Edition 18 | 17 November 2023
Judith Weir

On Monday night we welcomed students and families to the Year 7-9 Music Concert. It was a joy to see how much students have achieved over the course of the year as we listened to instrumental and vocal performances. All students who took part are to be congratulated for their courage to perform and the joy in the music shared with all of us.

On Tuesday we welcomed the parents of our 2024 Year 7 students. It was wonderful to see parents excited about the next stage in their child’s educational journey. The night also marks the beginning of our transition to the 2024 year.

The Year 12 students have now completed all their exams and are finding ways to celebrate while they await results. Year 10 and 11 students are in exam mode. At OLMC we introduce exams at Year 10 in line with the view that this is the beginning of the Senior years at secondary school and VCE exams are not too far away. As such, this is an important time for students to learn about how they work in preparation for exams and during the exam itself. Following exams, both year levels will have an opportunity to do some preparation work for 2024 during the Orientation Program.

Earlier this year as a result of an extremely successful year, the OLMC Parents’ Association donated $20,000 to the College. The money will be used to provide more outdoor amenities for students. There are many amenities students already enjoy because of the work of the Parents’ Association. The events they hold meet their purpose of building community and they have gone from strength to strength. Many of you will have enjoyed the Mother’s Day Event, Father’s Day Breakfast or the Comedy Night. They have been wonderful times where families have shared in food, laughter and community.

Another key goal of the Parents’ Association is to raise funds to support the work of the College. In addition to the events listed above, there are Bunnings BBQs, the Lucky Fees Raffle and raffles at all events. OLMC is blessed to have such committed parents who work tirelessly to support the school to provide the best for our students and help build community.

The year is rapidly coming to an end and we will soon move into the season of Advent where we begin our preparations for Christmas. However, we still have some work to do and I encourage all of our students to make the most of the next few weeks, continuing to strive to achieve their best.

As I do each year, I share this prayer for exams in the hope that you might also share it with your child. In a small way it may help to bring calm in the exam room.

Prayer For Exam

Come still my heart,
O Lord Calm my nerves and focus my mind.
Father, I lay before you everything I have studied.
May I channel all I have learnt into this exam.
Please give me the faith to believe I can pass this test,
Yet the peace to know that all is well.
Thank you that you are with me no matter what the result,
Thank you that your friendship is eternal.

(A prayer for students taking an exam from www.lords-prayer-words.com)

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Catherine McAuley’s Feast Day

On Saturday 11 November, we celebrated the feast day of Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. As Mercy people worldwide, we pray that we continue her work inspired by her life, charism and spirituality.

To have hope,
is to believe that history continues to be open to the dream of God and to human creativity.
To have hope,
is to continue to affirm that it is possible to dream a different world, without hunger, without injustice, without discrimination.
To have hope,
is to believe in the revolutionary potential of faith and to leave the door open, so that the Spirit can enter and make all things new.
To have hope,
is to begin as many times as necessary.
To have hope,
is to live.
Give us the blessing of courage to ask what you want of us, Lord. Amen.
Give us the blessing to know that to live is to change. Amen.
Give us the blessing to trust that you always have faith in us. Amen.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

We commemorated Remembrance Day on Saturday 11 November, which marks the anniversary of the Armistice, which ended the First World War.

Each year on 11 November, Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11.00 am in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts in appreciation of their sacrifice.

As we remember the lives that have been lost, let us promise each other to work for the freedom of all who are oppressed in the world today.

We ask this prayer in the name of Jesus, who taught us how to live. Amen.

The Ode

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning.

We will remember them. Lest we forget.

Source: Catholic Education Cairns Remembrance Day Prayer for Families.

Image: Pixabay.

On Thursday 9 November, eight Year 10 students and I attended the St Vincent De Paul Society School Conference, which was a day filled with inspiration, gratitude, support, and success. A number of students from local schools joined us, along with St Vinnie’s workers, to discuss our recent success in assisting those in need and how our Social Justice programmes benefit those around us. The day involved group discussions and activities about new ideas for 2024 and the upcoming Christmas season. We were able to share our creative ideas on how to improve someone's day by making a small difference as a group. Connecting with students from St Pius X Primary School and Loyola College, as well as St Vinnie’s workers, was a highlight for many.

