Stephen Walsh, Former Principal

·    This week, May 27- June 3, is Reconciliation Week. The girls presented a wonderful and challenging reflection at Tuesday’s Assembly where they spoke of the unique Indigenous culture and their intrinsic link to ‘mother earth’ and their stewardship of the land.

The heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long called for a comprehensive process of truth-telling about Australia’s colonial history. Our nation’s past is reflected in the present, and will continue to play out in future unless we heal historical wounds.

Today, 80 per cent of Australians believe it is important to undertake formal truth telling processes, according to the 2018 Australian Reconciliation Barometer. Australians are ready to come to terms with our history as a crucial step towards a unified future, in which we understand, value and respect each other.

Whether you’re engaging in challenging conversations or unlearning and relearning what you know, this journey requires all of us to walk together with courage.

The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the Reconciliation Journey— the successful 1967 Referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

     Celebrate our 130th Anniversary with us! I encourage all members of our community to come along to our two key anniversary events, happening in the next two weeks. The Women in Leadership Forum happening tonight is looking to be a great event and we have had a wonderful response. There are still seats available so come along. Refreshments are served from 5pm with the forum commencing at 5.30pm in the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre.

I would urge you if you haven’t got your tickets for the Wizard of Oz to book these soon. These three nights will be a very special community celebration. Don’t forget there are food trucks and stalls available from 5pm so come early and make a night of it. Click here for tickets.

A reminder that the annual Athletics Carnival is coming up this Friday.

I would also encourage you to come along to our P&F event for the year, Comedy for a Cause - taking place here at the College on Saturday 22 June. The line up has just been announced (see poster at the end of the newsletter). Click here  for details and to book.

Last Wednesday we held our first College Open Morning Tour. We had to close bookings a week before because we were already oversubscribed! Its great to see so many families seeking a Mercy Education for their daughter.

Today the new College website is being launched. You will notice a complete colour change in line with the new College uniform. We are excited to be launching a new website in this our Anniversary year. If you have any problems locating information or links on the new website, please email 

God Bless, 

Stephen M Walsh



Wednesday 29 MayWomen in Leadership Forum (5pm)
 Drama Excursion (After school) 
Thursday 30 MayNSW Ultimate Frisbee
Friday 31 MayCollege Athletics Carnival
 CSDA Debating Round 5
Monday 3 June NSWCCC Team Tennis
Tuesday 4 JuneNSWCCC Football
 College Musical - The Wizard of Oz
Wednesday 5 JuneCGSSSA Gymnastics
 College Musical - The Wizard of Oz
Thursday 6 JuneCollege Musical - The Wizard of Oz
Monday 10 JunePublic Holiday
Wednesday 12 June - Friday 14 JuneYear 10 Camp
Wednesday 12 JuneYear 9 Pass Excursion 


Inclusive Learning

CLICK HERE to read a message from Catholic Schools NSW about Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on school students with Disability.

Science Award

On 18 March, 30 Year 10 students participated in the Science and Engineering Challenge, run by Newcastle University and supported by the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer.

The Challenge is a day-long competition designed to provide Years 9 and 10 students with a positive experience of science and engineering. It encourages the students to consider a career in this area and to study the associated sciences for the HSC.

A maximum of eight schools per day compete against each other. Each school team is divided into groups which complete a variety of engaging hands-on activities such as designing an earthquake-proof tower, building a bridge, providing electricity to a city or designing and creating a bionic hand.

One challenge was called 'Grasping at straws'. In this activity, groups had to make a bionic hand from limited materials such as straws, string, tape and plastic fork handles.

Another group was given the whole day to complete the challenge of designing and building a bridge. They were given limited amounts of Balsa wood, cardboard, paddle-pop sticks, masking tape, paper clips and string to construct it, ensuring it met the specific measurements suitable to be placed in the test rig. 

Since students are awarded points for each activity, the school with the most cumulative points at the end of the day is declared the winner. After a day of tension and excitement, our students were declared the winners of the day!

We now wait to see if our score on the day was high enough to proceed to the State Finals in Newcastle later this year.

We would encourage students in Year 9 to consider participating in this event next year as it was truly a fun but challenging way to focus on STEM.

Kyah Day and Veronica Chacty,
Year 10  

LOTE - Host Families for Shonan Japanese Visitors

The Shonan Japanese visit is coming up soon and we are looking for Host families.

