Marie Wood, Deputy Principal

Dear OLMC Families 

It is the final week of Term 2 and, for most students in Years 7 to 10, semester courses will be finishing and new courses will be undertaken from Term 3. The school year continues unchanged despite COVID-19 and continuous learning has become the norm. Some things have changed and some things remain the same! Well done to everyone in our community. We have successfully pivoted and Continuous Learning is progressing well. 

Yesterday, we held the Leadership Assembly at the College – an Assembly when the 2019/20 32 Student Leaders traditionally finish their formal leadership roles and the 2020/21 Student Leaders are inducted. It is a longstanding and significant moment that remains unchanged in purpose and yet we proved our versatility and capacity to change in the way it was held. Social distancing measures meant that the Assembly was live-streamed to all Homerooms, enabling all students to witness the rich tradition of Mercy Leadership at the College. It was wonderful to have Sr Mary-Louise Petro, Sr Patricia Bolster and Sr Margaret Jones join us for this important occasion and for our College Chaplain, Father Walter Fogarty to perform the blessing. Thank you to our outgoing leaders who have demonstrated true servant leadership over the past year and all the very best to our new leaders for the year ahead! I am including the challenge I posed to the 2020/2021 Student Leaders when I addressed them at the Assembly: 

'Now, I want to challenge you to become more than your vision. How will you give meaning to your vision so that people follow you and everyone understands it; so that they embrace it? How will you hold people with you so that they are included and able to achieve their potential?

You have to be able to articulate your ideas so that they connect to people on a personal level. You have to bind them together so that they become stronger, more confident and more courageous. You have to help people to believe in themselves when they have doubts and you have to celebrate with them when they have successes.'

I know that our OLMC community looks forward to witnessing and benefitting from their leadership in 2020/2021. 

On Friday, 19 June, ABC News ran a story featuring current OLMC Year 12 student, Amelie-Aiko Loof.

The story focused on the increase in university applications for 2021 as many students are now unable to take a gap year due to COVID-19. You can also listen to the podcast from ABC's AM program to hear from Amelie - Here at the College, we are very proud of Amelie. She provides her perspective in an intelligent and articulate manner - a true Mercy girl.

You can access this story by clicking on the link -

OLMC celebrated Refugee Week this week. As an inclusive community, we are always supportive of everyone at every opportunity. Refugee Week is an annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. A display was set up on the Chapel verandah, ‘Walk a Day in my Shoes’, providing a chance for our students to find out about a refugee family and the struggles they have faced. Forming the basis for our recognition of Refugee Week, Mercy Girls participated in diverse activities during the week including listening to speakers, conducting simulations focusing on refugee processing and sharing stories and recipes. This enabled our students to reflect on creating a clearer understanding between different communities and respecting the dignity of each person and our common humanity.

This is the final newsletter prior to the end of Term – Our Year 12 students will be back on campus for Weeks 1 and 2 of the break, supported by College staff, for two Study Weeks in which they will consolidate their learning. We wish them well as they engage with their preparation for their Trial Higher School Certificate Examinations in Term 3.

As we conclude Term 2, I want to thank you all for your ongoing support. Working in partnership with you is tremendously rewarding. I look forward to continuing in the role of Principal (Acting) while our College Principal, Mr Stephen Walsh, remains on leave.

Enjoy the break with your families. Stay safe and well.

Warm regards

Marie Wood
Principal (Acting)

Languages - Learning, Creating, Engaging...

As our students returned to the classroom earlier this term, it was a pleasure to be able to come together so we could share our learning experiences and consolidate concepts face to face once again. Regardless of where we were physically located throughout Semester 1, our Languages students have been engaging in a range of creative and collaborative learning activities.

Year 9 French students created a brochure in French about our College and typical school life as well as a video representing their typical daily routine. For another learning activity, they were assigned a grammatical feature of the language and were required to teach it to the class and explain its significance and function. Year 10 French students also utilised their French language skills and technical knowledge to create a video movie about their ‘pre-COVID’ daily activities.

