Edition 19 | 19 November 2021
Judith Weir

We are approaching the season of Advent, a season of “new beginnings offering us images of transformation and hope. It is the season of the impossible becoming possible; of longing and light. Week by week, candles are lit on the Advent wreath signifying our longing for the light of Christ, as the time of his birth draws near and it is the cause of our joy at Christmas”. This year we have much to long for and, with hope in our hearts that our world will recover from the pandemic we look forward to this time of great promise in the birth of Christ.

On Wednesday the last Year 12 exam was held, our students have now completed their study and I am sure they are looking forward to celebrating with friends in the coming weeks. This week Year 10 and 11 students completed classes in preparation for the beginning of their exams. This will be an important opportunity to concentrate on developing good study habits and assessing what has worked well and what might need to be reviewed as part of preparing for Year 12. We wish all the students the very best with their exams.

Following the exam period Year 10 and 11 students will move into a program that begins the conversations and preparations for 2022. The program will provide an opportunity to explore the challenges that 2022 might hold and to reflect on what might have been learnt from the last two years. It will be a very important time to understand the expectations and demands of VCE and to organise how the summer preparation might be approached.

The year is rapidly coming to an end and in many respects it feels quite odd to be talking about the end of the year when it feels like it only just started. We do still have quite a bit of 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 not only in their studies but by remaining involved in all the activities available at school.

I once again share this prayer for exams, in the hope that you might also share it with your daughter. I hope that, in a small way, it may help to bring calm in the exam room.

Prayer for Exams

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)

On Monday we celebrate the great feast of St Cecilia the patron saint of musicians, dancers, poets, artists and all creative people.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

We give thanks to God for her life; for all creative people in our world and in our history, who help us realise God’s grandeur in all creation; our God of Mercy, Justice, Compassion, Courage and Joy - present and active in our world.

Musicians, dancers, actors, poets, artists and all creative people – we give thanks!

Let us pray...

Creator God, we celebrate the feast of Saint Cecilia.
We thank you for dancers, musicians, painters, sculptors, poets,
Conductors, composers,
And all who enhance our lives through the arts.
Enriched by the sharing of their creativity,

May we come to know your creative energy alive within us and in our world.
Lift up our hearts to you, and we will sing your praises, now and forever.

St Cecilia, pray for and with us.
Catherine McAuley, pray for and with us.

Year 7 and Year 11 Students

Immunisation Date: Monday 29 November

Please remind students to ensure they have had breakfast, wear their sports uniform and bring a drink bottle.

A recent ABC report has found that almost 80 percent of unwanted textiles end up in landfill each year, with almost 305,000 tonnes of textiles discarded in NSW last year, and only 800 tonnes taken to be recycled. This is an issue that was discussed during the Banyule Youth Summit, a day where around 100 young people came together from all over Banyule, to discuss topics that matter most to us.

In response to this issue and in relation with Banyule Youth Services, an idea was created regarding the issue of fast fashion. In the hopes of reducing the amount of clothes ending up in landfill.

A group of us have created an initiative to combat this. We have decided to collect old school jumpers, and send them to a manufacturer that recycles the fibres from the jumpers into new clothes and accessories.

Boxes will be scattered around the Banyule area, such as Watermarc reception, Jets Studios Bundoora, Ivanhoe Library, Watsonia Library, Rosanna Library, OLMC and CLC. People can bring in their jumpers to OLMC up until Friday 10 December, when the boxes will be collected and sent to be recycled.

This is such a great opportunity for people to put their old jumpers to use, and an easy way for each of us to play our part in reducing the amount of clothing ending up in landfill.

We would love it if you could look for any old school jumpers to recycle and spread the word around this issue!

Julia (LADR)

This time of term is always busy, as we feel as though we have one foot in 2021, while the other foot is in 2022.

Andrew Gibson
Curriculum Coordinator

Year 12 VCE students finished their exams this week, and on Thursday 18 November students in Years 10 and 11 commenced their End of Semester Exams. Students in Year 7-9 are completing a range of tasks over the next week, from podcasts to essays and tests.

Friday 26 November is Correction Day, when teachers will be assessing the tasks that have been submitted and continuing to correct exams. As such, it is a Student Free Day.

In the week beginning 29 November, our students in Years 10 and 11 start their Orientation Program for their 2022 subjects.