There are 14 students visiting this year. Please see below poster for details.


Some news from Macquarie University for 2020 and beyond

New degrees:

  • Bachelor of Cyber Security                                          
  • Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences                      
  • Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences             
  • Bachelor of Music                                                          
  • Bachelor of Game Design and Development       
  • Bachelor of Advanced Information Technology 
  • Bachelor of Professional Accounting
  • Bachelor of Psychology
  • Bachelor of Cognitive and Brain Sciences
  • Bachelor of Media and Communication
  • Bachelor of Linguistics and Language Sciences
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Civil

Double Degrees: One of the most exciting developments in Macquarie's new curriculum is a student’s ability to choose their own two degrees.  Double bachelor degrees involve studying two complementary or completely different degrees. They can increase career flexibility and lead to greater employment prospects.

Combined Bachelor + Master Degrees: Students can undertake a joint bachelor + master degree program, completing both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in as little as four years. This accelerated approach fast-tracks learning and provides a specialised depth of knowledge that will strengthen appeal to future employers.

Macquarie Leaders and Achievers: This new early entry program recognises student’s academic performance alongside their extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership, community service and achievement. There will also be 15 scholarships associated with this program.

Boosting your selection rank: Students will now be recognised for their participation in the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen’s Scout and Queen’s Guide Awards schemes.

An Update on Australia’s Growing Industries

SEEK has revealed the Australian industries that have grown considerably. They look to the data and speak to industry experts about the trends that will shape the year ahead. See the occupations here:

Show more

History Report

Strengthen, then grow – a worthy goal for any student, but in the History Department at OLMC it is also one towards which we will be aiming in 2019.

Strengthening our suite of Junior and Senior courses

As a first step in strengthening our teaching and learning programs, we have undertaken a comprehensive review of what happens in our History classrooms. By combining teacher self-reflection of our programs and classroom practice and incorporating student feedback, we have gained valuable insight into the highlights of learning History at OLMC and where can make improvements. The students’ very detailed and candid responses when consulted have greatly assisted us in designing new and exciting units of study. These innovative directions in learning will be rigorous, underpinned by meaningful, skills-based assessment and feedback, and will hold deeper and more sustained engagement for students. We are very much looking forward to launching these new units in History to parents and students over the coming weeks.

As a faculty, we have also spent time refining our vision for a skills progression in History to be embedded in our new programs. We have a strong commitment to developing students’ skills in literacy, numeracy and complex historical thinking. Drawing on the work of respected UK academic Christine Counsell, we see the acquisition of deep historical knowledge and skills through engagement with literacy and numeracy-rich activities as being the core business of History education.

The first cohort of students to undertake the new HSC courses in Ancient, Modern and Extension History do so in 2019. There are some significant changes in both syllabus content and assessment requirements this year. The most notable change is in the Modern History syllabus with the introduction of a new Core Study (Power and Authority in the Modern World), a unit of study which analyses the ways in which power structures were built and maintained by world leaders in the period between the World Wars. The reduced number of assessments in the new HSC will re-focus skill development in lower-stakes settings. New styles of HSC examination questions have also been foreshadowed, and in response to this, we will continue to help students be flexible and adaptable, readying them to respond to a range of question styles confidently.

Expanding Horizons

Strengthening a discipline requires approaches that extend well beyond programming and syllabi. For this reason the History department is committed to providing hands-on opportunities for students to engage practically with History, extending their knowledge and expanding their horizons outside traditional classroom settings. Whether it be students applying their knowledge of archaeological methodologies in a simulated excavation, delving into the OLMC archives in our 130th year, Skyping an expert in a far-distant location, or interviewing some of our school’s most treasured keepers of knowledge, we value rich learning in and out of the classroom.

Often the richest learning takes place when students find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having their thinking disrupted. Two of Australia’s most respected Historians took our senior History students to that very place in Term One this year. Associate Professor Anna Clark from the University of Technology Sydney engaged in a rigorous debate with some of our Year 10 students, exploring the value of Australian History for school students, and discussing which aspects of our shared past hold meaning for today’s generation. Professor of History at the Australian National University, Marnie Hughes-Warrington held two masterclasses in Historiography for Year 11 and 12 students, fittingly on International Women’s Day. The girls were challenged by Marnie to push themselves beyond the limits of standard historical thinking, to question the validity of sources, and to grapple with the ways in which History is constructed. Thinking about the very nature of History and historical inquiry is relevant to all students, but especially so to those seniors who are now contemplating the uptake of History Extension for the HSC.

