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Edition 13 | 02 September 2022
Ms Judith Weir

Yesterday we entered The Season of Creation, a time for us to focus on our precious earth and all of God’s creation. It is a time to reflect about what we are called to do in order that we can do our part to protect this world. At OLMC we are blessed with active student Social Justice and Eco Justice teams whose constant attention is devoted to helping all in our school to see where and how we can act. In another section of this newsletter our Head of Faith and Mission, Mr Taylor shares with you some of the inspiration we take from the words of Pope Francis.

This has been another busy fortnight at OLMC. Students and staff have been acknowledged by others for their outstanding work. Their endeavours required courage and compassion for themselves and others. It is with great joy that we celebrate with them.

Music Camp took place last week, although to say Camp is not quite right as the event was held solely at school. There was lots of fun and a great deal of preparation that has gone into getting ready for the Celebration Concert and we are very much looking forward to welcoming the students’ families and staff back for our first concert since 2019. Thank you to Jo-Anne Mileto, Madalena Broadbent, Gabby Russo and all of our Instrumental Music Teachers for your support of our students.

Parent Teacher Student Interviews for Year 7 - 9 will be held next week online. As always, we encourage all families to take the opportunity to meet with teachers to both celebrate the successes of your child and to discuss next steps to support their growth. This is an important opportunity for us to come together as partners in your child’s learning growth and development.

Mercy Day will be celebrated on 15 September. This is one of the most significant days in our year. It is a time when we pause to acknowledge and celebrate the wonderful legacy that has been gifted to us by the Sisters of Mercy. The Student Leaders from all year levels take a role in the preparations encouraging all to be involved. This will be the first day we have had onsite since 2019. Many of our students are yet to experience a Mercy Day at school and we are very much looking forward to sharing the joy and fun. There are competitions, a disco, and lots of different sweets to buy. I cannot stress enough how important it is for our students to be part of the day. I have had the honour recently of speaking with a number of Alumni and one of their most prominent and fondest memories was Mercy Day. We hope that we can once again provide such wonderful memories for all our students.

STEM in Space Secondary Award - Winner


Congratulations to our Year 9 STEM MAD team of Heidi, Sephora, Katiya and Alice who have won the national STEM in SPACE prize. Thank you to Dr Long who inspired and guided the students enabling them to be creative and solve a problem in an interesting way. Their prize, awarded by The Andy Thomas Space Foundation, is to attend the Australian Space Forum in Adelaide in March 2023.

The students will demonstrate their project at the National Catholic Education Conference to be held in Melbourne next week.

Frayne Speech Festival
Congratulations to the Voice Choir team who won this section of the Frayne Speech Festival. This event is hosted each year by a different Mercy school and provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the skills and talents of students in a variety of different types of public speech performance. To all who represented OLMC, we offer our thanks and congratulations; the students were all excellent ambassadors for the College. Thank you must also go to Ms Butterworth for her organisation and coordination of the OLMC teams and Ms Brislin, Ms Taine and Ms Gamble-Curran for their leadership and coaching of the students.

The Senior AFL Team has been successful in making it through to the Herald Shield Competition Division 2 Grand Final. Congratulations to the team and their coaches on such a significant achievement.

This Sunday is Father’s Day. We wish all the fathers, grandfathers and men who are significant mentors in the lives of others, all the very best for a wonderful day. We hope you feel special and spoilt.

Mr Shane Taylor
Faith and Mission Coordinator

This Sunday, we thank God for our fathers and the significant men in our lives and remember with love those who are now in God’s enteral loving embrace. We pray…

God our Father,
We give You thanks and praise for fathers young and old.
We pray for young fathers, newly embracing their vocation;
may they find courage and perseverance to balance
work, family and faith in joy and sacrifice.
We pray for fathers worldwide whose children are lost or suffering;
may they know that the God of compassion walks with them in their sorrow.
We pray for men who are not fathers
but still mentor and guide us with fatherly love and advice.
We remember fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers
who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory
and nourish us with their love.
We make this prayer through Christ, the Lord.
Mr Shane Taylor
Faith and Mission Coordinator

As Mercy people, we are called to live and serve our world by following the eight corporal works of Mercy:

  • Feed the hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Clothe the naked
  • Visit the imprisoned
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Visit the sick
  • Bury the dead
  • Care for our common home

Yesterday (1 September, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation), we began The Season of Creation, and it ends on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations. Individuals and communities are invited to participate through prayer, sustainability projects and advocacy.

