Edition 2 | 24 February 2023
Judith Weir

On Monday we held the Opening School Mass, which included the Investiture of the Year 12 Student Leaders and the official blessing and opening of our new facilities. The students of OLMC are to be congratulated for the manner in which they represented the College and participated in the Mass. It was a privilege and honour to welcome our official guests:

  • Sr Eveline Crotty - Institute Leader - Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea - (ISMAPNG)
  • Professor Gabrielle McMullen - Trustee Director - Mercy Ministry Companions (MMC)
  • Sr Eileen Ann Daffy - Past principal and Member of the College Advisory Council
  • Professor Anne Hunt - Director - Mercy Education Limited (MEL)
  • Mr Christopher Houlihan - Chief Executive - (MEL)
  • Mr Chris Bence - Head of School Engagement - (MEL)
  • Dr Chris Conroy - Chair of the College Advisory Council
  • Ms Marwin Austerberry - Regional General Manager - Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) Eastern Region
  • Ms Vicki Myers- Regional Leadership Consultant - MACS Eastern Region Colleague Principals
  • Mr Simon Le Nepveu and Ms Jennifer Rodezno - Clarke Hopkins Clarke Architects
  • Ms Julie Ryan - Past Principal
  • Past staff of MEL and OLMC

The blessing was an opportunity to celebrate our new facilities and to acknowledge why we chose to name the buildings as we did. The Frayne Design Art and Technology Centre was named in honour of Sr Ursula Frayne who first arrived in Perth and established Mercedes College and later travelled to Melbourne to establish the Academy of Mary Immaculate in Fitzroy. We know that Ursula Frayne was passionate about education, and that the early convent schools that she and the sisters founded for young women in Melbourne featured ‘courses of instruction in English education, the French language, drawing, use of the globes, and plain and ornamental needlework’, as well as extras such as ‘pianoforte, harp, singing, painting, German, Italian and dancing’ (Walsh, 1996).

The Frayne Design Art Technology Building provides a unique view to the Mercy Cross that sits atop the Mercy Hospital. It seems fitting to pay homage to Ursula Frayne in our space as Mercy sits at the top and bottom of the hill in Heidelberg.

Our Lady of Mercy College has a long tradition of connection to Mary and a devotion to her. In 1954 the College motto changed from Labor Omnia Vincit to Duce Maria (with Mary as our leader). For OLMC, this motto reminds us of the ideal of womanhood – to be proud, humble and courageous, and to live as Mary did, in the love of God, committed to a love that serves all of God’s people and creation.

We therefore believe it fitting to name the indoor seating space adjacent to the canteen the Marian Centre as it provides a space for students to come together and share with each other as they eat, study and recreate to form and build community in our tradition.

On Thursday last week we celebrated the Year 7 Welcome Mass with students and their families. Each Year 7 student was presented with a candle and a bookmark. Catherine McAuley called upon her sisters to ‘be shining lamps for all around’. We hope that this candle symbolises the sharing of our light, as Catherine McAuley asked of the sisters.

Ash Wednesday liturgies were led so ably by students this week. Lent is a time of invitation and hope as we await the Resurrection of Jesus. It is also a time when we are called to go beyond ourselves and to think of others. This year we especially include all those who live with war or devastation from natural disasters and keep them in our prayers. We pray for peace, just outcomes and unending generosity and support for all who need it both near and far. As is the case every year, OLMC will focus on the work of Caritas and Project Compassion throughout this season of Lent.

We have now concluded the major events that celebrate our return, the excellent achievement of our students, the induction of school leaders and the welcome of our Year 7 students; we are ready to settle into the steady rhythm of the school year. I would like to congratulate all of our students on a wonderful start to the year. They have shown real enthusiasm and commitment.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

As we begin our Lenten journey this week, let us be more aware of the great love God has for us. May we be open to the sadness and struggles in our world and in ourselves, and may we seek once again to be God’s loving action. Let us pray…

you have known us from the beginning of time,
you have known us in the depths of our dreams
and in the darkness of our fears,
you know us as your beloved.
Help us to own that core identity more and more
in this season of forgiveness and mercy.
Give us the rock-solid assurance of your unwavering faith in us
as we seek the same in you. Amen.
Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Ash Wednesday is one of the days in our year that dynamically mark us (both physically and spiritually) as we begin again.

