celebration. Together with other Sisters of Mercy, College Board and P&F Representatives and local members of Parliament, we took time to celebrate, reflect and share on the idea of Service and how we can each work in this 130th year to fulfil the Year 12 theme of ‘be the unseen hero in 1-3-0’.

It was tremendous to see over 110 students working together to share their skills and interests, thus ensuring that the whole community were part of a well-planned and meaningful Liturgy. Students assisted in music and choir, reading, processions and information technology.


Sr Mary-Louse Petro presented the College with a framed photo of the nine Pioneering Sisters. The nine women who, in the prime of their lives, accepted the challenge of leaving their homeland of Ireland to travel to Parramatta in Australia, where they were literally told they would be "exiled". To leave and know that they would never return to their beautiful homeland. Talk about women of Service. These Pioneering Sisters, whom Sr Mary-Louise referred to as our Spirit Mothers, can each be looked to as a role model, guide or support and are all women who lived Mercy. Sr Mary-Louise summarised each of the Pioneering Sisters with a single word or phrase as outlined below:

Mother Mary Clare Dunphy (Catherine)   Joyful
Sr Mary Agnes Kavanagh (Kate)   Love of doing Service
Mother Mary Alacoque Kavanagh (Margaret)  Generous and Kind
Sr Mary Brigid Darby (Mary)     Good Humour
Sr Mary de Sales Shelly (Ellen)  Reflective and Humble
Sr Mary Teresa Wall (Teresa)Resilient
Sr Mary Columba Woodlock (Mary Anne)Trust in God – absolute, unquestioning
Sr Mary Alphonsus Shelly (Brigid)Bring out the best in all
Sr Mary Joseph O’Callaghan (Josephine) Give 100% in every moment in life

What an amazing group of women who were completely dedicated to coming to Parramatta and setting up a school to educate girls in the area. A dedication and devotion that still continues today 130 years later.

Joining as a whole school community is always an opportunity to share and grow as a group of committed people who live by the Gospel values of love, inclusion and acceptance and this was evident at the Mass last week. I look forward to once again working with the staff and students as we continue in our 130th year, full of celebrations and happy memories.

Mrs Gabby Scanlon
Retreat and Liturgy Co-ordinator