It provided OLMC students with an insight into their perspectives on social justice, and why, as Catholics, we promote the dignity of all and giving back to the community. Overall, it was a great day to interact with St Vinnie’s workers and other school students and express our gratitude to the St Vincent De Paul Society.

Sophie S (10LSMI)

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Congratulations to Sr Meredith Evens, Sister of Mercy, who has been announced as the 2024 SA Senior Australian of the Year.

We give thanks for the work of Sr Meredith and for the way she has lived the gospel values and walked in the steps of Mercy. Sr Meredith promotes human dignity and the worth of all whilst sharing the joys of being a person of mercy with so many. This recognition of Sr Meredith reminds us of the countless Mercy women working tirelessly. Here is the link for further information:

SA Australian of the Year

Jesse Tree

The lead-up to Christmas is a time of joy and excitement for many, but it can also be a stressful time for those in our community experiencing hardship. We honour the Catholic tradition of the Jesse Tree, each branch representing new life, and new beginnings.

We will once again work with each Year Level to raise awareness of important issues and to fundraise for projects to benefit those around us this Christmas.

Year 7 - Christmas Presents for Children

We have asked each Pastoral Group to raise enough money to purchase two Christmas presents for children living in and around the Exodus Community, whose families may struggle financially to afford presents this year. The gifts will be lovingly wrapped and delivered to people’s homes before Christmas.

Year 8 - Food Vouchers

The Year 8s will be asked to donate money to purchase grocery vouchers for families at this expensive time of year. These vouchers are so gratefully received and continue to be of great need.

Year 9 - Opening the Doors Foundation

As we move forward from the result of the Referendum, we recognise the importance of continuing our essential work to create awareness around issues that our First Nations people face and working to close the gap. Opening the Doors Foundation works to enable Aboriginal students to participate fully and equally in education, and supports their families to make their own choices about their children’s future.

To learn more visit: Opening the Doors

Senior School - Refugee Families

We invite our Senior School students to turn their attention to supporting refugee families living in our community who are supported by Sister Margaret Moore and the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy. Funds raised will go directly to a small group of families from different origins who are struggling to afford basic food, clothing, rent and essential services.

Christmas with the Exodus community

Thank you to all the staff and students who have volunteered their time to prepare, cook, serve and enjoy dinner with our friends in West Heidelberg throughout the year. A special mention to Marie Jenkins and Vanessa Dimovski who are there every second Thursday to make these great dinners possible.

The year will conclude with a special Christmas Dinner on Sunday 17 December and will include a few staff and students helping out once more.

At the end of this dinner, we will hand out one Christmas Hamper to each household. This lovely Christmas tradition continues, with all OLMC staff invited to contribute special Christmas food items to help make Christmas more joyful, and delicious. Thank you to all staff for your generosity.

Once again this year, the hampers will include some extra-special Christmas decorations and craft kits, hand-made by the VCE VM students.

Term 4 Horizon will be getting out their smocks next week to paint the blank hampers with beautiful Christmas designs.

We can’t wait to see the finished products!

Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinator

As we all know, language and culture are inextricably linked. Over the past few weeks, Languages students at OLMC have been involved in a number of incursions and excursions that have allowed them to deepen their understanding of the culture of the languages they study. The Year 7 students enjoyed a Japanese drumming incursion, whilst the Year 9s experienced a Japanese Yukata (summer version of a Kimono) dress-up incursion. The Year 11 French students also enjoyed an excursion to the Alliance Française in the city.

In addition, several culinary activities for the different languages and year levels have been planned for the coming weeks. Year 9 French students will make crêpes, Year 11 Italian students will make a sweet dessert and Year 10 and 11 Japanese students will enjoy a bento box lunch here at school.

Fleur Davison
Languages Learning Leader

Japanese Drumming

Recently all the Year 7 Japanese students had the opportunity to attend a Japanese drumming incursion where they met Toshi and Junko from Wadaiko. The incursion began with a display of drumming skills called Taiko, traditional Japanese drumming. The students were encouraged to try to master the drums. Everyone was eager to have a turn and Toshi and Junko helped our fellow Japanese classmates put together quite the performance! It was a really fun experience for all the students who participated and we loved watching Toshi and Junko perform and teach us about the ancient Japanese tradition of Taiko.

