Marie Wood, Deputy Principal

Dear OLMC Families

I would like to wish all fathers and father figures in our community a very happy Father’s Day for last Sunday. It was very much a spring day and I hope that the beautiful weather contributed to many a joyous family occasion where you were able to appreciate being together and celebrating family.

Here at the College, we celebrated Father’s Day with a special liturgy during Homeroom.

The role of a father can be such a strong influence on a child and her/his positive and confident approach to life. For a daughter, a father or father figure can be a significant influence on her faith, on her confidence and self-belief, influencing her positive relationship choices and helping her to feel safe and secure. Being present and listening demonstrates to her that she is valued and valuable. Indeed, this is the case for all children, but a girl will also learn so much from her father about respectful relationships between men and women from watching his interaction within the family. Congratulations to all of you amazing fathers who are helping to nurture amazing young Mercy women!

Yesterday, Tuesday 8 September, we also acknowledged the Nativity or birth of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. Catholics look to Mary as a woman of selfless love and devotion. A special Hail Mary and other prayers were devoted to this during Homeroom.

The current OLMC Strategic Improvement Plan is finishing in 2020 and the College Leadership Team, together with members of the College Board and staff have commenced the development of the Plan which will commence in 2021. This is an exciting phase for the College as we look towards the future for our students and for our families. We are planning for and imagining our graduates as women who continue to 'expand beyond what they know they can be' and who emerge as influencers who are confident advocates for all. It is wonderful to be able to consider the elements of a dynamic Mercy education that will shape our future women and whose strength of character is marked by Mercy, faith and purpose! I know our collective experience of 2020 has already contributed to this shaping!

You will all be very proud of our Year 12 students who have now completed their Trial Higher School Certificate examinations and are focussing of the feedback from them for further growth. Please keep in your prayers our Year 12 Music students who complete their HSC practical examinations next week. Of note too is that two of our HSC Drama students have been nominated for possible inclusion in OnSTAGE, a selection of performances and individual projects from Higher School Certificate Drama students, for their individual performances: Ellen Durbidge and Angela Younes. Well done to both students for their nomination and thank you to their teachers, Ms Caroline Rowland, Ms Lauren Camilleri, Ms Amy Watson and Mrs Leanne Portelli for their efforts in supporting the students to reach this level of recognition! You are all strong Mercy women!

Another example of a fine young Mercy woman is our College Head Girl Yasmine Alwakal. This news was sent to me by Mr Chris Ostrowski, Public Speaking Coordinator:

'I'm very pleased to announce that Yasmine was placed 10th overall in the recent World Debating and Public Speaking titles held on Zoom. This achievement is simply outstanding. We have had only three other girls reach this level over the years, with the previous best result being in the 40s. Yasmine is also the only Australian in the top 10.'

How proud Yasmine should be and Yasmine’s family too because we all certainly are!

Here at the College, we had already made the decision to move our formal celebrations and acknowledgments for our Year 12 students from the end of Term 3 to a safer date in November, post the final Higher School Certificate examination. This has been communicated to all of Year 12 and their families. Today I received notice from NESA confirming that we have made the correct decision in noting the following:

Year 12 Graduations and Formals

Year 12 students across NSW will be able to celebrate the completion of school with COVID-19 safe graduation ceremonies and formals being allowed to take place during Term 4 from 12 November, after the final HSC exam. Schools across NSW will receive a COVID-19 safety plan guidance for Year 12 graduations and school formals on Friday, 11 September.

The weather is warming up and with two weeks until the end of term, it makes sense to allow the students to make the change to their summer uniforms. Consequently, all students will now be permitted to wear either their full summer uniform or full winter uniform to school (depending on their preference) for the remainder of this term.

Dates to remember:

  • Year 11 Examinations – 7 Sep – 17 Sep. Please keep our Year 11 students in your prayers
  • OLMC HSC Virtual Showcase will be launched on Monday 21 September – excitement is building!
  • Last day of Term 3, 2020 - Friday, 25 September

Take care and stay safe.

