Lucie Farrugia, Principal

Lenten Reflection

The Season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday which this year was on February 17. At OLMC, we celebrated this day in our faith journey with our College community with the ritual of receiving ashes. This action reminds us of the significance of our humanity and the importance of growing a constant 'conversion of our hearts’ to turn to God and be faithful to the Gospels. All students and staff participated in a symbolic and solemn liturgy for Ash Wednesday within their Houses and each was beautifully led by their House Leader.  

Now, two weeks into the Church's Lenten Season, though this may not be a daily experience, having received the sacramental gift of faith in the Gospels, we can draw upon our faith when things get difficult in life. We are able, daily, to choose to follow God wherever that leads.

Prayer for the Second Week of Lent:

Lord, You are truly glorious in a way that is beyond my comprehension. Your glory and splendour are beyond what my imagination can ever comprehend. Help me to always keep the eyes of my heart upon You and to allow the image of Your Transfiguration to strengthen me when I am tempted to despair. Help me to always place my hope in You.  Amen

Principal's Welcome Evening

A wonderful night was had by all who attended our Parent “Meet the Principal” evening last Friday evening, February 26. It was memorable for several reasons including chatter and humour shared by parents reconnecting with friends after 2020 as well as the new friendships which were made. Our deepest thanks to the P&F Committee for their sponsorship of this very successful evening. I particularly thank the girls who performed and entertained us so professionally with their musical talents and the senior Hospitality class who provided best-practice service - making sure we were well looked after. A night like this does not just happen and I thank wholeheartedly our Development Officer, Mrs Sue Giacomelli for her meticulous organisation, ably assisted by Mrs Sallyann Guthrie, Mrs Julie McIntyre, Mrs Allison McNally, Ms Christine Pace as well as Mr Jacques Willems for his training and coordination of our Hospitality students, Ms Belinda Angilletta (Leader of Learning - Music) for coordinating our music and our staff from maintenance, in particular Mr Sam Kassis and Ms Ann-Marie Bennie, for their preparation and set-up and to the many staff joined in the night to meet and greet our community. 


Annual Swimming Carnival

‘Are you having a good night Ms Farrugia?’

‘What House are you in Miss?’

‘but…you really like our House the best, don’t you Miss?’

I thoroughly enjoyed my first OLMC Swimming Carnival as much (if not more) than our exuberant students and staff. The colour and spectacle, the noise and the camaraderie are exceptional features of our Twilight Carnival. I do hope in 2022 we can resume having parents alongside us to watch and cheer along, but for now, I cannot wait to see what our Athletics Carnival brings!

Year 12 Curriculum and Learning Session

It was such a pleasure to visit Year 12 during their Curriculum and Learning Session last week. Under the careful eye of Mrs Jennie Mater, Director of Teaching and Learning (Acting), the girls completed and checked their HSC Course entries and then heard from Mrs Donna Jones, our new Careers Coordinator, who helped them forward think this year and beyond. I am grateful to our wonderful staff who consistently look after our senior girls so well in all respects of academic care as they transition to life outside of OLMC.

CCTV Installation Notification 

OLMC has recently installed closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras in some areas on the College perimeter. These cameras monitor the fence perimeter only and do not monitor inside the College grounds or buildings. 

The cameras will begin operating from Monday 15 March 2021. CCTV footage will only be able to be accessed by the Principal or by school staff with the Principal’s express authority according to the relevant Policy. It may be accessed by emergency or security services personnel with legal authority to access. At the same time, the College's security alarm system is currently being upgraded. The CCTV installation process and the alarm upgrade reflect the College's considered planning in regards to continually enhancing the site security, ensuring the safety of our students and staff.

After-hours events and pick-up times for your children

OLMC staff are committed to providing a variety of experiences for our students, some of which occur on weekends and after hours, such as school camps or extraordinary excursions. Parents are reminded that the pick-up time on the information provided about these events must be strictly adhered to. By the end of one of these events it is fair and just to allow OLMC staff to leave promptly back to their homes and families. Thank you for your consideration.

