Stephen Walsh, Former Principal

Dear Families,


Next Wednesday, we commence the Season of Lent marked by Ash Wednesday. This is a season in the Church that is a period of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.

Why we receive the ashes?

Following the example of the Ninevites in ancient Assyria, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told: "Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust, you shall return."

Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.


The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Christians who had committed grave faults performed public penance. On Ash Wednesday, the Bishop blessed the hair shirts which they were to wear during the forty days of penance, and sprinkled over them ashes made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the church because of their sins -- just as Adam, the first man, was turned out of Paradise because of his disobedience. The penitents did not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days' penance and sacramental absolution. Later, all Christians, whether public or secret penitents, came to receive ashes out of devotion. In earlier times, the distribution of ashes was followed by a penitential procession.


The Ashes

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolise penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.


As the Church calls each and every one of us to reflect, pray and seek forgiveness, it is timely in our current context and climate as Catholics that we should all demonstrate mercy and compassion to the survivors and victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy and members of our Church and that the Church leaders truly reflect, pray and seek forgiveness, ensuring that significant changes are made in the institutional Church that will guarantee that our Church is a safe place for all young people and those who are vulnerable.

Year 7 House Welcome Evening

Last night, the College held the Year 7 Welcome evening. Thank you to all the Year 7 parents and our newest Mercy girls for attending this informative and social evening.

Open Day

A reminder that the College Open Day is being held on Sunday 10 March from 10.00am until 2.00pm. In this Year of Mercy Service, all students are called on to attend this day and to assist in many of the activities on display for our future families and students. In addition, the P&F is seeking support from parents in running the BBQ. If you could spare a few hours, please email the P&F committee. Open Day is a chance for us to showcase our wonderful Mercy community. Please invite friends along who may be seeking a Mercy education for their daughter.


Parramatta Light Rail

Click here for an update on the Parramatta Light Rail.



God bless,


Mr Stephen M Walsh


Thursday 28 FebruarySwimming Carnival (Evening)
Friday 1 MarchPupil Free Day (in lieu of Swimming Carnival)
Wednesday 6 MarchAsh Wednesday
Thursday 7 MarchYear 10 Reflection Day
Friday 8 MarchInternational Women's Day
Sunday 10 MarchCollege Open Day

Religious Education

The Religious dimension of the College is strengthened by the education the students receive in the RE classroom. From the beginning of the lesson where often prayer, reflection and meditation set the tone for the class, through to the rich activities across all stages, the Religious Education team are dedicated to providing a deep connection to the Catholic Mercy heritage here at the College.

Catholic Education is integral to the mission of the Catholic Church, and it is through teaching and learning Religious Education that OLMC promotes the Church, the formation of the students as Mercy women and the students’ overall capacity to contribute to society. It is a focus on the full human development of students, grounded in the person of Jesus Christ and at the service of all.

The concept of Religious Literacy is one that is at the centre of learning for our team of dedicated teachers. Diane Moore of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School defines Religious Literacy as:


“The ability to discern and analyse the fundamental intersections of religion and social / political / cultural life through multiple lenses.”

Across Stages 4 and 5 (Years 7 – 10), the students are provided with the Catholic/Mercy lens to guide them in this discernment. For example, the Year 7 Transition program had a day dedicated to showing the students exactly what service means at OLMC today, throughout its history and, importantly, how they could be of service.

This experience opened the girls’ hearts to the Mercy story. In the coming years, the RE teachers weave all they do in these beginning experiences of Religious Education into more challenging and enriching content. The students have been working effectively across Stages 4, 5 and 6 of learning to recognise connections between the content and their own personal experience.

It is in Stage 6 where the students are further extended in this discernment and analysis using the lens of not only Christianity, but also Judaism and Islam. Studying the latter two traditions enhances the students’ knowledge and understanding of others’ beliefs and values and assists them in the identifying of common ground.

How can you support your daughter in her learning?

Engage in conversation with her about what she is learning about religious beliefs and practices. Encourage her to explain her understanding about her learning. Perhaps even have dialogue around current events and the influence of religion in society. This can strengthen her capacity to make further connections for herself.

These are some insights into the learning planned for 2019. The RE Faculty is preparing thought-provoking activities and tasks that are engaging and that will extend the knowledge and understanding of every learner. We look forward to working with your daughters as they continue to develop as confident and capable Mercy women, able to contribute to the wider world in whatever capacity they may choose.


Mrs Lisa Kemmis
Leader of Learning, Religious Education


All students and parents are invited to read the regular updates regarding VET and Careers featuring in the Parragraph this year. Please feel free to contact me regarding any related matters. Each fortnight, there will be interesting and current information to share, plus University, TAFE, College and Extra news.