Why the study of History needs to grow

In a technologically saturated and rapidly developing world, there have been some who have questioned the value of the humanities in preparing our current students to face the future. To them, I say the moral, social and ethical dilemmas we seem to continually face in the world make the study of History more important than ever. We need our future leaders to be empathetic, to understand the perspectives of others, to appreciate cause and effect, and to be able to think critically and creatively about the world in which we live. History teaches us that just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. This is perhaps why the big tech companies such as Google and Microsoft are now actively seeking to hire students of the humanities to help them slow down and work on solutions for the problems presented by rapid human progress. (1)The transferable skills acquired through the study of History are highly sought after (2), and being a student of History is something that will boost your employability, helping an individual to stand out in a sea of STEM graduates.

An education that includes historical understanding is the way forward for our future world leaders, and we’ll help them get there.

(1) Matt Beard ‘Stem gets a lot of headlines in education circles. But it is not a silver bullet’, The Guardian, 5 November 2018.

(2) Mark Bailey ‘History Teaches you how to run the country’, The Times, 11 August 2017.

Public Speaking

Parramatta Eisteddfod Success

The first two weekends of the Parramatta Eisteddfod revealed once again the depth of talent of our public speakers. Approximately eighty OLMC students are involved in this major event, held over seven weekends.

On the first weekend of competition, OLMC entrants gained outstanding results in the Prepared Individual Speaking division. Of the ten students from our College, five gained major placings. Mikayla Alphonse of Year 7, Smrithi Raghunathan (Year 10) and Renuga Inpakumar (Year 11) are to be congratulated on gaining first prize in their respective events, while Mikayla Bayeh (Year 7) was placed second in her section and Ivana Stefanovski (Year 7), third. In addition, Tia Monga (Year 7) was Highly Commended in the Prepared Reading competition. Well done also to Shriya Bandary, Trinity Bird and Maddison Starkey (Year 7) and Rachael Bailey (Year 11) who prepared and performed commendably. All girls were a credit to themselves and to the College. Thanks must also go to Mrs Leanne Portelli who gave up her Saturday afternoon to support the girls.

The second weekend of competition proved to be even more successful. Karshini Dahal and Sandy Elia (both Year 8) won their respective sections, an achievement particularly noteworthy as it was the first public speaking competition for both girls. Alyssa Dib and Charlotte Gillies (Year 9) also shone with second and third places respectively. No fewer than six other students gained Highly Commended awards in different sections: Chiara Butphachi Knott and Mia Totino (Year 7) Alexis Chang and Mira Hamdan (Year 8) as well as Tvesa Agrawal and Mia Herbert (both Year 9). Other girls who competed were also impressive. Well done also to Isabella Houseman (Year 8) and Alexandra Boustany and Martha Buitizon (both Year 10).

It has been a remarkable two weekends but there are many more ahead and our girls are certain to continue achieving highly.

Open Morning Tour

Each year, some outstanding Year 7 speakers are selected to speak at the College Open Mornings held at the College. This year is no exception. Tia Monga and Summer Rayne Roughley had already shown exceptional talent in presenting at the College Open Day in March and it was a very simple decision to choose them for our first Open Morning. Tia and Summer Rayne certainly made an impact on our visitors with their speeches and deserve the highest praise. To have such skill and confidence at a young age suggests these young Mercy girls have an exceptional future not just as public speakers but as successful young leaders in our community.

Our next Open Morning in June will see equally talented speakers Laurice Behan and Maddison Starkey taking their turn to welcome another group of visitors. These four girls will then alternate speaking at the remaining Open Mornings throughout 2019. OLMC is indeed fortunate to have speakers of such ability representing the College at so many public events.

Australian Titles

Although the Australian Individual Debating and Public Speaking Competition (AIDPSC) and its junior counterpart, Speakfest, are not being held until the last week of August, the girls who will form the two teams have been chosen. The selection process is based not only proven talent in several forms of public speaking but also exhibiting conscientiousness and reliability and finally, an awareness of the role, essentially as ambassadors for the College. One of the drawbacks in the selection process is that so many girls have these qualities but only four Seniors and four Juniors can be chosen.