Transport Survey

The Diocese of Parramatta is conducting a questionnaire to understand how students travel to school. An external consultant is conducting this questionnaire. Your answers will be confidential unless you specifically request a response from our transport team. I would like to invite you to please complete the questionnaire about your daughter/s travel to school. To complete the survey, please click this link. This should take 5 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey by Friday 12 March 2021.

If you have any questions regarding this survey please contact our Director of Business Services Michael Cuzic via email at   

Lucie Farrugia

English and Drama

One of the most exciting things about English and Drama is that we can figuratively travel anywhere, we are only limited by our imaginations which offers us the ability to appreciate the past, the present and the future through our textual studies and experiential learning strategies. The discussions and the opportunity to be in innovative spaces also means the English and Drama classrooms are always dynamic. We have the freedom to find learning in a range of different spaces beyond the confines of the traditional four-walled classroom and our content can span popular culture to classic literature which allows us to experiment and nurture thinking. English and Drama are also subjects that everyone can participate in – we all know and can share stories, every student comes to the class with unique lived experiences that can be drawn on to build their knowledge and understanding of the world and gain insight into what it means to be human. Every day the world offers a connection to what we are studying and great literature and theatre are always relevant to now.

The English and Drama departments are excited to return to school in 2021 and we are embarking on some exciting new initiatives as well as continuing with some important teaching and learning strategies that have been incredibly beneficial to the students at OLMC. We welcome two new members of the faculty, Ms. Michelle Emeleus and Ms. Catriona McKellar as well as Ms. Barbara McBride who is returning from an extended period of leave.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the HSC class of 2020 with the Advanced cohort achieving the best English results for the last 10 years. We also congratulate Abirami Prakash on achieving a Band 6 in Standard English as well as Ellen Durbidge and Angela Younes for their OnStage nominations. These achievements are particularly commendable considering the challenging year the students faced in 2020. It is a testament to the agility and resilience of our students that they were able to maintain their focus and commitment under extraordinary circumstances and we are so proud of them. I would also like to thank the dedicated teachers who supported these students.

This year we are working closely with Inclusive Learning to deliver a tailored literacy program via Reading Circles. This means all Year 7 and 8 English classes will have an Inclusive Learning teacher assigned to one lesson every week, working with targeted students and the English teacher to focus on developing the students reading and comprehension skills. This program allows students the agency to choose the novel they will read, offering them ownership of their own learning. These small reading groups build student capacity to develop their higher-order thinking by moving from summarizing to inference to evaluation and creation which are important skills for HSC success and beyond. The texts students can choose from include for Year 7, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling,  Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. In Year 8, students can choose from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (a very popular choice), Hitler’s Daughter (Jackie French), The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (Ambelin Kwaymullina), and Whale Rider (Witi Ihimaera). I would like to thank both Ms. Marisa Zadro and Ms. Amy Rowan who worked with me in Term 4 last year to develop the program based on Bloom’s Taxonomy and Literature Circles. Students also track their reading with the aid of a Reading Goal Tracker which will provide rich ongoing formative assessment data.

An exciting new initiative is the innovative learning space at 12 Victoria Road. The English department is using the space with Year 7, Year 9, Year 11, and Year 12 classes. This co-teaching initiative is an important step towards the development of inquiry learning opportunities which provide students with greater autonomy and self-directed learning experiences as well as providing opportunities to develop 21st-century skills in creative and critical thinking and collaboration. This initiative has also provided the English department with the opportunity to build our professional relationships within the faculty and our pedagogy. By meeting every week to co-plan and debrief, we have been able to take four classes at once to use the space. This co-teaching model releases more responsibility to the students to problem solve, collaborate and engage in deeper learner experiences beyond the constraints of a traditional four-walled classroom setting.

We also welcome back Dr Felicity Castagna who will continue as our Writer in Residence in 2021 and she will be conducting a series of writing workshops with Years 10 and 11. This valuable incursion offers our students the experience of planning, drafting, and publishing a substantial piece of creative writing.

