Lucie Farrugia, Principal

 

 

 

Welcome back to the 2021 school year at Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta.

The energy and enthusiasm of the first days of school can never be taken for granted but at OLMC, the vibrancy of staff reconnecting with one another and the girls’ joy to see their friends and teachers are memories that will stay with me for a lifetime.

I thank all in this community for the wonderful welcome I have received as your new Principal and, in turn, I warmly welcome our new students and their families who have joined our community this year and the following new staff:

 

 

  • Belinda Angilletta, Leader of Learning Music
  • Donna Jones, Careers & VET Co-ordinator
  • Jacques Willems, TAS Teacher
  • Jonathan Saurine, Leader of Learning Science
  • Sean Ma, Science Teacher
  • Alena Ieroianni, Dance/PDHPE Teacher
  • Dominic Fricot, PDPHE Teacher
  • Abbey Connor, PDHPE Teacher 
  • Emma Murray, History Teacher
  • Catriona McKellar, English Teacher
  • Michelle Emeleus English Teacher 
  • Monica Herrera, Mathematics 
  • Lauren Simmons, Science Teacher 
  • Emma Browning, Inclusive Learning Teacher
  • Fiona Tung, Counsellor

  We are also pleased to welcome back: 

  • Cathy McNulty
  • Ann-Marie Herd
  • Sheila Ibarra
  • Christine Hackett
  • Barbara McBride

We have had a great start to our school year. I would like to congratulate our new Year 7 students on their seamless entry to life in high school. I would also like to thank Sharlyn Teo and Antonija Mustac - Year 7 Coordinators, the Year 7 House Mentors and College Chaplain, Fr Walter Fogarty, who have all helped to facilitate a successful Transition Program with Year 7, assisting them to be ready to commence classes next week. I would like to acknowledge our Year 12 students who were at school in the last days of their holidays to support our new students and prepare the Year 12 Common Room for their return. Welcome, as well, to our newest OLMC girls in other Year Groups who are settling into our school life as though they were always with us.

This year, as a community, we will focus on the value of Justice. At our opening Assembly, our Senior Leaders were ‘on point’ in their challenge to all students to ‘take a chance to make a change.’ Their analogy of a ladder with several rungs was used beautifully to explain their concept - that every step toward creating a more just world counts. We can start, even in the smallest way, today by noticing what is happening in our College community, our local communities and our global community - reaching out to others and taking the chance to connect in meaningful ways.

As we start our 2021 school year, I congratulate our Class of 2020 on their outstanding HSC results and thank the Leadership Team of 2020, ably led by Mrs Marie Wood, and the entire teaching staff for their unwavering commitment to the 2020 HSC Cohort at every point throughout a challenging year for all schools.

We are excited to be back in 2021 and I am honoured and privileged every day to lead this talented and hardworking staff to celebrate and challenge your daughter. We all look forward to a great year ahead. 

Have a wonderful start to 2021. 

Lucie Farrugia
Principal 


Friday 5 February: Year 7 Activities Day
Tuesday 9 February: High Achievers' Assembly 
Tuesday 9 February: P&F Meeting (Staff Common Room, 7pm)
Friday 12 February: College Opening Mass and Commissioning of New Principal 


May you Meet Mercy

May you meet Mercy each day:
In the light of your own heart,
in the hands of your loved ones,
in the eyes of the stranger and the needy.

And if by chance you do not at first meet it,
then search your heart for it,
listen patiently for word of it
and it will tap you on the shoulder,
a quiet surprise, a small gesture,
the tender look,
given and received in the encounters of your day.

This prayer was written by Sr Mary Wickham, a Sister of Mercy from Melbourne. This prayer shows us that Mercy is everywhere: it is in the people we meet and is indeed within each of us. This is important to remember and, as we welcome the new members of our College community in 2021, we should all strive to BE Mercy to others and also SEE Mercy in others.

Year 7 Formation Day

Year 7 Mercy Girls gathered together last Thursday to participate in their Mercy Formation Day. We were fortunate to have the actors from Blue Whale Productions perform their play A shining light in the darkness- the Catherine McAuley Story. This was a fabulous introduction to Catherine McAuley, the Sisters of Mercy and the wonderful legacy she has left behind.

The girls then participated in the Great Mercy Walk around the College where they were introduced to the spaces that have significant Indigenous, Catholic and Mercy significance to us.

Fr Walter, our College Chaplain, led a beautiful Mass in the afternoon. This was a wonderful way to commence the year; gathered in the Mother Mary Clare Dunphy Memorial Chapel, sharing the Eucharist and joining as a Year Group to pray and reflect on the year ahead.

The girls were an absolute joy to work with. The staff involved on the day all commented on their willingness to participate, join in, and share their thoughts and ideas - what a great start to high school!

