Marie Wood, Deputy Principal

Dear OLMC Families,

As we return for the fourth Term of 2020, it has been rewarding to witness the engagement in and enthusiasm for learning exhibited by all students and staff at the College. It was refreshing to have the two weeks’ break however, it is always exciting to return onsite to our community and to learn together!

The Higher School Certificate Examinations have commenced this week so I would like to focus a little on our Year 12 students as I write to you today. The examinations constitute the culmination of 13 years of learning and six years of secondary education! For families, it is a significant investment in so many ways, in who their daughter is becoming - in her faith and in her emotional, social and intellectual growth. I thank all families for the trust that has been placed in us to partner with you in this growth. Our Year 12 students approached the first English paper yesterday, Tuesday, with the expected nervous energy that comes with the first exam but they overcame their nerves very confidently and were generally pleased with the paper and their capacity to complete it. Our English Faculty felt it was certainly a fair paper and accessible to our students so Year 12 have made a good start and we can all be extremely proud of them! 

Year 12 concluded their formal lessons at the end of Term 3. I met with the final two Houses for the Principal’s Morning Tea – Mercedes and Stanley – in a socially distanced manner outside in the Convent garden. On Friday 25 September I spoke with the Year 12 cohort, wished them well and presented them with a candle from the College which featured the phrase: “Nevertheless, she persisted.” This has been an ongoing theme at the College throughout the year and one which I introduced at one of few formal assemblies in Term 1! It has formed a strong framework, along with our faith, for shaping our resilience throughout the year of the pandemic. The ensuing Year 12 Study Week provided support and confidence for the many Year 12 students who attended. I would like to thank the many College staff who professionally worked with the students in this non-term time period to offer direction and constructive feedback during this week.

In 2020 NESA has required all schools to provide a separate site and separate set of invigilators for the 2020 HSC in the event of closure of the main campus. I have secured facilities at the Novotel for the HSC period and staff have been trained as invigilators should they be required to step in so please know that a plan is in place for the safe completion of all HSC examinations.

I know that we all wish our Year 12 cohort the very best for their HSC examinations and we offer them our prayers for clarity of thought and confidence as they complete each paper set before them.

The Year 12 Graduation Assembly will take place at the College on Friday 13 November commencing at 10.30am. Year 12 students will be seated in the AMCC and parents and families will be able to conveniently view the Assembly via live streaming offsite or onsite from the Edith Angel Hall. One ticketed seat will be available to each family and can be accessed via this link.

I thank you for your support and understanding as we adhere to the guidelines and restrictions imposed by NSW Health and as we prioritise the health and safety of our community.

The Year 11 Senior Retreat occurred last week 15-16 October and focussed on the theme of “speak as your mind directs.” It is important that the spiritual and faith development of the individual is prioritised always. As a Catholic faith community in the Mercy charism we hold in high estimation a sense of purpose that is values driven and one which directs our actions with integrity and dignity. Taking this time to really focus on our values contributes to our wholeness as individual and binds us in our shared sense of community. Congratulations to Year 11 for the mature manner in which they embraced this Retreat and a sincere thank you to the teachers who shared and facilitated this day. Thank you too, to Mrs Gabby Scanlon, Director of Mission, for her tremendous leadership of this Senior Retreat both in its inception and its activation. Much gratitude must also be extended to Mrs Ellen Lonergan for her wonderful preparation and leadership of the Senior Retreat. In a fine example of our communal agility, the Retreat itself was held on site this year as Covid-19 restrictions pre-empted the planned overnight, offsite Retreat!

For your information and reassurance I want to let you know that during Term 4 the College continues in Continuous Learning Mode and continues to adhere to all enhanced safety and wellbeing precautions as implemented including:

·         Horizontal Homerooms

·         Minimisation of “across Stage” contact (House Assemblies, MASSH, recess and lunch playgrounds)

·         All students and staff encouraged to wear face masks

·         A Registered nurse remains  onsite for Term 4

Other noteworthy information for our community includes the following:

  • Year 7, 2021 Virtual Orientation Events are happening this Term – we are looking forward to welcoming our new Mercy Girls
  • The Mercy Tree Appeal 2020 has been launched
  • Mercy Scholarship applications for Year 7, 2022 are now open

You can find further information about these events later in the newsletter or via the College website.