For 2019, our Senior team consists of Yasmine Alwakal, Veronica Chacty, Anne Nguyen (all Year 10) and Daphne Fong (Year 11) while our Junior contingent comprises Ainslie McNally, Ambeikaa Mishra, Tijana Pavlovic and Freya Scothern (all Year 8). The competition this year will be held at Haileybury College, Melbourne, but before that time, the girls will have much work to do in preparing for the four events each entrant needs to prepare for. This preparation includes a full-day workshop during the upcoming holidays. We wish all girls the best of luck as they compete against some of the best student speakers around Australia.

I would also like to thank Ms Maria Bujkowski and Mrs Pauline Shore who have volunteered to accompany us to Melbourne for this prestigious event.

Mr Christopher Ostrowski
Public Speaking Coordinator    


Sport Singlets

Numbered sport singlets are now available to purchase from the Uniform Shop. If you are considering playing the following sports for OLMC you will be required to buy a singlet:

  • AFL
  • Aquathon and Triathlon (running leg)
  • Athletics
  • Basketball (Gala Days and Saturdays)
  • Cross Country
  • European Handball
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Oz Tag
  • Touch Football (Gala Days and Wednesdays)

Students will also need either OLMC PE/Sport shorts or bike shorts to compete in. The new tracksuit will be needed in the cooler months. Saturday Soccer shirts are nowavailable for purchase.

NSW European Handball

On Monday 27 May, OLMC competed at the NSW European Handball Championships at Sydney Olympic Park. The team consisted of Annie Gittany, Kate Sloane, Haylee Shelton, Analiese Hanna, Trinity Tecala, Chelsea Barakat and Moana Tuala. The girls played extremely well finishing the day with two good wins, a draw and a few close games. The girls should be very proud of their efforts, finishing fifth in NSW! Well done girls. A big thank you to Mrs Bushell for all her help on the day.

PDSSSC Junior Soccer

On Monday 27 May OLMC also competed at the PDSSSC Junior Soccer Championships at Jamison Park, Penrith. The team consisted of Jasmin Kennett, Sophia Santos, Saarah Dewhurst, Brooke Luksic, Abbey McDonnell, Rachelle Juan, Jorja McMahon, Tayla Milicevic, Emily Duque Herrera, Charlotte Johns, Isabelle Zoghbi, Bianca Salloman and Niamh Nolan. The girls all played excellent football; they won most of their games except for narrow losses to Gilroy College and Caroline Chisholm, which put the girls out of the Finals. A big thank you to Ms Herd and Mr Jones for all their help with the team and to Zoe Panagiotopoulos for Refereeing.


Saturday Soccer

Here are the results from Round 3:

  • OLMC 1 defeated PLC, 4 nil
  • OLMC 2 were defeated by MLC, 5 - 2

Here are the results from Round 4:

  • OLMC 1 were defeated by Brigidine, 2 - 1
  • OLMC 2 were defeated by Queenwood, 2 – 0

Reminders for Round 5

  • OLMC 2 will be playing at 10am at Moore Park West on Saturday 1 June, while OLMC 1 is still at 8am at Tara.

There are no games on June 8 for the long weekend.

Saturday Netball

There will be no games on June 8 due to the long weekend.

CLICK HERE to view the draw and all results.


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

OLMC College Athletics Carnival – Friday 31 May, 2019

The 2019 College Athletics Carnival will this year again be held at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Warm Up Track. The College Athletics Carnival provides a wonderful opportunity for students to participate in a range of track and field events, whilst enthusiastically supporting their House. Students are encouraged to show their House Spirit by dressing up in their House colours and by cheering on their House at the Carnival. Students will earn attendance points for their House which will go towards the Spirit Cup.


Students will be transported by bus from OLMC to the Athletic Centre at Homebush and back to OLMC. All students are expected to be at the College by 8am on the day of the Carnival. Students will assemble in their Homerooms with their House Mentor, then move out to the buses. Students will leave   the Athletic Centre at around 2:15pm, with an approximate arrival time of 3pm at OLMC Parramatta. Students will be dismissed at 3:20pm at the College.