 

Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Lent

The season of Easter is fast approaching. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and on this day, traditionally, flour and excess milk and eggs were used up in preparation for the fasting period associated with Lent. This year, once again, we will be celebrating this day with Pancake Day. The Mercy Action Representatives will assist staff to make and sell pancakes before school on Tuesday 16 February. Information will be sent to the students shortly.

We will then gather as a community to receive Ashes during our Ash Wednesday Liturgy. The ashes are a visible sign of the commencement of our Lentern journey. This is also a time when we begin fundraising for Project Compassion. Caritas Australia is the Catholic Church's organisation for justice, peace and advocacy. The funds raised through Project Compassion are used locally and internationally to allow all people to have their basic human rights met. We encourage all girls to donate to this appeal this year.

Gabrielle Scanlon
Director of Mission


Katrina Coorey

Clare House Leader  

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? To ensure all Clare girls are living the Mercy Values, assisting the Executive Leadership Team in tasks and to be a support to our House Leader and the Clare House Mentors.              

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021? My main vision as Clare House leader was to introduce new and fun activities for Homerooms to engage in, so girls can become more familiar with everyone in Clare House. I would also like to collaborate more with our Sister House, Callan.                     

What are your interests outside of school? Netball and spending time with friends.                

Alyssa Laws

Kavanagh House Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? To work with Kavanagh House, encouraging students to progressively grow relationships and themselves as well as their participation in House and College activities/events.            

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021? My vision for Kavanagh House is to communicate with the Kavanagh students more by taking into consideration their opinions and achievements - small or big. I want to give girls the opportunity to go out of their comfort zone and also create a positive and fun environment.                                    

Name one person whom you would like to share a meal with and why? Definitely either Ludovico Einaudi (a Italian composer) or Duncan Penn (Atticus) a poet, because I love their work.               

What are your interests outside of school? Netball, Piano and creative outlets like singing, writing music, writing poems and creating Spotify playlists for every moment or emotion.                                                                                                                                   


Religious Education

Welcome back to a new year filled with wonder and learning! We congratulate our Year 12 students from 2020 on their wonderful HSC results and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavors.

In Religious Education, students are given the opportunity to explore the world through a different lens - one that is not part of the everyday view in many parts of today's world. Through our Religious Education Curriculum and our wider Religion program, our students are encouraged to develop their relationships with God and the wider community and traditions of the Church. In addition to this, our Religious Education Programs, as do our Mercy traditions and values, encourage us to act in ways that give life to all, following the example of Jesus and Catherine McAuley.

This year the Religious Education Department is launching a whole new set of teaching programs for Stages 4 and 5. We have been working with the programs devised by the Diocese of Sydney and adapting them to the needs of our students and our Mercy community. This curriculum covers five strands: Scripture and Jesus, Church and Community, God, Religion and Life, Prayer, Liturgy and the Sacraments and Morality and Justice.

Year 7 dived headlong into our new programs on their Reflection Day last Thursday. They were introduced to the person and story of Catherine McAuley, as they watched a play presented by the Blue Whale Theatre called “Catherine McAuley a light in the Darkness”. After recess they embarked on a Mercy Tour where they visited places around the school which further delve into our Mercy story and they explored the Works of Mercy in groups. The day culminated in the celebration of Mass in the very special Mother Mary Clare Dunphy Chapel.

We look forward to all Year Groups being involved in Reflection Days throughout 2021 as these opportunities add to our Religious Education program and to the spiritual life of all at the College.

Ellen Lonergan
Leader of Learning (Acting) Religious Education


Engaging Adolescents Workshop

Jocelyn Brewer (OLMC ex-student) is a psychologist, cyberpsychology consultant and “Chief Everything Officer” of Digital Nutrition. She is running a program in February and March targeted specifically at parents of adolescents to help navigate the complex world of modern life.

Please see below for details and the poster attached.

OLMC does not endose the content of this workshop but is keen to highlight the great work by alumnae and opportunities that align with our efforts to provide girls with useful information about living a healthy life.

Questions about Engaging Adolescents should be directed to Jocelyn via the links below.

Matthew Esterman
Director of Learning Technologies and Innovation

 

ENGAGING ADOLESCENTS WORKSHOP

Engaging Adolescents is a well-respected 3-week program (and book) created by Australian psychologist Michael Hawton.  I’m adding in an additional week on Digital Nutrition – all about managing screen use and setting up tech use agreements, the source of much conflict in the home.

Parenting modern teens is more about relationships and communication than it is about devices and getting them to put the phone down! Parents will learn how to meaningfully set (and reset) boundaries and build + role model effective communication skills with teenagers. It’s not didactic or dogmatic and is based on facts, not fear.

Full details are here

WHEN: It starts Monday Feb 8 at 7pm (for 90 mins), then is on Feb 15, 22 and March 1, via Zoom. Participants get access to recording if you can’t watch it live.

