Edition 14 | 15 September 2023
Judith Weir

Yesterday we celebrated Mercy Day, one of the most significant days in our calendar. Not only do we celebrate the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley, we raise funds to support Mercy Works. In the spirit of our theme this year, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ the students have selected to support the Mercy Works focus on First Nations communities. Catherine McAuley has been quoted as saying ‘Never command anything which you yourself have not practised.’ If we wish to be treated with respect and compassion, we must show that to others. At OLMC we are empowered together to be Mercy people and this privilege means that we are called to think about our neighbours both near and far.

Mercy Day was a wonderful celebration of all that it means to be part of the OLMC community. Mass was a beautiful celebration and the Choir led us so expertly. The stalls, disco, games and food were all fantastic, as was the participation of the students. The Student Leaders are to be commended for all their hard work leading up to and during the day. There are moments in the life of a Principal when you are filled with pride in the community - Mercy Day is one of those moments. It was enriching to see our students engaged wholeheartedly in the day, taking every opportunity to have fun and celebrate our community.

On Wednesday evening we celebrated the skills and talents of our sporting teams with the 2023 Celebration of Sport Evening. Jess Fitzgerald from the Western Bulldogs AFLW team was our special guest. She was inspirational, sharing so many pearls of wisdom that she has learnt about herself through her school and sport journey. Our students have participated in GSV, other organised external sporting competitions and House-based sporting activities in very strong numbers. It was a privilege to be part of the evening recognising the grit, determination, commitment and skill of all who have represented themselves and our school so admirably. Congratulations to all who received an award.

This is our last Newsletter for the term. For our Senior students this is the beginning of the most challenging part of their year. As we go into the break our Year 12 students are beginning their exam preparations and we wish them all the very best. Trial exams will take place at OLMC during the break for all students undertaking a Units 3 and 4 study.

As the wonderful warm weather of Spring is upon us, we wish all at OLMC a wonderful break and a chance to enjoy the sunshine.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Yesterday we celebrated Mercy Day, when we stand in unity with Mercy people around the world looking to Mary, our Mother and Woman of Mercy, calling each of us to live the Gospel with Justice, Compassion, Courage and Joy.

Mercy Day celebrates the opening of Catherine McAuley’s House of Mercy in Baggot Street, Dublin in 1827 - when she placed this ministry under the patronage of Mary, Our Lady of Mercy. Read more about Catherine McAuley.

We are called to give thanks to God for all our blessings and to be and live Mercy for others ‘to keep alive the founding spirit of Catherine among peoples of the world most in need of God’s compassion and mercy.’ Read the Mercy International Association Vision Statement.

Let us reflect upon the Gospel (Matthew 25) from our Mass yesterday:

For I was hungry, and you gave me food,
I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger, and you welcomed me,
I was naked, and you gave me clothing,
I was sick, and you took care of me,
I was in prison, and you visited me.

Then the righteous will answer him,
‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food
or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you
or naked and gave you clothing?
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’

And the king will answer them,
‘Truly I tell you,
just as you did it to one of the least
of these brothers and sisters of mine,
You did it to me.’

Happy Mercy Day!

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Last week, Year 12 students were invited to gather and explore issues around the Referendum. The session presented by Uncle Charles Pakana gave insights into both the Yes and No positions, allowing our students to consider all the information and make their own decisions. Here is a student reflection:

‘The Referendum Yarn was an insightful experience that really deepened my understanding of what the First Nations Voice to Parliament Referendum means and how it would impact Indigenous Australians. Uncle Charles was well-informed and provided detailed information, which should ultimately assist all of us in our votes. The experience was invaluable, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to listen and learn from someone who has a sound understanding of not only the impact but also the importance of this Referendum. Furthermore, being able to ask questions was a great chance to gain more knowledge on the topic and encourage us to consider the reliability of our sources of information. I’m so thankful to be a part of this discussion.’ Ella P (12MMWI)

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

There is already much commentary around Referendum fatigue. As a Catholic School, in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, we wanted to share some information with our community.

OLMC respects the divided opinions of First Nations people. This is a challenging time with much debate, some information and misinformation and even death threats in some First Nation communities of differing views.

Our response is:

  1. To encourage research, discernment and prayer
  2. Explore what certain bodies are saying and why, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous
  3. Compare both sides of the argument.

Below are some useful links if you are seeking some information:

  1. ISMAPNG - 7 June 2023
  2. ACBC Statement - 11 May 2023
  3. Listen, Learn, Love - 27 August 2023 (ACBC Social Justice statement)
  4. An article by Fr Frank Brennan, a Jesuit, lawyer and academic - 1 September 2023

We pray that whatever the outcome, reconciliation and healing are front and centre of all we are doing.

Dear Lord
We invite all Australians to join us, their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Brothers and Sisters in prayer.
We pray for a bright and just shared future for all who call Australia home.
We ask that Your grace of acceptance and compassion will guide us.
Let the Creator Spirit lead our journey with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of this land.
May we share Your Spirit more deeply; celebrate the gifts You have given us.
Help us appreciate true harmony and peace just as our Old People did;
Keep us strong, make us resilient and remember us in this time.
Now is an opportunity to change our Nation’s history for the better.
Walk with us as we write a new chapter together and may we be one in Your love.

© NATSICC 2023

On Thursday 14 September we are celebrated Mercy Day. Following Mass in the Nalleijerring Centre, both students and staff enjoyed delicious food, engaging games and a diverse array of stalls and activities.