On this day and through all of Lent, we seek ways to understand and celebrate God’s great love for us, and to love our neighbour.

All students celebrated a liturgy where they were invited to see God active and present in their world, loving them and all of God’s creation. They listened to God’s word, received blessed Ash, and prayed for the needs of our world.

We invite all families to consider the work of Caritas Australia through Project Compassion. Here is the link to learn more and to donate: https://www.caritas.org.au/

We thank you for your support.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

With great joy, on Thursday 16 February we welcomed our Year 7 students into life as Mercy people, with an evening Mass. We were joined by Year 7 families and our Year 12 students assisted with proceedings.

We celebrated all thing Mercy.

In his homily, Fr Erick Niyiragira CP invited the students to ‘notice’, centering upon the teachings from the parable of the Good Samaritan, and challenged them not only to notice but to respond as people of Mercy and love.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

During our Opening Mass, we celebrated God’s blessing of and for us, as we blessed the badges of our 2023 Student Leaders and our newest buildings: the Frayne Design and Technology Building and the Marian Centre. It was so wonderful to have many guests from our wider Mercy family.

During our Eucharist, we prayed the following prayer with Fr Erick Niyiragira CP:

Water is a great symbol of life. it sustains ourselves, our planet and all living creatures. Our First Nations people have always treasured its life-giving properties, and as stewards, they teach us.

Water reminds us of Christ, the living water, and the sacrament of baptism, in which we were born of water and the Holy Spirit.

So we pray…

O God, the creator of all things,
by water and the Holy Spirit
you have given the universe its beauty
and fashioned us in your own image.
Bless this water in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Grant that those who are sprinkled with this water
may be renewed in body and spirit,
That our leaders recall their baptismal promises,
as they serve others;
and that our new buildings,
are not only places of learning of knowledge;
but learning of life and Mercy.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Andrew Gibson
Curriculum Coordinator

The Overview of the 2023 Year 7 - 10 Curriculum can be found in the Parent Handbook, under Year 7 - 10 Programs. It is also available on the College website, on the Learning & Teaching page.

The Overview of the 2023 Year 7 - 10 Curriculum provides a summary of the subjects, the number of lessons a cycle, as well as the strands taught in each subject. The strands are key ways that a subject curriculum is organised according to skill or content. For example, English has three strands: Reading and Viewing, Writing, and Speaking and Listening.

In the Course Outline section, you will find more detail on the subjects being studied at each year level. In this area of the Curriculum Overview, each subject area lists the topics explored, as well as the associated assessment tasks with that subject. An indication of subject areas where the four capabilities are assessed is also provided in the course outline.

It is a handy resource to consult over the course of the year, and it may help with initiating conversations about learning at home.

Information regarding the curriculum for VCE, VCE Vocational Major, and Senior VCAL can be accessed through the publication Course Guide 2023 Senior Programs. It can be found via PAM in the Parent Handbook, in the Subject Selection folder. It is also on the College website.

‘And, who is my neighbour?’ (Luke 10:29b)

Our chosen scriptural theme for this year impels us to think about others and look beyond the college gates.

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

Our Exodus Dinners have started up again for 2023, 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. The Year 11 and 12 volunteers are back and dinners will be held every fortnight for up to 30 people.

We look forward to resuming all other Social Justice Activities in the next few weeks, including our weekly visits to St Pius X Primary School for the Reading Club and our new collaboration with Exodus for the ‘Bread Run’ one Wednesday per month with Year 8 and Year 12 students, supplying food to those in need in the community. Our Social Justice Club has also resumed and meets every Monday lunchtime in the Chapel.

We look forward to walking alongside our students to extend hospitality and care to all in our community in 2023.

Lauren Marquet and Elise Cooper
Social Justice Coordinators

The Languages Learning Area staff team welcomes back students of Japanese, French and Italian to another year of learning how to communicate in another language. A special welcome to our Year 7 students, many of whom have never before learned the language they are now studying. At the recent High Achievers’ Assembly, seven of the top ten students had studied a Unit 3/4 Language in their VCE program. It is amazing to think that they too were once Year 7 students beginning secondary school with little or no knowledge of their chosen languages. We also want to commend those students who do a language outside of school, such as Greek or Chinese.

