Lucie Farrugia, Principal

International Women’s Day

Mercy Girls marked International Women’s Day (8 March) with multiple initiatives. In the lead-up to International Women’s Day, Katie Geering (Class of 1997) Head Orthoptist across Westmead and Randwick Hospitals spoke passionately to students and staff at lunchtime on March 5 about her life and her incredible achievements. She challenged the girls to do their best as she quoted from Catherine McAuley ‘Do the ordinary things extraordinarily well.’

On Monday March 8, Mercy Girls were invited to purchase purple ribbons as they entered the gates for the school day, with funds raised going to the Mercy Tree. This year’s Mercy Tree Appeal is supporting Women's Community Shelters. In Homeroom that day, the girls viewed a presentation about IWD and were invited to write on a paper hand what they will #choosetochallenge.

Dear God,

We pray for all women and girls today,

that they will be all they can be.

Give us courage to speak and work for equality and justice until the earth is filed with righteousness and love.

On this day we give thanks for all the gifts, leadership and contributions of women in all areas of life and society and we pray for gender justice and respect for the rights of women.

Mary mother of Mercy, Pray for Us

Catherine McAuley, Pray for us.


Proposed New OLMC Bus Service

The College is currently considering creating a new private bus service. The purpose of the bus is to further improve transport options to and from the College for our students.

We have identified a route where the stops are in close proximity to more than 50% of our student’s home addresses. Please see the proposed route below:

The bus would be a 57-seat coach provided by Telfords, a highly regarded company that provides similar services for several other independent schools.

We propose to have this private bus service in operation by the commencement of Term 3.

The cost of the service would be $260 per student/per term. If this service is well-used, further services may be introduced to other areas.

We would like to gauge parent interest in this new service. I ask you to please click the link below to complete a survey to help us plan for this new service.

CLICK HERE to complete the survey. 


Open Day 2021

We were very pleased to welcome families who attended our Open Day on Sunday March 7. I wish to thank all staff and students who made the day such a success. Our students were our greatest ambassadors, acting as display assistants, performers and tour guides. Thank you also to the following P&F volunteers who worked tirelessly to provide the BBQ for our guests:

Diana Makhoul

Tim WinthropMelanie Mousley

Jack Makhoul

Philip OgleDianne Santos

Julie Ogle

Sean McIntoshWayne Krzeminski

Aubrey Athaide

Nicole SaapNazrina Kitchil

Melissa Rodewald

David D'SilvaElizabeth Johnson

Ann Kumar

Mark EastonSonia Sampaio

Jane Nguyen

Helena KekezPedro Sampaio

Jaya Samtani

Bhavna Anne Orgun 


Our College was buzzing with parents, prospective future Year 7 students and our current students and staff. Feedback from our guests centred very much on how impressed they were with our girls’ talent, confidence and warm, friendly approach.

Enrolments for Year 7, 2023

Enrolment for Year 7, 2023 will open on Tuesday 23 March, 2021. Traditionally, OLMC has more enrolment applications than places to offer and so it is essential that any family wishing to apply for a place in 2023, please submit the completed application form as early as possible. This year the enrolment process will include interviewing all prospective parents with their daughter prior to offers being sent. All prospective parents for 2023 are invited to attend an Enrolment Information Eveningat 5pm in the Ailsa Mackinnon Centre (on the grounds of the College) on Tuesday 23 March, 2021.

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.

Road Safety around the College

The College has been advised that police and council rangers are going to be more active on the roads surrounding the College, particularly in the afternoons. I am aware that during drop-off and pick-up times, before and after school, Ross street is a very busy street. I would remind all parents to use caution, patience and please stick to the speed limit and road rules at all times. The safety of our community, the St Patrick's community and others using these streets is paramount.

Employment Opportunities at the College 

The College is currently recruiting for a number of roles:

- HR Assistant
- Music Teacher 
- Liturgy & Retreats Coordinator /Religious Education Teacher

Please CLICK HERE for more information and to apply.

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD)

Every year, all schools in Australia participate in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). The NCCD process requires schools to identify information already available in the school about supports provided to students with disability.

Click on the links below to read more about this data collection.

