Edition 17 | 22 October 2021
Judith Weir

This week at OLMC, once again the strong community support was evident amongst our families, students and teachers as they rose to support each other. Last week, as we celebrated the end of secondary schooling with our Year 12 students, I congratulated them on how they have managed over the last two years. The celebrations continued to include all of the opportunities to recognise the Year 12s and while they were live streamed, they were no less significant. We were able to acknowledge how much they have had to call on all their capacity for resilience and managing change and uncertainty. We wish them all the very best as they head into their exams next week.

Today we welcomed back Year 7, 10 and 11 students onsite. It was delightful to see all of them and to once again have the school filled with the laughter and chatter of students. Next week Year 8 and 9 will begin their first day onsite for two days. The staggered arrangement will continue until 5 November. Information was emailed to all families on Wednesday confirming the arrangements over the coming weeks.

While we are returning to school we are still living with some restrictions and expectations about how we continue to protect each other. We will continue to follow the advice of the Department of Health and Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools and follow our COVID Safe Plan. Hand sanitiser is available and all desks will be sanitised at the end of each lesson. Windows and doors will remain open to aid with ventilation. We have asked students to enter and exit via specific gates to minimize congestion.

Unless exempt all students will be expected to wear face masks while at school both indoors and outdoors. We also expect that students will wear their masks appropriately. This is one way we can all work to support each other to help keep ourselves and families safe. Please ensure that your child leaves home with a mask. If for any reason a mask needs to be replaced we have some available from Student Reception.

The next few weeks will be interesting for all of us as we adjust to life out of lockdown and new expectations. We are aware that for some the transition back to school may be challenging and it may be quite tiring as everyone goes back to old routines. Please contact the Pastoral Leader, Year Level or House Coordinator if you have any concerns. Our counselling team is also available to support students.

We are excited about continuing to welcome students back over the next two weeks. We still have quite a few weeks left of classes and we are grateful for the opportunity to finish the year at school. Thank you to everyone for your ongoing patience and support during remote learning.

Once again, I wish all our students undertaking Unit 3 and 4 exams all the very best.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

OLMC gives thanks to God for the gifts and contributions of the Year 12 students, who after nearly two years of remote learning during a global pandemic have remained strong. They have led by example and actively sort ways to lift others, as they lived all things, Mercy.

So we pray for them, and all students sitting VCE exams…

We give thanks for their uniqueness, example and potential.
Thank you, God, for holding them in your love, so gently over these past two years.
We pray that the gifts of the Holy Spirit will strengthen and guide them
as they prepare and participate in their final exams.
May they know who much we value and care for them;
and that we are so proud of them.
We ask this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.Venerable Catherine McAuley pray with and for our students
Mother Ursula Frayne, pray with and for our students

It was with mixed emotions that we farewelled our Class of 2021. The year was different to predicted, taught us all to manage uncertainty better, and created memories we didn’t expect.

The class of 2021 should be so proud of how they persisted with their learning, maintained friendships and kept trying. Whilst their final day was not what they had envisaged many traditions continued, but perhaps one most valued by the students was simply time to be together, in person.

We thank the students for all they have contributed to the life of OLMC over their years here and wish them all the best as they conclude their secondary school journey.

We know they will have a huge, and positive, impact in the community as they move into the next phase of their lives.

Award Winners

ADF Future Innovators Award. Applicants must demonstrate motivation, innovation and achievement in a STEM related field

Olivia, (CSGP)

ADF Long Tan Award. It is designed to recognise students who show leadership and teamwork inside their College and in the local community. It is designed to acknowledge those who show strong values such as doing one’s best, respecting others and seeking to make a difference.

Latisha, (LJRE)

OLMC Past Pupil’s Award. This is awarded to a student who has demonstrated the spirit of Catherine McAuley through her dedication to making a difference in the wider community through compassion, competence and conscience and has demonstrated:

• an understanding of social justice in the wider community

• an ability to make a difference through service to others

• inspirational leadership as a role model for young women

Aleesha, (LMGL)

Mercedes Hogan Award. Sr Mercedes was a past Principal of the College and many of you will recognise her name from the MHT and the image and quote at the front. She reminds us how far a little kindness can go. This award goes to a Year 12 who:

• Values learning

• Seeks to use all opportunities available to engage in learning about herself, other people and the world

• Is an independent learner and takes risk in her learning

• Is generous in sharing her learning with others

Olivia, (CPSE)

Commitment to OLMC Sport Award.

Commitment and dedication to sport, willingness to get involved, encourages others to be involved and try their best.