Warm regards

Mrs Marie Wood
Principal (Acting)


This term, Year 9 Elective History have been studying a Twentieth Century case study - the Titanic and the Edwardian era. To avoid being desensitised to the numbers of people lost during the tragic sinking of the Titanic, students were able to become personally invested by researching a passenger who travelled on the Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage. Matilda Connolly was so moved by her historical person's experience that she wrote a poetic tribute to her.

My name is Ruth Becker and my brother was sick,

For the medication he needs we had to take a trip.                                     

Through the ocean on a maiden voyage

Walking through luxury soon to need a lot of courage

Great dining halls on the floors above

Glittering chandeliers and many silk gloves

No touching for me, as in second class

No running either, my brothers and I miss the grass

A luxurious holiday on dire circumstance

But we watch the rich while shiny brass candles dance

Playing on the deck was a breath of fresh air

 We hear the adults talk about John Jacob Aster the gazillionaire

Late one night when we were fast asleep

A loud rattle made my baby brother weep

Nothing was wrong, all was okay,

At least that’s what we were told anyway

Not long after we had life belts on

The chaos had begun people running unlike a gracious swan

“Women and Children! Women and Children!”

That’s who they want not who they get, mixing classes like the ship was a giant cauldron

I lost my family in the panic

A bustling frenzy on the Titanic

Even lost I knew I could do something

I couldn’t help my heart from thumping

I began to hand our blankets to those who were stressed

Though I needed my mother, still my fear suppressed

Finally at last on boat eleven my family

Though I was moved to thirteen and dropped into the salty sea.

Aboard the Carpathia reunited at last

America is where I stayed as my life came to pass. 




Technology in Mathematics

Learning to work and think like a Mathematician is an important part of the role of a Mathematics student. Mathematicians ask questions about the world around them and use their problem-solving skills and the Mathematical tool kit that they have developed to answer those questions. Students in the Mathematics classroom are required to develop their ability do likewise, not just to ’do' mathematics, but to 'work like a Mathematician'.

While previously technology in the Mathematics classroom may only have been the use of the scientific calculator increasingly in the student’s kit of Mathematical tools are digital technology applications. These online and computer-based applications can assist students to explore patterns and relationships and to draw conclusions that assist them in their learning. The students at OLMC have been exploring the use of a number of these applications, enhancing their learning and increasing their understanding of the content that is being taught in the classroom.

In 2020, some experiences involving digital technologies that students have been engaging with have included:

  • Year Ten students came together to participate in lessons involving the use of Geogebra, an online graphing software, to investigate straight lines and gradients and draw conclusions about the patterns that they saw, and to find points of intersection, perpendicular and parallel lines and points that lie on the lines.
  • In their Financial Mathematics unit, Year 11 Mathematics Standard students have explored the role of formulae in Excel and how to use them to refer to particular cells in the worksheet, create a budget and make calculations.
  • In their Investigation Task, Year 12 Mathematics Advanced used Desmos to design a roller coaster and discuss the use of calculus in ensuring smooth joins between the sections of track.
  • Stage 5 students have used graphing software to develop their understanding of the graphs of parabolas and what happens if changes are made to the equations

In all of these experiences, students have been encouraged to work with others in their class in order to describe the changes that they have seen and to explain the impact the changes have on the mathematical content they are exploring. Merilyn Goos of the University of Queensland ( states that 'Learning mathematics is as much about doing as it is about knowing' and that 'Technology can change the nature of school mathematics by engaging students in more active mathematical practices…'. By using digital technologies in the classroom, OLMC students are able to experiment, investigate and problem solve in such a way that the depth of their learning is enhanced and they are encouraged to continue to ask questions and form conclusions of their own. They can explore the concepts that are being studied in a way that is more meaningful than could be achieved with pen and paper or on the traditional whiteboard.

During Continuous Learning experiences due to COVID-19 in 2020, students have also been using an increasingly 'flipped classroom' experience where they have started to explore the content to be studied in the next lesson, beginning to develop their understanding of the concepts before entering the classroom. Accessing videos and learning experiences via Canvas prior to the lesson provides an experience of the classroom that is different from the traditional model. This has enabled students to make the most of the time in the classroom to ask questions, further explore the content, and solve more challenging and complex problems.