Letter Regarding NCCD
NCCD Information for Parents


Lucie Farrugia


“ Intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong”   John F Kennedy

To begin my report, I would like to welcome all our students back for the school year of 2021 and in particular all the new Year 7 students and other students in Years 8-12 who have joined the College. For all our new parents, just to let you know the PDHPE and Dance Department is responsible for the delivery of six different courses. These are PDHPE which is taught from Year 7 through to Year 12, Child Studies and Physical Activity and Sports Studies (PASS) in Years 9 and 10, Community and Family Studies (CAFS) and Exploring Early Childhood in Years 11 and 12, and Dance in Years 9, 11 and 12. Together, these subjects are concerned with the cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development of students.

One unique characteristic of the PDHPE and Dance Department is that we offer students the opportunity to engage in their learning in both a theoretical and practical manner. Our program provides opportunities for students to learn about, and to practise ways of, adopting and maintaining a healthy, productive life. Also, in PDHPE and Dance our students learn through movement experiences that are both challenging and enjoyable and improve their capacity to participate competently and confidently in a variety of contexts. Our aim is to promote the value and love of physical activity in their lives now and in the future.

The PDHPE and Dance Department would like to welcome three new members to our teaching staff, Ms Abbey Connor, Mr Dominic Fricot and Ms Alena Ieroianni. The teaching staff is very excited about being able to resume some of our co-curricular activities such as Bronze Medallion Lifesaving Award, early morning gym for students in Years 9-12, co-curricular dance classes in contemporary, jazz, hip hop and participation in Bring It On Dance competition.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our HSC Community and Family Studies and PDHPE classes for their outstanding results in both courses where 70% of the cohort achieved a Band 5 and above. This is an indication of the determination, resilience and true grit of the students. Despite their challenging circumstances, they were able to rise to the occasion and produce an outstanding performance. I would also like to thank the Year 12 teachers for their continuous and unrelenting support of the students.

In PDHPE and Dance, students are provided with the opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking and analysis that allow them to make informed decisions about a range of factors that can impact their health and wellbeing. Also, we will be continuing our focus on literacy by developing the students' ability to construct paragraphs using the PEEL framework, deconstructing questions, providing scaffolds on how to answer them and supplying exemplary responses in the feedback loop. These strategies will develop confidence in the students and their ability to answer higher-order thinking questions that involve justification, judgment and analysis.

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of creative and dynamic intellectual activity”  John F Kennedy

Jennifer McIntosh
Leader of Learning: PDHPE and Dance

12 Victoria Road – open for learning!

Our staff and students have embraced our fantastic new facilities at 12 Victoria Road (which we are calling 12VR), utilising the vastness of Level 1 and the modern workspaces of Level 4 to engage in truly innovative learning and teaching.

We have leased over 1000m2 of space at 12VR, which allows up to 10 full classes to use the facilities at once over the two levels. Access to these levels is secured to staff at OLMC Parramatta, so we have total control over access for any activities during the school day, or events before or after school.

Our English, HSIE/History and Religious Education Departments have engaged in deep redesign of lessons that make the most of these spaces. Multi-station learning in English has allowed staff members to share their expertise with groups that rotate through each station, small groups of senior students have been able to lead study groups using the wireless screens, and we have hosted our first whole-cohort exams in the large space on Level 1.

We will also be hosting professional learning events and holiday workshops in these spaces as our access is not limited to term time. This also means our main site is more available for our ongoing maintenance and improvement of facilities at those times.

We are learning the most efficient ways to access the space so that we are maximising our time at 12VR, and we are thrilled to have such excellent facilities as we move through the first stage of our College Master Plan on the main site.



