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Edition 3 | 10 March 2023
Ms Judith Weir

On Wednesday we celebrated International Women’s Day with the theme, “#CrackingtheCode”.

Once again, the celebrations on the day were led by our student leaders. It was a privilege to host the morning and to welcome back our keynote speaker Kim Nguyen from the Class of 2013. Kim is a lawyer turned social entrepreneur specialising in start-ups, entrepreneurship and supporting emerging changemakers. She is currently the founder and CEO of the social enterprise Intrigue Lab - an innovation and consulting agency that delivers projects on community-centred innovation.

We were inspired by Kim’s commitment to serving the community and her energy, enthusiasm and commitment to finding innovative ways to build community and support a growing number of diverse groups through social enterprise. It was humbling to listen to the impact of her time at OLMC, which empowered Kim to understand that she had a voice, and the ways she was helped to use it. She also gave some very sage advice; learning isn’t about perfection, it is about progress and that ‘when you try new things, they don’t always succeed but it is always an opportunity to learn’. We would like to congratulate and thank Kim for all that she does for the community.

Today we held our annual OLMC Swimming Carnival. This is always a wonderful day for students to connect with each other, represent their House and join in some fun. The Year 12 students always lead off with a parade, a tradition that has continued over many years. At the time of publication, the carnival results were not yet known. We wish all four Houses all the very best and look forward to celebrating the results as soon as they are available.

We are in the season of Lent, a time for renewal and hope in The Resurrection. As we approach this Easter we pray for renewal and live with hope in our hearts, that all will experience compassion, justice, courage and joy; the OLMC values that we hold so dear.

Mr Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

This week as we celebrate the dignity of every human being, we especially challenge each other to consider the role of women.

So we pray…

An International Women’s Day Prayer

God of love,
Today we honour the women of all times and places,
Women of courage,
Women of hope,
Women of suffering,
Women of mourning,
Women living fully,
Women experiencing joy,
Women delighting in life,
Women knowing the interconnectedness of the human family,
Women promoting human flourishing,
Women boldly leading the transformation of unjust global structures,
Women seeking and sharing wisdom and love,
Loving God, we celebrate your faithfulness and love,
On this day we celebrate the promotion of the full humanity of all women everywhere,
We know that whatever denies or distorts the full humanity is not of God,
Help us to be faithful to your call to love all of humanity equally,
In your holy name we pray,
Mr Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

As we began Lent, the Year 12s students gathered early in the morning to make pancake batter and then cooked pancakes for our community on the BBQ. This celebration of community was to support the work of Caritas’s Project Compassion, calling each of us to live Mercy and standing in solidarity with those who suffer.

Mr Andrew Gibson
Curriculum Coordinator

Semester 1 Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews will be occurring later this term and early next term. The first afternoon and evening is Wednesday 29 March, and the second afternoon and evening is Monday 24 April. These interviews will be held via Google Meet.

An email communication regarding these interviews will be sent in the afternoon of Friday 17 March. This communication will include instructions as to how to join the Meets and a support number for the day. The process for these interviews is the same as was used for Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews in 2022.

While you will not have to physically move from room to room, we still ask that you allow at least 5 minutes between interviews so that you can leave one Meet, have a debrief and then be ready to join the next interview at the booked time.

We ask that students are present for the interviews as it is about them and their learning. These meetings are an important opportunity to discuss learning and learning growth. They are an opportunity to acknowledge both effort and achievement, to discuss challenges and consider strategies and support for learning progress.

We look forward to the opportunity to have these conversations.

Bookings will close on Tuesday 28 March at 12:00pm, and then reopen on Thursday 30 March.

Both Wednesday 29 March and Monday 24 April are student free days.

Mrs Megan Edwards
Head of Student Wellbeing

We have had a very busy start to the new school year in our pastoral program. Our new Year 7 students have settled well into their new pastoral classes. Throughout the rest of this term, the Year 7s will begin making entries in their success journals. These success journals are a tangible way that students can track their growth and reflect on the skills they are developing as they begin their journey in secondary school. Our Year 8 students have had a session with Elevate, an organisation that specialises in the development of time management skills and effective study strategies. Some of their resources for parents can be found at

During one of their pastoral lessons, our Year 9s have heard from Susan McLean, a well-established presenter in the space of responsible behaviour online. She provided some powerful reminders to our students on how important it is to be thinking about how they present themselves online. Some of her resources can be found here:

Our Year 10 - 12 pastoral groups will be beginning their ‘Learn a New Skill’ sessions next week. Students will choose to participate in a number of workshops including ballroom dancing, and yoga to learning Auslan and practising barista skills.