Year 10 Japanese students produced a video interview about College life with the target audience being future Japanese students and staff visiting OLMC. As part of the unit of study on Food and Etiquette, the Year 10 Japanese students also created and participated in a role play set in a Japanese restaurant. The students researched Japanese food, cooked the selected dishes at home and produced restaurant menus in Japanese. They then performed the role play in the classroom, ordering from the menus and paying using real Japanese money.

Year 9 Japanese students have been learning the script of Katakana and have engaged in creating Katakana name stamps. Students had to write a letter in Japanese talking about their hobbies and free time activities and then placed their created name stamp on the letter. The letter was given to a ‘secret peer’ in the class. Students were very eager to read and write a response to the mystery sender.

This year for the first time, Spanish has been introduced into the curriculum at OLMC with two classes in Year 7 and Year 8, following the Stage 4 Syllabus. Students have been enjoying learning about the Spanish speaking world, making connections between their own language and Spanish. In Term 1, Year 8 students produced a video where they were required to present and explain some of the grammatical features of the Spanish language to beginner students. There were some informative and creative presentations! Students are currently producing digital Family Albums in Spanish as part of the study on this topic. Similarly, the Year 7 and Year 8 French students have been creating posters describing their family as well.

As we come to the end of Term 2, Year 7 and Year 8 Japanese students are consolidating their learning of the first Japanese script of Hiragana through the art of Calligraphy.

Finally, congratulations to all Languages students who participated in the Education Perfect World Championships this year held from 14 May to 21 May. Their participation provided an opportunity to revise concepts and grammar and consolidate their learning, as they responded to questions in the target language. Over 200 OLMC Language students achieved an award, with the College finishing 20th out of 2,155 schools worldwide. This was indeed a fantastic achievement!

Mrs Sheila Ibarra
Leader of Learning Languages

Course Preference Timeline 2021

Course Preference Timeline 2021

Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 are about to enter an exciting phase as they contemplate their program of study for 2021. For Year 8, this will be the first opportunity for them to exercise some autonomy over their academic program as they are invited to nominate two course preferences for 2021. And Year 9, who are currently studying two courses they nominated in 2019, will for the first time, be able to make new nominations so they can try out two different courses in 2021. Year 10 have a much bigger task as they develop their Stage 6 program which involves making decisions about almost every course they will study. The timeline of the process for each year group is outlined here: 

Years 8 & 9 

Meeting - Week 1 Term 3

Initial information about courses and requirements.
2021 Course Handbook distributed.

CANVAS information page and discussion board open from Thursday, 23 July 

Information for students and parents about courses and how to use the online course preference tool. Opportunity to post questions if necessary. 

Course preference nominations open from Friday, 24 July – Monday, 27 July 

Students use online tool to nominate two preferred courses and two reserves.

Year 10 
Meeting - Thursday, 25 June

Initial information about courses and requirements.
2021 Course Handbook distributed.

CANVAS page launch Week 2 holiday breakExtensive information/resources for students and parents to inform preferences.
Course Expo - Tuesday, 28 July 1.30-3.30pmOpportunity for Year 10 students to seek out course-specific information from Year 11 students and specialist staff.
Discussion board open Tuesday, 28 July – Wednesday, 5 AugustOpportunity for parents and students to post any remaining questions about specific courses that will be answered by relevant Leaders of Learning.
Course preference nominations open from Wednesday, 29 July – Wednesday, 5 August Students use online tool to nominate preferred courses and two reserves.
Course preference interviews from Thursday, 6 August – Friday, 14 AugustEach Year 10 student will attend a brief interview with a member of the College Leadership team, a Leader of Learning or a House Leader confirming the suitability of their proposed program of study and their choice of reserve options if necessary. 

Year 12 events
During a recent Learning and Curriculum session, Year 12 were surveyed to discern the specific skills they were most keen to develop further during study week sessions. Study ‘week’ runs for two weeks during the upcoming holiday break and the teachers have been designing and planning sessions that will best support our Year 12 students. There are testing times ahead for these girls when, at the start of Term 3, they will apply their skills during the Mini Assessment Block, followed in Week 5 by the Trial HSC Examinations. The Drama students have already completed their first Trial Examination when they each presented their individual performance. Mrs Wood and I were part of the audience and we were thoroughly entertained by these talented students. I look forward to an equally entertaining experience when the Dance students perform for their Trial Examination this Thursday afternoon.  