Increasingly the use of digital technologies allows for the student to take responsibility for their learning and to explore the breadth of the discipline, allowing for a greater understanding of the mathematical concepts being studied.






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. 
We are looking forward to sharing the talents of the Class of 2020 in this exciting new format.


Volunteering opportunities

Conservation Volunteers Australia
Do you want to make a difference to the environment? There are so many options to explore! Conservation Volunteers makes it easy for people to care for nature by volunteering on one of our many conservation projects across the country. Volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and no prior skills or experience are required, and volunteer projects are available to suit your availability and particular interests. Together we can make a positive difference to conservation of nature upon which all life is interconnected.

Vinnie’s Youth
Vinnies Youth is for young adult members and volunteers of St Vincent de Paul Society. Getting involved in Vinnies Youth is about putting faith in action – we offer a number of opportunities to serve people in your local community. These include Kids Days Out, Buddy Camps, Home Visitation, Tutoring and Mentoring, Vinnies Shops, Soup Vans and even school’s engagement.


Show more

Public Speaking

World Titles Success

There are very few students who qualify for the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking titles, known as WIDPSC. Only students who are chosen in their national team are able to progress to the Worlds, the process being both rigorous and demanding. To then perform with distinction against some of the best student speakers around the world provides a further challenge to those who have already achieved a very high level.

Yasmine Alwakal, our new Head Girl and in Year 11, proved that she can match it with the best. The recent World titles were held through Zoom, with some events requiring entrants to record speeches on video. Each entrant had to perform in four distinct events and Yasmine excelled in her performances, reaching no fewer than three out of four grand finals. While Yasmine did not place in those finals, her consistency saw her reach a level never before attained by OLMC students.

The overall placings are decided on performances in the early rounds and it reflects Yasmine’s consistency that she was placed 10th overall against approximately 60 excellent speakers. To reach the top ten is an amazing feat and Yasmine is to be congratulated for the effort she put into reaching this exceptional level.


At the end of Term 2, three of our girls: Jennifer Wang (Year 7), Karshini Dahal (Year 9) and Yasmine Alwakal (Year 11) submitted recorded speeches for Speaking4thePlanet, a worldwide organisation that promotes awareness of our environment. The competition was extensive, including public speaking, drama, creating videos and several other categories.

The results have just been released and congratulations to Jennifer, who was runner-up in the New South Wales Junior Public Speaking category. This is an impressive achievement as most of the entries were submitted by Year 9 students. Jennifer’s success now qualifies her to compete at the National level with the top Australian students then progressing to the International level of the competition. Congratulations to Jennifer on an outstanding speech about how our choices can make a difference to our world.  

The efforts of Karshini and Yasmine are also to be commended. Although not among the placegetters in their sections, both girls displayed the talent that so many OLMC students have in public speaking.

Student Speak

All members of the OLMC community are reminded that Student Speak is a collection of excellent speeches by our students on a wide variety of topics. One recent addition is a powerful speech by Year 8 student Mikayla Bayeh entitled 'A Country in Crisis' and concerns the challenges faced by Lebanon especially after the recent tragic explosion in Beirut. Another excellent speech by Annoushka Maikap of Year 7 (her fifth contribution) considers the importance of resilience in these difficult times. Both speeches are very inspirational and add to the growing list of excellent performances by our girls.

Student Speak is constantly being added to and can be found at Canvas/Courses/2020 Student Speak/Student videos. All students are welcome to contribute. All instructions are on the site or see Mr Ostrowski any lunch hour in B101 to discuss what topic interests you.

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 Sports 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


The Netball season is nearly over. The final game for all teams will be on 19 September. Spectators are reminded that we are only allowed 4 non-players on the sidelines. All spectators will now have to have their names and details recorded on the scoresheets.