At OLMC, we take this call seriously. In addition to structural responses such as solar panels used to power our school and water capturing used for toilets and gardens, our Eco-justice groups work, promote and seek ways to care for our planet and the earth’s poor. Pope Francis says

"…for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for our sake, “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us” (Laudato Si’, 216). The ecological crisis thus summons us to a profound spiritual conversion: Christians are called to “an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them” (ibid., 217). For “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience” (ibid.)."

Pope Francis, in his letter to Cardinals Turkson and Koch establishing the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation”

“Praise be to you my Lord, with all your creatures,” prayed St. Francis of Assisi, well before the Season of Creation began. With this simple but profound prayer, he has encouraged believers of many generations to recognize creation as the fruit of God’s eternal Love.

What are you able to do during this 2022 Season of Creation?

Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse

Mr Shane Taylor
Faith and Mission Coordinator

We celebrated Social Justice last Sunday 28 August. The Australian Bishops’ Social Justice Statement, Respect: Confronting violence and abuse, invites us to nurture relationships marked by equality and reciprocity rather than domination and violence, respect and freedom rather than coercion and control. The Statement provides contacts for those who are experiencing violence and abuse to get help, and for people who want assistance to change their behaviour.

To read the statement or for more information: ACBC Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace, or Tel (02) 6201 9845.

Tuesday 30 August marked Period Poverty Day for OLMC.

The Feminist Collective have spent months planning the day and we can see the awareness growing each year.

Thank you to all the students and staff who have contributed hundreds of packets of sanitary products that will be donated to women escaping poverty and domestic violence through McAuley Services for Women.

This was also an opportunity to learn about Period Poverty around the world and how we can all help to normalise this most natural part of life.

To mark the day and encourage conversations about periods, students were handed out a hand braided bracelet and invited a paint a fingernail red during pastoral.

Thank you to the Fem Coll students who spent many lunchtimes making bracelets and a special thank you to the Year 9 Horizon students who rolled up their sleeves to help out.

Lauren Marquert
Social Justice Coordinator

Last week our Year 12 Studio Art students were lucky enough to be able to visit Australian Galleries in Collingwood and the Heide Museum of Modern Art as part of their exploration of Art Industry contexts in the lead up to their examination.

Both galleries offered fascinating insights into the detailed planning that goes into an exhibition and the multitude of considerations they need to take into account when putting on a show. This includes controlling a room's humidity, lighting, security and how the layout can create a narrative about an artist's work.

The immersive experience of being in these spaces with the curators of these exhibitions is an invaluable resource for the students when preparing to write about these contexts for the examination in November.

Mark Jenkinson
Design, Art and Technology Learning Leader

Recently, all Year 7 and 8 OLMC students have been given the opportunity to participate in the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee, a competition open to students across the country.

Students were challenged to spell 30 words independently via an online program. Many of the words were ones they had not encountered before so students needed to draw on a range of skills to decode and spell them correctly.

We congratulate Year 7 student Dania J. (7AAP) who achieved the highest score at OLMC for the first round of the competition.

In the next few weeks we will be notified of students who have successfully made it into the second round where they will have a further opportunity to display their skills.

We congratulate all students for adopting a positive approach to participating in this challenging activity.

Anna Apfelstedt
Learning Commons Coordinator

Last Thursday 25 August twenty one eager students and three staff members headed off on the bus to the Frayne Speech Festival at Emmanuel College in Warrnambool. The students were set to compete in Public Speaking, Debating and the Voice Choir events at the festival.

