“Now I am revealing new things to you created just now this very moment” (Isaiah 48:6-16)

Judith Weir

This was our theme this year. We chose this because it spoke to all that we had learned from 2020 and all that we felt we would learn in 2021. It filled us with hope for the awe we could feel from all that we could learn that was new. Many new things have been revealed this year; we have been shown the depths of our strength and the fragility of life. We have been shown our resilience, community spirit and ability to “rise by lifting others” to quote our Year 12 leaders.

This is our last newsletter for the year; a year filled with triumphs and challenges that were unexpected. Students will once again receive the school magazine which has chronicled the successes in many different aspects of College life including those achieved during remote learning. Congratulations to the Communications Leaders and the Magazine Committee on an outstanding publication.

Earlier today we held our final liturgy and assembly with all students. It was an opportunity to recognise students who have achieved excellence in an aspect of school life whether that be in their studies, social justice, sport, music, public speaking or leadership. Congratulations to all who were the recipients of an award.

During the assembly I was privileged to have the opportunity to address the students. I would like to share an excerpt of that speech with you. Michelle Obama is quoted as saying:

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

Hope can take on a life of its own. We have certainly faced many moments of discomfort over the last two years but we have much to be hopeful for. Our hope can grow in the hearts of those around us as we look forward to our return next year to new challenges and opportunities. The chance to challenge ourselves to reach new heights and take on more, knowing that the hope in our hearts will spur us forward. We have the chance to pursue excellence in new ways and new places because of all that we have learnt over the last two years. We have developed new skills and knowledge and they have opened up new possibilities for our futures. They have filled us with hope for the new chances that might now come our way. The biggest chance we have right now is to share and allow our hope to be contagious with our friends, our families and our community.

My hope for all of you is that you enjoy a wonderful break sharing in all the joy of Christmas and that you return in 2022 filled with hope for your year and all that you want to achieve.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents, students and our staff. Many aspects of this year were unexpected and we continued to be challenged by a regularly changing landscape. However, there were so many wonderful moments of engagement with families, amongst students and staff. Catherine McAuley once said “We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” In so many ways we have seen our families, students and staff offer moments of light to others, whether that be in the support of special events, fundraising activities, attending parent teacher student interviews or doing your very best. It is a great credit to the strength of the OLMC community that we have continued to thrive.

Our students shone in so many ways and showed great resilience and determination throughout the year. We continue to be proud of our students and our community. I continue to believe that Catherine McAuley would look upon our work with pride and joy knowing that we kept our faith, continued to support the vulnerable and persevered through difficult times.

We say farewell and thank you to a number of staff for their dedicated support of our students in a variety of roles:

Naho Hamanaka will be leaving OLMC after 18 years of dedicated service. Many of our students have developed a love of Japanese because of the work of Naho. She has been a committed and dedicated teacher and a wonderful community member. Naho has shown care and support for staff and students. We wish Naho all the very best in her new role at Presbyterian Ladies College.

Kelly Bregantic has been a member of staff for 10 years and is leaving us to take on new roles. Kelly has been a teacher and Careers Coordinator whose dedication and commitment to our students has been truly valued. As Careers Coordinator she was always available to students and worked to ensure that they were well equipped to make choices about the future pathways. We wish Kelly all the very best in her new role.

Charlie Dyring will be leaving OLMC after 7 years of committed service to take up a role as Head of Media at Bialik College. Charlie has unlocked the creativity of so many students as they work with him in Media, Digi Tech and English. He is a committed and dedicated teacher who works to bring out the best in his students. We wish him all the very best in his new role.

Brighid Kelly has been with us for three years and has over the last two years been part of our Horizon Team. Brighid has been a wonderful member of the team and has provided so many students the chance to engage in opportunities to really test and challenge themselves. Her commitment to students and dedication to supporting the Horizon program has been wonderful. We wish her all the very best in her new role as she travels to Western Australia.

Virginia Boyce is one of our school nurses. She is always ready with a smile, a chat and most of all a supportive environment whenever our students present to sickbay. She has made a great contribution to the development and refining of our systems and supports to ensure that we can do the very best for our students. Virginia is beginning a new phase in her life as she retires. We wish her all the very best for her new adventure.

Emma Fraser will be taking up a position at Lauriston, Howqua Campus next year. Emma has been with us for two years. To begin your time in a school during a pandemic is challenging and in so many ways Emma rose to it. Emma has contributed to OLMC in so many ways beyond her classroom. We wish her all the very best in her new role.

William Balme has been with us for two years and has also spent most of his time with us during a pandemic. This year he also took on a leadership role in our Social Justice Team. His commitment to our students and focus on helping them to reach out to the vulnerable or advocate and articulate for those whose voice is a whisper has been wonderful. William is taking up a role at Lauriston, Howqua Campus and we wish him all the very best.

Bridget Cowin has been with us for two years and is leaving to take up a role at Melbourne Girls Grammar. Bridget is a committed and dedicated teacher who has brought a great deal to the Health and PE department. She has supported students both within and beyond the classroom and provided them with opportunities to excel. We wish her all the very best in her new role.

Benita Bowles joined us this year as part of our Tutoring Program and also took on some classes. Benita returned to OLMC and it was wonderful to welcome her back. Her support and dedication for our students was yet again evident in all that she undertook. We wish her all the very best in her new role.

Eva Natsis joined us this year in a replacement role and will be taking up a new position at Overnewton College next year. Eva is a committed teacher and very quickly fitted in at OLMC. She has been a wonderful contributor to so many different aspects of life at OLMC. We wish her all the very best in her new role.

Although leaving us, all will continue to be valued members and friends of the OLMC community. We have been blessed by their presence and hope that their next journey will be rewarding.

Staff on Leave
Suzie Bradmore and Fran Di Biase will both be on leave for 2022. We wish them all the very best as they take time to renew and explore new adventures. We look forward to welcoming them back in 2023.

Welcoming in 2022
Jonathon Broughton- Science Teacher
Lucy Davies – Science Teacher
Jeremy Guzman – Media Studies and Digi Tech teacher
Maria Kyriakides – Humanities Teacher
Lara Tierney – Health and PE Teacher

Welcome Back
Grace Austin and Madeleine Omizzolo will be returning from parental leave.

College Office
The College Office will close 4.00pm Friday 17 December and will re-open on Monday 17 January, 2022.

Important Dates for 2022
The following is a list of important dates for all families to be aware of in preparing for 2022.

17 January College Office re-opens
28 January All staff return
1 February Year 7 and 12 students return
2 February All students return

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very joyous Christmas with family and friends. May this time be one of peace. May you find hope in the promise of Christmas and joy in being with family and friends. I hope that this Christmas we can find space to give thanks for the chances to be together and appreciate each other. I hope you are able to rest and relax readying yourself for the New Year.