Marie Wood, Principal (Acting)

Dear OLMC Families,

On Tuesday evening of last week I had the great pleasure of attending Blacktown Council Chambers for a very important occasion – the 2020/2021 Youth Ambassador Presentation Dinner. Nine students from various local High Schools, including OLMC, presented their thoughts on youth resilience and initiatives they would introduce to foster resilience if they were selected by Blacktown Council to be a Youth Ambassador. All nine students delivered a thoughtful five minute speech outlining their ideas. All the students knew that only two of them would be selected.

It was compelling and competitive as all nine students spoke passionately and with substance. It was a very proud moment for me to listen to the ninth speaker on that evening - Year 11 OLMC student, Riley Rodewald. Riley’s ideas firmly resonated with the audience and the judges and when she was announced as a Blacktown Council Youth Ambassador for 2020/2021 she was deservedly cheered!

On these occasions it is a really an honour to share the moment. Riley contributes positively to our Mercy community as SRC Vice President 2020/2021. She actively contributes her service to our community and now she will make a significant contribution to the wider community in her capacity as a Blacktown Youth Ambassador. Congratulations Riley!

Year 11 students, Charlotte Duff, Saydie Frim and Elizabeth Wong have also been focussed on service and excellence, having recently completed the 2020 Max Potential Course. Max Potential is a leadership development program offered to schools in the Parramatta region where students come together with a dedicated coach to complete a program of self-development. Charlotte, Saydie and Elizabeth completed a Personal Expression Project and their Community Service Project online. I would like to acknowledge the support and professionalism of their supporting OLMC teacher Mrs Trudi-Ann Harvey. According to Mrs Harvey, the online nature of the program meant each student had to produce more work however, each was able to rise to the challenge: "It was so rewarding to see each scholarship recipient overcome challenges and create original Community Service Projects. We are all very proud of Elizabeth who was selected to speak on behalf of the students at the graduating ceremony.” Congratulations to Charlotte, Saydie and Elizabeth!

On Friday 30 October we celebrated World Teachers’ Day here at the College. We gathered to share Morning Tea (socially distanced of course and outdoors!) to reflect on all that we had collaborated on and achieved during 2020. I thanked the teachers for their compassion, professionalism and dedication. On your behalf I would like to express gratitude to all teachers who (with support from parents and carers) have ensured education continues across the country this year, despite major challenges. It has reinforced the significant role that teachers play in the lives of children and students, their families and communities.

This week at the College students and staff are celebrating Wellbeing Week. It is a week filled with energising community activities focussing on our mental, spiritual and emotional health, which is particularly important in this challenging year. It would be a good opportunity to have a conversation with your daughter about what this week means to her. It is so important to consider our own wellbeing and to take the time to focus on this aspect of ourselves. I do hope some version of Wellbeing Week might be occurring in your household and that your daughter may be instrumental in leading this for you!

The Higher School Certificate Examinations continue at the College this week and will conclude next week on Wednesday 11 November. The Year 12 students have conducted themselves with confidence and maturity and we know the future is in good hands as we witness the high calibre of these young Mercy women. Their faith and their good efforts have sustained them and we continue to pray for their ongoing success.

As Catherine McAuley advised: “The simplest and most practical lesson I know is to resolve to be good today, but better tomorrow.”

On Friday 13 November we will hold the 2020 OLMC Year 12 Graduation Assembly. We look forward to acknowledging our Year 12 Graduates at this Assembly and to honouring their remarkable achievements and their resilience in this COVID-19 year. They have never given up and they have remained future-focussed at all times! They have, indeed, set us a fine example! Congratulations Year 12!

Stay safe and well everyone.

Marie Wood,
Principal (Acting)

 

2021 Term Dates

Term 1

First Day of Term: Wednesday 27 January 2021

Last Day of Term: Tuesday 30 March 2021

Term 2

First Day of Term: Tuesday 20 April 2021

Last day of Term: Friday 18 June 2021

Term 3

First Day of Term: Monday 12 July 2021

Last Day of Term: Friday 17 September 2021

Term 4

First Day of Term: Tuesday 5 October 2021

Last Day of Term: Friday 3 December 2021


All Souls Day

November 2 was All Souls Day - a day when we remember, think of, and pray for, our departed loved ones.

There are many people in our OLMC community who will be remembering loved relatives and friends who have recently passed away and our thoughts and prayers are with them all on this day especially.

Heavenly Father,

We remember our departed loved ones who are now with you in Heaven.

Their memories will remain forever, as will the love they shared with us.

Give us strength to know that we will one day be with you and them in Heaven.