The Orientation program signals the commencement of the school year ahead and is an opportunity for students to start to understand what is required of them in their VCE or VCAL program in 2022. The summer holiday is a break from formal school, but an important time for students to continue to learn – whether through set homework, revision of prior learning or reading texts in preparation for the year ahead. With the challenges that 2020 and 2021 has brought, with a significant amount of time being taught remotely, it is also an opportunity for students to reflect on their year, and to approach 2022 with a sense of opportunity, purpose and awareness of potential growth.

Student reports for Semester 2 will be available on PAM by Tuesday 7 December. When they are available you will receive a notification via email and an announcement will be placed on PAM. The email will also provide you with an outline of the reports. As with reports over the last two years, the impact of remote learning has meant that the range of tasks reported on will, in some cases, differ from that of previous years.

When Year 7 students say they do not like Maths, do not believe it! Our last topic in Year 7 is Geometry, and while discovering more about triangles, students from 7HGI enjoyed the added bonus of a paper plane competition.

To ensure a level playing field, the students followed a series of instructions to make exactly the same paper plane. After some practice shots, the serious competition began! Our careful measurement showed that Sienna’s throw of 10.52m won her the competition, and that was with no wind assist! Eva and Hannah placed second and third, with their paper planes landing only 1cm apart, at 10.15m and 10.14m.

On return to the classroom, we opened up our paper planes and by following the folds, found that we could identify and outline lots of triangles, and classify them by angle and side length. The students could name so many different triangles – obtuse, acute, right-angled, scalene, equilateral and isosceles triangles. They were all there in the folds!

The students loved competing in their paper plane competition. Not only did they get to enjoy some sunshine, they consolidated their learnings in Geometry as well. Who said Maths wasn't fun?

Helen Hamblin
Year 7 Mathematics Teacher

While we fully believe that science is everywhere and everything is science, there is nothing like getting back into laboratory coats and nitrile gloves.

Year 11 Chemistry grabbed the opportunity, immediately we were back on site to look at the important analytical techniques - gravimetric analysis, titration and chromatography.

Year 12 was also looking into analytical techniques doing investigations with gel electrophoresis. Year 11 Physics are investigating inertia and other aspects of motion.

Year 10s were able to use our amazing replica fossil skulls to investigate the evolution of hominins. Year 9s are running different programs - some are dissecting kidneys and modelling neurons, some investigating electromagnetism and some investigating acids and bases.

Year 8s are studying optics and vision. There is a display in Centenary Level 1 of some of their optical illusion pieces, which allowed them to investigate the psychology of image construction in the brain. Other classes are catching up on student designed investigations.

Year 7s are finishing up ecosystems and starting to learn about sound and the transfer of energy in waves.

We know that the hands-on learning that takes place in the laboratories builds dexterity, curiosity and courage and the science team are focused on identifying and making up any gaps into 2022.

I would recommend to parents and student in the community a blog post recently republished by Royal Institute of Australia (RiAus) written by Dr Alan Finkel, neuroscientist, entrepreneur, science communicator and Australian Chief Scientist from 2016 - 2020. The post is a response to a question about subject choices for Year 11 and 12, which might not seem timely, but I think that conversations about career paths should be ongoing for our young people. You might expect Alan Finkel to advocate for Science subjects but in fact his advice is very wise. He advocates building choices around English and Maths as "they are best learned, layer upon layer, from prep through to Year 12". He argues that mastering language is crucial to success whatever you do, so he advocates reading..."read a lot, and read some more". He encourages students to continue to be engaged with music and sport - even if they aren't taken as formal subjects; "Music and sport complete us as human beings". And beyond Maths and English, he recommends that students chose subjects that stretch them and offer breadth ... perhaps that's where Science is the ideal path.

A letter to a Year 10 Student from Australia's Chief Scientist


“You are anxious about your subject choices for Years 11 and 12. You’re not alone!"

Susan Long
Science Learning Leader

Creative Writing at OLMC

The Learning Commons and English Learning Area work closely together throughout the year to provide students with a range of creative writing opportunities.

Each Thursday, students are invited to work with teachers and other students to hone their writing skills and workshop their writing.

Two exciting initiatives have occurred during the last two months. The first was that a group of students from Year 7 - 10 participated in the national competition “Write a Book in a Day” where students worked collectively to write an entire story in just one day following a range of criteria. Lucy K (7LSA) summarised her experience:

I found “Write a Book in a Day” very fun. I enjoyed writing a chapter with one of my friends and also creating the cover illustrations. I am happy I was able to collaborate with friends and people I knew through the creative writing club.

The staff involved were impressed with the way the students worked together to support and encourage one another to make their shared story the best it could be. You can read their final story “Hunt for the Golden Pineapple” here.