Lucy, (MSHO)

Jan Geason Award. This is awarded to a Year 12 who has displayed:

• Excellence in a variety of skills in performing arts disciplines

• Enthusiasm and consistent commitment to performing arts activities and events throughout her school life

• Excellent leadership skills when participating and organising school based performing arts events

•Generosity in sharing her talents and encouraging others

Isabella, (AASE)

Duce Maria Award. It is awarded to a Year 12 who has displayed:

• Courage and perseverance

• An inclusive and hospitable attitude to others

• A spirit of working for the good of others and the school

• Being a good role model for other students

Evie, (APSM)

Brooke Kilborn
Head of Student Wellbeing

headspace National, are presenting a webinar for parents and carers of young people. "connecting & communicating with your young person: parent/carer"

Megan Edwards
Head of Student Wellbeing

When: Wednesday 24 November 7:00pm
Where: online via zoom

Information presented will cover:-
Understanding your young person, and recognising mental health difficulties
Managing the challenges of parenting young people today
Having better conversations with your young person
Connecting your your person with the right help and support.

The webinar will consist of a presentation on health, with a focus on noticing mental health difficulties in young people and supporting them to open up and communicate with you about their challenges in order to seek help if needed.

Follow the link to register: click here

Why VCAL and VET? A profile of success!

When choosing their senior pathway program, students are faced with a multitude of choice. Often their deliberations are focused on what subjects to do in their VCE, but sometimes, for a number of reasons, students decide that VCE isn’t really for them. That’s where studying VET and VCAL come in. One of our successful VCAL 2021 graduates, Isabella (MSHO) shares her thoughts about the benefits of a VCAL/VET program for students who are seeking an alternative pathway in their final years at OLMC.

Isabella, you started VCE in Year 11, but changed after first semester 2020. What was it was it that attracted you to VCAL?

It’s more hands-on and I got to focus more on my VET subject which is my passion! I’m studying my Certificate II in Animal Studies, learning about a range of animals, how to care for them and understand them, and VCAL has allowed me more flexibility to pursue that. It was nice to give VCE a try, but VCAL was definitely a better option for me. The content and project structure is more tailored to our interests and because it’s a small group, it’s so much more interactive than a normal classroom. We are more involved and a lot of the projects we do inter-twine with each other. I’m sure I made the right choice.

Apart from the fact that VCAL has been more interesting for you, in what way has it benefited you?

I think when things interest you, you find out more about other things that drive you, and you find out more about yourself. At times in VCAL, I have thought, “Oh, this piques my interest!”, and it leads to a pathway or something that connects your interests together. You also get more skills, like we did our barista and first aid certificates, and we’ve worked in our café, THE 7TH LAB; you get more practical experience and enjoyment out of what you learn.

What does the concept of employability skills mean and how has VCAL improved yours?

It’s skills that help you in the workforce, tailored for you to succeed, and I think you learn more about that in VCAL than in VCE. It’s more focused on your success beyond school, rather than your success in school. We focus on communication, problem-solving, critical thinking skills. I think I’ve developed those skills, and I’ve brought them into my workplace too. It’s made me more confident, like I put my hand up to speak way more in VCAL than I ever did in VCE. I never put my hand up in VCE classes!

Tell me about your work experience

I’ve loved my work experience! I had lots of great work placements lined up but I’ve only done one this year because of COVID. Every single time I went to do my work experience at the Cat Protection Society, it got shut down because of COVID. I was also really excited to go to JABS (Joey and Bat Sanctuary) because that one is a wildlife and rescue centre, not just farm or domestic animals; there’s bats, joeys, wombats, kangaroos, and I love that side of things.

I did get to work at the Edendale Community Farm, and I just loved it, because it’s the sort of environment that I want to work in, possibly for the rest of my life. I really want to do volunteering there after school, because it’s just so much fun working with those people, and being around those animals. They have reptiles there, farm animals, they interact with the community, and they have a café, and run sessions with school groups. There was just so much there that interested me and I learnt so much.

Has doing VCAL clarified for you what you want to do when you leave school?

Being able to focus more on my VET subject when I joined VCAL, I saw how much better it was in terms of my career path, because prior to that, I was stressing about all my VCE subjects, and I should have been focusing more on “This is what I want and how am I going to get there?” VCAL has shown me, due to work placement and just the different experiences I’ve had through VCAL, a much clearer vision about what I want to do in the future. So much of what we learn is going to help us in the future.

How have you enjoyed doing your VCE subject as part of VCAL?

I have really enjoyed Business Management. I like the challenge of the subject, I can see how it links to my VCAL and I like being in another class too.

What’s your perspective on people who think VCAL is really easy compared with VCE and that you can get your VCAL without doing much work?

The work is really different from VCE. Some girls really struggle with the load in VCE because they can’t keep up, whereas the work that’s set in VCAL is do-able and it’s easy for us to understand, expand our knowledge and link it together.