You can view all results on the ERNA website here –

Congratulations to Tijana Pavlovic who has been awarded her ERNA Umpiring Badge. Well done Tijana!

Mr Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator


Blazers – Replacement blazers have been delayed for several months and are due for arrival in the next couple of months. When blazers are received we will advise the process for replacement as we will require that students return their old blazers at the same time as receiving the new.

Old Uniform – After October, we will no longer have stock of the previous uniform. If your daughter requires anything please contact the Uniform Shop.

Masks – will be available soon to purchase from the online Uniform Shop.  

The Uniform Shop is temporarily closed for all visitors including parents, carers and students, but is open every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (school days only) for online purchases of uniforms items

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

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





The Canteen is available for online ordering and contactless collections via Flexi Schools. This is currently the only means of purchasing food and drinks at the College. Orders for breakfast must be placed each morning by 7am and morning tea and lunch by 9am. All food will be labelled and collected at the Year Groups designated playground area in the College.

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

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




Educators and health experts say tobacco companies are hooking a new generation of children on smoking by marketing candy-flavoured e-cigarette juices with glamourous social media imagery.

Vape, Juul, juice, nova, hit, cloud — if you are a parent of a teenager, chances are you are already familiar with some of these words. If you do not know what they mean, your children probably do. They are all terms used to describe the use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, as it is colloquially known.

What is vaping?

  • Vaping is inhaling the vapour created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or other vaping devices
  • E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat an e-liquid to produce a vapour or an aerosol that can contain nicotine, flavour and other chemicals
  • E-cigarette users inhale the vapour in the same way as smoking a cigarette
  • In Australia it is illegal for retail outlets to sell nicotine e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine for vaping
  • It is also illegal to buy nicotine e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine for personal use without a medical prescription
  • It is easy to access nicotine for vaping from online sellers from outside Australia

The Australian Government intends to make it illegal from 1 January 2021 to import or purchase liquid nicotine e-cigarettes or refills from overseas. You will only be able to legally use e-cigarettes containing nicotine if they have been prescribed by a doctor.

While there is no evidence of OLMC girls vaping at school, we want to raise awareness of the issue. The following links provide more information for parents/carers.

Mrs Anne-Maree Donnelly
Director of Pastoral  Care

From the Counsellors

The 'Breathing Space’

Take Time to Chill and Connect with Self and Others

What: ‘Breathing Space’ is where a student can go to take time out from the playground

Who: Any student seeking a quiet place to recharge

When: From 1pm lunchtimes:

Monday - Year 7

Tuesday - Year 8

Wednesday - Year 9

Thursday - Year 10

Friday Year- 11

Where: F103

How: Drop in any time from 1pm

For many girls' lunchtimes provide a chance to have a break from their learning and connect with their peers in the playground. However, some students find lunchtimes a challenge for several reasons, they may be socially anxious, they may be amid a friendship dispute, or they may be facing some personal challenges. In this instance, we want these students to feel like there is a place they can go at lunchtimes where it is quieter and calmer. The counselling team have worked to create a ‘Breathing Space’ which essentially will be a room that is used at lunchtimes by these students to have some time away from the playground. The space is device-free. There will be board games, colouring and some quiet music available. The space will be supervised by a member of the counselling team or the Pastoral Care Department. For the remainder of this Term, in order to keep the year groups separate, we have assigned the above days of the week for the various year groups.

Any girl can access the space, on her assigned year group day. If you would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the counselling staff via the College phone number: 9683 3300.

Mrs Sandra Portela
Senior Counsellor




Aditi Mysore

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

McAuley House Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

As McAuley House Leader, one key responsibility is to enhance student participation within House activities, as well as increasing House spirit to create a sense of community. I will liaise with McAuley girls of all Year levels to generate new ideas to make our House stronger and more cohesive. As an individual, I will uphold the Mercy Values and live them out through my decisions and actions.

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

I would like to focus on creating a more united and stronger House through liaison with McAuley girls across the Homerooms. I hope to make McAuley a second family for all girls, where they create close, sister-like bonds with one another.