Italian Language Assistant

I am delighted to announce that OLMC will be welcoming an Italian Language Assistant, Ludovica, to join the Languages Learning Area team this year. She will arrive from Italy at the beginning of Term 2 and will be with us until the end of the year, as part of the Co.As.It. Italian Language Assistants Program. Ludovica will work with Italian students at all year levels, under the guidance of the Italian teaching staff.

How to increase students’ exposure to the language and culture studied

Parents often ask language teachers what additional activities their children could be doing outside of the classroom to improve their knowledge of the language. This is a great question to ask! There are so many enjoyable ways to increase exposure to the target language and culture. Here are just a few ideas (click on the links to find out more and note that not all activities listed below will be suitable for all age groups):


  • Look at the Museo Italiano collection on Italian post-war migration
  • Pay a visit to your favourite gelato shop such as Lavezzi and Pidapipo on Lygon St
  • The Italian Film Festival (September/October)
  • Follow some Instagrammers for language learning such as @italianonextdoor and @improveyouritalian or fun ones such as @matilde_vaccar and @nonnasilviofficial



In addition, the Learning Commons has some great collections of Japanese, French and Italian books for students to borrow. Students can access Clickview from their school laptops to view movies in the target language. SBS and Netflix also have a range of movies and TV series in French, Italian and Japanese. Video clips of the latest pop songs in the various languages are available on Youtube. Then there are language learning websites such as Duolingo, Quizlet and Conjuguemos that can help students improve their language acquisition. For more ideas, students are encouraged to chat to their language teachers.

Fleur Davison
Languages Learning Leader

Year 7 students have been creating Portraits of Me as part of their first Religious Education unit, Belonging. This has involved them taking a photo of themselves, enlarging it and then adding in responses to the questions:

  • Something that brings me joy is….
  • My gift is….
  • I am looking forward to….
  • If I could change something in the world it would be…

Scarlett W. (7JBR) said that the task helped her to learn about her class mates, having each poster up on the wall. Others agreed with her that it was good to see what other people liked and what their gifts were. The students will build on this work to consider how they belong to OLMC and what gifts they can share with this community.

Bernadette Mercieca
Year 7 Religious Education Teacher

For Year 9 students, 2023 is a year of ‘new beginnings’ as they embark on their transition into senior school. The new year provides them with an opportunity to evaluate their learning journey so far and to recalibrate their course. The Horizon Program is designed to assist them in this endeavour and the students undertaking the program this term are finding greater clarity and purpose as they explore future opportunities.

But change and new beginnings can also be unsettling. When approaching new situations, it can be helpful to reflect on the new opportunities being presented, and the Year 9 Pastoral Team is focused on developing student relationships and building community within their new pastoral groups.

On Thursday 9 February 2023, students were given a presentation by Susan McLean, a leading cyber safety expert on staying safe online and using the internet respectfully and responsibly. This was followed by Peer Support Training designed to explore key leadership skills.

A major focus for Year 9 students over the past few weeks has been increasing student awareness of the leadership opportunities available to them. It takes courage to nominate yourself for a position of responsibility and it is heartening to see that many girls are embracing these opportunities. On Tuesday, we heard speeches from five students who wish to represent their peers on the Student Representative Council. On Wednesday, 22 students attended group interviews with Senior Student Leaders for House Vice-Captain roles and nearly half the cohort have expressed interest in undertaking peer support roles mentoring the Year 7 students.

Cyber Safety Reflection

On Thursday 9 February 2023, the Year 9 cohort gathered in McAuley Hall to listen to guest speaker, Susan McLean, a former police officer and leading Cyber Safety expert. She came to OLMC to educate us on how to be safe online and to use the internet respectfully. As our world evolves, we begin to use more forms of technology and if we are using it incorrectly the internet can become a very scary and dangerous place. Susan told us the hard truth and didn’t sugar coat anything. We learnt about how to be safe and responsible online. She gave us all a full and in-depth understanding of the internet and how it can be a hurtful place. She made us aware of all the laws that apply to internet use, and showed us resources to use if something were to happen to us or a friend. Susan even gave us tips and tricks to use when navigating our social media platforms, such as using suitable email addresses, profile pictures and Bluetooth names, as well as advice on comments and search histories. Susan was such an inspirational woman, we are extremely grateful that she could speak and teach us. We will forever remember her words of wisdom, and always rethink our decisions when being on the internet.
Aprila D. (9ACH) and Isabella R. (9ACH)