Mrs Jennifer Mater
Director of Teaching and Learning (Acting)




Year 12 have been revising the ideas of Jacques Lecoq and the work of his students. They investigated the idea of creating sculptures or moving art, similar to the theatrical work of Mummenschanz. The Mummenschanz process starts with the material and then weaves a story around it. Their task was to recreate a surrealist art piece using household objects whilst learning at home. They then explored their creations during one of our Zoom lessons.

Buffoonery is a key component of Lecoq. The buffoon was created to mock society and usually took the form of a grotesquely padded figure or strange-looking creature. Year 12 created original solo buffoonery performances based on ‘A Stranger in a New Land’. These were filmed at home during Phases 1 & 2A of the Continuous Learning Program.

Year 9 Drama

Students have been exploring the dramatic form, Commedia dell’Arte. During the remote learning phases of the Continuous Learning Program they were able to investigate the techniques and conventions of Commedia dell’Arte by reading scripts, viewing National Theatre clips and experimenting at home.

In the exploration of this physical theatre genre, the students experimented with their faces and bodies to try and convey emotion. The aim of this exercise was to extend their physical choices and for them to become confident to use their bodies to convey meaning. They explored emotions including fear, love, grief, joy and captured them in photos.

The students were then given the opportunity to use their knowledge to design and create a Commedia inspired mask. They were very resourceful, scouring their houses for any materials that might be suitable. The results included masks made with cereal boxes, silicone, duct tape, plastic and paper. Since their return to face to face learning, the students have been able to ‘introduce’ these characters to rest of the class.






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There have been a number of meetings recently to organise sport in Terms 3 and 4. PDSSSC and CGSSSA are keen to still hold sporting events next semester. However, many sports will need to be pushed back to allow time to organise and prepare the events. We also have to wait a little longer for confirmation of guidelines and restriction changes before we can confirm which sports will be able to be offered.

On Canvas in the MyOLMC Information Gateway you will find the MyOLMC Sport page where there is a list of all OLMC sports. This list will be updated upon confirmation of a sport being cancelled, postponed or going ahead.


There is also a link to a list of online resources for specific sports training drills you can do at home. You may like to undertake some of this training in preparation for sports returning.

ERNA’s 10 round Saturday Netball competition commences on 18 July. ERNA are planning to have the competition draw similar to what was published before the COVID-19 lockdown. This draw will be published when it is finalised. Please continue to check your emails during the holidays for the draw.


Saturday Netball Training will resume at the start of Term 3. I will email the training schedule to all students involved this week.


I hope you and your families continue to stay safe and healthy.

Mr Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator


Public Speaking

New DAPS Leaders

Congratulations to the new 2020/21 DAPS Leaders, Sabrina Catania and Anne Nguyen. Both girls are not only outstanding public speakers and debaters, but young ladies who epitomize Mercy values. Sabrina and Anne are certain to contribute significantly to the promotion of debating and public speaking over the next year. We welcome them to this important portfolio.

This now means we say goodbye to outgoing leaders, Daphne Fong and Lily Tambrchi, who have been wonderful in their roles as DAPS Leaders. In every situation, the girls displayed enthusiasm, initiative and cooperation. Any request made of them was carried out promptly and efficiently, and with a positive attitude that must be admired. Nothing was too much trouble for either girl. A sincere thank you to Daphne and Lily for their contribution to the OLMC community.  

CSDA Grand Finals

Last Friday, the Grand Finals of CSDA Public Speaking were held via a Zoom session. Alexandra Attard of Year 7 was the first student from OLMC to reach this level for several years. While Alexandra did not place in the Year 7 final, her achievement of being in the top 12 from approximately 150 original entrants speaks volumes for her talent and effort. Congratulations to Alexandra for an outstanding performance.