There is an abundance of information regarding careers to disseminate. To help parents navigate this, I will be mainly using three key communication methods:

  • this newsletter will highlight some of the key events coming up
  • the OLMC Careers website calendar will feature key dates
  • the Careers Information Bulletin will be uploaded weekly on the OLMC website in the Student Secure Area. I encourage parents to look through this Bulletin with their daughter regularly as it will list all the upcoming events related to university, TAFE, private colleges, ADFA, Police, etc

This week in Parragraph:

Foundation for Young Australians-  Get help choosing the right career for you

SkillsOne - Career pathways that do not involve university

University Visits to OLMC

UAC 2022 University Entry Online Info Session

ANU Direct Entry (closes 24 May 2021)

ACU Guaranteed Early Entry program

Mrs Donna Jones
Careers Coordinator 

Show more


ESports – more than playing games

For those who aren’t sure, eSports is an industry of creative, passionate, competitive and supportive individuals that last year was valued at more than film, music and television (including streaming services) combined. This multibillion-dollar part of our world is built not just on the idea that individuals like to waste time looking at a screen, but that we thrive on connection, on fun, and on active engagement with people and experiences.

At OLMC, our brand new eSports Cocurricular activity allows our students to not only experience the highly collaborative (and, yes, competitive) nature of gaming, but also the vast career opportunities that now exist in this environment. Whether it is software development, marketing, sales, communications, business, design or any number of other associated careers, eSports is a thriving and growing industry.

We also build on some of the key skills required to be a professional gamer: operational thinking, strategic thinking and leadership. Operational thinking is that which we use to solve problems and think on our feet. Strategic thinking is that which requires us to think a few steps ahead and plan. Leadership is that which we need when working with others to achieve a goal. Professional gamers often report utilising these skills in their daily lives and working lives – unless they are one of a number of multimillionare gamers who make it to the big leagues and don’t need a ‘normal’ job anyway.

We are taking on other schools in the FUSE Cup International eSports competition, using Nintendo Switch and age-appropriate games to engage with our competitors with the same spirit as we do in many other sports.

Our hope is that we encourage our girls to think globally, act ethically and have some fun along the way.

Public Speaking and Debating


Public Speaking has begun in earnest and twelve of our girls have participated in the CSDA competition which is always the first event on the calendar. After the early heats, no fewer than five of our girls reached the semi-finals: A’ishah Ali and Lizzy Butler of Year 7, Alexandra Attard of Year 8, Deeya Vashi of Year 9, and Roshni Singh of Year 10. This is the best result in ten years of this competition so these students need to be congratulated but all our entrants were well prepared and should be proud of their efforts. The semi-finals, always a significant challenge, saw Deeya go through to the grand final next Friday evening. This is an exceptional effort and we wish Deeya good luck. The grand final will move away from Zoom for the first time since 2019 and will be held live at a venue to be announced.

Six girls are now preparing for the heats of Rostrum Voice of Youth to be held next week at OLMC. Rosemary Gonsalves of Year 8, Nyssa Suraj and Jennifer Wang of Year 8 will compete in the Junior heats, while Sakshi Chouta and Stephanie Ogle of Year 11 and Anne Nguyen of Year 12 will be our Senior representatives. These girls have a real depth of talent and we are quietly confident of their chances in progressing to the next round. 

Debating auditions were held last week and over a hundred students applied for forty-eight positions. This reflects wonderful enthusiasm but in a competition like this, it is unfortunate that many impressive speakers just missed out on selection. A big thank you to DAPS leaders Sabrina Catania and Anne Nguyen as well as teachers Mr Gerard Altura, Ms Rebecca Knox and Ms Amy Rowan who assisted in the difficult task of judging which students were successful. Congratulations to the following girls:

Year 7A: Vishnu Gude. Isabel Homairi, Celeste Ieronimo, Sophia Tong. Reserve: Shiloh Julien.

Year 7B: A’ishah Ali, Lizzy Butler, Pia Goradia, Bianca Mina. Reserve: Celina Wassef.

Year 8A: Isabella Cotter, Bronte Herberstein, Sierra Lake, Jennifer Wang. Reserve: Kaira Dasgupta.

Year 8B: Alexandra Attard, Gabby Fleming, Stefanie Gabriel, Jasmine O’Brien. Reserve: Kristina Fry.

Year 9A: Megan Keller, Isabella Samaha, Neha Sharma, Jasmine Velasco.

Year 9B: Zoe Borger, Tia Monga, Summer Rayne Roughley, Alyssa Taouk.

Year 10A: Olivia Easton, Arlene Kumar, Tijana Pavlovic, Freya Scothern.