WHO FOR: Suitable for parents of young people 11-17 years

HOW MUCH: It’s just $79 (+booking fees) via @humanitix (which gives 4% of sales to Indigenous education projects). PLUS parents get a real 50-page workbook posted out to them.

Study Skills Handbook

All girls will have access to an online Study Handbook at www.studyskillshandbook.com.au provided by Enhanced Learning Educational Services. Parents are encouraged 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: OLMC

Password: 64results

From the College Counsellor

 

Resolutions versus Goal Setting

Starting the year with well-planned goals is different to making New Year Resolutions. Resolutions usually don’t last very long as they are statements of intention or promises to ourselves, but little thought is given to how we might make these things actually happen. The quote “A goal without a plan is just a dream” is brought to mind when thinking about resolutions. Often those big statements of intention need to be broken down into small achievable goals or statements of commitment. We need to be prepared to change our current thinking styles and our behaviours. For instance, you may want to increase your social circle, but just making that your goal is not helpful. You would need to think about what is maintaining your current thinking and behaviour. You may identify yourself as shy and think that no one would be interested in what you have to say and therefore you do not converse easily with new acquaintances and perhaps avoid attending functions where you may meet new people. This in turn will not set you up to make new friends and increase your social circle.

Instead, to achieve this goal you may have to challenge your negative self-perception and think about all of the good things you have to offer friends. Focusing on your strengths and what you have to offer new friends is more likely to allow you to feel confident in yourself and allow your interactions with others to be more pleasant. You may also decide that you will join an activity that you enjoy in order to meet other like-minded people. Or you may decide to accept all social activities that come your way in an effort to provide yourself with opportunities to meet new people.

Write your goals down, review them regularly and reflect on your progress. Identify what is getting in your way or what has contributed to your success. Don’t be afraid to modify or adjust your goals, either as you make progress or if you realise that the goal is no longer something you are committed to.

Students at OLMC work on setting both learning and wellbeing goals in Homeroom time. This starts to teach them the benefits of setting goals and reviewing them in a way that is realistic and achievable. So, let us focus on our individual and community goals rather than make resolutions without an action plan.

CLICK HERE to view a worksheet.

Sandra Portela
Senior Counsellor


P&F Meeting - Tuesday 9 February

All parents/carers are welcome to attend the first P&F Meeting for 2021 in the Staff Common Room at 7pm on Tuesday 9 February.

Access via Gate 2 Ross Street.

The P&F Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 9 March 2021.


Public Speaking

While 2020 was a year of challenge, OLMC girls achieved remarkable results in the competitions that did go ahead. Highlights were undoubtedly Head Girl Yasmine Alwakal’s 10th place in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Competition, SRC Vice President Riley Rodewald’s success in being named NSW State Champion (Advanced Senior division) in the UN Voice competition and Year 7 (now Year 8) student Jennifer Wang’s outstanding achievement in being declared World Junior Champion in the Speaking 4 the Planet public speaking competition. While these girls are to be congratulated, we need to recognize that all our public speaking girls make an impression on those who hear them speak. We are proud of all of them.

This week, students from Year 7 to Year 12 were emailed with details of all competitions available in 2021 and invited to be part of this confidence-building cocurricular activity. The good news is that the Parramatta Eisteddfod is going ahead after being cancelled last year. This means that once again, we are able to offer at least one competition for each of the 130 and more students who participate annually in public speaking events. Please note that the closing date for entries is Thursday 18th February as the draw for the whole year must be finalized in the days that follow.

Details of all competitions can be found at Canvas/Information Gateway/Public Speaking. In addition, Student Speak, found at Canvas/Courses/Student Speak, not only has many excellent short speeches performed on video as examples to others but also is an avenue for any girl to write and deliver her own speech in a non-competitive environment. It’s well worth a look!

 

Debating

In 2021, I will be taking over as Debating Coordinator in addition to my role in Public Speaking. Students have been notified that debating auditions begin on Wednesday 10 March and they will be reminded closer to the date. Several teachers and ex-students have already indicated their willingness to act as coaches and/or adjudicators, and at this stage, it looks as if the debates will be held live. OLMC has along list of successes in debating and we are confident this will continue.

For those of you who are new, I have included a picture of our current Debating and Public Speaking (DAPS) Leaders, Anne Nguyen and Sabrina Catania, who continue the tradition of talented and enthusiastic leaders in this portfolio. Whether Debating or Public Speaking, please note that I will also be available to students each day in Room B101 at lunchtime. Parents are also welcome to contact me anytime via email at ostrowskic@olmc.nsw.edu.au

Christopher Ostrowski
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

Sport

Sport is back for 2021! OLMC is excited to be offering a range of sporting events again this year.

Saturday Netball and Football

Registrations will take place later this year and details will be emailed to students in the coming weeks. In the meantime, students can begin organising their own teams with friends.