All the very best to our community as we continue to learn together! Stay safe and well.

 

Marie Wood,
Principal (Acting)

From the Chair of the College Board

Earlier in October, the Board of OLMC announced the appointment of the highly qualified and extensively experienced Catholic educator, Lucie Farrugia, as our next Principal.

Lucie has more than 35 years experience in Catholic education and is currently serving as the Acting Principal of Christian Brothers’ High School Lewisham. She previously held leadership positions in curriculum, pastoral care, communications and development, and identity and mission at St Patrick’s College in Campbelltown and MLC Sydney.

She holds a Master of Educational Leadership, a Bachelor of Education, a Diploma of Teaching and Certificate of Religious Education from the Australian Catholic University. She also holds a Certificate in School Management and Leadership from the Harvard Business School.

Lucie’s appointment follows an independent recruitment process that was very competitive with numerous high-calibre candidates reflecting the current strength and potential of OLMC.

Ultimately, the Board selected Lucie for a number of reasons including her strong values and beliefs that align so well to the Mercy values and their role in contemporary education, her broad experience and success in leadership roles and her vision for community engagement within the school community.

The focus moving forward will be to continue to enhance our school, our academic and vocational offerings, our community and most importantly, our faith.

Lucie will be ‘on deck’ from January 2021 and we look forward to welcoming her in the new year.

In the meantime, Marie Wood will continue as Acting Principal. Marie’s service continues to be exceptional, and from next year she will move into a revamped Deputy Principal position which reflects her growth, capacity and ongoing contribution to OLMC.

This is an exciting next era for OLMC. As we enter the last term of what has been a very challenging year for all, this appointment will inspire us to continue our mission for the benefit of the girls now and into the future.

Thank you for your support as we have worked through this process. I am sure you will agree that we have secured a first-rate outcome and transition.

 

Ms Kerrie Walshaw
OLMC Board Chair


A School HSC Prayer

Heavenly Father, we bring before you our HSC students.

Give them the gifts of wisdom, right judgement, knowledge and courage.

Bless them with calm hearts and clarity of mind as they sit for their exams.

May they be affirmed in their efforts and may they know that you are there with them.

We pray that they will stay calm under pressure and work to the best of their ability.

May they feel your loving presence in their lives, now and always, 

and may they be strengthened by the prayerful support of us, their school community.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, 

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.

Amen

We keep our Year 12 students in our thoughts and prayers as they continue with their HSC Examinations. We wish them the best of luck, knowing that the time they have spent preparing for these Examinations will pay off for them in the long run. This above prayer is being said by schools and parish communities around the Parramatta Diocese.

Senior Retreat

The Year 11 girls participated in their annual Senior Retreat this Term. Whilst the format was modified to allow it to take place at this time of year, the experience was enriching and meaningful. The theme for the Retreat centred around the idea of courage and Mercy Girls were invited to consider ways they can be courageous in their words, thoughts, actions and dreams for the future.

Thank you to Ms Lonergan (Retreat and Liturgy Coordinator) for a very thought-provoking program.  It was lovely to have Father Walter join us for our final prayer and reflection on Friday afternoon.