Leanne Portelli
Leader of Learning: English and Drama

New OLMC Careers Website

Last week we launched the new OLMC Careers website to the Year 11 and Year 12 students.

The website has been designed to provide key information regarding careers as well as links to useful external websites such as University Admissions Centre (UAC), MoneySmart, MyFuture and many others. There is a comprehensive event calendar that lists important dates for universities, private colleges, TAFE, Defence Forces, GAP year opportunities, etc. The website also includes extensive information regarding post-school options.

In addition, there is an opportunity to sign up for a Careers Newsletter which will be sent to you monthly. The students will also have access to the OLMC Careers Newsletter and updates through the secure student portal. 

I will continue to publish important dates in Parragraph but I encourage parents and students to explore the Careers website and regularly check the Message Board and Newsletter in the student secure area as this will be the main avenue for communication regarding careers.

“You have the brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” Dr Seuss

Donna Jones
Careers Coordinator 

Public Speaking and Debating

Public Speaking

Once again, our girls have shown great enthusiasm for being involved in public speaking competitions. No fewer than 123 girls have signed up for 2021 competitions, and no doubt there will be many champions among them. Even those who do not win the top prizes, the achievement of standing up in front of an audience is something even adults are afraid to do, so well done to all girls for getting involved. The allocations for 2021 have been completed and student will be receiving letters this week with all details. It is important to remember that each girl will be notified around three to four weeks before her event, so there is no need to worry about missing the event your daughter has been given.

Several girls have already begun preparation for the earliest competitions. CSDA begins this Friday via Zoom so good luck to A’isha Ali and Lizzy Butler of Year 7, Alexandra Attard and Isabel Mazzocco of Year 8, Sophie Assaad and Deeya Vashi of Year 9, Jheyanne Mostoles and Roshni Singh of Year 10, Tvesa Agrawal and Maeve Nolan of Year 11 and finally, Jala Bakri and Sofie Del Rio of Year 12. Hopefully, many will advance to the semi-finals the following week.

Rostrum Voice of Youth follows in late March and more information will be forthcoming in the next edition of the newsletter.

This year, Public Speaking launches a new slogan: “Public Speaking… because what you think is important”. Girls are encouraged to deliver their own perspectives on issues raised in their chosen topic and not simply echo what other people think. In this way, the girls see value in their own ideas and ultimately speak with more passion about their topic.



Applications for debating closed last week and auditions begin next week. The huge flood of entries is once again an indication of the enthusiasm of our girls. With debating, numbers are restricted and the disappointment is that some very talented speakers may miss out on final selection. Nevertheless, girls can re-apply each year and are encouraged to do so.


Christopher Ostrowski

Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator


Saturday Soccer

Saturday Soccer is held during Term 2. Registration forms have been emailed to all students and they are due back by March 5.

CGSSSA Cricket

On Wednesday, February 17, OLMC competed at the CGSSSA Cricket Championships. The team consisted of Jaaniya Shah, Teyana La Brooy, Shiloh Julien, Aarushi Duggal, Caroline Thewlis, Vaishnavi Deobhankar, Tanisha Majumdar and Tarni Sutton. The girls played some amazing cricket, winning all their round games to finish top of their pool. All the girls should be commended on their efforts, especially with such a young team. Unfortunately, the girls were defeated in the Semi-Final by St Scholastica’s in the final over. It was wonderful to see the girls perform so well and achieve OLMC’s best results in over a decade.

PDSSSC Basketball

On Wednesday February 24, OLMC competed at the PDSSSC Open Basketball Championships at Penrith. This was the first PDSSSC event since this time last year and it was great to see the girls enjoying a great event. The team consisted of Haylee Shelton, Annie Gittany, Kyra Dpenha, Moana Tuala, Gemma Saap, Ella Maroun, Juliana Merioles and Zahra Niumata. Well done to all the girls who played exceptionally well against some very strong teams. OLMC started strong defeating Cerdon, but then had a number of narrow losses to finish 4th in their pool.