When I was thinking about switching from VCE to VCAL, a lot of people said to me “Don’t take the easy way out”, but really, it’s not easier, it’s just different. I’m doing the same amount of work but in a different context.

Who would you recommend VCAL to?

Anyone can be successful if they actually put in the effort. If you are after something more hands- on, interactive, one-on-one, driven by your interests, do VCAL.

Next year and beyond, what are your plans?

I started thinking about doing some study with companion animals while we were doing our Certificate II Community Services at school, because that would get me to work with youth and service animals. I was also tossing up between VET Nursing or a University course in science. But I have decided to do Certificate III in Captive Animals, because I will get a full-on experience with the animals, as it is actually onsite at the Werribee and Melbourne Zoos. At one point I wanted to be a Zoo Keeper anyway, so I will see where that takes me – to a farm, a rescue centre, to a zoo – it can take me anywhere! And it’s just so interesting!

Ms Helen Hamblin
VCAL Coordinator

The week of Monday 11 October was a week filled with celebrations for the current Year 12 cohort. Each day, there was a special activity for the Year 12s to make lasting memories and experience those rights of passages before they leave our OLMC gates.

On Tuesday 12 October, our Houses held final assemblies in the online format we have come to know and love. There was a chance to thank Pastoral teachers and farewell our Year 12s. House assemblies were filled with speeches, handovers, slideshows and shout-outs recognising students' contribution and connection to their Houses. After assembly, the 12s enjoyed ice-creams and sat in the glorious sun with their friends.

On Thursday 14 October, the Year 12s were able to make a lasting mark on their Houses by creating House banners for Carmel, Loreto, McAuley and Mercy. The 12s spent lunch painting, signing and leaving their hand prints on their banners. It was an activity that brought so much joy and made them feel like kids again.

Friday 15 October, was Graduation Day which involved a live streamed Liturgy and Assembly. Students received their time capsules made in Year 7 and enjoyed lunch. We were so lucky to have weather to allow us to be outside. We were in awe of the Year 12s and their genuine gratitude to have a Graduation day. When the time capsules were opened there were laughs, tears and reminiscing about memories formed at OLMC. It was an emotional day for all involved and there was not a dry eye in the house.

We farewelled our Year 12s out the gate with a box of cupcakes to take home to share with their families. We all felt so much relief and joy that we made it to this day and the Year 12s got the send-off they deserved, even in a different format.

We wish our Year 12s all the best as they head into their final examinations.

House Coordinators

Over the last few weeks of Term 3, the VCE Performing Arts students have put their foot to the floor and steamed ahead in their exam preparation. Unlike most subjects, the Performing Art students start their exams in the first week of Term 4. This year our Drama students sat their performance exams on 6 Wednesday October. They had rehearsed earnestly, workshopped and prepared their monologue over the Term 3 break. The monologue consisted of a 7-minute performance of the students' own creation based on 10 structures set by the VCAA. The students write and create the pieces themselves.

In Music Performance, they have not been able to rehearse with their accompanist online, so have had to be incredibly flexible through online learning. They have continued to have lessons online and become experts in using recordings, in both audio and video formats to receive feedback on their progress from a number of sources. The students were extremely lucky to have the opportunity of running their performances during the holidays, you may have seen some snippets of these on SIMON and PAM. Students were able to put in some extra rehearsals during the first week back (even when they needed to be held outside to comply with COVID safety). The students sat their performance exams on the first weekend of the Term 3. After a last minute emergency change of accompanist, the vocalists showed great poise, perseverance, courage and grace in their final performances.

The Theatre Studies students were finally able to present their production of “The Unravelling”. Due to the lockdown the date was moved three times, however on Monday 6 September, they were able to finally rehearse, perform and record their production. For their final performance exam, students needed to then research a monologue/play, learn their lines and present this in their own unique way. Students chose to act/direct or design in two areas. This year we have 8 Actors and 4 Designers.

The Performing Arts staff are incredibly proud of every student and we are all in awe of the creativity, perseverance, adaptability that each student has shown throughout this year.

We would like to thank all the VCE students for their contributions throughout their years at OLMC and we wish them all the best for their exams and future studies.

Madalena Broadbent
Performing Arts Learning Leader

Cantor Scholarships – Applications are now open !

Students who will be in Year 10 in 2022 are invited to apply if they have an interest in representing the college through vocal performance. Preference will be given to students who have supported OLMC through performing arts extra-curricular activities since Year 7. Students do not need to be presently undertaking vocal lessons to apply.

To apply, complete the application forms on SIMON/PAM and return to the Music Office or by email to jmileto@olmc.vic.edu.au by 29 October 2021.

