Marie Wood, Deputy Principal

Dear OLMC Families

It is a pleasure to see all of our students and staff return to the College this week. There is a deep sense of achievement in knowing that we have successfully navigated this period of remote learning and great satisfaction in knowing that all of the planning and the preparation beforehand stood us in good stead during this time. Continuous Learning will stay in place for the remainder of the year and this will minimise any further potential disruption to students’ learning should we find ourselves instructed to go to remote learning at any time in the future. 

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the staff at the College who found themselves in self-isolation and managing their own family circumstances while supporting your daughters so well.  For the two weeks, we met as a staff at the start of each day over zoom, checking in with each other and preparing for the day ahead. Thank you again to all of you too for your significant support of your daughters and of the College during this time.

Reflecting on this recent remote learning experience with our students really highlights the importance of resilience, perseverance and faith at times of adversity. As a Mercy community, we have certainly drawn on these strengths! The students have also drawn on increasingly important entrepreneurial skills as they continue to develop new ways of thinking and problem solving for themselves and as modelled by you as parents and by staff at the College. We have all had to pivot considerably this year as the pandemic has evolved and we have all done so successfully. We know that this entrepreneurial thinking will be valuable in the future, so employing this in a practical way now will encourage confidence and social and emotional growth for our students. Research shows that when individuals embrace new opportunities with a growth mindset they will have greater success in engaging with the unfamiliar and be more motivated to master a situation in an increasingly complex world.

Clearly our Year 12 students have exhibited all the traits of strong Mercy women this week as they engage in their Trial HSC examinations. Our Year 12 Dance students completed their practical HSC examination on Monday and, from all accounts, performed with tremendous expertise. It is a testament to Year 12's tenacity that everyone arrived undaunted and ready to demonstrate the best of their learning. Congratulations Year 12!

Already a flow has developed around horizontal homerooms and directional wayfinding in the College that is evidence of our community’s ability to adapt and adjust that is so commendable! I do hope that there is as much excited conversation at home around these changes as has been generated here at the College!

I would like to commend to you the P&F occurring next week: 

  • P&F Meeting – 1 September 2020

To register for the next P&F Meeting to be held via Zoom on Tuesday, 1 September 2020, please see the P&F Notice at the end of this newsletter.

Take care and stay safe.

Kind regards

Marie Wood
Principal (Acting)

The Importance of History

The events of 2020 have continued to highlight the importance of our students learning about History. The course not only teaches our students about the past but is an ‘essential characteristic of any society and historical knowledge is fundamental to understanding ourselves and others’ (Australian Curriculum). At OLMC, teachers have embraced the role they play in shaping our Mercy Students in understanding the world around them. Within the classrooms, we continue to emphasis the historical skills of inquiry that will support our students in their continued global engagement, and the knowledge of the past that can help us understand our current global issues.

In 2020, the International Labour Organisation estimates that there are currently twenty-one million people who are victims of forced labour. To understand the global history of slavery, the impacts of this practice on society, and its connection to the increase in manufacturing, one must only look to the study of The Movement of People and the Transatlantic Slave Trade that our Year 9 students are currently exploring. To help students explore social justice issues and the increased exploitation as a result of capitalism, we have utilised firsthand accounts and experiences of not only the conditions that slaves were forced to experience, but also the ongoing racial impacts on the 21st Century.

Our Year 10 History students pick up on this exploration through their examination of the USA Civil Rights Movement and the Australian Indigenous Civil Rights fight for justice. Through the review of the Australian Government Policies and their impacton Australia’s First Nations Peoples’, the students become not only well-informed citizens but have begun to understand the social structures that have perpetuated discrimination. Through these studies, students are taught the skills of discerning evidence with a focus on the context, perspective, and interpretations it provides of the modern world. These historical inquiry skills are translatable into how our students are able to unpack the news of the day, giving them access to understand the ever-changing world that they live in.


Our students have also been utilising the medium of film as a way of engaging in Historical inquiry. The Year 9 Elective History class has been comparing James Cameron’s Titanic against a range of evidence as Historical Investigators, viewing the differing accounts of what occurred on that tragic journey. Their study has also given them an opportunity to reflect on gender roles between the Edwardian era and today. These thematic studies provide our students with an opportunity to explore in-depth the changes and continuities in society.  