Thank you to all families who have attended the various Parent Information Nights over the last month. It has been wonderful to welcome parents and guardians back onsite at the beginning of the year so that families have an opportunity to meet pastoral leaders and to hear about learning opportunities for the year ahead.

In the next few weeks, we will be hosting two events that are run by the organisation Time and Space. Year 8 students and their fathers or significant male figures are invited to join us on Tuesday 14 March. Our Year 7 students and their mothers or significant female figures will have their night on Wednesday 22 March. Both evenings will be held in the Nalleijerring Centre from 7.00pm. Please see recent emails that have been sent out for details on how to register.

In the last week, we have received the following information about an upcoming webinar being run by the Butterfly Foundation on how to develop positive body image in our young people.

Butterfly Foundation - Body Confident Children and Teens Webinar
It can be hard for children and teens to be accepting of and confident in their bodies. It can also be hard for parents/carers to know what to say or how best to support them. Hear from the experts at Butterfly on how to help your child towards a positive body image.


Parents/Carers of Primary and Secondary age children


Body Image Influences
Importance of Positive Body Image
Positive Role Modelling
Reducing Toxic Body Talk
Responding to Appearance Bullying
What to do if concerned

Resources and Supports

DateTuesday 21 March 2023
Time7:00pm - 8:15pm (AEDT)
FormatLive via Zoom (time limited recording available)
RegisterBook Here to Register

Megan Edwards
Head of Student Wellbeing

We are very proud to acknowledge the 100% offer rate to our graduating Class of 2022. Each student applying for further study in 2023 was successful in obtaining at least one offer, across all sectors of tertiary education. It is a remarkable achievement and demonstrates the commitment and future focus the vast majority of our students have in pursuing qualifications following their secondary school experience.

The spread of faculty areas being sought after Year 12 completion in 2022 is included below:

2022 Spreed of Offers

In 2023, we look forward to organising more opportunities for our students to engage in meaningful career development and we ask any families or alumni who may be in a position to help with any of the following future activities to contact Careers Coordinator, Melinda Williams via email

SWL Placements:
We have a number of our VCE students undertaking technical VET training as part of their VCE/VCEVM program and are keen for any employers who might be able to take students for work placements in the following industry areas:

  • Allied Health
  • Hospitality
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Interior Design
  • Music Performance & Sound Production
  • Beauty Services
  • Carpentry
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Animal Care
  • Screen And Media Production
  • Laboratory Skills
  • Graphic Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Electrotechnology

Industry Insight Panel Series
We are looking to arrange a number of industry insight discussions through Terms 2 and 3 for students to learn more about professions of interest by having the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of practising professionals. If you are willing to potentially be a guest speaker about your work role, please reach out via email.

We look forward to engaging with our wonderful OLMC community to support student future-thinking and goal-setting.

Melinda Williams
Careers Coordinator

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights all people have equal rights. In the preamble it argues ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’. In our Civics class we have been discussing how individual freedom is linked to rights. We discussed that rights are not acquired by actions or deeds but belong to everyone regardless of their country of origin, colour of their skin or religious belief.

While most people agree with human rights, as a class we have been exploring the forces at work that every day limit our freedom because they strip us of dignity and respect by limiting who we can become as human beings.

Recently we viewed a video highlighting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author who challenges us about reducing people to a ‘single story’. She argues that when we form a belief that only one story describes a particular ethnic group, we take away their dignity. Stereotypes, she argues, are damaging because they do not provide a complete story of an individual or groups of people.

