Edition 1 | 09 February 2024
Judith Weir

Welcome back to all OLMC families, students and staff. Welcome to all our Year 7 students, new students in Year 8 to 12 and new staff who have joined us this year. We have had a wonderful start to the year, albeit a very busy one.

On Thursday 1 February, we welcomed the Year 7 and Year 12 students – one year level beginning their journey at OLMC and another looking to how they can make the most of their last year. On Friday 2 February, the school year began in full.

Today we had the privilege of celebrating the outstanding academic performances of the Year 12 Class of 2023. It was a joy to welcome back students and their families and to share, as a community, the success that has come from long hours of hard work and dedication. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the extensive and ongoing support provided to all our students by our dedicated teaching staff. Of course, the support of their families was key for all our students in achieving success. The dedication and commitment to their studies, including meeting challenges along the way, has been exemplary.

We also celebrated and congratulated Ella Campbell and Charlotte Cumming, who have been selected to exhibit their VCE Media print works in Top Designs 2024 at the Melbourne Museum.

Top Designs is an annual exhibition coordinated by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) in partnership with Museums Victoria, showcasing outstanding design works made by VCE and VCE VET students from schools across the state. This year, only 92 works were selected for the exhibition from over 1,000 applications. Selected works exemplify the innovation, skill and creativity that can be achieved within the Victorian Curriculum. Top Designs will run from Saturday 23 March until Sunday 14 July at the Melbourne Museum.

We also acknowledged and congratulated Ruby Mackay, who has been selected to perform a Drama solo, Eliza Emily Donnithorne, at Top Class Drama 2024 at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Top Class is an annual concert series coordinated by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) showcasing outstanding performances by VCE and VCE VET students from schools across the state. This year, 102 top performing students were invited to audition for Top Class Drama, and only 25 students were selected to perform. Selected performers exemplify the skill and creativity that can be achieved within the VCE Curriculum. Top Class Drama takes place at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Friday 19 April 2024 at 10:00am and 6:00pm, and Monday 22 April at 2:00pm.

This week we also welcomed our Year 7 parents at an Information Night, what we hope is the first of many opportunities to share in our partnership at OLMC. Our Year 10 parents joined us on Thursday evening where the focus was on supporting students as they begin their final years. We look forward to welcoming our Year 8 and 9 families next week. The information nights are designed to help us connect with families and to establish our partnership in supporting our students to flourish. In addition to sharing important information, the nights are also a time to connect with other parents and to meet staff who are key in the lives of your child this year. Thank you to all who joined us for the evenings.

We are looking forward to a wonderful 2024, supporting our students to thrive and building relationships and partnerships for learning.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

This year, our Student Leadership Team have chosen from Scripture our 2024 College theme: ’Varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 12:4

Part of their hope this year is to rebuild connection by articulating and inviting all into our common life in Mercy. It challenges us to live our Mercy heritage, welcoming all and actively seeking the gifts in others and, importantly, in ourselves. It empowers us to unite these gifts for a common purpose, to care for the brokenness, and to open our lives to the needs of others, especially those suffering. Catherine McAuley challenges us to put our whole confidence in God so that we can be and share Mercy with others.

So we pray…

God of Compassion and Mercy, source of compassion and love;
Inspire us to live the Gospel call to care for those who are most vulnerable.
Kindle in us a fire for justice poured out on our world.
May we be like Catherine McAuley in our faith, our love and our hope.


Thompson, C. (2022) Be as Shining Lamps: Preserving, Nurturing, Reimagining the Mercy Charism. Mercy Partners, pp. 65.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Next Wednesday 14 February we begin the holy and sacred time of Lent, where we are invited to prepare with Jesus his journey to Jerusalem. Our tradition calls us to focus in several ways:

  1. To create space and time to pray to and with God. (Prayer)
  2. To look for ways to support others, especially those in the greatest need. (Almsgiving)
  3. To focus inwardly so as to allow God to be the centre of our lives. (Fasting and Abstinence)

On Ash Wednesday, all students and staff will celebrate Mass together. As part of our tradition, no meat will be served in the canteen that day.

May our Lenten journey with Christ help us and our world.

OLMC was invited to participate in the Sony Star Camp in 2023, along with Xavier, Genazzano, St Kevin's and Loreto.

The Sony Star Camp provides a fun experience for children with an intellectual or physical disability and some well-deserved respite for their parents.

In December, a group of extremely generous Year 11 and 12 students gave up their precious Summer holidays to attend training days and the two day camp at Xavier College Senior Boarding House in Kew.

The activities included a jumping castle, silent disco, magic show, cinema session, sport, arts and craft and culminated with a visit from Santa and presents for the children.

The students were supervised by a team of equally generous staff members over many days.

A heartfelt thank you to all the students and staff involved.

Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinator

‘Varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 12:4

Our chosen scriptural theme for this year impels us to unite our individual gifts for a common purpose, to open our lives to the needs of others, following Catherine McAuley’s example to be and share Mercy with others.

Social Justice at OLMC is a central part of the College Mission and our staff and students strive to live Mercy in all parts of their lives.

Exodus Community Dinners

Our Exodus Dinners have started up again for 2024, with the first dinner hosted by generous OLMC staff who gave up their time to plan, shop, prep, cook, serve and enjoy a delicious meal with our friends in the Exodus Community of West Heidelberg. From Thursday 22 February, we will invite Year 9, 11 and 12 students to volunteer at these dinners which they will share every fortnight with 30 guests from this community.

St Pius Reading Club

From mid-Term 1, we will return to St Pius X Primary School with a group of enthusiastic Year 10s for the Reading Club, facilitated by St Vincent de Paul. Ten students will travel each week after school on Tuesday afternoons to read with children and inspire a love of reading and learning.

Exodus Community Bread Run

An initiative that OLMC joined in 2022, the ‘Bread Run’ will run from next week, one Wednesday per month with Year 8 and Year 11 students supplying food to those in need in the community.

Social Justice Club

Our Social Justice Club will resume during lunchtime in the Chapel each week. We hope to welcome many Junior students, especially Year 7s, looking to make new friends, get involved and connect to the greater purpose of our Mercy mission.

Horizon - Altruism Hour

As part of the Horizon Program at Year 9, one lesson each Wednesday afternoon is dedicated to ‘Altruism Hour’, encouraging students to think beyond themselves and to connect more deeply with Mercy and the needs of people in our community. This term, the Horizon students will focus on supporting the Eco Justice programs at the College, including the organisation of Eco Justice Day.

We look forward to walking alongside our students to extend hospitality and care to all in our community in 2024.

Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinator

Andrew Gibson
Curriculum Coordinator

At the College we work with Elevate Education, who provide tips and strategies for our Senior students regarding exam preparation, time management in the Senior years, as well as revision tips and motivation. On Thursday 1 February our Year 12 students had a session with Elevate regarding time management, and left the workshop with a range of strategies to be effective in using their time, whilst having a balanced Year 12.

Elevate Education also provide parents and guardians with access to online webinars. There are four being run this term and you do not need to have a student doing VCE to attend.

The first live webinar is on Wednesday 14 February, from 6.30 pm - 7.30 pm. The focus is on how to get (and keep) your child motivated.

At this webinar Elevate will be covering:

  • Using praise and reassurance to motivate your child
  • Setting relevant and effective goals for your child
  • Helping your child to stay motivated long-term.

Further webinars this term include:

How You Can Help Your Child Manage Their Time

Wednesday 28 February - 6:30 pm

How You Can Make Technology an Ally (& Not the Enemy!)

Wednesday 13 March – 6.30 pm

How You Can Help Improve Your Child's Memory

Wednesday 27 March – 6.30 pm

If you are interested in attending one or more of these webinars, then please register via the link: School Webinars

Andrew Gibson
Curriculum Coordinator

It has been very rewarding for the teachers in the English Learning Area to meet their new classes and teachers have already spoken very encouragingly about the level of effort and engagement evident in their classes. We are very fortunate to have some new teachers joining the English Learning Area this year and we would like to welcome Ms Alison Prince, Ms Marie Spyros and Mr William Balme to the team.

It is timely to remember that English is unique in that all students are required to study an English subject from Year 7 until Year 12. The study of English has many benefits. It helps students to understand the world and their place in it and develops their analytical and critical thinking skills. Studying English helps students to consider issues beyond the surface level and encourages them to explore ideas from multiple perspectives.

In English, students consider big questions and explore texts that reflect a wide range of human experiences. It allows them to enter multiple worlds; to reflect on contemporary issues whilst also allowing them to learn about the past and how ideas and attitudes have changed over time.

English gives students a lens into the world of the writer and they explore texts from a range of eras and text types: novels, plays, short stories and poetry, print and visual media. Across the year levels, students are exploring a diverse range of literature: the poetry of William Wordsworth, Picnic at Hanging Rock, A Doll’s House, Antigone, a range of other traditional and contemporary poetry, The Sleeper and the Spindle – a graphic novel, short stories, Frankenstein the play and Friday Barnes: Girl Detective. As the year progresses, English students will use their imagination in the creation of their own responses. They will engage in local and global issues and discuss ideas with others and learn about the way that language is used. In Year 10, students will learn about the differences between the English VCE subjects – English, Literature and English Language - so that they make the most appropriate choices when selecting VCE English subjects.

We encourage parents and carers to read and share discussions and challenges associated with the texts, creative writing and media issues that students will be studying this year. We hope that you will find them enriching and thought-provoking.