All funds raised will be donated to various Mercy Works Indigenous projects in support of First Nations people. If you would like to make a donation, please visit the Mercy Works website.

Did you know that 20 Year 11s, a few Year 10s and many staff members are giving up three days of their school holidays to lead Camp Heide again this year?

Camp Heide is a program run by OLMC annually in September, hosting 20 primary school children from the Exodus Community who may not otherwise have an opportunity to attend a holiday program this year.

Highlights for all will include a visit by the Reptile Zoo, Ruccis Circus Skills, portrait painting, sport and dance activities and lots of time to play and get to know their high school buddies.

Thank you to all the staff, students and families involved in this wonderful program.

Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinator

Bernadette Merceica

Term 3 is a busy one around the school, so National Science Week competes with a range of activities. This year, to make sure we had activities that matched student interests, we invited students from Year 9 and 10 to form a Science Festival organising committee. We came up with a plan for a single day of activities starting with an Innovative Thinking Challenge about the residents of a faraway planet called Zeitgeist where an average family has twenty children and Zeitgeistians have ten hands. MECO were winners for their innovative rules for family teams of Matball and for a harmony musical festival which was played on intricately woven strings held between the many hands.

Our recess activity was an innovative STEM Careers Walk prepared by the festival committee. It had over 120 visitors - although, some might just have come for the science-themed cookies.

Lunch activities were designed to immerse students in the theme for Science Week 2023 – Innovation Powering the Future. In the innovation lab, there were robots and VR examples to view and four thinking activities, plus a Psychology Quiz and showing of First Weapons.

Students voted vaccines as the most important innovation in history – followed by the phone, the wheel and the lightbulb. Students were asked about what should be protected most while innovation happens and the most common answers were people, the planet and nature or biodiversity.

They were asked to weigh in to the debate about the use of AI in assignment tasks with 39% of students feeling that they shouldn’t be allowed to use AI to write assignments. One student said, ’School is for learning not for short cuts’. Some students weren’t sure but the majority did feel AI should be used for assignment work saying it could be helpful to prepare outlines, get ideas, extend ideas and get work done. One student said, ‘It gives good explanations’ and another said, ‘It is fine to use for bits and pieces.’ Special thanks to our 2023 organising committee including Bianca, Heidi and Hannah.

Dr Susan Long
Science Learning Leader

This year, we once again had an enthusiastic group of students participate in the Write a Book in a Day Competition. This event requires teams to produce a multi-chapter story within one school day using a range of prompts and criteria. This event is always a challenge as students need to ensure that the characters’ voices are consistent throughout the story, despite people working on different chapters. It is a great test of their creative writing skills and a day full of excitement. We wish each of the three teams all the best for the judging process which is currently underway.

More information about the event can be found on the Write a Book in a Day website.

Students who are keen to do more creative writing should come along to the Creative Writing Club at lunchtime on Tuesdays in the Learning Commons.

Anna Apfelstedt
Learning Commons Coordinator

Cyclone at the Disco - Caitlyn A, Katelyn D, Sophie F, Sarah G, Ella P, Keira L.

Charli hates social events. Truly, with a passion. This end of school disco is going to be a waste of time. She wouldn’t be going if it wasn’t for Jessie. What are big sisters for anyway? Standing in front of the mirror, she picks up her makeup sponge and dabs a little foundation on her nose. She chose to wear a dark, a-line dress to match her eyes, her ruby red hightops match her lipstick. There is no way she was going near heels.

The Ruby’s Rebellion - Louise B, Alexandra C, Sienna C, Netanya D, Olivia J, Charlotte M, Isla R and Erica W, Marissa E and Sienna M.

'Uh oh', I thought as I looked at the over-packed bag. The boat leaves in an hour, and I can't even close my bag yet. I decide to take out the purple jumper and my Grandma's ruby necklace, leaving them on my dresser. 'Ok, this miiiight work.' The lid of my suitcase is one centimetre from closing. 'Come onnnn!

Cyclones, Sponges & Soulmates - Amelia B, Lucy Kerr, Hannah K, Isabella L, Zarah L, Lacey, Sophie P, Georgia R, Winnie Q and Leia S.

I’ve always had a fond sense of nature. When my sight fails me, I find solace in the outdoors along with my other senses. The smell of fresh air, and the soft cooing of the birds. The sound of gum trees ruffling along the cool breeze. The magpies, the cockatoos and the galahs have always been some of my favourites.

This term, two Year 9 classes experienced the Horizon program for the first time, participating in many new ways of learning. These included investigating and planning possible careers, going into the city each week to build our independence, and working together to develop good communication and teamwork skills.

Through this program we had to complete many assessments regarding social issues and problems seen throughout the world globally. As part of these, we were introduced to IBL, Inquiry Based Learning. We were given the opportunity to choose any topic related to a social or global issue to focus on and work in a team to complete tasks. In these groups, we had free rein to conduct and present research throughout the term, and pitch a solution at the end of the program.

We felt that IBL was an opportunity to express our concerns for wider issues that will affect our futures. At times it was hard to source information, especially when organising or reaching out to get interviews, but we stayed determined and overcame these challenges by seeking help from our peers and teachers.

Overall, we enjoyed the Horizon program as it was a new experience that will help us think outside the box, boost our self-confidence and collaboration, and consider how our actions may impact our futures.

Olivia T and Alexis D 9DWR

OLMC College Tours

Bookings for 2023 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.