Year 10B: Sophie Assaad, Maeve Nolan, Ruwindri Parndigamage, Hayden Rodewald (these girls are all Year 9 but with proven talent and experience).

Senior A: Sabrina Catania, Sofie Del Rio, Anne Nguyen, Riley Rodewald.

Senior B: Sakshi Chouta, Iris McKenna, Maeve Nolan, Jeeviha Sangar.

The letters A and B above mean nothing. It is simply a way of identifying a team and has nothing to do with ability level. Team coaches have been organized and will be contacting their teams shortly in preparation for the first debate on Friday 23 April. Thank you to all girls who auditioned.


There are many girls who contribute to our College community and indeed, the wider community. One of these girls is Year 11 student, Mikayla Simpson. When Carlingford Lions Club requested the name of a student to compete in their branch heat of Lions Youth of the Year, we asked Mikayla to be our representative, and a deserved applicant she proved to be. Like many students, she never draws attention to herself but participates in several cocurricular activities including Mercy Action and Eco OLMC. In addition, Mikayla volunteers at Taronga Zoo and once Covid restrictions ease will be once again volunteering in women’s shelters.

Mikayla was recognized for her community spirit by Lions and received a framed certificate on assembly last week. She truly epitomizes the selfless nature of so many of our students.


Each year, two outstanding Year 7 students are selected to address our visitors who attend the College Open Day. Speaking in front of many hundred guests, not once but twice in a day, may seem a daunting task for most of us but Marziyah Patanwala and Jemima Scothern proved that Mercy girls are capable of achieving anything. Marziyah and Jemima must be congratulated on the professional and articulate delivery of their speeches which they had to edit significantly to cater for their own experiences as well as discussing this year’s Mercy value of Justice. The number of positive comments from our visitors was proof of the impact the girls had in their performances. A fantastic effort, girls. OLMC is proud of you.

Next week, two more wonderful Year 7 speakers, Zara Lewis and Nikita Krzeminski, will be addressing a very large audience as well, this time at the Information Evening on Tuesday. These girls are already fully prepared and are certain to be worthy representatives of the College.

Christopher Ostrowski
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator


Saturday Netball

Games are scheduled to start on April 24. We will be playing at Eastwood Ryde Netball Association - Meadowbank Park, Adelaide St, Meadowbank.

Game times or grades have not been finalised yet. That will be confirmed by ERNA by the end of March.

Netball teams have been emailed to all players. We will aim to start training in week 9 but grading will also determine coaches availability.

Unfortunately, once I have set training days it will be very difficult to change them, so I need your help in making adjustments to suit the days.

Please start purchasing your Netball uniforms from the uniform shop if you don’t have one yet.

If you have any questions, please let me know.


Saturday Soccer

Games are scheduled to start on April 24. Our home ground will now be Fairfield Road Park, Yenoona.

Game times have not been finalised yet. That will be confirmed by IGSSA by the end of March.

Soccer teams have been emailed to all players. We have a senior team, a Junior team, and a Year 7 team. We will aim to start training in week 9 on Monday and Wednesday mornings before school, 7:30-8:30am.

Please start purchasing your Soccer uniforms from the uniform shop if you don’t have one yet.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

CCC Cricket

Congratulations to Vaishnavi Deobhankar who has been selected in the NSWCCC Open Cricket team. She will be competing at the NSW All Schools Event this week. We wish her the best of luck.

NSW Athletics

Over the past two weekends, NSW Athletics has held their Open & Junior State Championships. Congratulations to Summer Giddings who was crowned Open & U20 Ambulant Long Jump Champion as well as finishing 3rd in the U20 Ambulant SP and Discus. Congratulations to Lucie Francis who finished 2nd in the U16 2km Steeplechase.

PDSSSC Swimming

The PDSSSC Swimming Championships were held at SOPAC on Friday March 12. OLMC was represented by Kasey Bolt, Tiana Karl, Stephanie Lake, Elizabeth Harvie, Mia Cleary, Zoe McIntosh, Emily Shumack, Olivia Nesci, Amelia Harvie, Ashleigh Hamilton and Riley McIntosh.