Students who wish to be considered for selection in the PDSSSC Athletics Carnival will need to have registered their entry via the entry form which was emailed to all students (registration closed on Friday 24 May). Students who want to compete in the Javelin will need to have registered and then, on the day, be on the first bus leaving OLMC. Once at the venue, students must go straight to this event as it will be conducted from 8:45am before the rest of the Carnival. Students can still compete in all events for fun if they don’t sign up. Students don’t need to sign up for the 100m, 200m, 400m or 800m Walk.

The Carnival layout will be a traditional Carnival and students will need to listen out for when their events are called. Students are encouraged to have adequate water, food and sun protection. Appropriate attire will be needed.

No student is to bring her notebook to school with her on Friday.

Parents are welcome to attend the Carnival.

A canteen will be available on the day of the Carnival. However, students are highly encouraged to bring their own food for the Carnival.

Staff, officials and students are encouraged to drink water throughout the Carnival (especially if they are competing in lots of events) so that they remain adequately hydrated. Staff, officials and students are also encouraged to make use of sufficient sun protection including sunscreen, wide brim hats and long sleeve garments throughout the Carnival. Students who compete in Spikes must wear 7mm spikes.

If for any reason, such as illness, your daughter is unable to attend, please call Student Reception (9683 3300) after 8am. All absences will be followed up. In the case of wet weather, the Carnival will still go ahead as it is a wet weather track. In case of extreme weather conditions, a final decision will be made on the morning.

Stuart Guthrie
Sport Coordinator

Women in Leadership Forum


P&F Comedy for a Cause

CLICK HERE to purchase your Musical tickets!

Mercy Futures Talk

The Sound of Music production in the mid 1990s


Beeswax Wraps

EcoOLMC has been looking at ways to encourage OLMC to become more plastic free. Plastic is one of the major contributors to landfill and water pollution. At lunchtime on Tuesday, the EcoOLMC group, under the guidance of Ms Plummer, made their own beeswax wraps. These sustainable wraps can be used for sandwiches, wraps and biscuits in place of plastic film. The girls loved the activity and hope to be able to do this again soon!

From the College Counsellor

Growth Mindset

In 2007, Carol Dweck, an American Psychologist, authored ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’ and spoke about a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. Her research had uncovered that people who have a fixed mindset assume that our intelligence, character, and creative ability are fundamentally fixed, meaning that we can’t change them in any significant way. Dweck writes, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

In one study conducted by Dweck (outlined in more detail in her book), a group of students were asked a set of questions. Some students were given feedback praising their ability, and others were given feedback praising their effort. It was found that those praised on ability were less likely to want to engage in more challenging tasks, for fear that they may not do so well and it may expose “weaknesses”. Whereas those students who were praised for effort were more likely to accept a more challenging task which could further enhance their learning. These findings and the continued research in this area of psychology are important as they have shown that mindset can have a significant impact on one’s learning. Parents can help their child develop a growth mindset by:

  • Praising your child’s effort rather than their ability. Example- “You have worked so hard on that assessment task, I’m so proud of you”. Rather than “You’re so clever, I’m sure you will get top marks for that assessment task”.
  • It can also be helpful to talk to your child about mistakes that you have made, and what you have learnt from it, so that children start to see mistakes as opportunities for learning.
  • Refrain from comparing your child to others. Reiterate that any new skill requires practice, persistence, and hard work.

 To find out more about your own mindset, here is a link to a mindset quiz:

Mrs Sandra Portela
Senior College Counsellor


Health Notification

A student at OLMC is currently receiving treatment which results in a lowered immune system, which means the student is more prone to getting ill from infections. As this student is not contagious but has a chronic illness, it is important that she participates actively in the day-to-day school program without any major limitations. A significant concern is that, if this student develops pertussis (whooping cough), measles, chickenpox or influenza, she could become seriously ill. I seek your cooperation in preventing this situation. If your daughter has or may have any of these infections, I would ask that you please keep her at home until she is no longer contagious and inform the Student Centre. This will allow us to notify the parents of our student, if necessary. For more information about how long an illness is contagious, contact your GP or visit the NSW Health website at

This period of precaution will last until the end of 2019.

We appreciate your cooperation. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely,

Anne-Maree Donnelly
Director of Pastoral Care

Vaccination Information for Year 10

Click here to read important information about vaccinations for Year 10 coming up on 18 June.