During the bus ride down, the students rehearsed their speeches and performances enthusiastically, laughed, watched a movie, chatted and some even managed to have a snooze.

We arrived at our accommodation at Deakin University and sorted out ourselves and got straight into preparation. The Voice Choir rehearsed the two poems they were presenting and the Debaters and Public Speakers worked on their speeches and critiqued each other's arguments. The Voice Choir also decided that matching braids might give them the winning edge so it quickly turned into a pseudo hair salon.

The next morning we headed off to Emmanuel College ready for an exciting festival. Everyone headed off to their respective events and competed strongly. The debate team won their first debate for the day and the Voice Choir presented confidently. There was a break in the day for the Voice Choir which meant that they were able to support one of the debates where the girls presented well considered arguments.

In the afternoon the Voice Choir competed in the finals and won the overall competition for the day, narrowly beating the reigning champions. As staff, we were incredibly proud of how the students carried themselves throughout the festival. They were prepared and presented confidently, demonstrating wonderful sportsmanship.

Congratulations to all of the students involved!

The bus ride home was full of joy, and a fairly impressive sing-a-long.

Students Reflections:
My time at Voice Choir was fun and empowering. As a person who is not so comfortable with public speaking, this was an amazing opportunity to work on my confidence in a fun and safe environment with all my friends. The overall trip was so much fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering doing it next year!
Minna V. Year 10 (MMZI)

Voice Choir was an amazing experience, filled with so many memories. The bus rides were very entertaining because we sang karaoke at the top of our lungs, rehearsed and most importantly … slept! All the other schools were so lovely, especially the hosting school Emmanuel College. They came up to us and started many conversations, they were so welcoming! Getting prepared to perform our poems was the most nerve wracking part but once we were on the stage, it was tremendously thrilling. The feeling once we had won was exhilarating! Most of us did not expect to place first, as all the schools participating were terrific but it was definitely an adventure we will never forget.
Olivia S. Year 10 (MMWI)

Voice Choir and the road trip to Warrnambool was an exciting experience that will now be part of my wonderful memories of OLMC.

Rehearsing and performing with such a wonderful group of friends was so much fun and seeing the development of the two poems and workshopping movement to go with the dialogue was entertaining, but also rewarding. It was satisfying seeing our improvement.

As a group we all had matching french braids and we rehearsed on the bus trip and up until 10.30pm to perfect our performance.

The hard work paid off when OLMC was announced as the 2022 Frayne Voice Choir winners.

I highly recommend students to participate in the Frayne Speech Festival next year.
Matilda B. Year 10 (AASE)

Being part of the Frayne Speech festival was amazing. It was a great experience to develop our debating and public speaking skills and improvise in order to come up with rebuttals and secret topics within a time constraint. My favourite part of the trip was being able to make new friends in a variety of year levels and work with them in debating but also practising and discussing topics with the students from the other year levels. I enjoyed all aspects of the day and the trip and I'm looking forward to doing it all again next year!
Tiara L. Year 11 (MFTA)

The Frayne Speech Festival offered me the opportunity to participate in an overnight camp at Warrnambool with a group of 21 other students from OLMC. This festival involved competing in Voice Choir, Debating and Public Speaking; against 11 other Mercy Schools. It was a wonderful experience for all students. I had lots of fun engaging in the competition. My team was fortunate enough to be selected to be part of the Voice Choir category. We undertook many rehearsals and battled through two rounds on the day. Subsequently, we came 1st in the Voice Choir category of the event. We were thrilled to bring home the ‘Voice Choir’ title. It was a very proud moment for the team and the school; the last time OLMC won was 11 years ago.
Tiffany M. 8MKY

Felicia Taine, Hayley Gamble Curran, Deb Butterworth and Rhonda Brislin
Our Lady of Mercy College Teachers

The Big Issue, The Immigration Museum and The Old Melbourne Gaol

Students Reflection:

As part of the Horizon program, we were lucky enough to attend the Big Issue Classroom where we had the great privilege of listening to different speakers, one of whom was Danni who shared her personal story. Through our visit, the subjects of homelessness, addiction and in particular, marginalisation were spoken about in a way that came from true passion and honesty. For us personally, the highlight of this workshop was listening to first-hand experiences from Danni. Her ability to share her story of dealing with a difficult childhood facing homelessness, neglect and addiction with such courage was truly inspiring. Hearing her story was so empowering and her strength to face us all and express how she felt whilst dealing with such obstacles was incredibly commendable.