Peer Support Training Reflections
The speech task was really important to me because that showed how I had to think on the spot and sound confident by doing so. I didn't win the challenge, but it taught me a lot.
Georgia R. (9TLA)

The peer support training let me connect more with people in my year level and go outside my comfort zone.
Leah D. (9TLA)

One positive experience during the peer support training was working and communicating with others. It was enjoyable and I got to learn more about people I didn't know.
Ava C. (9TLA)

I liked learning about how to be a good teacher, and I never realised how difficult it could be.
Olivia X. (9TLA)

A positive experience for me was playing the games because these were a really fun way to learn how a peer support leader can overcome challenges.
Lucy S. (9TLA)

Kylie Willis
Year 9 Level Coordinator

VET qualifications provide industry exposure and opportunities for experience in the workplace. VET, which stands for Vocational Education and Training, can strengthen a student’s education by giving them the opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge.

Completing a VET subject as part of a student’s program is a great way to experience more hands-on learning, with the opportunity to complete a nationally recognised vocational qualification while still at school.

In 2023, we have 60 students across Years 11 and 12 completing a VET qualification as part of their program outside of OLMC. Some of the subjects studied include: Laboratory Skills, Animal Studies, Design Fundamentals, Beauty Services and Engineering Studies.

‘This year I am completing my Cert II in Animal Studies at Box Hill. So far, this course has been very engaging and would be very enjoyable to anyone who is interested in learning about animals and working with them in the future. This course has given me an opportunity to work hands-on with different animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits, and even mice, as well as complete work placement to get a better feel for the animal industry I want to work in in the future. I am very excited to explore the different opportunities that I will have after I complete my course this year.’
Anastasia S. (12CSGP)

‘I am currently studying a Cert III in Design Fundamentals at Box Hill Institute. This course has given me guidance and clarity as to what I would like to pursue in a professional career post-school. Being in my second year of the course, VET has given me industry experience and knowledge which I can now apply in my work placement and future career. Going once a week to the institute is rewarding, as I know I am working towards a qualification and the real world.’
Charlotte A. (12CRIV))

OLMC also offers two VET courses here at the College, currently studied by 66 students: Sport and Recreation Certificate III and Allied Health Assistance Certificate III.

‘Year 2 Allied Health students have been learning the skills of taking a patient’s vital signs and other clinical measurements. These measurements are an important skill in their training and also form part of their Year 12 assessment.

Nathasha and Monique were using the hospital simulation room to practise setting up patients for the measurements and communication as a team. The skills involve ensuring patient’s medical notes are up-to-date and follow legal guidelines.’
Fiona Koenig-Doig

Year 9 and 10 students may wish to consider a VET subject as an option in their senior years. Opportunities will arise later in the year to attend VET tasters, which give students the chance to see VET in action.

Cody Miller
Pathways Coordinator

GSV Weekly Sport
A big thank you to all students that have tried out for Softball, Tennis and Aerobics so far this term. OLMC Senior, Intermediate and Junior teams have commenced GSV fixture matches against competing GSV schools. OLMC Aerobics official training will commence on Friday 3 March at lunchtime. Monday training will commence on 6 March from 7:00am - 8:10am Final program dates will be distributed shortly.

GSV Golf Afternoon
On Tuesday 14 February, Charlotte P. (10MMZI), student competed at the GSV Golf Afternoon at Metropolitan Golf Club.
Charlotte played in the Division for players with golf handicaps and came 11th overall on the day.

GSV Triathlon
OLMC will participate in the 2023 GSV Triathlon next Sunday 26 February at Altona Beach. OLMC has 32 students from Years 7 - 12 competing in either Individual or Team events, with a 300m Swim / 10km Ride / 3 km Run. We wish them all well.

GSV Swimming and Diving Carnivals
OLMC Swimming and Diving squads are eagerly training for the first of two GSV Swimming and Diving Carnivals this Term.

The Preliminary Swimming and Diving Carnival will be held on Friday 3 March at the Melbourne Sport and Aquatics Centre in Albert Park. Trials are underway to finalise competing students and their events.