The study of History allows OLMC students to have a contextual connection between significant events from the past and provide a framework of understanding of this changing world.

Ms Gillian Carpenter
Leader of Learning History (Acting)

HSC Virtual Showcase

In 2020, the OLMC HSC Showcase will take on a different format. To be launched on the 21 September, our HSC Virtual Showcase, accessed via the OLMC website, will allow parents, students and the wider OLMC community to experience the talent and creativity of our Year 12 students from the comfort of their own homes!
The Showcase will feature our Year 12 students displaying and performing their Major Works and Projects from Dance, Design & Technology, Drama, English Extension II, Music, Society & Culture and Visual Art. For a preview of the Showcase, click here, to see one of our Mercy Girls, Angela Younes, talk about her Music Major Performance.
We are looking forward to sharing the talents of the Class of 2020 in this exciting new format.


UAC News for Year 12 students and their parents

Applying for university as a Year 12 student with UAC

Click above for a quick video guide for Year 12 students applying for undergraduate courses through UAC. This video will help you understand how the university application process works. 

Read more about how institutions use the ATAR to select students, non-ATAR pathways to tertiary study, and the many levels of financial support available to you at the UAC website:

You can also connect with UAC on social media:


Show more

Public Speaking

Student Speak

The Student Speak initiative is gathering momentum and each week, more students are having their voices heard on a wide range of issues important to them. In the last two weeks, Rachael Bailey (Year 12), Karshini Dahal (Year 9) Mikayla Bayeh (Year 8) and prolific speech writer Annoushka Maikap (Year 7) have added new video recordings to the Student Speak site. The topics vary from inspiring girls to face the world confidently to protecting the planet and even delving into conspiracy theories, but all these are speeches well worthwhile viewing. There are at least three more speeches close to being recorded by other students so all students, teachers and parents are encouraged to continue to visit Canvas/Courses/Student Speak/Student Speak Videos and see why the girls of OLMC are so successful in the world of public speaking.

A reminder that Student Speak is open to all students, not just public speakers. Go to the same site, watch the introductory video by Daphne and Lily and look under 'Instructions'. All students can get help in preparing their speeches.

The Impact of COVID

We all know what a huge difference the current pandemic has made to our lives. Yet the students of OLMC have shown enormous resilience in the face of so many challenges. One way this has been evident is in public speaking. When it seemed that all competitions would be cancelled, several opportunities arose that allowed our girls to participate in competitions and other events. While many students were unable to compete in their chosen event, it is still remarkable that by the end of this year, even if restrictions continue, there will be over 70 girls who will have contributed to this co-curricular activity. I would like to thank them all for their continued enthusiasm and effort. It speaks volumes for the attitude of our girls.

World Titles

The World Individual and Public Speaking Titles have just finished the preliminary rounds and we now wait to see who competes in next weekend’s finals as well as the announcement of the top ten speakers overall. Yasmine Alwakal of Year 11 has had an intense program of six events, some as recorded videos, some on Zoom. Yasmine’s talent in public speaking and debating should see her being highly competitive, even at this exceptional level of competition. Yasmine is one of only two students representing Australia and we now wait to see the results of the competition.

Mr Christopher Ostrowski
Public Speaking Coordinator   


Sport continues to have roadblocks hampering the girls return to interschool competitions. All Term 3 Gala Days and Carnivals have again been cancelled. There continues to be numerous meetings to try and organise sport in Term 4. PDSSSC and CGSSSA are still keen to hold some sporting events but most sports will need to be pushed back to allow time to organise and prepare the events and to confirm what government guidelines will be in place. Saturday Basketball and Volleyball are planning to run as usual.

On Canvas in the MyOLMC Information Gateway you will find the MyOLMC Sport page. I have placed a list of all the sports OLMC is involved in. I will continue to update the list when I receive confirmation of a sport being cancelled, postponed or continuing.

Saturday Netball


ERNA’s Netball season is in full swing and running very smoothly. Spectators are reminded that we are only allowed four non-players on the sidelines. All spectators will now have to have their names and details recorded on the scoresheets.


A reminder that all teams will play games and finals up until 19 September.