Scribbles, OLMC’s annual short story writing competition, was also held recently. The prompt this year was “tomorrow” and students were challenged to write a 500-word short story use the prompt in a positive way.

We wish to congratulate Chantel G (8ENA) for her winning entry this year which can be read here.

All students who are keen to further engage with creative writing are encouraged to get involved with the Creative Writing Club next year and to try one of the many competitions on offer.

Anna Apfelstedt
Learning Commons Coordinator

In our Senior Wellbeing Program this year, students had the opportunity to develop skills, connect with peers, focus on their strengths and prioritise their wellbeing. Some of our key programs have included; Learn a New Skill, Safe Partying, Mental Health First Aid, Positive Education Activities, Social Justice and Ace Your Exams.

Our theme this year was ‘We Rise by Lifting Others’ which was wholeheartedly lived by students through affirmations, shout-outs, kind acts, character strengths, R U OK day, mentor activities, opting into Wellbeing sessions and encouraging peers. We concluded the wellbeing program by supporting the Jesse Tree, a social justice initiative which allowed students to reflect on lifting others beyond our school walls and giving back to the community.

Our Wellbeing program also continued to thrive online, quickly pivoting to the needs of students while in lockdown. We enlisted a range of presenters including the Resilience Project who spoke about gratitude, former Olympian Steph Prem to share her stories on mindset, Dr Anne Kelly to speak about women's health and Cooking with Angelica, a nutritionist. We maintained connection online in our Houses through online classrooms, morning Pastoral and assemblies. Many Pastorals had their own rituals including bringing your pet to Pastoral and Thursday trivia.

Year 11 Student Reflections

I found the Resilience Project most memorable as Martin Heppell, who ran the session, was very passionate, energetic and engaging throughout the whole session. It was also the most valuable for me as Martin Heppell suggested starting a gratitude diary, which involves writing 3 things down a day that you are grateful for. He stated that after 41 days you are supposed to be more positive, optimistic and grateful. This diary has been very valuable to me as I feel positive after writing my diary entries and I notice the little things that make me happy throughout the day.
Sophie M

Throughout the year I participated in many wellbeing activities, one of these being self defence. I enjoyed this because it was a valuable skill I learnt and it helped to clear my mind.

During online learning I also did Cooking with Angelica. I found this a valuable lesson as I learnt about the different types of foods and what’s good for me, all whilst making cookies.
Mollie L

This year I have enjoyed many of the wellbeing activities that OLMC have allowed me to participate in. One of the ‘Learn a New Skill’ activities that I did at school was ‘cooking when home alone.’ I made dumplings which were very delicious! During remote learning I had the opportunity to join a Google meet with the year level and listen to Steph Prem who was a past Olympic Snowboarder. She gave great advice on how to take care of ourselves mentally and how to go into exams or tests with a positive mindset as she had to prepare herself mentally for snowboarder competitions. This was a valuable lesson in the lead up to a busy time of year with SACs.
Jasmin B

The wellbeing activities were a great way to learn a new skill that could help me in the future. I was lucky enough to learn how to change a tyre the day after I got my learners permit, which I must say was extremely useful. While being online was difficult, it was great to learn how to make delicious cookies to help aid those lockdown blues. A lesson I learned is that a little sweetness can help make yours and others around you feel happy. The final big event of the year is Jesse Tree. Having been fortunate enough to work with the Exodus community back in April, I love the idea of the school community being able to make someone’s Christmas just a little bit more special.
Abbey C

Throughout this year there have been many opportunities to focus on wellbeing. I personally did circus skills as my "Learn a New Skill session'. Not only was it fun but also allowed us to develop resilience and persistence. Additionally, I was able to participate in Social Justice programs and Safe Partying. All of these things have helped with finding new ways to improve my own wellbeing as well as assisting those who may need it. The activity that I found most memorable this year was the session with former Olympian Steph Prem. She discussed how to change your mindset and establish 'non-negotiables' to ensure that we have the best mindset to achieve our goals - whatever they may be. In our house assemblies our coordinators and captains have promoted the idea of giving a shout-out to someone else in our house. This was an awesome way to stay positive and motivated, especially during lockdown.
Mila S

OLMC has offered many wellbeing opportunities this year. At school before lockdown, I participated in the ‘Cooking when Home Alone session’ as a part of the ‘Learn a New Skill' program.’ This was a great opportunity as I learnt how to make a quick and easy meal as well as cook in the new food tech classrooms which I hadn’t had the opportunity to do before. Online these activities continued. The most memorable session for me was the Cooking with Angelica. I loved this recipe because it was really healthy and the cookies tasted really good. It also was nice to have a break from my screen and learn more about nutrition
Chloe T