Some reflections about these ideas from the students express their thoughts about how achieving rights for all is a difficult task.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie told her story about how her human rights were infringed. Many people, like Chimamanda, tell stories of how they have lacked human rights or were looked down upon because they were different. People are often judged and stereotyped based on their looks. It is easy for people to make assumptions about others but it doesn't always mean that they are right. Just because somebody looks different to you or is a different gender, age or race doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have the same rights as you. It makes people feel invisible when their rights are denied. Everybody, no matter what gender or race, should have equal rights.
Jacinta B. (10LRJO)

Stories we tell about others can infringe human rights because we are unknowingly putting them into a group based upon the colour of their skin, nationality, gender etc. This may make them feel unheard or unseen even though we sometimes don’t realise that we are putting these people into a stereotypical group. When we have this view on others it can strip their dignity. In order for us to stop stereotyping people based on a single story, we need to see people for who they really are and get to know them before making assumptions about their lives.
Alyssa M. (10CTKI)

When we make assumptions about others, we may reduce them to a single story. The majority of the time the stories are negative, or have negative elements to them. Often, it is all we know about people, incomplete stories circulate that often condemn certain people to our knowledge of other people we associate with them. When we have this prejudice towards others, we can strip them of their dignity. Making them feel invisible or unheard or seen. We may not allow them to do something or say something due to our assumptions about them, which in turn can take away even more rights such as freedom of speech and self-expression.
Maddie G. (10CTKI)

If we were to tell a story about someone who we do not know a lot about we will get a lot of things wrong. This might not sound like a big deal but it can make them sound like something they are not. There are many stereotypes about people and their nationalities or religions. These stereotypes put thoughts into people’s heads about what a person of a specific nationality is meant to look, sound and act like. This can alter the way a person thinks not only about themselves but of what other people think of them. If we tell a person's story incorrectly, we are taking away their dignity because we are not telling their entire story about who they actually are.

Elizabeth C. (10LRJO)

There is more than one human story. By limiting the stories we tell about people we take away their dignity, as we make assumptions about others that aren’t necessarily true and we minimise these stories to a single story. When different stories are told about a variety of countries, we instinctively stereotype them to how other people have described them. However, people don’t seem to look past the single story or the stereotypes of different races or even gender. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie told a story about how her roommate felt sorry for her before they even got a chance to get to know each other. She was shocked at how well she knew how to speak English if she came from Nigeria, and asked Chimamanda to play her tribal music. This then shows the stereotype that because she came from Nigeria, she must not have a good education and must listen to tribal music. As many people spread and enforce these stories about different cultures, it can again strip them from their dignity and righteousness.
Jasmine C. (10CSGP)

When stories get told about certain countries and races, we instantly think of the stereotyping answer, because that is what's been told and retold over and over. However, people do not seem to see anything past the ‘single story’. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie stated that when she left Nigeria and moved to another country and had a roommate, that the roommate instantly was shocked at how well she spoke English and asked her to play her tribal music. This shows that her roommate had taken the stories she had heard and just expected that every single person from an African country would have the same issues, same lifestyle and same experiences. She stated ‘she felt sorry for me before she had even met me’, leading us to believe that her roommate was very single-story minded and was enforcing the stereotype. By enforcing these human stories and grouping every person together we take their honour and respect from them.
Ava D. (10CMSM)

Human beings tend to judge things almost instantaneously and unconsciously, leaving no time to reconsider. This often tends to lead individuals to believe in something that may not be entirely true. Over time, society has developed stereotypes that generally represent one specific part of a whole, a whole that has more to it than just the one fact. Some main groups that suffer misjudgement are individuals with colour, religion and ethnicity. These groups have walls built around them, removing from others the opportunity to get to know more and understand that the ‘single story’ is an incomplete story. Additionally, when individuals are misjudged for specific causes, it ultimately removes many common rights, such as fairness in employment, education, opinion, etc. This therefore closes the views of misjudged individuals, removing the opportunity for people to see and hear these individuals’ views. Furthermore, it creates an unbalanced society of injustice and unfairness.
Catherine S. (10MECO)

Viewing a group by one story, one rumour, one comment about them can be harmful and you only look at those people from one perspective. The news stories that are told about different cultural groups can be negative and people tend to focus on all of the negative aspects of these people and base how they view and treat them on this view, that they’re bad people. When people focus on the negative, people don’t think to even ask about the positive and other features of these groups because they can’t think of anything else other than that one view that has been shared to them.
Tilly Z. (10CPSE)

Russell Ives
Humanities Teacher

St Pius Reading Club Returns for 2023
This week our Year 10 students returned to St Pius X Primary School to assist St Vincent de Paul with the reading program.