Despite there being no games for the past two weeks for OLMC, you can view all results on the ERNA website here –

Wednesday Touch Football


Due to the recent publication of government guidelines on school sport and in the interest of prioritising our students’ safety, OLMC will not enter the upcoming Parramatta Junior Touch Football competition held on Wednesday afternoons at Doyle ground. 

The College has made the decision not to register any teams in 2020.

The College will make decisions about future sporting opportunities in line with Government School Sporting Guidelines.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Mr Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator


The next P&F Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 1 September 2020. This meeting will be via Zoom (7.00-8.00pm) and we are inviting the first 25 parents to accept this invitation. If you would like to join the meeting, please click here to register. Once you have registered, you will receive an email confirming your attendance and a link to join the Zoom meeting.


From Monday, 24 August 2020 and for the remainder of the term, the uniform shop will be online only. The shop will be temporarily closed for all visitors including parents, carers and students.


The online shop is available for the purchase of uniforms that will be delivered to the Student Centre for student pick up.


If you have any concerns regarding uniform items, please don't hesitate to contact the uniform shop on 02 8838 1275 or




Fee Reminder

A reminder Instalment 3 fees are now overdue unless you are on an existing direct debit arrangement with the College. Please ensure all overdue fees are paid by BPay, cheque, money order or by credit card via the Parent Community Portal (Visa or Mastercard) as soon as possible.

Should you be experiencing any difficulties with paying the fees or you have any queries please contact the Finance Office on 8838 1214 weekdays during 8.00am–4.00pm or by email to


Mrs Anne-Maree Ironside
Finance Manager


The canteen will be closed until Monday, 31 August. We will be moving to online ordering and contactless collections via Flexi Schools. This will be the only means of purchasing food and drinks at the College. Orders for breakfast must be placed each morning by 7.00am and Morning Tea and Lunch by 9.00am. All food will be labelled and collected at the Year Groups designated playground area in the College.

Breakfast will not be available on the first two days of next week to allow time for the process to settle in.

Information on how to register for the Flexi Schools app can be found here

Please be advised that Flexi Schools charge a service fee. The details of these fees can be found by clicking here.

Bus Information

Please click here to see the updated school bus advice sheet for Hillsbus services commencing 24 August 2020.

Route 2163 will no longer continue from Route 663 at Parramatta Station. It is now linked with Route 665 departing Rouse Hill Station at 07:34.

A reminder that students they must have a valid Opal card to travel on school buses and they must tap on and off morning and afternoon.


Isabella Barakat

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Student Representative Council (SRC) President

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

As SRC President, my key responsibility is to ensure optimal wellbeing and functioning of the SRC by providing support and supervision. Each fortnight, my leadership partner and I, plan an agenda to present to the SRC team. Additionally, I liaise with the SRC teacher mentor to discuss possible initiatives for OLMC. Subsequently, each week an executive meeting is held where I propose ideas generated by the SRC, raise any concerns and provide feedback on leadership activities. As a Senior Leader, I assist with College events including Orientation Day as well as addressing the College community at Assembly.

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2020/21?

My vision is to ensure all responsibilities within my Portfolio are met to the highest standard. I hope to develop multiple initiatives for the SRC team to carry on in years to come. Additionally, I strive to motivate and encourage students to develop initiatives, as well as raise concerns. Along with the Senior Leadership Team, I seek to inspire and model what it means to be a Mercy Girl to younger students by emulating Catherine McAuley’s actions, demonstrating the core values of the College.

What is something about yourself that others might be surprised to know about you?

I lived overseas for four years in Dubai, UAE.

What are your interests outside of school?

I enjoy dancing, cooking and travelling.




From the Counsellors


Resilience is defined by the American Psychological Association 'as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves 'bouncing back' from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.'

2020 has brought with it many challenges. It has also presented an opportunity for reflection on lessons learnt and an opportunity for personal growth. Personal growth occurs when we see that in spite of the challenges we have faced, we have made it to the other side.

Being resilient does not mean that you will not experience challenges or difficulties, it just means that you will draw on both internal and external supports and resources to help you meet the challenge or difficulty. Resilience is something that we can all continue to grow and develop; it is not an innate strength that only a favoured few possess. However, like any other muscle, we need to work hard in order to develop it to its full potential. There may be occasions where we feel more resilient or better able to cope than at other times and this may come down to our current situation, a combination of environmental factors and internal wellbeing.