Below are some student perspectives on the Retreat experience:

“Affirmations given to girls in my Year Group allowed for new and stronger connections to be made over an amazing two day experience!” - Bella Carney

“I enjoyed how the discussion and activities around courage prompted me to reflect on my own abilities to be courageous.” - Isabella Barakat

"The Retreat was a wonderful way to conclude Year 11 and it was a great time to rekindle friendships and our faith. The two days reminded us to mindfully navigate the next 12 months with valour and confidence, and to embrace the challenges and joys that will arise during our HSC journey." - Anne Nguyen 

 "I really enjoyed writing and receiving the affirmations. It made me realise how important it is to remind both ourselves and others of our inherent value, good qualities, and talents." - Clarissa Guino 

Women’s Community Shelters

As we head into November, we begin thinking about our Christmas Appeals. This year we are asking students to donate goods to the value of $30 to make Homeroom Shoeboxes of Love. These will be made for specific children who will benefit from the generosity of our community. Profile gift tags are available from the Student Centre and a sample Shoebox of Love is pictured below.

The Women’s Community Shelters house and support women and their children who have had to leave situations of domestic violence. The generosity of our community will enable these children to receive Christmas gifts, as well as much needed stationery supplies to equip them for learning at school.

Vinnies Christmas Hampers

We continue once again the long standing tradition of collecting non-perishable food items for our Vinnies Christmas Hamper Appeal. Each Homeroom will be asked to donate items which are new and well within their expiry date. Donations can be taken to the Staff Common Room.

Leadership and Justice Forum

The Mercy 6 Coordinators are hosting a Zoom forum on Wednesday November 11 from 5-6pm. This is a chance to hear from the Hon Justice Julia Lonergan, Supreme Court of NSW, together with author of Rising Heart and former refugee, Aminata Conteh-Biger and our very own Ms Amanda Farrugia, the inaugural AFL Women’s Captain and former GWS Giants Australian Rules footballer. These women will discuss leadership and justice in their spheres of influence and the event is aimed at students in Year 9 to Year 11. Please email Ms Lonergan ellen.lonergan@olmc.nsw.edu.au if you would like to attend and you will be sent the Zoom code for this event.

Friday Morning Mass

We are happy to announce that our regular Friday morning Mass has been able to recommence this Term. Mass commences at 8.10am each Friday morning in the Mother Mary Clare Dunphy Chapel. All are welcome!

Mrs Gabrielle Scanlon
Director of Mission


Analiese Hanna

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? 

My responsibilities as Liturgy leader include organising prayers for assemblies and preparing for Friday Morning Mass, whilst encouraging the involvement of all Year Groups in the spiritual life of the College.

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

To carry on the vision of the previous Liturgy Leaders by establishing a youth group open to all students who wish to strengthen their relationship with God and build stronger connections with one another through faith.                                   

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

Malala - because she has shown such courage and perseverance in her actions and in achieving her goals. She is inspiring.                 

What are your interests outside of school?

Sports including Netball and Touch Football.                         

Adriana Saab

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

As Callaghan House Leader, I lead House meetings, unite and support all members of Callaghan House and work with students and staff to create memorable, enjoyable experiences at Sporting Carnivals.    

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

I hope to see all Callaghan girls giving new things a go, whether it be through co-curricular activities, at Sporting Carnivals or academically. I would also like to create initiatives that unite members of the Callaghan community across Year Groups.                                

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

I would like to share a meal with Elon Musk as he is an inspirational leader and entrepreneur.     

What would be your superpower? Why?

My superpower would be time travel. I think it would be interesting to see not only how the world has changed up until the present day, but also see where we are headed in the future.                                                                           


Student Notebook Care and Repairs

Student Notebook Care and Repairs

The vast majority of our students take very good care of the College notebooks that are entrusted to them during their time in Years 7-9, and again with a new device for Years 10-12. We also know that accidents happen from time to time and this kind of genuine accidental damage is covered by our Accidental Damage Protection (ADP).

However, there is also other damage that is not covered by the ADP which is identified as intentional or malicious by our assessors. In these cases, there is a significant charge by our vendors to assess, repair and restore the device to full functionality. In some cases this can be up to $1000. Please be aware that only genuine accidental damage is covered under the ADP as assessed within the agreement. Further detail is available in the Student Acceptable Use of Technology Policy.