NSWCCC Sport

If your daughter is interested in trying out for any of the sports mentioned below and they compete at a state or national level, then please contact me first and let me know.

The below trials are for the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges to compete at the NSW All Schools Championships. These trials are not run by OLMC and are held all over Sydney/NSW.

The link to the NSWCCC website is listed below and should provide all the information you need for the trials. Please be aware some trials are age restricted or capped.

There is also a link below to a parents guide on how to register.

NSWCCC Sport Registrations can be completed via the CSNSW.sport portal. For instructions on how to register CLICK HERE.

Term One Individual Nominations Sport Registrations

  • Cricket -  15 Years Girls - 15 February (Close 10 February)
  • Softball – Open Girls - 22 February (Close 12 February)
  • Tennis -  Open Girls - 1 March (Close 22 February)
  • Golf – Open Girls – 8 March Close 25 February)
  • Volleyball – Open Girls – 10 March  (Close 5 March)
  • Water Polo – Open Girls – 15 March (Close 11 March)
  • Hockey – Open Girls and 16s Girls – 22 March (Close 15 March)
  • Diving –  Girls – 29 March (Close 19 March)
  • Triathlon – Individual Girls – 30 March (Close 15 March)
  • Rugby League – Girls Development Camp (12-14 April)

Term Two Individual Nominations Sport Registrations

  • AFL – 15 years Girls – 20 April (Close 1 April)
  • Netball - Open - 28 April Opens (Close 22 April)
  • Netball - 15 years Girls - 27 April (Close 22 April)
  • Basketball - Open Girls – 3 May (Close 20 April)
  • Rugby 7s - 16/17 years Girls only – 5 May (Close 23 April)

Swimming, Cross Country, Athletics, Football and Touch Football registrations are through the School/Diocesan/Association pathways.

For further information, go to the CSNSW Sport website Sport pages.

There will also be a number of OLMC trials for some of these sports, and others, throughout the year. I will email students when these trials are approaching. There is also plenty of OLMC Sport information on the MyOLMC Sport Canvas page.

 

OLMC Swimming Carnival 2021

The annual College Swimming Carnival will be held at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on Thursday February 18.  

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 February 18 is a normal school day (Day 9) 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 Day 9 will be required to remain at school on this day (rather than leave early).
  • Ages are as at 31st December. 2021  JUNIOR – 12, 13 and 14 INTERMEDIATE 15 and 16, SENIOR 17+
  • Students are to appropriately dress in clothes of your house colour.
  • no crepe paper, balloons, whistles, drums, trumpets or noise makers are allowed and body paint/zink, capes or clothing are not allowed in the pool.
  • All students need to remain quiet at the start of each race so competitors can hear.
  • All students are welcome to enter any 50m events on the day for fun without registering, 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 on the below link that has also been emailed to all students.   
  • Please be advised that no photography or videography is permitted at the carnival and that judges and timekeepers are not to be distracted while on duty.             
  • The Carnival will conclude at 8:30pm when students will be dismissed from the venue ready for parents to collect. Please do not collect your daughter before 8.30pm.
  • There will be NO School on Friday February 19.

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

Unfortunately, this year parents/spectators will not be able to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.

If your daughter would like to compete with a view to representative selection, then please CLICK HERE to register  (Girls need to be signed into their OLMC account to do this!). Entries close February 12.

Girls can still enter and compete in events on the night for fun and score house points, without registering online.

If you ever have any questions about any sport, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

A reminder that you are invited to follow OLMC Sport on Twitter here @OLMCsport

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator


College Open Day – Sunday, 7 March, 2021

The College Open Day will be held on Sunday, 7 March from 10am - 2pm. This is a great day to highlight our wonderful College and the excellent work of students and staff in making this a place of excellence and thriving Mercy tradition. Please spread the word and stay tuned for updates.

Uniform Shop

Opening Hours and Purchases: The Uniform Shop is open Monday to Thursday, from 8.00am – 9.30am, and 3.00pm – 4.30pm on Monday and Wednesday (school days only). 

Online purchases can still be made via the Online Uniform Shop (https://shop.olmc.nsw.edu.au/) and all orders will be delivered to the Student Centre for collection by students.

Scarves: Scarves are now available for purchase either online or at the Shop.

Old College Uniforms:If you have any old-style College uniforms (green and white/red), these items can be returned to the Uniform Shop for recycling.

If you have any concerns regarding uniform items, please do not hesitate to contact the Uniform Shop on 8838 1275 or uniformshop@olmc.nsw.edu.au

 

Canteen

A reminder that the Canteen is open daily before school from 8.00am (for breakfast) and during recess and lunch.

Parents can use Flexischools to order and pay for Canteen orders.

For more information about the College Canteen CLICK HERE.