May the souls of the faithful departed remain with you forever, Amen.

 

Christmas Vinnies Hampers

Thank you to all students who have brought in donations for the annual Vinnies Christmas Hamper Appeal. We are still collecting donations until Monday November 23. Please bring all donations to the Staff Common Room and leave them in the tubs or on the table.

 

Shoeboxes of Love

A Shoebox of Love is one way of showing a child that we care for them. The children select something that they are interested in and then our “angels” work their magic to make these dreams come true!

Thank you to the Homerooms who have started to contribute gifts. Remember that shoe boxes can be collected from College Reception. If your gift ends up too big for a shoebox, just put it into a bag or tie it up as a single parcel.

Cape York Immersion 2021

We are excited to announce that in the September/October holidays of 2021, we will be running an Indigenous Immersion to Cape York!

The trip will be open to girls currently in Years 8 and 9 and all girls will receive the initial information via a Zoom meeting.

Please see the flyer for additional information.

For families interested in having their daughter participate, we will be running a Parent Information Zoom meeting at 7pm on Monday 9 November 2020. A Zoom link will be emailed out separately.

We look forward to this wonderful opportunity. Based on first-hand participation, I believe the Immersion will be a life changing experience where real connections will be made to people and land.

 

Mercy 6 Eco Justice Day

On October 23, a group of Year 10 girls participated in a Mercy 6 Eco Justice Day with the theme “Step Gently- Live Simply.” The girls were involved in a number of sessions around the theme of sustainability and even transformed an old t-shirt into a reusable shopping bag!

Mercy Futures: Hope in a time of Pandemic with Sr Angela Reed

The final Mercy Futures meeting for 2020 is going to be a great evening where we will hear from Sr Angela Reed, an Australia Sister of Mercy who lives and works in the USA at the United Nations Head Office. She will talk about living through a pandemic and the importance of hope.

The flyer below outlines information for the RSVP and Zoom code.

This event takes place on Tuesday November 10 over Zoom commencing at 7pm.

Click here for more detail about the Mercy Futures Event.

 

Leadership and Justice Forum

The Mercy 6 Coordinators are hosting an upcoming event over Zoom. If you are intending to participate, please email Ms Lonergan at ellen.lonergan@olmc.nsw.edu.au to secure your spot and to receive the Zoom code for the evening!

Click here for more details about the Forum.

 

Mrs Gabby Scanlon
Director of Mission


Annaleise Manoogian

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Mercy Action.    

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

My key responsibilities are to support and assist all members of the Student Leadership Team and to work closely with teachers and students to promote social justice awareness in our community. 

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

My vision as a Mercy Action Leader is to create a very inclusive and creative community of girls across all Year Groups who are passionate about social justice and working towards a more just world. My vision is to also develop initiatives and activities that inspire other girls to use their skills in order to create positive change in our world as well as work closely with organisations such as Mercy Works in order to support those in need.             

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

One person I would like to share a meal with is Jacinda Ardern because she is a compassionate, smart and inspiring leader who embodies all the qualities of leadership which many of our world leaders today lack.

What would be your superpower? Why?

My superpower would be the ability to instantly teleport to places I need to be as I often run late to events!

Alexandria Deloso

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Liturgy Leader  

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

Bringing Christ closer to the OLMC community through prayer and religious activities.     

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

To see the girls of the OLMC community thrive in their faith and strengthen their relationship with Jesus.

What are your interests outside of school?

I love Musical Theatre. It brings me joy as I love watching a story told through songs that are catchy and I love to challenge my vocal abilities through singing.    


VET/Careers

Australian Government – Your Career - Enhanced School Leaver Support Measure 

Every Year 12 student in Australia will receive information about this new service that includes a digital information kit, with a range of resources and information to help you understand all your education, training and work options. Students can also access tailored guidance and support, provided via phone or text through the School Leaver Information Service. Further information is available at this link:

https://yourcareer.gov.au/school-leavers-support/

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HSIE

“Project Based Learning engages students in learning that is deep and long-lasting, and inspires for them a love of learning and personal connection to their academic experience.” - Buck Institute for Education

Problem Based Learning (PBL) has been incorporated into the HSIE Department's Stage 5 Elective Courses this year. The Year 9 Aboriginal Studies class undertook their PBL in Term 3. They had to design and undertake an independent learning project that addressed two specific learning outcomes of the course. The students began their project by first examining the AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies. These guidelines needed to be embedded into each of the student’s projects and also guide all their decision making. The students workshopped potential research questions and utilised both peer and teacher feedback to shape their research project.