If and when significant damage is identified by our assessors, we will seek to make contact with you either via phone call and/or email when we identify that the damage falls outside of the ADP agreement. We will notify you of the predicted process and amount for that damage. From there, you will have the opportunity to request further information or to make a time to speak with our Deputy Principal.

We evaluate our agreements and arrangements regularly to ensure that we are providing the very best device management program possible and will keep you informed if and when these arrangements need to change.

See below for the guidelines as to how the College must consider damage in line with our insurance policies. A decision will be made with regards to charges depending on how long the student has had the device AND the level of damage as assessed by our vendors.

How long the student has had the device

Indicative cost

0-12 months

Full cost of repair

12-24 months

Full cost of repair

24-36 months

Full cost of repair or resale value as approved by Principal

Level of damage

Indicative cost

Damage affects the function of the device

Full cost of repair

Damage is mostly cosmetic but will likely lead to function loss

Full cost of repair or resale value

Damage is cosmetic with no functional effect

Resale value

 
We hope to continue our very positive and well managed College notebook experience, where very few students need to undertake this repair process. As stated earlier, OLMC students generally take very good care of their allocated notebooks so that they are fully functional for learning, each and every day.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Please do be in touch with me if you have questions about this policy.

Mr Matthew Esterman
Director of Learning Technologies and Innovation

VET/Careers

Summer Holiday Opportunities

 

Macquarie Astronomical Observatory - Discover the wonders of the night sky!

11 December. 8.30pm to 10pm

The Association for Astronomy (in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at MQU) invites you to observe the cosmos with your own eyes at the Macquarie Astronomical Observatory. View planets, moons, binary stars, star clusters and nebulae through our professionally maintained in-dome and portable telescopes. You will be guided by our experienced, passionate and knowledgeable astronomy staff so bring all your astronomy and astrophotography questions with you! To learn more about the Department, the Association or the Observatory, visit physics.mq.edu.au.

Register here!

 

UNSW - ACT Young Women in Engineering (YoWIE)

Ever wondered where studying Maths and Science at school can take you? Come and experience Engineering at UNSW Canberra.

Free three-Day workshop on 13 - 15 January, 2021

 

  • Build and fly a rocket and gas turbine engine
  • Design, build and fly a satellite remotely
  • Disassemble and reassemble an engine
  • Solder and program a circuit
  • Command a robot to solve a series of tasks
  • Design, build and test a dam 

 

Show more

Science

For the Science Department, Term 3 was a time of creative approaches to practical work. Students were conducting experiments from their kitchen bench and using computer simulations whilst in isolation, the Year 10 SRP was re-imagined and field work was carried out on school grounds.

Hands-on activities make up a significant component of Science lessons and while the Continuous Learning Program is designed to allow seamless transition between face to face and remote learning, periods of remote learning have necessitated a creative approach to practical work in Science. Some hands-on activities can be substituted with on-line simulations. This approach was used to introduce Year 7 students to electrical circuits, and for Chemistry and Physics students to collect and analyse data for investigations that would normally have been carried out as first-hand investigations. In some instances, activities were modified so they could be carried out at home. Instead of using the molecular models kits, Year 8 students used household items to create models representing elements, compounds, and mixtures. Students amazed us with their inventiveness as they posted photos of models made from lollies, pasta, breakfast cereal, toy pieces and even fruit.

Still, we were glad to come back to school and, with additional hygiene measures, resume practical activities. This allowed Year 10 students to carry out their Student Research Project, a mandatory component of the Stage Five Science Syllabus. This year it was integrated into the continuous learning program. Over several weeks, students submitted a plan, evidence of their progress and eventually a final report. Most students carried out their investigation in class. Once again students impressed us with the range of problems they chose to investigate and the quality of their research.

Year 11 Biology students were able to carry out their mandatory field work, albeit in the College garden, rather than travelling to Bicentennial Park. Instead of estimating the number of mud crabs on the mangrove floor, they estimated the number of clovers in the patch of grass at the front of the school; but they were still able to practise important experiment design and data processing skills.