At the Immigration Museum, we visited the Becoming You Exhibition, a self-directed program where we listened to and read many different coming of age stories from 72 Australians. These stories made us think and appreciate Australia’s diversity and our shared humanity. It helped us to think about our own lives, our identities and our experiences and link them back to the experiences of dozens of other Australians; letting us see that even though we are so diverse and unique, we are all still humans who are connected by our experiences and stories.

As well as learning many new things at The Big Issue Classroom and the Immigration Museum, we also had an amazing experience at the Old Melbourne Gaol!

We started our adventure with a guided tour where we learnt about the history of the goal, what life was like for the prisoners, some stories about significant figures in Australia’s past like Ned Kelly and the amount of injustice there was towards the prisoners back in the day. They described how people could become a prisoner just from being homeless!

After visiting the gaol, we walked next door to the Old Magistrates Court and took part in a courtroom case based on social media. Our courtroom re-enactment was engaging and allowed us to have fun, acting out roles and watching our friends. This case was relevant to us as these platforms (such as Instagram and Snapchat) are a part of our daily lives but the dangers of putting trusted information and images online were also represented. Being immersed in this re-enactment of a real case was really interesting to us all as the event was very inclusive, allowing us to learn more about the justice system in a form that we, as students, can enjoy and understand.

These trail days gave us the opportunity to delve into some different social justice issues and provided a great introduction to our upcoming Social Justice Unit in the Horizon classroom.
By Isabella L. (9DCA), Bianca C. (9DCA), Alannah P. (9JGU) and Amelie B. (9DCA)
Year 9 Horizon

Gabrielle Tabban
Horizon Coordinator

Language students at OLMC have the opportunity to engage with poetry in their chosen language.

Each year, French students from Years 8 - 10 memorise and recite a French poem as part of the Alliance Française Berthe Mouchette competition. I would like to congratulate Juwel J. (AGLE) from Year 10 who was chosen to be a finalist in the competition this year. Félicitations, Juwel !

Meanwhile, Year 10 Italian students have been involved in writing poetry in Italian for the Dante Alighieri competition.

Ms Loretta Costa, Year 10 Italian teacher, has written the following piece below about this activity.

Fleur Davison
Languages Learning Leader

Dante Alighieri Original Poetry Competition

Year 10 students of Italian are currently writing their own original poems to enter the Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition 2022. Students have written various types of poems, such as free verse, narrative, rhymed, haiku and acrostic.

Without doubt, writing poetry can enhance a student’s creativity and ability to broaden vocabulary in a foreign language. At first some students are hesitant to write poetry and tend to think that they lack the skills, but they soon find that it can be a rewarding and enriching activity.

Le poesie sono pensieri che respirano con le parole!

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Robert Frost.

The use of poetry may help in developing writing and speaking in a foreign language. It may also help process experiences, emotions and visual descriptions. Reading poetry allows us to slow down, it may also help us to understand others and to develop new ideas.

Often poetry is broken into short, well thought out sentences making the writer consider every single word and where it is placed, as it can affect the rhythm and meaning of the poem.

Some of the topics students have chosen to write their poems on in Italian this year include: travel, immigration, environment, life, family, youth, childhood, pastimes, dreams, the seasons and the joy of reading.

