Marie Wood, Principal (Acting)

Dear Families

More often than not I have begun each newsletter this year with something around COVID-19. Today I feel it is important to address an issue that precedes the pandemic and may possibly continue long after we see the end of COVID-19 in its present form - namely the social unrest that is occurring around the globe.

I want to start with the following words of wisdom:

If we love God,

We will undoubtedly love our neighbour also; they are as cause and effect.

Retreat Instructions (p 147, Sisters of Mercy)

These words of Catherine McAuley seem particularly appropriate at this time of social distancing and the challenges brought by the pandemic. They are also good words and values to live by when we view the concerning scenes of social fracturing in the United States and the protests spreading around the globe, and around some parts of Australia. It is hard not to be moved by the indignity suffered by marginalised groups of people all made in the image of God – all our “neighbours.” We must ensure that we treat each other with dignity, respecting each other’s worth in our relationships with them. Surely this transcends national boundaries and binds us in our common humanity. I know our students are trying to understand why this unrest is happening and what they might be able to do – how should they respond? Our Mercy Action Leaders have been thinking about these issues and, supported by our College Director of Mission, Mrs Gabby Scanlon, have been working on prayer and reflection resources that help our students to process the issues of the Black Lives Matter Campaigns and centre our students on engaging in dignified conversations around the way we treat others.

In their words:

“… also what we can do to ensure that ALL people are given an equal chance at life
because as people of God we are all created equal and good.”

Our Mercy Action Leaders are to be commended for starting the conversation and for contributing in any way they can to a positive change. Sometimes social change is hard to effect but initiating the dialogue and raising awareness is a good place to start.

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Year 12 during one of their Learning and Curriculum sessions. I spoke to them about their experiences of Continuous Learning and the importance of controlling their thinking around their HSC. Rather than thinking they had “missed out” on something because of COVID-19, I challenged them to reflect on the positives in all that they had experienced. What did they learn about themselves and what tools would they use going forward in this experience of their HSC? Reflecting on these transferrable dispositions, for example, prioritising and self-discipline, will help them to make sense of the pandemic’s impact, reinforce their capacity to deal with unfamiliar challenges and build their confidence that they do have the skills to navigate their HSC in 2020 – valuable life lessons for the future too. I am immensely proud of our Year 12 students and the diligent way that they have engaged with and completed their recent Assessment program and indeed the way that they have conducted themselves throughout our Continuous Learning Program experience. Well done Mercy girls!

 

The Year 11 Leadership Process has commenced since last I wrote. The new four College Executive Student Leaders have been voted in for 2020/2021.

Head GirlYasmine Alwakal
Assistant Head GirlKyah Day
SRC PresidentIsabella Barakat
Vice SCR PresidentRiley Rodewald

Congratulations to these four fine young Student Leaders. They will bring many gifts and thoughtful initiatives to us and we look forward to their leadership year. The voting process continues this week when the Portfolio Leaders are elected, and it culminates in the Student Leadership inauguration at the Leadership Assembly in the final week of this term. I very much look forward to working with all of these young women – they are following strong role models in the examples of the outgoing 2019/2020 Student Leaders whom I also sincerely thank for their many and varied, significant contributions to our Mercy community during their time of leadership.

I will be communicating briefly at the end of this week with any updates as usual, however, would ask you now to take a moment to complete this brief Family Check-in Survey - click here.

Your feedback is really useful in guiding us to review and refine our practices in response to any issues or trends emerging in our community during our Phased Return to School Plan. Thank you for taking the time to complete it.

Finally, I would like to remind you all that you can always stay connected virtually to what is happening in our OLMC community via social media - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Remember to like OLMC on your favourite social media pages for regular updates.

For now, please stay well, healthy and safe.

Warm regards

Mrs Marie Wood
Principal (Acting)

 


Gabrielle Scanlon, Director of Mission

Holy Father, God of Love, You are the Creator of all things.