What would be your superpower? Why?

My superpower would be the ability to fly - just because it seems fun!

What are your interests outside of school?

A few of my interests out of school include music, theatre and art.


Olivia Towle

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Stanley House Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

To work closely with my partner and our House Mentor to guide and assist the girls within Stanley.

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

As Stanley Leader, my vision is to find ways to boost House spirit through encouraging and engaging all girls. This can be done by recognising the simple acts of kindness demonstrated by many girls each day.

Name one person whom you would like to share a meal with and why?

I would like to share a meal with Zendaya. She is a role model for young women and has a great sense of humour!

What would be your superpower? Why?

Teleportation. Completing a life goal of travelling the world would be as easy as clicking my fingers!

A prayer for Spring

Lord, God of all Creation,
with spring there is hope, carried upon the wind,
filling field and forest, city and town.

Teach us the lesson of spring,
that all creation comes alive:
trees and bushes, flowers and plants.

In you is a life no death can destroy.
As you exchange places with winter
you harbour no unforgiving spirit.

Each year you amaze us
with the miracle of returning life.
We welcome you, season of spring.

Extract taken from the Sisters of Mercy of the Mid Atlantic

How beautiful it is to see Spring in the air! The trees are turning green and flowers are starting to bud. The season of Spring always brings me joy with the anticipation of new beginnings and light!

Mercy Works - Mini Bilum

The Bilum is a bi-annual magazine that showcases the vital work of Mercy Works, one of our Mercy partners who work out of the Congregational Offices in the Old Convent. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have turned their magazine online. It is a condensed publication which is available monthly, and the most recent edition can be viewed here. It talks about the Baabayn Women in Western Sydney - a group of women who have visited the College.

Appeal in Lebanon

A month on from the Lebanon explosion and still, we hear the tremendous stories of the search and rescue team working tirelessly with unwavering hope for any vestige of life. The reality of life post-explosion will have settled in for many and the implications are widely felt.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is the international Catholic Charity dedicated to the support of suffering, oppressed and persecuted Christians. They have set up an emergency appeal for Lebanon which has been endorsed by Catholic Bishops and also the Maronite and Melkite Catholic communities of Australia. Whilst many people are involved in collecting food and supplies to send directly to Lebanon, the donation of cash provides not only relief and assistance, but allows money to be injected back into the local economy.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit the ACN site or call 1800101201.

Bishop’s Award 2020

The annual Bishop’s Awards for student excellence were presented during an intimate ceremony that was recorded in the Chapel. The award recipient for this year was Gabriella Nimmo.

Gabriella is involved in many aspects of College life. She is a faith-filled person who shares this faith openly with others in her role as Liturgy Leader. She has been a member of various school-based sporting and dance teams where she has shown commitment, dedication and teamwork.

Gabriella is involved in her local Parish, St Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta and assists in College-based masses and liturgies as an altar server, minister of the Eucharist and reader. She is generous with her time and always offers to assist others. Her warmth and sense of Mercy are visible to all who work with her.

Gabriella wrote a beautiful speech upon receiving this award and a small part of it was this lovely sentiment:

This award is a symbol of my dedication to giving help to others no matter the extent or length I have to take. I’d like to acknowledge students who do not receive an award - your work does not go unnoticed, please note this award does not change who I am my values, my attitudes or my mission. The support from my school community, friends and family is most humbling. I am eternally grateful and truly appreciative for receiving this award.

Smart Phone Collection

The Mercy Tree Appeal of 2020-2021 is supporting the wonderful work of the Women’s Community Shelters at Castle Hill (The Sanctuary) and Penrith (The Haven).

These local shelters do wonderful work to assist women and children who are fleeing domestic violence. The shelters are in need of second-hand smartphones which are still in reasonable condition. If you have one of these lying around at home, please bring it into school. Phones can be taken to the Main reception Office where there is a labelled box. Please make sure you leave your name so that we can thank you for your kind donation!

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy week ahead. Enjoy the colours and sounds of Spring!

Mrs Gabby Scanlon
Director of Mission