Wellbeing activities are always a must. The opportunities provided to OLMC students this year were insightful and enjoyable for all. As part of the 'Learn a new skill session', I dove into the logistics of changing a car tyre (perfect for being a new learner driver!). The session allowed me to not only gain knowledge, but also independence that I can complete a task, such as changing a tyre, on my own, and not need to rely on someone else to do it for me. During online learning, OLMC always continued to check in and reiterate the importance of mental health for all students. I participated in the Mental Health First Aid session, where advice and tips were given in maintaining a healthy balance. By being given the opportunity to learn about ways to cope with mental health struggles, I felt I was able to get through the lockdown period a little bit easier. The Jesse Tree is an event that is held close to all of the OLMC community and is constantly a highlight of the year for many.
Carla D

This year I have participated in wellbeing activities such as "Learn a New Skill" in which I participated in the ‘Cooking with Angelica’ session. This activity was really fun as we were online and was a good break from school work. I also listened to the Resilience Project this year which was very inspiring and had a great message for us during a time of lockdowns. The opportunity to listen to Martin Heppell was really beneficial as we were given an opportunity to understand that we are not alone and that there is always help available.
Georgia S

Earlier in the year I was fortunate enough to learn a bit about self-defence during the “Learn a New Skill” session. This was an amazing opportunity for self-confidence and a great way to relieve some stress in a healthy way. Self-defence is a much needed skill for every person and this session helped me feel more equipped and confident to defend myself when needed. I was also able to participate in the “Cooking session with Angelica” during the lockdown. Angelica was really inspiring and personable and we baked healthy incredibly tasty cookies which I didn’t think could be done. Both experiences helped me learn and build on skills that are important in life outside of school.
Ava C

Jemma Banfield, Debbie Daly, Hayley Gamble-Curran and Kathryn Williams
House Coordinators

On Tuesday 9 November, students from the Feminist Collective Club introduced 'Period Poverty Day' to OLMC. On the day, students and staff painted their nails red to raise awareness about period poverty around the world. In morning Pastorals, students were encouraged to engage in discussions about Menstruation and learn about the impact that this has for people in different cultures and living conditions.

Over the past few weeks, students and staff donated much needed period products. These products will be delivered this week to McAuley Community Services who will distribute these to women who have fled domestic violence and poverty and are in much need of basic sanitary items.

Period poverty includes a lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education and toilets. More than 800 million people menstruate daily. In some countries, the cultural shame attached to menstruation, and a shortage of resources, stop people from going to school and work every day. Promoting menstrual equity is key to supporting those who menstruate.

Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinator

Horizon Program

As part of the Community Engagement Program the Year 9 Horizon Girls are working hard each Wednesday afternoon to connect with students at St Pius X Primary School in West Heidelberg.

OLMC has a strong connection to St Pius X through our Year 10’s participation in the weekly Reading Program (run through St Vincent de Paul) but this has been interrupted many times this year due to Remote Learning.

The Horizon girls, with a bit of help from Ms Rosemary Jones and Ms Brighid Kelly, have engaged in the following activities:
- Making videos and reading aloud their favourite picture book
- Writing letters to each and every Grade 2, 3 , 4 , 5 and 6 student at the school accompanied by Stationary Packs to foster their love of writing and craft and to encourage more letter writing.
- Designing and creating of Maths Activities using Lego, colourful shapes and fake money.
- Conducting Christmas baking tutorials

Year 7 Class Captains

The class captains for Year 7 this semester have started filming videos for the Grade 6 students at St Pius X. The girls will reflect on their experience of completing Grade 6 during the pandemic and will give some handy hints about starting Secondary School.

Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinator

    Students in each Pastoral are invited to contribute Christmas food items to the ‘Baskets of Joy’ that will be delivered to families in the Exodus Community and help make their Christmas more joyful, and delicious. This is the second year we are running this initiative as the hampers were received with great enthusiasm last Christmas after a difficult 2020.

    VCAL Christmas Decorations

    This year, the baskets will include some extra-special Christmas decorations and craft kits, hand-made by the VCAL students. The girls have been researching, designing and planning the crafting of wooden ornaments to include in each basket. We cannot wait to see the finished products!

    Lauren Marquet
    Social Justice Coordinator

    Mary Poppins is arriving at OLMC!

    Rehearsals have begun for the Junior Production of Mary Poppins Jnr.

    It is wonderful to see students from OLMC and Marcellin working together again on another outstanding production. Mary Poppins Jnr is a reduced, student-friendly version of the timeless classic, and one of the most popular Disney movies of all time.