OLMC Swimming Carnival 2021

The Annual College Swimming Carnival was held on Thursday February 18, at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

The College community entered into the spirit of the day with the girls dividing their time between competitive events and COVID safe cheering for their “House”. It was great to see so many dressed in a colourful and patriotic display for their respective Houses. It was also wonderful to see so many students participating in the swimming events throughout the night, especially the seniors.

A big thank you to the Sports Leaders and to all the House Leaders who inspired such enthusiasm, spirit and commitment from all students, as well as enthusiastically and generously assisting in the preparation for the Carnival.

Congratulations to the following students for their outstanding swimming efforts throughout the Carnival and being awarded Age Champions:

12 Years               Kasey Bolt

13 Years               Tiana Karl

14 Years               Zoe McIntosh

15 Years               Emily Shumack

16 Years               Amelia Harvie

17+ Years             Olivia Towle

Congratulations also to Tiana Karl who broke the 13 years 50m Breaststroke Record on the night, setting a time of 38.98 seconds.                             

A big Congratulations to Charlotte Ryan, Isabella Carney, and all the Mercedes students for their victory on the Night as Champion House and to Tamsyn Houseman, Tatiana Harb and all the Doyle students for their victory as Champion Spirit House.

Finally, a big thank you to all the staff and students for their efforts and also to all the parents for their support of the COVID regulations we had in place.

OLMC Sport is on Twitter, so I encourage you to join in the conversation @OLMCsport

Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator



Cocurricular Dance

In Week 8 of this term, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Jazz classes will be run in the morning so students can get a sense of those dance co-curriculars. Students will receive an email that has a link to an online form for them to complete to indicate which class or classes they would like to participate in. The classes will be capped at 25 and it is essential that students carefully note which dance style is taking place on which morning. 

This will provide us with the necessary information to develop a dance program that will commence at the beginning of Term 2. If you any further questions please contact Miss Ieroianni on or Mrs McIntosh on

Jennifer McIntosh 
Leader of Learning PDHPE and Dance


P&F BBQ at Open Day - Helpers Needed

The College values the generous contribution of the P&F on Open Day each year. We are calling for helpers who can spare a couple of hours on Sunday 7 March 2021 to assist on the P&F BBQ with preparation, service and clean up. If you are available, please CLICK HERE.


P&F AGM - 9 March 2021

All Parents/Carers are welcome to the P&F AGM to be held on Tuesday, 9 March 2021 in the new venue of AG14 at the back of the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre (enter via Gate 7, Ross St from 6.50pm).

To nominate for a position on the OLMC P&F Committee, please complete the form below and email to the Committee -

P&F Nomination Form

P&F Committee - Roles and Responsibilities

If you have any questions, please email the Committee -

College Open Day – Sunday, 7 March, 2021

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

School Fees

School Fees for Instalment 1, 2021 were due on Friday 5 February 2021 unless you are on an existing direct debit arrangement with the College. Please ensure fees are paid by BPay, cheque, money order or by credit cards via the Parent Community Portal (Visa or Mastercard) as soon as possible.

Any queries regarding fees or payments can be directed to the Finance Office on 8838 1214 weekdays during 8am – 4pm or by email to


Anne-Maree Ironside
Finance Manager

Uniform Shop

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

Online purchases can still be made via the Online Uniform Shop ( and all orders will be delivered to the Student Centre for collection by students.

Year 7 Winter Uniform - Booking times are available for fittings. Bookings can be made on the College website under Uniforms, and click on the tab ‘Make a Uniform Shop appointment.

Scarves: There are a limited number of scarves available for purchase either online or at the Shop.

Tights: The Uniform Shop has tights available for purchase with the winter uniform.  If you are purchasing outside the shop, the requirement is 70 denier opaque, colour - Ink Navy.