Australian Titles

Each year, eight of our girls are selected to compete at the Australian Individual Debating and Public Speaking Titles and its Junior parallel, Speakfest. The current pandemic has affected so many competitions but AIDPSC and Speakfest are going ahead at PLC Croydon this year, if not live, then via Zoom.

Students selected for these events are chosen based on their ability, reliability and commitment to public speaking and debating at the College. They also need to be worthy representatives of OLMC. The girls who will be competing at the Senior competition are Sabrina Catania and Riley Rodewald (Year 11) and Maeve Nolan and Stephanie Ogle (Year 10). The Junior team competing at Speakfest comprises Karshini Dahal (Year 9), and Sophie Assaad, Avni Mathur and Tia Monga (Year 8).

Although the competition is not until September, training begins with an all-day workshop during the July holidays, followed up by further practice throughout Term 3.

Well done to all girls on their selection. OLMC has an excellent reputation in this competition, built up over many years and 2020 is certain to maintain that tradition.

Mr Christopher Ostrowski
Public Speaking Coordinator

We have a number of items that are out of stock due to issues with sourcing from overseas.

Blazers – New fabric has been milled in China and sent to India for manufacture. Unfortunately, the factory remains in lockdown. We have been given a date of late August for delivery. This has been additionally delayed due to the inability to air freight due to the reduction in flights. If your daughter does not have a blazer they can wear their school jumper with the sports jacket. If you have not ordered a blazer, or collected your temporary blazer, please contact the uniform shop as soon as possible.

Tights – The shop is now fully stocked with tights, Please visit the Uniform Shop to purchase or visit the Online Uniform Shop on the College website (see link below).

Scarves – The school scarves are made in Lima Peru, which contributes a sustainable income to a group of women in one of the poorest districts, San Martin de Porres. Unfortunately, we are unable to source the scarves at this time. The girls will be permitted to wear a plain navy scarf in the interim.

Winter Uniform – If you do not have your full winter uniform please contact the Uniform Shop and make an appointment to have your fitting.

Old Uniform – If your daughter is currently wearing the old uniform there are still some items in stock if needed. Please contact the Uniform Shop.

Netball Uniform – Some sizing in the netball uniform is not available. If you require a netball uniform for this season starting 18 July, please visit the Uniform Shop for a fitting as soon as possible so sizing can be ordered, or a purchase can be made if your size is in stock. 

The Uniform Shop is open every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 8.00am to 9.30am (school days only). In busier periods such as changes in seasons, the shop opens on additional days. To ensure social distancing takes place, there will be a limit of two families in the store at any one time.

Purchases can also be made via our online uniform shop

All orders placed will be delivered to the Student Centre for collection by the Students.


The Canteen is open daily before school from 8.00am and during recess and lunch.

New items now selling:

  • Kombucha
  • Muesli Bars
  • California Sushi Rolls
  • Salmon Sushi Rolls
  • Potato Pies


Weekly specials are posted on CANVAS at the beginning of each week. Daily specials are on the electronic notice boards.

The Canteen menu can be found on the College website


From the Counsellors

The all too familiar feeling that comes on Sunday nights where we wish the weekend wasn’t drawing to an end, can be amplified for those experiencing anxiety. It is normal to start to think about the tasks you have coming up for the week and to feel some mild anxiety, particularly if you feel unprepared or have low confidence about those activities. For some people, including adolescents, the worry about the week ahead can impact their sleep on Sunday night, leaving them feeling even less able to deal with the stressors that may be coming in the week ahead. Here are some strategies that may be helpful in managing the Sunday night worries:

  1. Review the previous week and plan for Monday and the week ahead. Focus on what went well in the previous week and try and build on that by planning for the week ahead. If you do this planning on a Friday it also gives you the weekend free from worry. You can rest and relax knowing the week ahead is already planned for.
  2. Plan a semi-productive Sunday morning. It’s ok to have a lie in, but sleeping in for more than a few hours past your usual wake up time, can make it more difficult to fall asleep at a reasonable hour that night. Waking up the next morning is therefore, likely to be difficult. You may want to schedule a morning activity on Sundays, like a walk with friends or family or meeting at a café for breakfast, to assist in getting out of bed at a reasonable time. This makes the routine of waking up early on Monday much easier.
  3. Plan an enjoyable activity for late in the day on Sunday. Make Sunday afternoons as relaxed as you can. Organise a family board game challenge, watch a funny movie together, get into the kitchen and bake some snacks or try out a new recipe.
  4. Catch yourself in the negative mindset. Try to challenge some of those negative thoughts that come into your head e.g. ‘I’m not good at presentations’, and replace with thoughts that are more positive or at least balanced, ‘I don’t enjoy presentations, but I have prepared the best I can’. Try to stay present in the moment, rather than getting caught up in your head and overthinking things. 
  5. Plan an enjoyable event on Monday. Try and plan something to look forward to on a Monday to help challenge the negative connotations you may have associated with Mondays. Organise your favourite meal for dinner, watch an episode of your favourite TV show or organise a time to meet with a friend and go for a walk.
  6. Limit your use of social media. Comparing your weekend to the ‘highlight reel’ posted by celebrities and other influencers, is not likely to make you feel good about yourself or what you did on the weekend. Focus on following people you know and who make you feel good about yourself. 
  7. Focus on healthy habits. Eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise are all going to help give you energy. Consider meditation, mindfulness or a guided relaxation in the evening as a way of relieving stress and inducing calm. There are a number of apps including ‘Calm’, ‘Smiling mind’, ‘Breathe’, ‘Stop, Think, Breathe’.

Sunday night worries are real. If you find yourself getting anxious towards the end of the weekend, accept that it's natural and you aren't alone. Consider trying the various strategies above, remembering that we all react differently to anxiety, so it is important to find what works for you.

Mrs Sandra Portela
Senior School Counsellor






Antonia Khalil

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Creative & Performing Arts Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

I would like to ensure that Mercy girls are being informed of the events happening in the CAPA department and to make sure they are involved with as many co-curricular activities and ensembles as possible. 

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2019/2020?

My vision is to reinvigorate some of the old events that the past CAPA Leaders held, as well as introducing new and fun ways for involvement in the CAPA department. I would like to work with Music, Drama and Visual Arts students to enable collaboration between the CAPA departments.

Brianna El-Bayeh

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Doyle House Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

Working closely with my partner and our Mentor, Mrs McNulty, in leading the Doyle House.

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2019/2020?

My vision as Doyle House Leader is to strive to lead Doyle with lots of love, compassion and enthusiasm. My key goal is to boost the spirit within our House. I hope this can be achieved by introducing activities that encourage girls to work collaboratively with each other. Overall, I would like all students in Doyle House to grow together and form relationships and bonds that will last a lifetime!

Daniella Younes

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Doyle House Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

Working with my Partner Brianna and our House Mentor, Mrs McNulty, to lead Doyle House.

What is your vision as Leader of this portfolio in 2019/2020?

As Doyle House Leader, I would like to increase the House spirit within Doyle. It would be good to spend more time together to bond with all fellow Doyle students. I would also like to highlight the students in Doyle who partake in acts of kindness by creating a Doyle Hero Award to encourage girls to be kinder to others, developing a stronger bond within the House.

Josie Wehbe

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Clare House Leader 

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

The day-to-day responsibilities of my Portfolio include running House meetings and writing chapel speeches. However, my role extends much further than that. I work to create a warm and comfortable environment to uplift our Clare sisters as they grow.

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2019/2020?

My vision as Clare House Leader is to enhance the bonds within our House, to ensure each girl is completely comfortable. To achieve this goal, together with partner, I have begun to implement Fun Fridays. Every fortnight, I organise a fun activity to strengthen the relationships between girls in each homeroom, grade and throughout the House. I hope this can be extended this to our sister house, Callan!




Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Identity

Lord, no one is a stranger to you and no one is ever far from your loving care

In your kindness watch over refugees and asylum seekers,

those separated from their loved ones, those who are lost,

and those who have been exiled from their homes.