Our Year 12 students, whether at school or at home, continued with their learning. As they prepared for their Trial HSC Examinations, and now their HSC Examinations, teachers have provided support in a variety of ways over Zoom, via discussion forums and by email. Rather than coming into school to ask for help with difficult questions, some students have been Zooming their teacher, and with the use of a shared virtual whiteboard and stylus, their teacher can step them through problems remotely. Twelve months ago, we would not have thought this possible.

It has been an unusual year, but Science learning continues, and our Year 12 students, in particular, should feel confident with their examination preparation, and justly proud of the resilience they have displayed. We wish them all the best in their upcoming examinations.

Mrs Pascale Warnant
Leader of Learning Science

 


From the College Counsellor

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day was celebrated on Saturday 10 October and this year's aim was to raise awareness and funding for mental health services. The World Health Organisation estimates that half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14 years, with many cases going undetected and untreated. Looking after our mental health and that of our children is just as important as our physical health and should always be a priority. The following website encourages us to “make a promise” to focus on one aspect of our wellbeing which can increase our overall mental health. It is a good reminder that we don’t have to make big changes to notice a difference.

Mental Health Australia

The many resources which emerged from World Mental Health Day encourage us to make one small change per day to help enhance wellbeing.

Here are some ideas that you could try:

  • Cook a healthy meal for your family  
  • Eat lunch in the sun
  • Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile
  • Go for a walk
  • Read a book
  • Have a cup of tea in the sun
  • Sleep in
  • Unfollow negative accounts
  • Listen to your favourite podcast
  • Create a playlist of your favourite songs
  • Complete a mindfulness activity
  • Put down your phone
  • Take a nap
  • Complete a random act of kindness
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier
  • Complete a meditation
  • Have lunch with a friend
  • Tell someone you love them
  • Genuinely compliment someone
  • Write down three things for which you are grateful
  • Get a massage
  • Have a bath
  • Start a conversation
  • Write a letter
  • Dance to your favourite song
  • Facetime a family member
  • Learn a new skill
  • Try some mindful colouring
  • Drink only water for a day
  • Re-watch a favourite movie
  • Have a digital detox - no devices for an entire day!

See if you can commit to prioritising your wellbeing this month by committing to one small act per day.

Mrs Sandra Portela

Senior Counsellor


Legacy Competition

Summer Rayne Roughley of Year 8 and Aaliya Garg of Year 9 submitted video recordings of their speeches for the Legacy Competition at the end of last term and shortly we will know if they progress to the next round, where an additional impromptu speech will be required through Zoom. Both girls wrote and presented their speeches very well so we are hoping for good news in the next week or two.

UN Voice

Fourteen of our girls submitted recordings of their speeches to UN Voice in the last week of holidays. Each speech had to suggest a solution to a wide range of pressing social issues from health care for Australians to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons. In addition to these speeches, all entrants then have a scheduled Zoom session where they have to respond to questions about their solutions. These Zoom sessions continue into early November, after which, State semi-finalists are announced.

A full report of individual results will be provided in the next edition of the newsletter.

AHIGS Festival of Speech

The annual Association of Independent Girls’ School festival of Speech will be held this Saturday via Zoom. Already, four of our girls have submitted recorded videos in various sections, most of which OLMC has not entered before. The top ten students in each category then return to OLMC on Saturday to compete in finals through Zoom.  Sharanya Kugan of Year 8 has submitted a prepared speech, Tia Monga, also Year 8, has delivered a poetry reading, Anushka Palayanur of Year 9 is competing in the formal reading section where she has chosen a political speech and a biblical reading, while Rose Parajuli of Year 12 is in the Senior section of poetry reading. Finalists are announced this week and we wish all speakers the best of luck.

In the challenging Current Affairs section, three of our girls are required to discuss a current issue in a panel format, with only fifteen minutes’ preparation in response to an unseen prompt. Senior students, Sabrina Catania, Anne Nguyen and Riley Rodewald will be performing next Saturday in OLMC’s first attempt in this category.