    Charlotte who has been cast as Mary Poppins in the production describes the show:

    'Mary Poppins' is a musical that follows the wealthy and uptight Banks family, who are faced with the prospect of a new nanny. Their children are pleasantly surprised by the arrival of the magical Mary Poppins with whom, they embark on a series of fantastical adventures, along with her friend, Bert. They also learn the importance of a tidy nursery and of taking the medicine they need (with a spoonful of sugar, of course!) However, Mary Poppins’ transformative influence does not stop with the children - eventually, she teaches the grown-ups, as well, to open up and realize that “anything can happen if you let it.” Audiences will love this spectacular production, directed and choreographed by an amazing group of teachers and students. I am most excited about getting to see the vision for our final performance come to life on-stage. In particular, the creative concepts which have come from the Year 10 'Theatre Studies' class.

    The show is adaptable enough so that depending on COVID-19 restrictions, the show can be broadcast online or presented live on the stage. Led by OLMC staff, Hayley Gamble-Curran, Felicia Taine and Deb Butterworth, the students have been earnestly learning their lines and choreography. Students were selected through their audition held online earlier this year and it is a stellar cast of students ranging from Years 7 to 9.

    “It’s lots of fun hanging out with your friends and being a part of something bigger than yourself. For the last two years, COVID has not permitted us to be on stage but the time has finally come to perform, -that's what I love most.” Heidi - Cast
    “Mrs Banks plays the role of a caring and busy mother, who is always trying to please Mr Banks and her children. I am most excited about getting on stage again after such a long time, and performing with friends. During rehearsals so far we have been working on the big dance scenes such as 'Let's go fly a kite' and 'Step in time'. We have been learning lots of choreography and piecing together the routines. I am so excited to be a part of Mary Poppins Jr and can't wait to perform on stage.” Matilda - ‘Mrs Banks’

    Tickets will be released shortly, so keep an eye on PAM for further details

    Madalena Broadbent
    Performing Arts Learning Leader

    Performing in a Music Ensemble is a big commitment - there are rehearsals and lessons multiple times a week and performances throughout the year. Participating for one year is an achievement, but participating every year for six years is outstanding and displays a high level of commitment and passion and an enduring love of music.

    We would like to congratulate and acknowledge the following Year 12 students who were members of one or more Music Ensemble for six years.

    Amelie D. (AASE)Mandolin M. (MFKO)
    Mietta D. (LJVAGemma P. (AGLE)
    Alyssa F. (LKPA)Emily P. (CMSM)
    Caitlyn F. (CRIV)Liana S. (LJVA)
    Hayley G. (MARO)Isabella T. (AASE)
    Madisyn H. (AGLE)
    Jo-Anne Mileto
    Instrumental Music Coordinator

    VET Allied Health

    Our Allied Health students have been working hard this year and have achieved so much both online and in the classroom. As the second year students prepare for their VCAA exam, our first year students have enjoyed their return to the classroom. We have finally been able to complete some of the practical elements of the course including how to assist patients with movement. The first year students have learnt how to move bed bound patients, including using a mechanical hoist. They have demonstrated their competencies in teaching patients to walk with frames and walking sticks and can safely use the wheelchair.

    As the year comes to an end we are fortunate that some of our students are able to continue with their Structured Workplace Learning placement in health clinics, and I look forward to catching up with these students while they are gaining invaluable experience in the workplace.

    Fiona Koenig-Doig

    VET Sport and Recreation

    The students of Sport and Recreation are closing in on completing the first half of a 2 year course. At the end of the course students will receive a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation! They will also receive a study score which will go towards their ATAR score.

    This year the focus has been on building the foundational skills of what it would be like to work in the Sport and Recreation industry including providing customer service, teaching others how to perform skills, and planning and conducting sport and recreation events.

    While online, students worked well in groups to create videos to show their competency, which included teaching a family member a skill and giving them feedback on what they did well and how to improve.

    With the completion of this course, students can use their qualification to pursue careers in the health and fitness field such as sport coaching, customer service, leisure services, and forms of teaching. This qualification also gives students the potential to enhance their studies at University or TAFE.

    Nathan Watson

    OLMC Twilight College Tour

    4.30-6.00pm Tuesday 7 December

    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.

    Thank you to everyone who supported the OLMC Parent’s Association and purchased tickets for the Lucky Fees Raffle.

    The raffle was drawn Wednesday 17 November 2021 and we are pleased to announce the winners. Congratulations!