Throughout the Term, students were continuously reminded that it was the learning journey and skill development that was at the core for success not the physical creation of their project. To demonstrate this success criteria, students maintained a learning log that was updated weekly which evidenced ethical primary and secondary research. At the end of the term the students had a one on one interview with the teacher where they undertook a self-assessment of their learning. Students were reminded what an A, B and C grade would look like for each of the two outcomes of the project and were asked to self-assess their achievement of those outcomes. Students where then given the opportunity to utilise their reflection to refine their project before submission. Essentially, this ‘Critique and Revision’ stage provides an opportunity for students to control their learning and their learning success.  

While the academic success was evident, the student experience was even more meaningful. Students were given the space, encouragement, and guidance to examine areas of personal interest. This took many forms. For example, one student researched the use of Totems in Indigenous Culture, while another explored inclusiveness in the NRL and interviewed sports reporter Yvonne Sampson. Olivia, a Year 9 Aboriginal Studies student, provided the following feedback: “This project provided me with a wider understanding of Indigenous identity and allowed me to connect with an Indigenous mentor who could offer their own experience as an Indigenous person in the Australian Legal System. This was an extremely rewarding part of the project for me.“

PBL is currently being undertaken this Term in Year 10 Commerce, and already we are seeing diversity in student interests. A few of the current projects students will explore:  

  • the financial status of asylum seekers after mandatory detention;
  • minority representation in film;
  • the use of sustainable indoor farming in Australia;
  • the impact of fitness levels on mental health and the consequent financial impacts on society;
  • the effect of economic, social and political barriers on an individual’s access to education in South East Asia; and,
  • whether the study of criminal psychology helps to reduce crime rates.

The HSIE Department continues to focus on providing rich learning experiences that develop and refine skills and instill a love of lifelong learning in our students. PBL is just one of the ways we are doing this.

Ms Gillian Carpenter
Leader of Learning HSIE


From the College Counsellor

Dealing with Rumours and Gossip

Whilst rumours and gossip may be slightly different, essentially they both cause harm to the person being spoken about. Rumours tend to be pieces of information or a story that has not been verified as true. Often the rumour will change slightly each time it is told, becoming more exaggerated over time. Gossip usually involves information that people do not generally share openly. The information is usually of a nature that would embarrass the person being spoken about. Most people share gossip without thinking about how it may impact the person being spoken about.

Adolescents spread rumours or gossip for a variety of reasons including: to feel better about themselves, to fit in with their peers, to get attention, to gain power in their social circle, to get revenge for a previous slight or perceived slight and to relieve boredom.

Teaching our children and adolescents how to respond when they hear rumours and gossip about someone else can be helpful in starting to break the cycle. Reminders such as “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” and asking “Why are you telling me this”, can help your daughter avoid getting caught up in the drama.

Some ways to help your daughter cope with rumours and gossip include:

  • speaking with them about what personal and private information they post online or choose to tell others. It is paramount that they develop an understanding that, once information is posted, it is no longer in their control.
  • Remind your daughter that they may feel like seeking revenge but that it is not helpful to get revenge or retaliate by speaking ill of anyone else. This only continues the cycle of rumours and gossip. Rumours are like pebbles dropped into a pond, they spread quickly and once started, cannot be stopped.
  • Whilst easier said than done - try to avoid dwelling on rumours or gossip. Instead, focus on activities and hobbies that your daughter enjoys. Provide your daughter with an opportunity to express how she is feeling, either by talking to you or another family member, or by engaging her in some counselling.
  • Elicit support from school by encouraging your daughter to speak up about persistent rumours or gossip to her House Leader, teachers or College Counsellor.
  • Be a supportive listener and encourage your child to maintain an open dialogue with you about the things that are bothering them.

Mrs Sandra Portela
Senior Counsellor


Parents and Friends Association Meeting

The last P&F Meeting for the year will be held on Tuesday, 10 November 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.

Thank you from Stephen Walsh

The P&F Committee organised a farewell gift for Mr Stephen Walsh on behalf of the Parents and Friends of OLMC. I would like to share with you the lovely thank you note we recently received:

My sincere thanks to the P&F for the very generous gifts - the glasses, wine and especially the Akubra hat which fits perfectly.

I very much appreciated the wonderful words on the card.

I will always have a special place for OLMC and its wonderful community of girls and parents.

I am very well and I wish you all the very best into the future.

 

God bless and kindest regards
Stephen 

 


Sport

An Olympic Change Maker

Congratulations to Year 11 Mercy Girl Annabelle Ruskin who has been selected for the 2020 Australian Olympic Change-Maker Award! The Change-Maker program provides recognition and a voice to emerging leaders. Congratulations Annabelle on your Award which recognises your sporting achievements and involvement in Futsal.