JobJump is a comprehensive website that allows students and their parents to access the latest news and information on careers. Students can nominate areas they are interested in and receive regular updates, and even try out the interactive and fun Careers Quiz that helps to find potential career pathways that match their subjects, skills, interests and personality.  Find out more at

All students and parents can register. Click on the ‘I’m new’ button at the top right of the JobJump homepage. Enter Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta as the school and diving as the password.

[The information provided through JobJump is a guide only, and JobJump takes no responsibility for the completeness and accuracy of this information. The user should use any information at their own discretion.]


Casual Retail Job Opportunity


Bensons Trading is a major retailer of showbags at Royal and Agricultural Shows throughout Australia. They are currently seeking an expression of interest for casual staff members to join the team to sell showbags at different stands for the duration of the Easter Show.

Retail experience is preferred but not necessary. To be successful, applicants will need to have good numeracy and literacy skills, a high level of customer service, be reliable and punctual, work as part of a team, follow instructions and be able to work autonomously.

If you meet these requirements and wish to apply, please forward your current resume and all relevant information to



Show more

Public Speaking

2018 Speakers of The Year

At Assembly this week, three outstanding speakers were presented with the shields they won in the Christmas Competition at the end of 2018. The shields are inscribed with the winner’s name each year and the list of past winners reveals an exceptional array of champion speakers. The Year 7 winner was Freya Scothern, the Year 8 shield went to Sakshi Chouta while Kyah Day was the Year 9 champion. The standard of competition was remarkable and commiserations go to the other competitors whose performances were equally impressive but as the cliché goes, there can only be one winner. Well done to all girls!


A Record Year


The girls at OLMC continue to show an amazing enthusiasm for public speaking that shows no sign of abating. 2019 sees no fewer than 130 girls signing up for Public Speaking competitions, a number that must surely be unmatched by any other school. In an amazing coincidence, this year is also OLMC’s 130th anniversary. Particularly noteworthy is the involvement of over 40 new Year 7 students, but all Year levels are well represented. While this is a notable achievement, it is just as pleasing that other schools and competition organisers continue to praise our girls for their attitude and behaviour wherever they go. We look forward to an exceptional year ahead.



Open Day

As always, two Year 7 students are selected to speak at the College Open Day, this year on Sunday 10 March. Tia Monga and Summer Rayne Roughley are certain to continue the tradition of excellent speakers who speak confidently in front of an audience numbering in the hundreds. Tia and Summer are to be congratulated for willingly accepting a role that most adults would hesitate in attempting.



Mr Christopher Ostrowski
Public Speaking Co-ordinator


Senior Strings Perform at Sydney Town Hall

On the evening of February 15, the College Senior String Orchestra represented the College at the World Orchestra Festival Gala Concert. They had worked very hard in preparation for this event and performed amazingly. Their performance for the evening included arrangements Scottish and Irish traditional music, an arrangement of an American Folk Song and a piece of music inspired by Tango music. The girls enjoyed this opportunity to perform at such a wonderful venue!


Thank you to Ms Sunner for her support in driving the Senior String Ensemble to Town Hall and for the staff and parents who came along to support. The girls really value and appreciate you being there.


One parent wrote:


“Congratulations on such a wonderful performance last Friday at the 7th World Orchestra Festival at the Town Hall. OLMC was well represented by such an outstanding performance. Such a proud moment for all the families who attended. This would only be my second time to attend an event in the Town Hall and to be able to have our daughter perform onstage is such an honour.”



New Percussion and Drum Tutor

We are very blessed to have a new percussion tutor with us this year.

Indonesian-born Australian percussionist and composer Robert Oetomo is an active freelancer as a soloist, chamber musician, composer and an educator. He has been invited as special guest artist to perform and present masterclasses in numerous festivals and universities around the world including the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg in Germany, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia, the 1st Qingdao International Percussion Festival 2014 in China and the 9th Tabasco International Marimba Festival 2015 in Mexico.

As a performer, Robert has toured extensively and performed in Europe, America, Asia and Australia with different orchestras and ensembles. He has accumulated numerous national and international prizes and awards including 1st Prize in both the Open Marimba and Open Vibraphone category of the 2010 Australian Percussion Eisteddfod, 2nd Prize in the 2008 Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Snare Drum Award, 3rd Prize in the Vibraphone category of the 2011 Percussive Arts Society Italy International Percussion Competition, the ‘Just Percussion Marimba Prize for Outstanding Performance’ at the Australian Percussion Gathering 2010 and many more. A versatile percussionist, Robert has performed with different orchestras and ensembles including the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, the Australian Youth Orchestra, and Synergy Percussion.