Results of this event will enable GSV to position OLMC in an appropriate Division for the GSV Championship Swimming and Diving Carnival later in the month, with more information to follow.

2023 House Swimming Sport Preparation
The OLMC House Swimming Sports are on Friday 10 March at Boroondara Sport Complex.

This event has something for everyone, including dry and wet activities. The day will see the school community come together to provide a competitive program of swimming and diving along with fun novelty and volleyball competitions, conducted for all year levels throughout the day.

All students are encouraged to participate and earn valuable points for their House.

OLMC AFL Umpiring Program
In partnership with the Northern Football and Netball League, students in Years 8 - 10 have been invited to participate in an eight-week AFL Umpiring Course at our Maryland and Nalleijerring Centre on Tuesday after school.

Dates and participating students are being finalised, please visit SIMON for more information.

Term 1 Sport Dates

Sunday 26 February

GSV Triathlon
Friday 3 MarchGSV Preliminary Carnival Diving and Swimming
Friday 10 MarchHouse Swimming Sports, Boroondara Sport Complex
Tuesday 21 MarchGSV Championship: Diving and Swimming
Tuesday 4 AprilGSV Diving and Swimming Final

Trevor Robertson
Sports Coordinator

And the new school year has begun!

Welcome to all the new Year 7 students and staff at OLMC, and to the rest of the OLMC community, welcome back to another year full of fun and exciting events! We hope you are all well-rested to start 2023 off with a bang.

The 2023 Year 12 Student Leadership Team has worked collaboratively together these last few weeks, especially to promote our 2023 religious college theme of ‘And, who is my neighbour?’ from the Gospel of Luke 10:29. We decided on this theme after many deliberations and finally came to the conclusion that this year we need to focus on how we need to look out for not just our friends, but our peers, colleagues and the community as a whole. And so this quote from Luke fitted perfectly into the vision we have for this year. We want everyone to feel included and embraced in our community, especially those who have joined us this year.

As our theme was about inclusivity, the OLMC Club Expo that occurred on Friday 10 February acknowledged this idea. Many clubs like Elite Dance, Drama Club, Makerspace, Camera Club were involved in inviting new neighbours to their clubs. It was a very successful day that encouraged many students to try something new whilst also allowing them to meet new people.

Speaking of encouragement and motivation, we would like to acknowledge the students who stepped out of their comfort zone and put their hands up to nominate themselves for their year level’s position on the Student Representative Council (SRC) for 2023. There were so many sign-ups for SRC across all year levels, which shows how strong and courageous students are here at OLMC. As forms have been submitted and interviews have been conducted, over the next week there will be speeches from these brave individuals, in front of each of their year-level groups. The members of the SRC will then be decided upon a vote by their peers. We wish good luck to all candidates and know that if you do not get the position, there are plenty of other leadership opportunities here at OLMC, including the Year 9 House Vice-Captains. The House Vice-Captain roles were introduced only in these last few years to provide guidance to the House Captains and promote our House events here at OLMC to the younger year levels. Interviews will be held next week, and once again will go to a vote by Year 9 students.

Upcoming events for the OLMC community include our International Woman’s Day Breakfast which will be held on the Wednesday 8 March, as well as the famous House Swimming Carnival on the Friday 10 March. Let the best house win!

Laetitia D. and Milana L.
2023 Communications Captains

Please join us for the 2023 International Women's Day Breakfast. Our breakfast will be a morning full of lively conversation and delicious food.

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

We welcome Kim Nguyen (Class of 2013) as our guest speaker.

Kim is a lawyer turned social entrepreneur specialising in startups, entrepreneurship and supporting emerging changemakers. She loves exploring the game changing solutions that occur when human rights, entrepreneurship and leadership intersect. Kim is currently the founder and CEO of the social enterprise Intrigue Lab – an innovation and consulting agency that consults and delivers projects on community-centred innovation. Kim is excited to be returning to OLMC to share her insights on ‘advancing gender equality through innovation and technology’.

Our MC’s will be our 2023 College Captains - Lara and Grace.

DateWednesday 8 March
WhereOLMC, Heagerty Room, Yarra Street, Heidelberg
Ticket Prices$25 Adult

$10 Student

BookingsBook Here

or go to Trybooking.com and search OLMC

Bookings CloseTuesday 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.

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.

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.