Gala Days

Several Gala Days are being prepared to run COVID safe manner. The Aquathon and Tennis Gala Days had to be cancelled due to poor weather.

Saturday Volleyball and Basketball

The Saturday Volleyball and Basketball seasons are continuing. Below are the results for Week 2 (Week 3 was cancelled due to rain):

VOLLEYBALL

 

Week 2

OLMC 1

 Defeated by Meriden, 3 nil

OLMC 2

 Defeated Danebank, 2 - 1

OLMC 3

 Defeated by Rosebank, 3 nil

OLMC 4

 Defeated by Danebank, 2 - 1

OLMC 5

 Defeated by Santa Sabina, 3 nil

OLMC 6

 Defeated PLC, 2 nil

OLMC 7

 Defeated by Danebank, 3 nil

OLMC 8

 Defeated Rosebank, 2 - 1

OLMC 9

 Defeated by Danebank, 3 nil

 

Basketball

 

Week 2

OLMC 1

 Defeated Monte, 19 - 14

OLMC 2

 Defeated Loreto, 36 - 15

OLMC 3

 Defeated by St Scholastica’s, 42 - 16

 

Don’t forget that OLMC Sport is now on Twitter - join in the conversation @OLMCsport

Mr Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator

 

Max Potential

The Max Potential Program is an annual scholarship program offered to Senior Students in the Parramatta Region. It is sponsored by Dooleys Catholic Club, Lidcombe. This year there was so much interest in the Max Potential Program that students had to attend group interviews. Mercy Girls Elizabeth Wong, Saydie Frim and Charlotte Duff were the three scholarship recipients for 2020.

This year the course was run completely online and our students demonstrated adaptability, flexibility and perseverance to produce outstanding Community Service Project Pitches. Each girl produced an original idea which could benefit the community. Charlotte produced a resource hub for Mental Health services for young people in the Pandemic, Elizabeth researched the effects of Racism in the community and Saydie focused on cultural activities for elderly people from the Lebanese community to keep them engaged through the Pandemic. The efforts and creativity of this year’s Max Potential Graduates has been remarkable. Elizabeth spoke at the graduation ceremony, representing the Class of 2020 Max Potential graduates. She spoke about her experiences of growth and the challenges she faced. Well done to all three girls on their personal growth, leadership and outstanding achievements!

Here below are excerpts from the speech by Elizabeth Wong:

My name is Elizabeth Wong and I’m a student at OLMC Parramatta. When I was asked, I had to write a speech for today I was pretty apprehensive, and to be frank, I’m quite glad you all are behind a screen and not sitting in front of me. My Max Potential journey started in a small conference room with a group interview about why we wanted to join the program. I knew that this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up and I didn’t want to miss my chance. Three days later I receive an email saying that I was successful. I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to start. 

As soon as the introductory workshop finished, I knew that Max Potential would be something I had to dedicate a lot of time to. I had been allocated a Coach, named Vanessa, to assist me. I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say that our coaches helped us in so many ways to achieve our best. I always looked forward to our fortnightly meetings; her advice was invaluable, and her compassion is something I admire so much. 

When we were given the MAXI principals, I knew I could integrate them into my life. One of the ways I did this was through a gratitude journal. After 150 entries, my outlook on life has become more positive because of the fact I am looking for the positive aspects of my day. Implementing Maxi principals such as make it happen using the Healthy Habit Tool and "X"ing out the negatives helped me to complete tasks with minimal procrastination. 

On behalf of all the young adults, I want to thank everyone who has run this program and helped us on our journey.

Lastly to all the young adults - we did it! We made it through and graduated from the program. Max Potential has truly impacted my life and I'm sure you would agree that these MAXI principals are something we will all carry into the future. Thank you.

Trudi-Ann Harvey
Religious Education Teacher


1994 Peer Support Party


Mercy Tree 2020/2021 Annual Appeal

Mercy Scholarships

 

Opal Cards

From January onwards, there will be a number of School Opal cards expiring, as the physical card has reached its lifespan.

These are cards for students who will be in Years 8 to 12 in 2021, and only those Opal cards which haven’t been replaced in the last five years.

Impacted students and/or their parent/guardian will be contacted directly by Transport for NSW via email or post. You will be asked to confirm your details online in order for a new School Opal card to be sent to the correct postal address in time for the new school year.

If contacted by Transport for NSW, details should be submitted online by December 1, 2020 at the latest. Affected students who do not confirm their details in time will have a new School Opal card posted to the address we currently have on file.