Bring them safely to the place where they long to be,

and help us always to show your kindness to strangers and those in need.

Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

Refugee Week

National Refugee Week is celebrated in June every year. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the issues affecting refugees and helps the community to understand what it is like to be a refugee and the refugee experience. This year the theme was The Year of Welcome. At the College, the Mercy Action and Stewardship Leaders led a week long program of activities including AV clips, advocacy information sessions, hands-on activities and a Zoom presentation by Deena Yako. We were all able to learn a great deal about refugees and their personal experiences, stories and challenges. 

Watching Deena Yako's speech was an eye-opening experience that I'm glad I was able to listen to! Talking predominantly about her journey as an Iraqi refugee at a young age, Deena shared her understanding that highlighted the struggles of the decision to leave Iraq, the journey across the border, her time in a detention centre and her experience growing up as an Iraqi refugee living in Australia. Anya Maclure


The simulation activity we did was an engaging and interactive way of getting the girls to understand and empathise with the challenges and confusion faced by refugees. Many refugees come to another country or are placed in detention centres without knowledge or understanding of what they need to do or where they are going to go. The process of applying for asylum is complicated, underregulated and frustrating. Abi Prakash

Listening to Renuga’s personal experiences of visiting Villawood Detention Centre made me think about how I would feel living in a detention centre filled with uncertainty about when I would be able to get out and live a humane life. I couldn't even begin to fathom the pain and fear I would feel. Feeling helpless and unsure about how I could personally help refugees, I was inspired by Renuga’s suggestion that we need to take small steps like educating ourselves by listening to refugee stories in order to truly understand their pain and instigating discussions regarding the refugee experience. After all, small steps can lead to big changes! Charlotte Burns


Winter Appeal

Thank you to all the families who have made a donation to our Winter Appeal. We are still very much in the middle of our cooler months and if you happen to be sorting through your clothes during the upcoming holidays, we would love any jumpers, jackets or warm clothes that are in good condition. These can be dropped off to the Staff Common Room in the labelled tubs.

This is one small way we can be people of Mercy working with our local community to restore the dignity of those who are suffering through the Winter months without adequate clothing.

Waste Management and the Environment

One of our Mercy Values is Stewardship and at OLMC we consciously try to reduce the impact we make on the environment. We have had plastic free campaigns, created our own energy with solar panels, recycled bottles with Return & Earn and even changed the packaging used in the canteen to recycled more environmentally friendly cardboard.

We have now engaged with a waste company who have built a new Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). This MRF has amazing potential to sort, separate and repurpose much of our waste which reduces the amount that ends up as landfill. Waste that cannot be recycled can be repurposed into a product called RDF (refuse-derived fuel) that is used as a fuel alternative to fossil fuels. What a terrific partnership this will be - not only keeping our local school environment clean but being responsible citizens for the future as well. Watch a short presentation here.

Face masks for the Children's Hospital

Two of our very generous Year 11 Mercy girls, Veronica Chacty and Helena Thomas, put their sewing skills to good use and made over 40 face masks in both adult and children sizes. These were donated to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. (Photos used with permission)

‘The masks mean that we can safely treat children who are often immune-compromised in a safe manner in treatment rooms that are often quite small. This generous donation will assist many children and staff alike. We would like to thank the girls for thinking of others during these difficult days.’ Katie Geering, Head Orthoptist.

Friday Morning Mass

We look forward to welcoming all girls back into the Chapel next Term when we recommence Friday Morning Mass. Mass is celebrated by College Chaplain, Fr Walter Fogarty, and commences at 8.10am each Friday morning. All are welcome!

As this is the last Newsletter for Term 2, I want to take the opportunity to thank our 2019/2020 Mission Leaders who have made an extraordinary effort leading the school in their individual portfolio areas.

To Gabby Nimmo and Amelie Loof (Liturgy), Anya Maclure and Charlotte Burns (Mercy Action) and Kat Butler and Abi Prakash (Stewardship); thank you all for your leadership, guidance and passion. We are a richer school because of your contributions.

Mrs Gabby Scanlon
Director of Mission