Loretta Costa
Italian Teacher

On Tuesday 16 August, forty five excited Drama and Theatre Studies students from Year 10, 11 and 12 headed off to the Princess Theatre to witness the spectacular that was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It certainly did not disappoint! At the interval, the students were excitedly discussing all of their favourite parts of the show and trying to work out just how some of that magic happened! These wonderful conversations filtered back into our classes at school where the students started to analyse different aspects of the performance ready for them to write on for their assessment tasks.

It was wonderful to see the students' joy and excitement as they embraced the rich theatre culture that Melbourne has to offer. At the conclusion of the performance, our students were invited to stay back and have a question and answer session with five of the cast members as well as the director. This was a fabulous opportunity for the students to be able to ask questions about the show, life as a performer/director and really get a backstage look into the show… although no magical secrets were shared unfortunately!

Thank you to the staff who attended, the students for their outstanding theatre etiquette and the parents/guardians for the late evening pick up in the city! It was well worth it.

Student Reflection:
My experience of the excursion to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was one of my favourite memories from this school year, it was full of fun and confusion, the tricks they pulled and illusions they made it feel as if it was really magic. As it all happens before your eyes, they included a lot of audience participation, and the stage around us without giving much away, all the mise en scene that was used is unlike anything I have ever seen. It would have taken a huge amount of creativity and effort to pull off something that exciting, and it effortlessly entices you for the whole show. By the end it leaves you questioning anything that you know about theatre. We as a group were lucky enough to be able to meet some of the cast and crew after the show for a Q&A with one of the directors. It was definitely a great experience and not that they could reveal very much about the physical show, we got to ask a lot about what the actors personally liked, or what their favourite trick was. Definitely a great school experience!
Indra L. Year 10 (MFTA)

Felicia Taine and Hayley Gamble-Curran
Drama Teachers

The sheCommerce Camp hosted by the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Business and Economics was an academic enrichment program that took place in the July school holidays. Students from across Victoria who are passionate about leadership and community involvement applied to participate in this program that brought together high-school students, current Bachelor of Commerce students, Melbourne Uni alumni and academics for a three day camp. Hannah Hallibrton and Madeleine Kos of Year 9 were two of only forty participants who were selected to participate in this camp. Students were selected on the basis of letters about their goals, role models, significant achievements, extracurricular activities and ways they have shown leadership in the last few years.

On their return to school this term, Hannah and Madeleine glowed with excitement as they recounted the eye-opening and inspiring time they enjoyed experiencing a taste of University life during the camp, so who better to tell their stories…?

I had the incredible opportunity to attend the first ever sheCommerce camp at the University of Melbourne. This is a program that starts in Year 9 and continues through to Year 12 and it's all about educating young women in the extensive education and career paths in commerce.

As part of the program I attended a three day camp where I got to attend lectures, tour and stay at the Parkville U.M campus, network with other like-minded individuals and attend keynote speeches, panels and workshops. One of my highlights was hearing a keynote speech by Matt Kuperholtz about exponential technology. Matt is an artificial intelligence scientist who is a partner and chief data scientist at PwC. In his speech he outlined how fast technology is growing and how quickly the question has turned from "can we" to "should we" when we face the inevitable new and exciting breakthroughs in technology. He also spoke about his incredible career path and how he has become a partner at one of the biggest accounting firms in the world working on an AI network that will revolutionise the internet.

I also really enjoyed the trade room session where we learnt all about the stock market and the benefits of investing. Our professor introduced us to what the stock market looks like and initially the rapidly changing numbers and interchanging graphs were incredibly overwhelming. However, with time and help from our mentors (who are students at Melbourne University studying for a Bachelor of Commerce) and teachers we eventually got the hang of it and were able to make socially responsible investments in companies around the world. Overall it was an incredible experience and I am excited to continue in this program.
Hannah H. 9NWA

I was honoured to be chosen to participate in the three day live-in sheCommerce program at Melbourne University. I felt inspired to apply for the program because I have a passion for creative entrepreneurial ideas as shown in my own fairy floss business.