OLMC was the Champion Girls school! Congratulations to all the following girls who won their events and will now be competing at the NSWCCC Swimming Championships on March 29:

Zoe McIntosh, Tiana Karl, Elizabeth Harvie, Mia Cleary – 1st in Girls 12-14 Freestyle Relay and Medley Relay

Riley McIntosh, Olivia Nesci, Emily Shumack, Amelia Harvie – 1st in Girls 17-18 Freestyle relay

Riley McIntosh, Kasey Bolt, Tiana Karl, Mia Cleary, Emily Shumack, Amelia Harvie – 1st in 6 x 50m All-Age freestyle relay

Amelia Harvie – 1st in 16 years girls 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly

Riley McIntosh – 1st in 17 years girls 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle

Ashleigh Hamilton – 1st in multiclass 16-19 50m freestyle and backstroke

Tiana Karl – 1st in 13 50 Breaststroke

Zoe McIntosh – 1st in 14 years 50m breaststroke

A big thank you to Mrs McIntosh and Mrs Nesci for all their help with the team.

Well done also to Olivia Towle and Imogen Burns who competed at the Australian Open Water Championships up at Coolum last weekend. Congratulations to Olivia who came third in the Girls 18-19 10km event.


OLMC competed at the PDSSSC Touch Football Championships on Wednesday March 10. The teams consisted of Mia Kerr, Arabella Gittany, Sophie Assaad, Kyah Rahme, Sophia Menassa, Stephanie Saab, Jessica Wehbe, Alana Moujalli, Carla Nohra, Zahra Niumata, Lucie Francis, Maria Saad, Emily Steele, Chanelle Maikhael, Alana Shehadie, Caitlin Ingersoll, Nicole Romanos, Brooke Luksic, Sammi Koedsawang -Roberts, Chanel Azar, Alanah Khadi, Isabella Wahbe, Katherine Saab and Ari Nicholson Burbridge.

The seniors competed with grit and determination in the PDSSSC competition. Although the girls had results of a win, draw and 3 losses, they should be proud of their efforts.

The Junior team performed strongly against tough opposition. They came away with two wins, a draw and one loss. After finishing equal second in their pool, the Juniors were pipped for a semi-finals birth on for and against. Both teams worked hard and played with great sportsmanship, demonstrating Mercy values. Well done girls.

A big thank you must go to Miss Millgate and Mr Fricot for all their help with the teams.


Photos of the 2021 OLMC Swimming Carnival can be viewed and purchased at

The Password to access the photos has been emailed to all students.

OLMC Cross Country

This year's Cross Country Carnival will be held on Wednesday May 24 (Week 9) through Parramatta Park and will be for Competitors Only!

This is a normal school day.

Competitors will be participating in the Cross Country Carnival during periods 1 and 2.

Any students in Years 7 - 12 who would like to participate should already have registered.

12 & 13 yr olds will run 3km, 14 – 17+yrs run 4km (18 yr olds run 6km at PDSSSC)

Competing students will need to change into their PE uniform when they arrive at school and change back at Recess. Please remember students must wear the full summer PE uniform that complies with the College's Dress Code. Water will be provided but all students are encouraged to bring their own water, sun protection and medication.

The course can be seen on the OLMC Cross Country program that has been emailed to all students.

Stuart Guthrie,
Sports Coordinator



Academy for Enterprising Girls Workshop

Workshop Thursday 8 April

The pitch to students:

Do you have an idea that you think will make a positive impact in the community? Or perhaps a business idea that will help people (and make money at the same time)? Or maybe you’re an aspiring leader who wants to build your skills. We have a great opportunity for you!

You are invited to register for the Young Change Agents’ workshop called Academy for Enterprising Girls. This is a day-long workshop held on Thursday 8 April (the first week of school holidays) and will involve a series of highly engaging activities for students to build the mindset, skillset and toolset to pursue social justice or business ideas that make a positive impact in the world. We will hold the workshop in our brand new learning spaces at 12 Victoria Road.

A flyer was attached to several emails to students in the last two weeks, as well as the permission slip.

There are 40 places available for our entire student population, so please register as soon as you can. Registrations will close Friday 19 March but we may accept late registrations.