If you are interested in percussion lessons, please go to The Academy Website:  and follow the links.

Mr Paul Witney
Director of Music Performance

Duke of Edinburgh

After a successful relaunch of the Duke of Edinburgh Award program last year at OLMC, the College is excited to announce that the Duke of Edinburgh Award program will again be offered to all Year 9 2019 students. Last year, there were 49 students involved in the Duke of Ed program and experienced a great sense of achievement, teamwork and building self-confidence.


The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award scheme is a voluntary program of activities for anyone aged between 14-25 years. It offers an individual challenge and encourages young people to undertake exciting, constructive and enjoyable activities in their free time. The students at OLMC are fully supported by Duke of Edinburgh staff. The Award is non-competitive, allowing anyone with enterprise and effort to gain an Award.


This Award challenges young people through a balanced program of practical, physical and cultural activities. The sections involve:

  • Service (helping the community)
  • Skills (a hobby, skill or interest)
  • Physical Recreation (sport, dance, fitness) 
  • Expeditions (one practice and one qualifying)

A number of Year 9 students from the College have expressed interest in participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award Scheme this year. An Information Evening will be held at the College on the 20th March at 6pm in AG14. Please enter by Gate 7 to attend this event. The evening will provide you with the details of the program, including approximate costs and requirements for the completion of the Bronze Award.


For more information about the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program, please go to or email me at

Miss Stephanie Llave
Duke of Edinburgh 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.


NSWCCC Blues Awards


Congratulations to Summer Giddings who received an NSWCCC Blues Award for her achievements in Athletics in 2018. The ceremony was held at Mary Star of the Sea College in Wollongong on February 11. We look forward to following Summer’s outstanding results again this year!



CGSSSA Cricket


On February 19, OLMC competed at the CGSSSA Open Cricket Championships at Queens Park, Waverly. The team consisted of Skye Gregory, Warsha Warakapola, Tarni Sutton, Vaishnavi Deobhankar, Jasmin Kennett, Tanisha Majumdar, Tanya Shah, Maeve Gregory, Charlotte Johns and Aditi Iyer. All the girls played exceptionally well, taking wickets and making runs. Their matches were great, narrowly losing by 2 runs in their first game and finishing the day with a big win over Bethlehem College. Being a very young team, they should all be very proud of their efforts. Well done girls!


PDSSSC Basketball

On February 25, OLMC competed at the PDSSSC Open Basketball Championships at Penrith. The team consisted of Karla Krncevic, Kate Sloane, Marinelle Juan, Annie Gittany, Erin Marquez, Kyra Dpenha, Moana Tuala and Ella Maroon. The girls played some amazing games. They finished 2nd in their pool, only narrowly losing to Caroline Chisholm by 2 points. The girls started slowly in their games but always powered home in the second half to defeat all the other teams in the pool. They should all be very pleased with their results. Great work girls!


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.

OLMC Cross Country Carnival


The Cross Country Carnival this year will be held on Monday 11 March through Parramatta Park and will be for Competitors Only.

This is a normal school day.

Competitors will be participating in the Cross Country Carnival during Period 1 and may be late back to class in Period 2.

Any students wishing to participate must fill in the nomination form that was emailed to all students. All competitors will compete together and will be eligible for selection in the PDSSSC Cross Country Carnival.

Here is the link -

12 - 13 year3 km
14 - 17+years 4 km

(Please note: 18 years will be expected to run 6km at PDSSSC level.)

Competing students will need to change into their PE uniform when they arrive at school and change back at Recess. Please remember students must wear the full summer PE uniform that complies with the College Dress Code.Water will be provided but it is encouraged that all students bring their own water, sun protection and medication.

The course can be seen on the OLMC Cross Country Program which has been emailed to all students.

Best of luck.

Mr Stuart Guthrie
Sports Co-ordinator

Open Day Sunday 10 March 2019

2019 College Open Day

Mercy Futures 2019 Dates

Mercy Futures

Ecology Gathering

Mission Update


Mercy International Association is an organisation of the leaders of Mercy Congregations, Institutes and Federations throughout the world, founded to serve the Sisters of Mercy, their associates and colleagues in ministry. Members of the Association share the passion of their foundress, Catherine McAuley, to bring Mercy to people who are poor, sick and uneducated. The purpose of this Association is to inspire Sisters of Mercy and their Associates to bring about the spirit of Catherine McAuley in ways which are creative and appropriate to the needs of our time and to foster unity of mind and heart among Sisters of Mercy worldwide.