OLMC students joined with Vinnie’s volunteers to work with students to help with their reading. Our new group of Year 10 volunteers did not hesitate to jump straight into developing positive relationships with their buddies. Our girls demonstrated empathy and compassion beyond their years in working with the children to encourage positive associations with reading and learning. When thinking about our school’s scriptural theme this year, ‘And, who is my neighbour?’ (Luke 10:29), our Year 10 students have revealed themselves to be very much the neighbours Jesus invites us to be.

Exodus Community Dinner
Six Year 11 and 12 students put their hands up last Thursday to participate in the second Exodus Dinner for the year.

We cooked up a scrumptious Chicken Schnitzel and Baked Potato dinner and enjoyed conversations with the families in the Exodus Community.

This program will run fortnightly and is supported by an incredible team of teachers and staff, coordinated by Marie Jenkins.

Social Justice Club
What an incredible turn-out for our first two meetings. So much energy, passion and ideas! The Eco Justice Team are planning towards Eco Justice Day at the end of Term 1 where we will raise awareness for how we can all do small things to make a big change.

This Wednesday was International Women’s Day. The Social Justice Club helped to raise awareness of this day by making thousands of Purple Ribbons during their lunchtimes and handing these out on the day to every student and staff member. Purple is the colour chosen to denote justice and dignity for all women.

Elise Cooper and Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinators

The Year 12 VCAL students along with the Year 11 VCEVM cohort are delighted that the 7TH LAB Café is back up and running for another year. In preparation for launch, the VCAL students have run a training session for the ‘new recruits’ outlining the procedures involved in set up, preparing milkshakes and coffees, and clean-up in the Café. They are certainly looking forward to having more staff this year to help manage the hectic pace of the Café on Thursdays.

The students are responsible for the ordering, rostering and financial reconciliation each week, and conducting planning and review meetings with the team. It is valuable real-world experience for the students, allowing them to further develop their communication, problem-solving, financial literacy and work-related skills. Furthermore, our Café is a social enterprise, with the students working hard to support causes in the community. Last year the 7TH LAB raised over $2000 for McAuley Services for Women and this year we hope to better that!

Our Year 11 VCEVM students have already proved that they too can make a fabulous brownie and are looking forward to working with the Year 12 VCAL students in the Café each week. Barista training is booked for early April and with additional mentoring from the Year 12s, it won’t be long before they are experts on the coffee machine too!

Helen Hamblin
Senior Vocational Program Coordinator

On Wednesday and Thursday of Week 5, each of the Year 8 classes journeyed to the Jewish Museum and Synagogue in St Kilda as part of their Religious Education study of the Life and Times of Jesus. While at the museum, the students learned a great deal about Jewish beliefs and rituals, history and the Jewish year. They also toured the Synagogue and participated in a Shabbat blessing with some bread and grape juice. While there, the students engaged beautifully, asking and answering questions. They are now using much of what they discovered as they undertake their assessment task for this subject.

Special thanks to the Jewish Museum for hosting us, and to the staff who attended.

Bernadette Hogan
Religious Education Learning Leader

The Instrumental Music Department has begun 2023 strongly. Not only have an influx of students decided that 2023 is the year to be involved in music, we have also had a large number of students accept music scholarships, take part in a Year 7 ‘try an instrument pastoral’ and to top it off a Music Camp for all band students. All of this in the first five weeks of school.

We were very excited to be able to visit the Year 7 cohort during their pastoral lesson on Tuesday 14 February and give them the chance to not only see and hear a range of instruments, but also try them. Whilst many students knew what a violin and a guitar were, they weren’t so sure about some instruments like the French horn and trombone which were on display. It was wonderful to see the students having a go, with some so inspired that they signed up for lessons the next day.