Anne Morrison
English Learning Area Leader

After-School Creative Career Skill Experiences at Banyule and Nillumbik Tech School

Banyule and Nillumbik Tech School operates a variety of programs and experiences for Primary and Secondary school-aged young people in the region. Based out of the Civic Drive, Greensborough campus of Melbourne Polytechnic, the after-school clubs are a great opportunity for students to meet other like-minded people and collaborate while learning important industry skills. All programs are run on-site at Banyule Nillumbik Tech School and are entirely facilitated by tech school staff.

One such program is the 'Schools on Air Radio Broadcasting'. Schools on Air runs from 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm every Monday afternoon. Students will learn the ins and outs of live radio recording and will work in groups to design and record a radio show in the state-of-the-art podcast studio. These radio segment recordings will go live on Syn Radio 90.7. Students will cover a range of topics including media law, how to create engaging radio content, improvised public speaking, the technical side of recording and will have an opportunity to act as producer for the radio show. Parents can sign their children up using the link provided below. Please note that students may not register themselves.

Cost - $10 per session, $80 per term

Schools On Air Registration

Please visit the Banyule Nillumbik Tech School website for information regarding other after school programs:

After School Clubs - Banyule Nillumbik Tech School

Melinda Williams

At the beginning of each school year, we welcome our new Year 7 students into one of the four Houses - Carmel, Loreto, McAuley and Mercy. On Friday 2 February, the House Captains and House Coordinators presented our new Year 7 students with their House T-shirt in preparation for whole school carnivals and other exciting events.

Our House system allows for students to connect across year levels by providing opportunities to work together and build relationships through a range of House events including House Swimming, Debating, Athletics and Arts. Not only does the House system provide a little bit of healthy competition across an array of College events, but it also gives our students a supportive place where they belong throughout the duration of their time at OLMC.

We were very honoured and excited to welcome the new Year 7s into our Houses, and we hope they take advantage of the wonderful co-curricular opportunities on offer at OLMC. We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to step outside of your comfort zone, but always remember that there is much reward in representing your House and building lasting connections with peers.

Jemma Banfield
Carmel House Coordinator

Hayley Gamble Curran
Loreto House Coordinator

Kathryn Williams
McAuley House Coordinator

Cyvonne Scarica
Mercy House Coordinator

Welcome back! We hope everyone had a restful break and is ready to start the new year. As your College Captains for 2024 we are so excited to see everyone back together as a community. The year is kicking off with a bang as the Swimming Carnival is right around the corner. So, get your House spirit and T-shirts ready! As our chosen theme is ‘Varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit’, we are really looking forward to seeing everyone showing up and sharing the unique gifts we know you all have and coming together in one OLMC spirit.

We would like to remind all students that selection of the SRC team and Year 9 House Vice Captains has begun and we hope you have submitted your nominations. We cannot wait to formally recognise the amazing student voice throughout our school community! There will be more leadership opportunities such as Class Captain and Peer Support to be announced in the coming weeks. The Student Leadership team is busy working hard behind the scenes to launch our 2024 leadership website, help organise House assemblies and some other exciting initiatives we can’t wait to share with you.

We hope you are all transitioning back into this year and we are so excited to lead with compassion and seek justice. Have the courage to put yourself out there this year and find joy!

Jessica B & Nathasha J
College Captains

Please join us for the

2024 International Women’s Day Breakfast

Friday 8 March

7.30 am – 8.45 am

Heagerty Room, Yarra Street

We come together to celebrate women in our community who actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions and help create a more gender equal world by inspiring inclusion.

Our breakfast will be a morning full of lively conversations and delicious food.

#InspireInclusion and forge a more inclusive world for women

We welcome Christabelle Adjoyan (Class of 2003) as our guest speaker.

Christabelle is a Director at mRNA Victoria, a government agency leading the development and supply of mRNA based vaccines for future pandemics and treatment for conditions like heart disease, cancer and rare genetic disorders. She has previously led significant policy reforms within government including public health policy and communications, health service planning and community engagement. In 2021, she received an IPAA Top 50 Public Sector Women Award. Christabelle is passionate about promoting gender equity for women and girls, as well as greater equity in health and social outcomes.

Tickets - $25 Adult, $10 Student

Please go to: 2024 International Women's Day Breakfast

Bookings close Thursday 7 March.

By attending you will be supporting the work of McAuley for Women and Children in providing much needed support for women and their children who are escaping family violence.

Enquiries: Marie Jenkins T: 9459 2511 E: mjenkins@olmc.vic.edu.au

Marie Jenkins
Community Development Coordinator

OLMC College Tours

Bookings for 2024 Tours are now open.

Prospective families are invited on a tour of the OLMC facilities followed by an information session with Principal Judith Weir, Transition Coordinator Rowena Thomson and two students.


Follow the official Our Lady of Mercy College accounts on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We’ll be sharing regular news, student achievements and stories from around the College.