One of our 2021 Cantors shares her experience:

"The Cantor scholarship has definitely been one of my highlight experiences at OLMC. I am absolutely in love with music and everything about the Arts, so I wanted to seek out every opportunity that I could to learn and grow. Before becoming a Cantor, harmonies were something I struggled with and after working with Ms Russo and my wonderful friends in our rehearsals, I grew a newfound confidence.

Throughout your time as a Cantor, you get to work with the wonderful Ms Russo who is one of the best singing teachers you'll ever meet! Ms Russo has helped me and so many other students grow and continue to improve over the years, and I am extremely grateful to have her as my singing teacher. The other Cantors were not only people in my singing ensemble, but they were also my great friends. We were friends before, but going through lockdown after lockdown and not being able to perform was hard on all of us, as we just wanted to make beautiful music on a stage together. Due to the fact that we didn't have much time at school, the weeks where Cantor rehearsal was running, I was so excited. It was definitely a highlight of my week! In the end, we might not have been able to perform on a stage but, I still got to make beautiful music with such talented and kind-hearted people."

Bridie, 11CCTR

Jo-Anne Mileto
Instrumental Music Coordinator

The September Holidays is usually filled with fun for our students and the families that attend Camp Heide. Unfortunately, we could not go ahead these holidays, but a group of generous staff members gave up some precious time to make up hampers for the families in West Heidelberg that missed out on the camp.

The packages included a “Make it yourself” Brownie Kit, and our Social Justice Leaders wrote beautiful letters to the children to accompany the kits where they shared their own experiences of lockdown. The hampers created a great buzz upon delivery and Brother Harry from the Exodus Community expressed his appreciation on behalf of the families:

We at Exodus continue to be grateful for the practical and moral support offered by you all at OLMC Heidelberg and hope that, through this involvement many learn about the plight of others in the community whose life circumstances are sometimes pretty dire”.

Lauren Marquet & William Balme
Social Justice Coordinators

Camp Heide Families Hampers

We’d like to gather your feedback about how you perceive OLMC with a very short survey that will take less than five minutes.

Your answers will be used to inform the key messages we share with prospective families and the community in the future.

Complete the survey link to: https://forms.gle/6ZVVKbhtK6DX...

If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Liz Baxter, Leader of Marketing and Development, E: ebaxter@olmc.vic.edu.au

Liz Baxter
Leader of Marketing and Development

Follow the official new Our Lady of Mercy College account (@olmcheidelberg) to stay connected with OLMC on Instagram. We’ll be sharing regular news, student achievements and stories from around the College.

OLMC is also now on LinkedIn. Follow our page for updates and news from the College.

Liz Baxter
Leader of Marketing and Development

Each year the Parent’s Association run a Lucky Fees Raffle to raise funds that support and enhance educational opportunities and community life at OLMC

Tickets are $10 each or 10 for $70 and now available

Tickets can be purchased at https://www.trybooking.com/BUHTE

The raffle will be drawn on Wednesday 17 November 2021 at the College.

Winners will be notified by phone or email and results will be published in the newsletter and via the OLMC Facebook page.

1st Prize$4000 voucher for 2022 school fees or shopping vouchers to the value of $4000
2nd Prize$200 Noone Uniform voucher – donated by Noone East Ivanhoe
3rd Prize$200 Noone Uniform voucher - donated by Noone East Ivanhoe
4th Prize$200 Bunnings voucher - donated by Bunnings Preston
5th Prize$200 Bunnings voucher - donated by Bunnings Preston
6th Prize$200 Bunnings voucher - donated by Bunnings Preston

Thank you for your ongoing support

OLMC Parents Association

OLMC Raffle for McAuley Community Services for Women (MCSW) 2021 Winners

We would like to thank all those in the OLMC Community who supported the OLMC Raffle for McAuley Community Services for Women.

The response was amazing and we raised $8860 which is a fantastic result.

We really appreciate your support and look forward to welcoming you at the High Tea again next year.

Congratulations to the winners:

1st Prize:Steph Rutter (Past Pupil)
2nd Prize:Rhonda Geary
3rd Prize:Greg Hermans (Current Parent)
4th Prize:Hanna Waters (Current Student)

Marie Jenkins
Community Development Coordinator




Tuesday 1 February

Year 7s and Year 12s Begin Term 1
Wednesday 2 FebruaryAll Students Begin Term 1
Monday 14 MarchLabour Day Public Holiday - College Closed
Friday 8 AprilLast Day Term 1
Tuesday 26 AprilFirst Day Term 2
Monday 13 JuneQueens Birthday - Public Holiday
Friday 24 JuneLast Day Term 2
Monday 11 JulyFirst Day Term 3
Friday 16 SeptemberLast Day Term 3
Monday 3 OctoberFirst Day Term 4
Tuesday 1 NovemberMelbourne Cup Day – Public Holiday
Tuesday 6 DecemberLast Day Term 4