Anouk H (7LTI) and Scarlett-Rose S (7GAU)

Yukata Dress-Up

Hand stitched traditional clothing lay all around our Japanese classroom as we eagerly walked in. Leanne, our amazing instructor, taught us about the rich history behind these elegant garments, which fascinated all of us. We were all ecstatic about seeing Japanese garments but the real fun came when we were able to try them on ourselves. Leanne gave a beautiful demonstration on how to assemble a yukata properly featuring the big obi belt with a bow at the back and our delicate fans. In partners we were able to choose from a range of patterns, each with rich and stunning patterns, with many shapes and colours. Leanne would occasionally come around to help us out with the assembling of our yukatas until we all looked picture perfect. After being adorned, we took many photos in various different poses, having the time of our lives. We were even lucky enough to show off our stylish attire around the Baggot Building. Over all too soon, we thanked Leanne for her time and the incredible experience she gave us. It was truly such a special incursion for us all because we became immersed in the Japanese culture and experienced it like never before.

Esther H (9LDA) and Aarchi K (9LDA)

Year 11 French Excursion

The Units 1and 2 French students are currently studying the topic of ‘Francophonie’ which looks at countries around the world where French is spoken. As part of this study, they recently took part in a French excursion to the Alliance Française in the CBD, where they participated in a two-hour workshop conducted entirely in French.

The presenter, Aurore, was from Belgium (one of many francophone countries in the world) and she worked with the students to develop their listening, viewing, reading, speaking and writing skills.

The students also enjoyed a taste of France before the workshop, dining at the Roule Galette Crêperie where they had to order in French as well as chat to their classmates in the language.

Here’s what some students had to say about the experience:

‘Personally, one of my favourite parts of the excursion was placing our orders in French with the waiters. Along with this, I loved learning about the Francophonie countries that we haven't learned about in class. It broadened my understanding of French culture around the world.’

Alice R (11MECO)

‘Personally, I found this excursion to be very engaging and enjoyable. Not only were we able to enjoy some extremely tasty galettes/crêpes, but we were able to experience the atmosphere of the restaurant through ordering in French and taking in the environment of the city whilst eating our meal. The workshop was also really useful and relevant to our current topic in class of 'La Francophonie', so it was ultimately very beneficial for our learning.’

Mia S (11LJRE)

On Monday 30 October, Year 7 to 10 Debating students participated in Junior and Intermediate House Debating for 2023.

Mercy debated against McAuley and Carmel debated against Loreto. The topic for Year 7 and 8 students was, ‘Parents should have access to their children’s social media accounts’, and the topic for Year 9 and 10 students was, ‘The Olympic Games are more trouble than they are worth.’

This year the adjudication was organised and led by our 2024 Year 12 student Leaders who did an incredible job acting as role models for the younger students, giving support and positive feedback.

After four very strong debates the winning Houses for the Junior and Intermediate year levels were Carmel and Mercy.

On Friday 3 November we then had the finals for House Debating and Sarah G 11LMGL, our 2023 Debating Captain, adjudicated the Junior debate, with the topic being, ‘All students should volunteer for community service’.

Mr Conlan and Nathasha J (11CRIV), our 2024 School Captain, adjudicated for the Intermediate students, with the topic being, ‘Australia should dramatically increase its refugee intake.’

All students were extremely strong with their arguments and their public speaking skills were outstanding.

Both debates were very close, however the final result was Mercy winning the Junior Trophy and Carmel winning the Intermediate trophy.

All students are to be congratulated for representing their House and a special congratulations to Eva D (7RTH) and Hannah H (10CTKI) for receiving Best Speaker.

Deborah Butterworth
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator

Exam Study Tips and Hints for Year 10s and 11s

As Senior students approach the upcoming exam period, we know that this can be a time when stress levels rise for both our young people and their families. Students can help to combat this by approaching the exam period in an organised way and working to effectively manage their time. During the last month, we have shared strategies around study skills in our Pastoral lessons, and students have been briefed during morning assemblies about what to expect from the exam period. There was also a study day this week for Year 10 and 11 students to narrow down their areas of strength and identify the gaps that still remain in their knowledge.