Mercy International Association (MIA) have just produced a new Vision Statement:


Deeply rooted in the Gospel and the legacy of Catherine McAuley, Mercy International Association seeks to gather the inspiration and energies of the Sisters of Mercy, our associates, colleagues and partners worldwide toward the creation of a Mercy Global Presence. Standing with the displaced, we will model a world of welcome and inclusion. Actively engaged in the protection of our Common Home we will witness the sacredness of all creation. Through the work of the Association and through the longing and efforts of the entire Mercy family, we will strive for the globalization of compassion and the recognition of God’s mercy as present and active in our world.


This vision keeps alive the Founding Spirit of Catherine among people of the world most in need of God’s compassion and Mercy.


(Taken from the Mercy International website. For more information on MIA please go to:


In partnership with Parramatta Sisters of Mercy and MIA, OLMC students and staff are committed to being a school of welcome and service, striving to care for people in need and protect creation. For more information on the Mission and Ministry of the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy, go to:

Helping your Child Manage Anxiety

Mercy Action

Mercy Action Representative Meeting takes place every Day 2.

EcOLMC meeting will be on Day 7 during the second half of lunch in CG01. Students who would like to be more aware and active in caring for Creation are very welcome to attend!

Friday morning Mass and Ash Wednesday

There will be no Mass this Friday, as this is a Pupil Free Day. 

Ash Wednesday Liturgy will take place during an extended homeroom on Wednesday 6 March.


Mrs Claire Thomas

Director of Mission


River City Voices

Year 7 Transition Program

Service for God, others and ourselves

Year 7 completed their last day of the Transition Program with a day focusing on service. It was a fitting way to end a wonderful program by focusing on our 2019 Mercy value of Service.

The girls started the day with a Body Prayer, a lovely way of acknowledging themselves as being part of the world around them. We then spent time looking at the story of how we came to be where we are today. With a short history on Catherine McAuley, the nine Pioneer Sisters and the early days of the College, the importance of serving in our College community was summed up by four of our local Parramatta Sisters of Mercy who spoke to the girls about their ideas of mercy, their connection to the Mercy Story and ways they have been involved in Service.


The day came to a close with a Liturgy and prayer looking at the importance of each person. The girls were encouraged to see that they have the power and ability to make a change in the world and it is through small actions of service, that they are able to be like Jesus who always opened his arms to welcome the poor, destitute and sick.

All of Year 7 are to be congratulated for the way in which they entered into this day. They joined in with the games, participated in the activities and listened attentively and respectfully to the facilitators.

Cambodia 2019 Trip

The staff selection has been finalised and we are pleased to be able to announce that Mrs Marie Wood (Deputy Principal) and Mrs Lisa Kemmis (Leader of Learning Religious Education) will join Mrs Samantha Johnston and myself on the 2019 Cambodia Trip.

We had a wonderful meeting with the girls last Tuesday where we ran games and activities before discussing ways to raise much-needed funds to build two houses and provide funds for locally based programs and projects which assist locals to be trained, seek employment and learn skills which they can take with them into life.


The girls commenced their research of Cambodia which is a country rich in history, culture and tradition. This trip has a service focus and in this Year of Service, we will be looking to the College community to assist in supporting the girls and their fundraising activities which will commence on Open Day.

Cans for Cambodia

The Cambodia 2019 girls will be running a stall at the upcoming Open Day. This stall will be selling cans of drink for $2 each. The profits made will be put towards their works of service in Cambodia.


If anyone would like to donate cans of drink to the stall, cans from the Coca Cola range (Coke, Coke No Sugar, Fanta, Lift and Sprite) can be left at the Staff Common Room door.


Envirobank is a recycling company who come and collect plastic bottles and aluminium cans. We will have girls going around collecting empty bottles and cans on Open Day, the proceeds of which will also be used for the Cambodia fundraising effort.

If any families would like to receive an orange Envirobank bag, please email

You are invited to assist us in recycling bottles and cans to not only reduce landfill but also to aid in the raising of funds for the Cambodia 2019 Trip.


Mrs Gabby Scanlon
Retreat and Liturgy Co-ordinator

All Mercy Girls have access to an online Study Handbook at provided by Enhanced Learning Educational Services. I encourage parents to access this site as there is valuable information about studying at home as well as a large number of interactive activities. The Study Handbook will also be accessed by your daughter during her Pastoral Care lessons this year. Our school’s subscription details to this online study skills website can be located on MyOLMC and are included below:

User Name: 
Password:    64results

CLICK HERE to view the latest tip.

Mrs Anne-Maree Donnelly
Director of Pastoral Care

Dressmaking class in 1964