We pray for your strength and grace to forgive, accept and love one another, as you love us and forgive and accept us in the sacrifice of your Son.

Teach us to respect all cultures.

Teach us to care for our land and waters.

Help us to share justly the resources of this land.

Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities, especially the disadvantaged.

Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem by your Spirit.

May your power and love be the foundations on which we build our families, our communities and our Nation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reconciliation Week

The prayer above is one written to remember and celebrate Reconciliation Week which was celebrated nationally from 27 May - 3 June. It was written by the Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group and reminds us of the need to love and show respect for all living things. It also highlights the necessity to work toward social change so that we can live as equals where the experience of one is the experience of all.

Over the course of the past week, students have had the opportunity to see, judge and act through various activities and displays around the College. The Aboriginal Studies class looked at the topic of 'What reconciliation means to me', created posters and gave oral presentations.

A group of junior students took part in an Aboriginal art project as part of the Reconciliation Australia Challenge. The theme was 'Caring for Country' with a focus on how we can reconcile with the land. Students collected native objects such as gum leaves, seedpods and flowers to include in the artwork. Thank you, Ms Plummer and Mrs Chippendale for overseeing this project.

 

Winter Appeal

The Mercy Action Reps have launched our Winter Appeal for 2020. As the weather cools down, it would be good to see each student bring in a donation for our Vinnies Appeal.

This year we are collecting new or second-hand jumpers, jackets, coats and beanies. These can be dropped to the Staff Common Room verandah any time until the end of Term.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Friday Morning Mass

Friday morning Mass will resume next Term. We look forward to once again opening the doors of our Chapel and thank Father Walter for his continued support and guidance as College Chaplain.

Feast of the Sacred Heart

This year, celebrated on 19 June, we remember the boundless love that God has for each of us especially when we experience challenges and suffering. It is timely to remember this unconditional love shown to us all and to remember that it is God’s love which holds us and allows us to be the hands and feet, the gentle voice and the listening ear of Jesus to others.

 

Wishing you all a happy week ahead.

Mrs Gabby Scanlon
Director of Mission


 

Junior Mercy 6 Day

On 3 June, student representatives from Our Lady of Mercy College took part in a Mercy 6 Junior Leadership day. The day explored themes of Eco-Justice where students reflected upon the current challenges they faced in their school environment. 

'The best part of the workshop was being able to meet with students from other schools and hear their views and initiatives for dealing with the environment.  I liked hearing about the waste audit and the vegetable gardens other schools had created.' (Charlotte Edwards) 

'My favourite part was interacting with other schools and discussing how we can be stewards of Eco-Justice. I enjoyed looking at the interrelation between religious ethics and environmental stewardship and reflecting on how we could develop initiatives to benefit the school community.' (Katherine Baker) 

'I liked the design challenge activity where we had to redesign an existing item that was less Eco‚Äč-friendly. It taught us how to be careful about what we consume in society. This taught me to think about the sustainability of product choices. I enjoyed designing a new Eco-friendly package for Caramello Koalas.' (Mikayala Simpson) 

Overall, it was a great day and we cannot wait to continue serving the broader community through engaging school initiatives!

Ms Julia Plummer
Social Justice Coordinator

 

 


Brianna El-Bayeh

What is your Leadership Portfolio?

Doyle House Leader

What are the key responsibilities of your Portfolio?

Working closely with the other Doyle House Leader and our Mentor, Ms McNulty in leading the Doyle House.

What is your vision as Leader of this Portfolio in 2019/2020?

My vision as Doyle House Leader of 2019/2020, is to work collaboratively and strive to lead Doyle with lots of love, compassion and enthusiasm. My key goal is to boost the spirit within Doyle through introducing activities which encourage the students to work collaboratively with each other. Overall, my vision for Doyle House is for all the girls to grow together as a sisterhood and to form relationships and bonds that will last a lifetime!