I would also like to thank Mrs Maria Bujnowski who is donating her Saturday to support the girls. Full results will be announced in the next newsletter.

Parramatta Rotary

On Monday evening this week, outstanding Year 9 speaker, Freya Scothern, competed in the annual Clift Public Speaking event at the Novotel Hotel in Parramatta. Freya may not have received the judge’s nod but her performance deserves the highest praise. The prepared speech for all entrants was “Our Life in Their Hands” and was followed by the impromptu topic, “March to your own beat”. Freya spoke very well in both sections and should be proud of her efforts.

Mr Christopher Ostrowski

Public Speaking Coordinator   

Sport

It is wonderful to see an increase in sport in Term 4. A number of gala days are in the process of being prepared to run in a COVID safe way. There are also a number of sporting events that are currently happening:

NSW Cross Country

Congratulations to Summer Giddings who competed at the NSW Cross Country Championships at Dapto on October 11, running in the Open Para Women event and being awarded Open Champion. Well done Summer.

Saturday Volleyball and Basketball

The Saturday Volleyball and Basketball season started on the weekend at Santa Sabina in a COVID safe environment. The two main restrictions in place are that Spectators are not allowed on site and all students must enter from The Boulevarde gate entrance then basketballers leave via the Jersey Rd exit and Volleyballers via the Wentworth Rd exit. All teams enjoyed their first game.

Here are the results for Week 1:

Volleyball

OLMC 1 - were defeated by St Scholastica’s, 2-1

OLMC 2 - had a 2-2 Draw with MLC

OLMC 3 - defeated Santa Sabina, 3 nil

OLMC 4 - were defeated by Santa Sabina, 2-1

OLMC 5 - were defeated by MLC, 3 nil

OLMC 6 - were defeated by MLC, 2 nil

OLMC 7 - were defeated by Monte, 2-1

OLMC 8 - defeated Mount Saint Benedicts College, 3 nil

OLMC 9 - were defeated by Santa Sabina, 3 nil

Basketball

OLMC 1 - defeated Santa Sabina, 28-12

OLMC 2 - defeated MLC, 28-6

OLMC 3 - defeated Santa Sabina, 18-10

 

Don’t forget OLMC Sport is now on Twitter. Please join in the conversation here @OLMCsport

 

Stuart Guthrie

Sports Coordinator

 


1999 Senior Cricket Team


Mercy Tree 2020/2021 Annual Appeal

Mercy Scholarships

 


From the Uniform Shop

Opening Hours and Purchases: Due to Covid restrictions, the Uniform Shop is temporarily closed for all visitors including parents, carers and students.

Uniform Shop staff can be contacted every Monday to Thursday (school days only) via telephone and email (see contact details below). 

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.

Blazers: Replacement blazers have been delayed for several months and are due to arrive in late November. When the blazers arrive, we will advise the process for replacement as we will require students to return their old blazers at the same time as receiving the new blazer. This will not take place until after Year 12 have completed their HSC examinations.

Face Masks: Face masks in the College colours are available to purchase for $12.00 on the Online Uniform Shop. This is a non-compulsory item.

Year 10, 2021 Uniform Fittings: If a fitting is not required, uniform purchases can be made via the Online Uniform Shop and will be delivered to the Student Centre for pick up.  If you would like a fitting, then please make a booking via the website. To do this, click on the Uniforms Tab  and then click the tab ‘Make a Uniform Shop Appointment.’ Please note that a notification will be sent out when these bookings are available. 

Senior College Summer Uniform Package: A recommended Senior College Summer Uniform Package will soon feature on the Online Uniform Shop.

Term 4 - All girls are to wear the full summer uniform. 

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

Canteen

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 Recess and Lunch orders must be made 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 https://www.flexischools.com.au/support.

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

The Canteen will be re-opening for face to face purchases on the 12 November. Glass screens have been installed to allow for the safe purchasing of food before school and at Recess and Lunch.