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

If you have any concerns regarding uniform items, please do not hesitate to contact the Uniform Shop on 8838 1275 or

Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Identity

Prayer for Justice, Mercy, and Humility


During this season of Lent teach us to understand the love that drove you to give up everything to save us all.

Give us the strength that only comes in weakness, the renewal that only comes through death and resurrection.

Today we may feel weakened, burdened, and overwhelmed by the challenges and uncertainties that lie ahead.

Just as your weakest hour proved to be the most generous, most life-giving moment in history, we pray for that out of our own weakness comes a generosity of justice, mercy, and humility for those who bear burdens greater than our own.

This Lent, let us commit ourselves to: act justly, love with mercy, and walk humbly with you, and with all those who suffer or want.

Give us the strength to respond, to the needs of those who have the least in our world.

Let us Be More this Lent by giving our time and money to those in need.


Many Catholics spend hours pondering what to give up for Lent, but this year, why not add something? 

10 Things To Do During Lent Besides Giving Something Up:
1. Each day tell your child something that makes them unique
2. Volunteer
3. Go to a weekday Mass
4. Say three nice things to your husband or wife, siblings, parents, colleagues and children daily
5. Be kind
6. Donate things you don’t need to charity
7. Replace 30 minutes of TV/computer/phone time with 30 minutes of prayer/quiet time
8. Don’t complain
9. Don’t buy anything that you don’t need
10. Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season

LIFTED Leaders ‘21

On Wednesday 24 February, nine Year 12 leaders participated in the Parramatta Diocese LIFTED-Leaders ’21 day.  Catholic Youth Parramatta and the CEDP Mission Team facilitated the day and Melbourne-based Catholic singer/songwriter Gen Bryant was also present as a musical special guest. Both Bishop Vincent and Mr Greg Whitby, the Executive Director of Schools, provided input and information.

Bishop Vincent spoke about the importance of leaders having the courage to take a strong stance on important issues and being ready to bear the unpopularity that such a stance may create. His words seemed to fit well with this year’s theme of justice at OLMC and the Student Leadership slogan of “take the chance to be the change”.

Whilst the day had to be modified to an online platform, the girls all gained valuable insight into leadership roles and the importance of being a role model when in a position of leadership.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 and as a College we will be running several activities that the girls are invited to attend and participate in.

On Friday 5 March we will have a guest speaker to talk to the girls around the theme of the day which is “Choose to Challenge.” This will be open to all students and will be held in the Edith Angel Hall.

Purple ribbons, which are the colour for this day, will be handed out at the College gates on Monday 8 March before school. Girls are invited to make a donation at this time to support the wonderful works of the Women’s Community Shelter.

Various activities will also be running during Homeroom for the week and also at lunchtime. Further details will be available on the digital screens for the girls to view.


Project Compassion Appeal: “Aspire not to have more, but to be more.”

We continue to raise funds for the Caritas Project Compassion Appeal and in our Year of Justice, it has been pleasing to see such generous donations from students. In two short weeks, we have raised over $2200. We will be introducing cash-free options for money collection; every Thursday, the tap-and-go machine will be available for those girls who prefer not to bring cash to school. Mrs Scanlon will be at the College gates as students arrive to accept donations.

Each week Caritas highlights one of the people who have benefited from the generous donations of people who contribute to the Lenten Appeal each year.

One such person is Margret, a teacher at a vocational school for deaf students in the Solomon Islands. She was born deaf, so she knows the challenges it poses to education and employment for many. With challenges ranging from a lack of schooling to natural disasters, and then COVID 19, Margret continues to work towards a more just future for her friends and family. You can watch a short film about Margret’s story here.


200 years of Catholic Education in Australia

This year we recognize a great milestone in Catholic education in Australia. For 200 years religious orders and, more recently, lay men and women, have taught the children of Australia in Catholic schools. In fact, one of the very first Catholic schools to open its doors was right here in Parramatta.

The Sisters of Mercy of Parramatta, from Callan in Ireland, brought Catholic education to our very school over 130 years ago. Our College has always been, and will continue to be, a place where we break open the Gospels and share the Catholic faith with all in our community.