 

 

 


Music and Dance

The Music Centre is once again alive with the sound of music! There is much energy and enthusiasm as all of our budding musicians have returned. The dulcet tones of groups starting to rehearse and performing classes are filling the air. '5, 6, 7, 8…' is once again being chanted as students break into dance routines that they have been working on at home, and which they are finally able to showcase to their teachers and peers. Students have shown how music and dance can bring our community together and raise the spirits of all who participate through watching and listening to our talented performers.

The Year 12 Dance and Music classes have continued to refine their performances and compositions throughout the Continuous Learning Program. The Music faculty, and indeed the College, are so proud of how they rose to the challenges they faced while off-site, showing resilience and self-discipline in maintaining their practice regimes. With the introduction of some modifications to the HSC requirements this year in both Music and Dance, the students have been very flexible in managing and adapting to the implications of these changes in a dignified and positive manner. In doing so, they are wonderful role models for the younger members of the College.

Our Year 11 students have been excited to come back to see each other and engage in some ensemble performance work that does not have the 'zoom delay'. The musicians have been performing and analysing music from the gaming world and put together some impressive covers of the Super Mario Bros. theme.  Dancers have been watching the work Sweet Dreams by Jiri Kylian, which has prompted engaging discussions in the dance studio around this work that takes an ironic look into the complex world of the human subconscious.

Through the topic of Music for Radio and TV, Year 9 and 10 students engaged in the Continuous Learning Program where they worked towards developing a performance and engaging in experimental practice techniques. Students reviewed the psychology of different practice techniques through researching musical child prodigies. This week, students have held an in-class concert to showcase and peer review their performances. Some students had even written their own music for a film! These were debuted in front of the class and will be recorded later in the term for a class album.

Year 8 students have delved into the interesting world of Film music. During this unit, we explored and analysed music from blockbusters such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park. The students were excited to showcase the musical talents they had developed on virtual keyboards during their online learning experience.

Year 7 have been consolidating their learning this week and refining their understanding of musical notation. They have been most excited to bring their own cup to class to demonstrate their rhythmic prowess. We were amazed by how creative the girls could be when creating different sounds from a humble plastic cup! The music staff wishes to apologise to those parents who had to listen to us demonstrate our cup rhythms last week in our zoom lessons!

Mrs Sharon Eldridge
Leader of Learning Music and Dance

 

 

 

 

 

 

VET/Careers

Careers with STEM

At Careers with STEM, the team believes that everyone should have equal access to build a better future. Many of tomorrow’s careers will combine STEM skills with other areas. They call it ‘STEM + X’. Like Technology + Fashion =  3D printed clothes. Maths + Sport = footy statisticians. The Careers with STEM hub includes a quarterly magazine, posters, videos, events, webinars, teacher PD, quizzes and website to help young people discover the careers of tomorrow.

In a recent article, '15 jobs that don’t exist… yet', writer Cassie Steel considers what a job search may look like in 2050? No one knows, but one report from the World Economic Forum suggests 65% of primary school-aged kids will end up in yet-to-be-created careers. So, Careers with STEM looked into their digital crystal ball and came up with 15 jobs that might be advertised in 30+ years. And yes, all of them require STEM skills! Read the article here!

 

 

 

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From the Counsellors

Resources for Parents of Teen Girls

In this age of technology, there is a multitude of resources at our fingertips to help us navigate our way through parenting our adolescents. However, all this information can be overwhelming and often contradictory and leave us wondering where to find good sources of information. Here is a list of resources which may help:

https://www.cybersafetysolutions.com.au/ - Information for parents, schools, clubs and businesses on how to ensure they can help children stay safe online.

https://www.esafety.gov.au/ - A government website that provides resources, including free webinars, on a range of cybersafety issues facing anyone using technology.

https://raisingchildren.net.au/ - A hub of information for parents to cover the spectrum of developmental issues, communication, behaviour, relationships and wellbeing from newborn to adulthood.

https://psychology.org.au - If you need to find a psychologist in your local area or who specialises in a specific concern, this website can filter the results for your specific search.

https://thefatheringproject.org/ - A resource specifically designed for Dads and father figures to help them engage with their children.

https://butterfly.org.au/ - A resource to help promote a healthy body image and address eating disorders.

https://www.parentingideas.com.au/ - Resources for parents and schools including articles, videos, book recommendations, webinars, and parenting courses.

https://www.happyfamilies.com.au/ - A resource designed to enhance family relationships. Access to webinars, online programs, e-books and articles.