The Melbourne University sheCommerce program is a fantastic opportunity for high school girls to focus on knowledge and skills required to develop in areas of finance, economics, business, trade, marketing, advertising, technology and problem solving. It is also a terrific chance to network with peers who are equally passionate about business.

At the commencement of the program we all met mentors who were assigned to guide us and provide their knowledge and skills. We then met with all of the 40 participants and went on a tour around the University Campus. We got to meet the Commerce professors and the Dean of Commerce who gave us support, encouragement and insight into the many different and interesting career pathways that can stem from the study of Commerce.

We had a fun Trivia Night where it was great to get to know the girls and develop friendships, as well as the fun movie night! Our days there were jam packed with various enjoyable, immersive tasks and workshops. We engaged in activities including trading and the stock market, an economics auction, lunch with clubs and societies, an Exponential Technology presentation, a visit to an Indigenous art gallery and even a Q and A with an alumni panel.

On the last day we took part in a graduation ceremony to celebrate our first completed camp of many to come. I would say the highlight of the camp was that I had the opportunity to meet like-minded girls who were just as intrigued and interested in commerce as I am, and that I was able to make those connections and friendships that I never would have if I had not taken a chance and applied for this exciting opportunity.

Through this whole experience it has made me more eager to learn about commerce and apply what I learn to discover my future career.
Madeleine K. 9DCA

Sarah Nash
Year 9 Coordinator

On Wednesday 24 August approximately 90 students and staff headed across to Nalleijerring Centre/Mercedes Hogan Theatre (MHT) for three days of intense rehearsals and team based activities.

It was wonderful to hear music coming from all areas of the building and the improvement which was evident at the end of each rehearsal was amazing. As well as playing music for up to 6 hours a day, the girls took part in some team building exercises to increase their self-confidence and to make some new friends in a safe environment.

Some of the activities included creating a team costume out of newspaper, a lip sync battle, a talent show and a just dance tournament.

The Year 12 students celebrated their final music camp with a dress up of ‘popstars’ for their final dinner at camp. The girls were given scrumptious meals across the three days with the highlight being a food truck dinner and a KFC lunch.

Whilst the girls were at first disappointed that their camp had moved location, by the end of the three days many expressed how much fun they had had and how much they felt they had grown as musicians across the three days. Their positivity made the three days a delight to organise and lead.

We look forward to sharing their learnings and talents with you and the wider community at ‘Magical Moments’ the 2022 OLMC Celebration Concert to be held on Monday 5 September at 7:00pm in Nalleijerring Centre.

We hope you can join us for a wonderful celebration of all their work.

Jo-Anne Mileto
Instrumental Music Coordinator

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.

This year’s Celebration Concert is a culmination of the work accomplished by students throughout the year and on music camp.

All OLMC ensembles will share their talents with you.

The evening will also include performances from our VCE and Senior Classroom Music Students as well as Elite Dance.

The concert will be held in the Nalleijerring Centre and tickets are $10 adults, $5 children.

To purchase concert tickets please use the "BOOK TICKETS HERE" box below.

Try out our sports facilities and find out what it’s like to study Physical Education at OLMC Heidelberg.

Date and TimeThursday 6 October
Time4:00pm - 5:00pm
LocationNalleijerring Centre, OLMC Heidelberg (enter via Yarra Street)
Who is it ForGirls in Grade 4 interested in studying Physical Education in Secondary School
RSVPBook online by Tuesday 4 October

Try out our sports facilities and find out what it’s like to study Physical Education at OLMC Heidelberg.

At this free after-school workshop, our Sport and Recreation students will run a series of fun skills sessions and games for girls in Grade 4.

Our students have access to extensive, modern sporting facilities including indoor multi-purpose courts, outdoor sports fields and a fitness centre. There are many opportunities for students to try a new sport or represent the College in interschool competitions.

Experience OLMC Heidelberg offers girls in primary school a chance to try subjects they can study at the College. Together we can learn, lead and be the best we can be. We are empowered together.

Elizabeth Baxter
Leader of Marketing and Development

OLMC College Tours

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.