To register: Please download, print and have sign the permission slip and email it to Mr Esterman or Ms Carpenter. Student can also bring a printed copy to Student Centre.


At the latest AGM which took place on 9 March, the new 2021 P&F Committee was elected:

President Melissa Rodewald
Vice President Pedro Sampaio
Treasurer Michael Johnson
Secretary Vanessa Cassin
Social Coordinator Maria Obeid Chivers
PRC Rep Nolan Dos Remedios
Ordinary Members Aubrey Athaide, Julie Ogle and Brindha Kugan

For more information about the OLMC P&F, please email


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

Year 7, 2023 Enrolment Information Evening

Click here for more information and to Register.

Amalie Dona

Creative and Performing Arts Leader   

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? My key responsibility is to encourage Mercy Girls to participate in CAPA events and subjects as a way for them as individuals to explore new horizons.        

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021? My vision for 2021 is to shine the light on CAPA subjects and also to provide information to the community about upcoming CAPA events.                                      

Name one person whom you would like to share a meal with and why? I would like to share a meal with Will Smith. I have been a fan of his since I was in primary school. I would love to discuss everything and anything. The way he thinks and his philosophies on life has always intrigued me.

St Patrick’s Day Mass

Today, Ms Farrugia travelled with three Mercy Girls to St Mary's Cathedral in the city for a special Mass.

The St Patrick's Day Mass saw students and staff from Irish charism schools come together on this day which honours the Patron Saint of Ireland to celebrate 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia. The Sisters of Mercy who founded OLMC Parramatta came from Callan in Ireland.

1999 Debating Grand Final

Liturgy Group make Resurrection Eggs

The Liturgy Group is a co-curricular group facilitated by Ms Lonergan and the Liturgy Leaders. Last Thursday they spent their lunch time making Resurrection Eggs. These form a story, much like an Advent Calendar for Christmas. They tell the story of Jesus in his final days from death to resurrection. One egg is opened each day for 12 days in the lead up to Easter Sunday. The girls had a great time getting creative and sharing their faith with others.


Isabella Carney

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio? The key responsibilities of my role are quite varied; they range from being there to support my Mercedes sisters, to encouraging House spirit and enthusiasm. It is a fulfilling and exciting role that allows me to interact with both peers and staff to make a difference in the College community.

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2021? My vision as a 2021 leader is to increase participation and spirit within Mercedes. I am extremely excited to see what the journey holds for myself and my Mercedes sisters!                               

What would be a good theme song for your life? Why?We are the Champions by Queen would be my theme song because achieving and being the best version of myself are extremely important to me.                 

International Women’s Day

The Mercy Action Representatives handed out purple ribbons on Monday 8 March as we celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD). We raised $500 on this day and this will be donated to the Women’s Community Shelters at Castle Hill and Penrith. These are wonderful organisations that assist women and children in our local community. We also completed an activity in Homerooms where girls were encouraged to challenge themselves with a pledge which was then hung up in the Janet Woods Building foyer.

The IWD theme for 2021 was ‘Choose to Challenge’. By way of recognising this important day when we push for gender equality, we heard from a guest speaker, ex-student Mrs Katie Geering, who shared her memories of being a student at the College. She spoke also about leading the eye clinic at the Children’s Hospital Westmead and of her travels overseas for work and volunteer services in Fiji. Katie has challenged herself through her sporting passion which is running, and has even run two full 42km marathons. She spoke about being committed, setting goals, and working hard to make dreams a reality. Katie also encouraged all students to achieve their best whilst being the best version of themselves in the process.


Purple Themed Mufti Day March 26

Students are all invited to wear purple to school on Friday, March 26 and bring in $2 which will be directly donated to the Lenten Appeal - we would love to raise $1300 on this day to provide a 5000L water tank to a Primary School in the Solomon Islands (similar to the one below). Fresh water is something many Australians take for granted. Students please remember to wear purple and be generous in your donations.


Project Compassion

The Lenten Appeal continues to raise much-needed funds for Caritas Australia, and so far this year the students have raised almost $5000 through Homeroom donations. This is a remarkable amount and we still have several weeks left! In order to continue supporting Caritas, the Mercy Action Reps facilitated a Money Trail at lunchtime on Tuesday. Each House was asked to add coins to one of the letters or numbers to spell out ‘BE MORE 21’- a visible reminder for each of us to Be more and DO more to help others.