Mrs Sandra Portela
Senior College Counsellor


Sport

Sport and physical activity restrictions are starting to be eased by the government, however, it will take time before these can be fully resumed. 

On Canvas in the MyOLMC Information Gateway you will find the MyOLMC Sport page where there is a list of all OLMC sports. This list will be updated upon confirmation of a sport being cancelled, postponed or going ahead.

 

There is also a link to a list of online resources for specific sports training drills you can do at home. You may like to undertake some of this training in preparation for sports returning.

Eastwood Ryde Netball Association should be restarting their 10 round Saturday Netball competition on 18 July with netball training starting this week. Email confirmations of the training schedule for Term 2 have been sent to all students involved. A new draw will be published as soon as it is finalised.

We all hope you and your families continue to stay safe and healthy.

Mr Stuart Guthrie
Sports Coordinator

 


We have a number of items that are out of stock due to issues with sourcing from overseas.

Blazers – New fabric has been milled in China and sent to India for manufacture. Unfortunately, the factory remains in lockdown. We had been given a date of late August for delivery. This has been delayed further due to the reduction in flights. If your daughter does not have a blazer she can wear her school jumper with the sports jacket.

Tights – We have a delivery expected during the week of Monday, 18 May.  In the interim, you may be able to source tights at Myer, David Jones or other online stores.

Product Description: Kayser Ink Navy Opaque tight 70 Denier Appearance

Scarves – The school scarves are made in Lima Peru, which contributes a sustainable income to a group of women in one of the poorest districts, San Martin de Porres. Unfortunately, we are unable to source the scarves at this time. The girls will be permitted to wear a plain navy scarf in the interim.

Winter Uniform – If you do not have your full winter uniform please contact the Uniform Shop and make an appointment to have your fitting.

Old Uniform – If your daughter is currently wearing the old uniform there are still some items in stock if needed. Please contact the uniform shop.

Netball Uniform – Certain sizes in the netball uniform are not available. If your daughter is participating in netball this season starting 18 July, please come into the shop for a fitting as soon as possible so the correct size can be ordered or purchased if in stock. 

The Uniform Shop is open every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 8.00am to 9.30am (school days only). In busier periods such as changes in seasons, the shop opens on additional days. To ensure social distancing takes place, there will be a limit of one family in the store at any one time.

Purchases can also be made via our online uniform shop https://www.olmc.nsw.edu.au/enrolments/uniform-shop/

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

 


The Mercy Music and Performance Academy Co-curricular Ensembles

During Term 2 at The Academy, students have been invited to be involved in small Music Ensembles from either the Junior School (7-9) or Senior School. We have created a Junior and Senior (socially distanced) Choir, as well as various groups of String, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion players. Each of these groups are preparing a piece to record during Weeks 7 and 8, in preparation for a ‘virtual’ performance in Week 9.

A big thanks to all the girls for their willingness to be involved in this project.

We look forward to seeing the results of their hard work over the term.

OLMC Community Business Directory

One of the ways that we can support each other at this time is to access goods and services in our OLMC community. We understand that many businesses may have been impacted heavily by the pandemic. Therefore, we have established an OLMC Community Business Directory that provides an opportunity for members of the OLMC community to promote their small business and assist in connecting all our members in supporting those businesses now and in the future as they return to normal trading.

If you are interested in adding your small business to the Directory, please click here to complete an Application form. If you have any questions, please contact the College Development Officer, Mrs Susan Giacomelli susan.giacomelli@olmc.nsw.edu.au