In order to work your resilience muscle you should: focus on building connections with others, finding purpose or meaning in your life, wellbeing, and healthy thinking.

  1. Connection with others - In times of great challenge or personal adversity it can be tempting to retreat or isolate ourselves from others. It is important to lean on others during these times, accept the support and work to build mutually supportive relationships focused on building each other up.
  2. Finding purpose or meaning in your life - Think about the things that are most important in your life. Focus and spend time engaging in these activities or with these people. Volunteering your time or resources to a cause that you hold dear can help you feel a sense of purpose and increase your resilience.
  3. Wellbeing - Taking care of one’s physical needs via adequate and healthy nutrition, exercise, and sufficient rest and sleep can help in managing the physical toll stress places on your body. Mental wellbeing can be increased by focusing on practices such as mindfulness, gratitude, prayer and meditation.
  4. Healthy thinking - Accepting that change is a part of life can be key in acknowledging that we are not able to control everything around us. Essentially the only things that are in our control are our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours. If we focus on these things that are in our control we are much more likely to focus on the things we can do to help us feel like we have coped.

Acknowledging that you are not doing well or not feeling like you are coping is an important step in building your resilience. Seek help, there are so many levels of support available to you within our community. Family, friends, your GP, school counsellors and external mental health professionals can all help you on your journey to building resilience.

Mrs Sandra Portela
Senior Counsellor

Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Identity

Prayer for Preparation to Study

Lord, I know you are with me and love me.
Give me peace of mind as I prepare for this time of study.
Help me to focus on my books and notes,
keep me from all distractions so that I will make the best use
of this time that is available to me.
Give me insight that I might understand what I am studying,
and help me to remember it when the time comes.
Above all, I thank you for the ability to be able to study
and for the many gifts and talents you have given me.
Help me always to use them in such a way
that they honour you and do justice to myself.


HSC Trial Examinations

We keep the Year 12 girls in our thoughts and prayers as they continue with their HSC trials. Prayer and quiet moments of reflection can be excellent opportunities to be open to listening to God. We wish the girls the very best at this time.

Social Justice Sunday

Social Justice Sunday will be celebrated on 30 August 2020.  The 2020/21 Statement, To Live Life to the Full: Mental health in Australia today, encourages each one of us to make mental health a priority. Understanding mental health will help us to be aware of those who need our support. The Statement encourages us all to reject stigmatisation, to work for the transformation of social determinants of mental ill-health and to call for policies and service provision that meets the needs of the poorest and most marginalised members of our community.

Women and Dignity

The Hamlin Fistula Foundation work in Africa to eradicate obstetric fistulas. A medical condition which can prevent women from being active members in their communities.

The Hamlin Shop promotes small business ventures set up by women whose lives have been turned around by a simple fistula repair. Their handicrafts are available online at The Hamlin Shop. All proceeds go directly back to the communities. Have a look- there are some lovely gift ideas available!

Father - Daughter Liturgy

The annual Father-Daughter Liturgy will look a little different this year, but we are still looking forward to sharing it with the school and wider community. Girls will view this Liturgy in Homeroom on 1 September and it will be made available to families soon after.

Nativity of Mary

On 8 September we will celebrate the Nativity, or birth, of Mary. Mary is a very important woman to the Sisters of Mercy and as a Mercy community, we remember this solemn day.

Homeless Awareness Week

Thank you to all the staff and students who participated in Homeless Awareness Week. The daily challenges were a great way to get involved, learn a few facts, and show our competitive sides! Daily challenges were well received by the school community and the results are in!

Top ten four days of the week:

  • Pooja Hari 
  • Clarissa Grace Guino 
  • Jennifer Wang 

Have a terrific week

Mrs Gabby Scanlon 
Director of Mission


Charlotte Ryan

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Mercedes House Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

As a Mercedes House Leader, it is my responsibility to increase participation, enthusiasm and House spirit among our Mercedes Sisters.

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2020/21?

I hope to create a greater sense of unity among the girls in Mercedes House and help them to understand the importance of their House family at the College. I also would like to see all girls in Mercedes actively participate in College events so they get the most out of their high school experience!

What would be a good theme song for your life? Why?

I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas. This song matches my 'go with the flow' attitude.

What would be your superpower? Why?

Weather Modification. I feel like that could come in handy especially when I'm too tired for netball.