During the next few weeks, Pastoral Leaders and Senior House Coordinators will also be available to meet with students if they need extra support around managing and navigating the exam period. Please also see the resource below that includes some scientifically proven tips for students that will assist them in maximising their potential and achieving the results that they want.

We also wish our 2024 VCE VM students all the best for their work placement and orientation program during this time.

Hayley Gamble Curran
Loreto House Coordinator

As we approach the final weeks of the academic year, it is a significant time for our Year 9 students, as they prepare to transition into the Senior School.

This term the Year 9 students have participated in House activities designed to prepare them for their move to House-based Pastoral Groups next year. In the coming weeks they will also be involved in transition experiences with their Senior Pastoral Groups for 2024. These opportunities are intended to create a sense of belonging and connection that will continue to develop in the years to come.

In the upcoming weeks, the Year 9 students will be dedicated to completing assessments, a key step in paving the way for future academic success. ‘Finish Strong’ isn't just a slogan - it is a mindset that calls students to give their best effort in every task, to stay focused, and to take pride in their accomplishments. We encourage the students to approach this period with determination and resilience, embracing the opportunity to showcase the knowledge and skills they've acquired throughout the year.

Equally important, we ask students to continue to nurture respectful relationships with their peers and teachers. These connections form the foundation of a supportive learning environment and also help to enhance emotional wellbeing during times of heightened stress and anxiety.

Congratulations to our Year 9 students for their achievements thus far, and we look forward to witnessing their continued success in the years ahead.

Kylie Willis
Year 9 Level Coordinator

Music in the Community

The last fortnight has been another eventful and rewarding time for our music students.

On Friday 3 November, the OLMC Choir joined with Marcellin’s Champagnat Choir to rehearse and record a performance of ‘Baba Yetu’. This was a wonderful experience for our students as it gave them the opportunity of performing with male voices to create a four-part choir. Students rehearsed with both choir leaders and were exposed to different interpretations of how the piece could be performed. In the end students accomplished a joyous recording which can be used at future events as needed.

On Thursday 9 November students from String Ensemble, String Prodigy and OLMC Choir entertained the residents of Mercy Place, Parkville, with a morning concert. With pop hits such as ‘Chandelier’ and some golden oldies like ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’, the students were able to share their hard work and dedication to ensembles with an audience who clapped along. The morning ended with ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ which many residents were seen singing along to. The highlight for many was when a resident was heard to say to her carer, ‘This is not normally my thing but I quite liked it!’

Finally, over 50 students from Year 7 to 9 currently undertaking instrumental music lessons performed to a large turn-out of family and friends. The evening performance ran across two venues and it was wonderful to see how much progress all students have made across the year. Performing as a soloist, part of a rock band or in a small ensemble is always a challenge and every student should be proud of the way they performed. We hope these talented students continue their musical journeys next year as plenty of musical potential was displayed throughout the evening.

With a few more events coming up, ensembles and lessons continue to run. We are also at the point of planning for 2024, so look out for some new ensembles and music experiences which will be available to all students next year regardless of their musical ability and experience.

Jo-Anne Mileto
Instrumental Music Coordinator

Congratulations to the winners of the Parents’ Association Lucky Fees Raffle 2023

1st prize $4000 Voucher for 2024 School Fees

Winner: Loren Karafili

2nd Prize Travel Managers Voucher valued at $200

Winner: Sarah Tormey

3rd Prize Travel Managers Voucher valued at $100

Winner: Lisa Montalto

4th Prize Farm Vigano Restaurant, South Morang Voucher valued at $100

Winner: Cheryl Brennan

5th Prize Farm Vigano Restaurant, South Morang Voucher valued at $100

Winner: Jeremy Kerner

6th Prize Noone Uniform Voucher valued at $100

Winner: Sally Kerr

7th Prize Chocilo Hamper

Winner: Briody Gamble

Thank you to everyone for supporting this fundraiser and all of the other events we have held this year.

A very Merry Christmas and best wishes for the holidays from all at the Parents’ Association. We thank you all for your support and look forward to an exciting year in 2024. Our first meeting next year will be on Tuesday 13 February at 7.00pm in Abe's Staff Lounge in the Administration Building. Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 26 March 2024 at 7.00pm.

OLMC Parents’ Association

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