Dear Parents and Carers
I would like to extend a very warm welcome to you all as we commence the 2020 school year here at OLMC. The beginning of 2020 has certainly has been a challenging start for all Australians, with the ongoing nature of the bushfires affecting many communities and the emerging concerns surrounding the Coronavirus. OLMC has a deep and strong sense of community and this is what helps us to thrive.
At the College, we have been proactive in our response to the Coronavirus, acting on all advice and directions from the Health authorities and communicating these to all members of the OLMC community. Our priority is always to secure the health, safety and wellbeing of students, staff and parents and caregivers. Please be assured that any updates to advice and directions will be broadly communicated.
Additionally, the College will be looking at ways that we can continue to support not only any of our OLMC families affected by the bushfires, drought and floods but also those in regional Australia who may need some assistance, be it financial, or resources or moral support or a combination of these. We are encouraging the students and staff to consider initiatives that reflect in particular our values of service, compassion and dignity.
In fact, Dignity is our focus Mercy value for 2020. As I reminded everyone at our first College Assembly last week:
Dignity is the treatment of each person with respect and the recognition of their inherent value and worth.
It is always incumbent upon us to reflect on what matters to us as a Mercy community and it is timely to do so at the beginning of each year. It sets the tone and clarifies expectations for everyone and provides a direction for values to be put into visible actions. I asked everyone to consider how they might act with dignity towards themselves and others and posed two actions on which they could focus initially:
- Be aware of your value as a human being made in the image of God
- Be positive, hopeful and kind
I will be exploring these ideas about dignity in future conversations with students and staff and will value their input as we strengthen our dignified actions. It may be a good conversation starter for your families too as we work in partnership with you to support your daughter’s personal growth in all areas- intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical and social wellbeing.
Over 200 Year 7 students have made a positive start to their learning at the College through the bespoke OLMC Transition Program. I want to acknowledge the efforts of all staff involved in the initiation and delivery of the program and thank them for their innovation and professionalism. The program was devised at the College and implemented in 2019 for the first time, with the intention of supporting the transition of our Year 7 students to High School and helping them to adjust to all the new expectations that come with change. Its success last year has meant a continuation of the program this year. As a community, we are reflective and we always look to review and refine our practices. Consequently, the 2020 Year 7 cohort have a program specifically designed for them which incorporates elements of the 2019 program and includes features that support the requirements of the 2020 Year 7 students. We wish them well as they complete the program. I look forward to meeting our new parents and carers at the Year 7 House Welcome Evening on 17 February.
2020 promises to be a fulfilling year at the College. Later in the year, we commence our next Masterplan, with the first stage being a refurbishment of the Brigid Shelly Building. On the 19 February, there will be a Masterplan Information Evening for all parents and carers at which I will be communicating further details of the phases and stages of the plan. Mayoh Architects will be present as well to answer particular questions regarding the Plan itself. Please look out later this week for an email detailing the venue and timing of this Evening.
On Friday this week, the College celebrates the Opening School Mass in the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre. The theme of Embracing New Beginnings with Dignity will be our focus. You are all most welcome to join us on Friday for this Liturgy. Mass starts at 9.00am and will be celebrated by College Chaplain, Father Walter Fogarty. For seating purposes please RSVP by 6 February to Mrs Sallyann Guthrie, Executive Assistant to the Principal - firstname.lastname@example.org
My hope is that this year is a productive and rewarding one for everyone.
Mrs Marie Wood