Arsad's is a rice farmer from Indonesia who was often sick as a result of a lack of sanitation in his local village. He partnered with Caritas Australia to be trained in sanitation and planning training. He assists with the installation of toilets in his village. The simple implementation of a clean toilet has reduced sickness in his village. Watch his video here.

Easter 2021

The College will join together on the final day for students on Tuesday 30 March to celebrate the Easter season. This commences the Easter Week where we are encouraged to stop and reflect on the final days of Jesus’ life including the washing of the feet, Last Supper, agony in the garden and final steps to his death and ultimate resurrection. Please check your local parish bulletins for service times.

Staff Spirituality Day

Whilst students enjoy their first day of school holidays, staff will be participating in our annual Staff Spirituality Day. This is a day where we will join together as a community to reflect, pray and share a meal. We will look at the theme of community - where each person is recognized as an important member of a bigger Mercy community- a place where together we are more than the sum of our individual parts. We look forward to sharing some of these experiences with you next Term.

Gabrielle Scanlon
Director of Mission

From the College Counsellor

Helping Teens become more independent

It is a completely normal and healthy process for your teenager to want to individuate from their family and there are a number of things that parents can do to help facilitate this process. Parents can experience many feelings about this process, ranging from a sense of relief that their young person is growing up and becoming more responsible for themselves, to a sense of grief and loss at the changing roles within the family. Whilst the process is inevitable, parents can assist by progressively ‘letting go’. This way you learn to trust them and they learn to trust themselves. With your guidance and a bit of trial and error they can grow into a confident, capable adult.

Parents can help by:

1. Setting clear boundaries:

Set boundaries around their behaviour so that you both know what’s expected and allowed. Your teen then has the chance to explore and discover things for themselves while also feeling safe and cared for. Boundaries will be different for different situations and should evolve as your teen grows older. Here are some areas where boundaries can be useful:

  • Going out with friends – where they can go and how late they can stay out.
  • Contacting you while they’re out – when and how often they should check in.
  • Using social media and devices – what platforms are okay, and any device-free times.

2.  Teach decision making skills:

Role-modelling decision making and in time allowing them to work things out for themselves will help them to identify and solve problems. They’ll also gain skills in rational thinking and listening, and will develop the ability to prioritise and compromise:

  • Encourage them to stay calm, listen and think things through.
  • Get them to brainstorm a wide range of possible outcomes.
  • Get them to write a list of pros and cons so they can see if it’s worth it.
  • Support them in listening to their instincts and trusting what they feel inside.

3. Teach them to manage their own money:

Learning to be responsible with money is an important life-long skill. Here are some ways to help them:

  • Be a role model – demonstrate responsible money management in your own life.
  • Encourage them to earn money – pay them for doing certain chores around the house, or suggest they look for a part-time job.
  • Get them to set realistic saving goals for things they want.
  • Allow them to spend their money how they want (within reason) – mistakes will help them learn the value of money.

4. Help them manage their own time:

As a parent, it can be hard to watch your teen seemingly doing “nothing” and feeling like we have to intervene and tell them how they should manage their time. Instead, try and guide them in a way where your teen can feel confident that they can handle everything on their plate:

  • Sit down with them and assist them in creating a weekly schedule – get them to plot all of their activities and responsibilities and when they’ll do them.
  • Teach them the importance of balance –work and study are important but so too is some free time.
  • Encourage them to be realistic – help them to work out how long things take, and to allow for breaks.
  • Introduce them to time management apps – if they’re better with their device than a written list, a good app can help. EvernoteThe Homework App, and Google Calendar are all popular.

5. Some other things that can help teens become more independent is by teaching them and expecting them to participate in home life and chores. Skills such as learning to cook, clean and do their laundry are important life skills to have.

It can be hard to let go and watch your child grow into a young adult but remember, all of your hard work has been for this very moment. To stand by them and feel that you helped them become that healthy, capable, confident, adult.

Mrs Sandra Portela
Senior College Counsellor

Mercy Futures Tonight