On February 18, several of our junior classes participated in the launch of these celebrations through participation in a Zoom meeting. The recording of this can be found here.


Sydney Olympic Games fever!

From the College Counsellor

Wellbeing initiatives in the local area

There are several services within the Parramatta area that provide free wellbeing initiatives to young people. Some information about two of these services is listed below.

The Y Space:

The Y Space Parramatta Pop-Up is a place for young people to learn new skills, connect with peers in a safe and inclusive environment, chat with youth workers and local support services. This space was shaped by the voices of young people, meeting a range of needs and interests. They offer creative and skill-building workshops, wellbeing sessions and more. Young people can drop-in between 12.00pm-3.30pm, or book in for a workshop from 3.30pm-5.30pm Monday-Saturday. See the space in action here. 

All programming is free and accessible to young people aged 12-24. They offer free accredited training and workshops to support young people. It is located in Parramatta Westfield, Shop 2168, Level 2, right near the concierge desk. Look for the red Y Space signage.

Weekly Skill-building Workshops and Wellbeing Sessions





 3.30 to 5.30pm


Wellbeing Mondays

Come to the Zen Zone and practice all things wellbeing.

 3.30 to 5.30pm


Real Talk

Come for some tea and talk about the real things that matter.

 3.30 to 5.30pm


Connect Wednesdays

Come hang out on Connect Wednesdays and meet some more local organisation and see what they have to offer!

 3.30 to 5.30pm


Creator Sessions

These workshops run every Thursday and will unlock your inner creator – get ready to be inspired! 

 3.30 to 5.30pm


Employable Me

Take some time to get the facts, skills and assistance to get you through interviews, resume writing and applying for jobs.

 3.30 to 5.30pm


Youth Collective 

Created by you, run by you. Saturdays are completely led and run by young people. 


Accredited Training Sessions - Provided in partnership Licenses 4 Work





 12 FEB
 10.00am to 5.30pm


White Card Course

Successful completion of this course will allow you to work on building sites or roads in Australia. For ages 15+

 19 FEB  
 10.00am to 5.30pm


First Aid Course

Course completion results in a Statement of Attainment for the unit HLTAID003 Provide first aid. For ages 15+


20 FEB

10.00am to 5.30pm


White Card Course

Successful completion of this course will allow you to work on building sites or roads in Australia. For ages 15+


If you would like any further information, CLICK HERE


Headspace- Parramatta

Headspace Parramatta provides information, support and services to young people, aged 12-25, and their families and friends. We can help with mental health, general health, alcohol and other drug services as well as work support. Headspace employ Doctors, Psychologists and Youth Workers to assist with the running and provision of services.

Young people aged 12-25, do not require a formal referral. Simply phone, email or show up in person to arrange an appointment with one of our staff.

Bookings are required for appointments after 5pm on weekdays.

Headspace is located at- 2 Wentworth Street, (Enter via Parkes Street), Parramatta, New South Wales 2150; Phone: 1300 737 616

CLick the following links for more information


Other Programs:

Study Without Stress: Breakthrough Psychology Practice in West Pennant Hills are running a 3-week program called Study without Stress. The program was designed and developed by researchers at Macquarie University. The program is designed to assist those who feel quite anxious around study or would like to develop some healthier habits for study. It is run by psychologists at the practice and costs $400. For further information CLICK HERE.

Engaging (Tech-obsessed) Adolescents: The ENGAGING ADOLESCENTS program was designed by psychologist and author Michael Hawton as a 3-session program. This current program has an additional week to the series to outline the principles of DIGITAL NUTRITION and address technology use issues that create conflict in many homes. Parents will gain a renewed sense of confidence about the role they can play in their teenagers’ lives, without conversations morphing into arguments. It is all about empowering parents to improve communication skills in the home to help set reasonable boundaries and manage change. It costs $89 for this webinar series and further information can be found at:


Sandra Portela
Senior Counsellor