Music Camp this year moved to the beginning of the year to allow students the opportunity of forming their ensemble groups earlier. This two-day experience at The Edmund Rice Amberley Centre on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 February allowed those students just starting an instrument to undertake two days of intense learning. It was amazing to see the improvement that occurred across the two days. This event also allowed many students to work with their ensemble leaders in a focused environment and for those just starting, understand their roles as part of their music ensemble ‘team’. As well as many hours of rehearsal, the students also undertook some bonding activities and it was great to see new friends being made and fun being had. Trivia, Just Dance and a talent show performance were a few of the extra things which everyone seemed to enjoy.

We look forward to sharing our learnings with the community at various events throughout the semester.

Jo-anne Mileto
Instrumental Music Coordinator

This year, the Arts at OLMC have started with a bang!

Throughout 2023 we are working towards incorporating the school's theme of ‘And, who is my neighbour?’ in all areas of the program. Whether it is encouraging your friends to try something new, or supporting those around you in a warm and welcoming environment, ready to thrive!

Already, so much has happened this year, with the appointment of our 2023 cantors and Arts Leaders. We congratulate them all and wish them the very best of luck in their roles.

Our much-loved annual Music Camp took place at the end of February, with students preparing for our upcoming Mid-Year Music Concert, getting to know their fellow musicians through activities and rehearsals! We also saw the beginning of our Arts Clubs, Debating, Camera Club and Elite Dance. Stay tuned for information from our Arts Captains on SIMON!

But there is more to come, OLMC is introducing a brand-new Drama Club! Students will work with friends, old and new, to work on their own performances! Drama Club presents students the opportunity to learn about types of theatre, and will be given the opportunity to showcase individual monologues or group performances. Led by our very own Drama Captains, this is an experience not to be missed! Coming soon!

And how can we forget, OLMCs most rock and rollin’ event of the year: The 2023 Senior Production. In no time at all, our annual M2 Production with Marcellin College, Rock of Ages will bump in at the Mercedes Hogan Theatre, for a strictly limited season! Students from Years 10 - 12 have been hard at work all term. You could say they, ‘built this show on rock and roll’. Visit the Sunset Strip in May - Tickets on sale soon.

We have so many new experiences planned for 2023, so keep an eye out for any upcoming announcements!

Alessia K. (12 LJVA) and Isabella K. (12AJRA)
Art Captains

Every year, right at the beginning of the school year we celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This year, this occurred on Friday 10 February, which was followed up by International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March. In fact, every day at OLMC is a day of women and girls in Science and STEM. We strive to make Science fun and interesting and accessible for all students from Year 7 to Unit 4 in VCE Sciences.

Currently around 28% of the Science and STEM workforces is female. That seems concerning but it shows a big gain from the 8% of 50 years ago. Women and diverse workers are necessary to make sure science, policy, science communication, engineering solutions and research are designed and implemented to ensure best outcomes across our entire populations. We want to continue to promote to our students the rewarding and high impact STEM workforce pathways; to ensure all our young women have access to possibilities and opportunities and to ensure the future resilience of Australia.

In the labs, since the start of the year we have been working on hands-on learning experiences that captivate and challenge while building confidence and knowledge. Even our demonstrations are designed to make students see, think and wonder.

Our Year 7s have been getting orientated in laboratories and using some fundamental chemistry principles to separate mixtures. Our Year 8s have been learning about digestive systems and are moving on to learning about other body systems in coming weeks. Classes have been using our new structured logbooks to enhance their science communication skills and better reflect on practical learning. Year 9s are also looking at body systems, exploring the mechanisms of homeostasis and Year 10s have been learning about genetics and inheritance and are soon to start on an exploration of bioethics.

Susan Long
Science Learning Leader

Applications for the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) 2023 are now open and remain open until the end of Term 2 2023.

Parents/Legal Guardians holding a Concession Card and being successfully validated with Centrelink will be entitled to a payment of $225 per year for each Secondary School student.

Parents, please refer to the 2023 Camps, Sports & Excursions Fund (CSEF) Application Form attached.

Please complete this application and return it as soon as possible to Visitor Reception at OLMC along with a photocopy of your relevant Concession Card.

Susan Gepp
Accounts Receivable Officer

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.