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Edition 16 | 08 October 2021
Ms Judith Weir

On the last Thursday of Term 3 we celebrated Mercy Day. I continue to be inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm of our students. We celebrated Mass together and so many students took on roles helping to lead our community in prayer. The Staff vs Student Family Feud that is becoming an annual event, was funny and engaging and once again the best of OLMC was on display.

Students had options to choose from activities within the values of Justice, Compassion, Courage and Joy. The activities ranged from meditation and yoga to sports training, escape rooms, karaoke, dance parties and discos to scavenger hunts and baking. The student leaders were outstanding in their leadership of the day and I would like to congratulate everyone for being involved. There was so much fun and laughter in the sessions I joined over the day. The spirit of Mercy was certainly alive and well even if we were all online.

Mercy Day is also an important opportunity for us to think about others and to respond to greater needs than our own. Each year we try to raise funds for Mercy Works and this year we focused on supporting the work in PNG. To all of our students and families who donated; thank you. Your generosity will go some way to ease the hardship of others. If you would like to donate you will find a link in the article by Brooke Kilborn and Shane Taylor about Mercy Day.

This week we welcomed all our students undertaking a Unit 3 and 4 study as they arrived to complete the GAT and then begin classes. Staff and students welcomed the opportunity to connect with each other face to face and to be back at school. It was an important opportunity to chat with friends and to see each other. Our Year 12 students have been exemplary in their approach to their return to school and all that this has meant. They have shown amazing courage and resilience during the last two years. They are truly leaders and role models for other students and I am filled with hope for the future. We hold them in our thoughts and prayers as they complete classes, Swot Vac and exams.

Term 4 is important for every student, and our teachers will strive to continue to deliver high-quality learning for everyone. We have previously provided guidance on what the return to school will look like for students in Years 7-11. We anticipate that from 26 October we will be able to welcome all students back to onsite learning for at least part of the week.

The next few weeks will challenge us all as we wait for the granting of much hoped for freedoms. We hope you and your families continue to be healthy and find opportunities for joy.

As people of Mercy, we are called to be God’s loving presence in our world.

Mr Shane Taylor
Faith and Mission Coordinator

Catherine McAuley modelled this in 19th Century Ireland and challenged others about their care and responsibility for the suffering. Being in a deep relationship with her God, Catherine was the living expression of God’s compassion and mercy for many.

In recent weeks we have witnessed terrible scenes of suffering and despair in Afghanistan. We are reminded of the 82.4 MILLION forcibly displaced people worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order, in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic.

This year, the 107th celebration of Migrant and Refugee Sunday was celebrated on Sunday, 26 September. We can read Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2021 here or we can watch this short video “Towards an ever wider WE”: A we as wide as humanity

And so we pray…

Holy, beloved Father,
your Son Jesus taught us
that there is great rejoicing in heaven
whenever someone lost is found,
whenever someone excluded, rejected or discarded
is gathered into our “we”,
which thus becomes ever wider.
We ask you to grant the followers of Jesus,
and all people of good will,
the grace to do your will on earth.
Bless each act of welcome and outreach
that draws those in exile
into the “we” of community and of the Church,
so that our earth may truly become
what you yourself created it to be:
the common home of all our brothers and sisters. Amen.

For a second year, OLMC has celebrated Mercy Day remotely, where students and staff were challenged as Mercy people with, “Am I walking with my Mercy friends, as Mary walks with the suffering?”

In celebrating all that our Mercy tradition offers, we look upon the role of Mary, Mother and Mercy, who encourages and calls us to be women of Justice, Compassion, Courage and Joy. Fr Kevin Hennesy CP preached about the courageous women in our lives, who call on us to be proud, compassionate, independent and Mercying women. He focused upon the narrative of strong Indigenous women of Australia; upon Mother Ursula Frayne and Sisters of Mercy who ministered bravely in this land; and the women of Afghanistan seeking to live life to the fullest. This virtual day of celebration consisted of three important elements, where students have offered the following thoughts.

Eucharistic Celebration

  • “I really loved the hard work everyone who was involved put into it, especially the amazing way that Father Kevin led the Eucharist!”
  • “Despite the circumstances of COVID-19, it was a great way to unite together as an OLMC community”
  • “Being able to see everyone from different year levels virtually participate in the Eucharist was really uplifting. It was great to see the way we were able to really be together even during COVID”.
  • “It was nice to see students so actively involved in the mass, especially some of my friends.”
  • “I really loved how smoothly the Eucharist ran even though we were doing it remotely!”

Activities celebrating community and life

  • “Loved trivia!! so much fun incorporating different topics - especially guessing which Beatles song was which!”
  • “My highlight was ecojustice conversation! It is so good to be Mercy.”
  • "Listening to the Afghanistan conversations, challenged me to be and do more as a woman in the Mercy tradition.”
  • “The drama games were so much fun. I have a prize coming for me in the mail!! Karaoke was also good!”
  • “My highlight of the day was the escape room, as it was really fun. It was challenging and exciting!”
  • “I loved the disco since everyone was having a good time and it was a space where you could forget about all the things that stress them out.”
  • “I really enjoyed the Scavenger Hunt! It was led by the Year 9 House Vice Captains and it was so much fun to do something different and just have a great time with everyone else that participated!”

Walking with MercyWorks in our support of our Mercy Friends in Papua New Guinea

  • “I think it is so wonderful that we are still able to support the MercyWorks organisation despite our current circumstances, and show true solidarity.”
  • “It was great that we could donate online to show our support to MercyWorks in Papua New Guinea”
  • “Helping our Mercy family in Papua New Guinea is so important, and I'm glad the day was not just about the fun for students.”
  • “I was very concerned for the people of PNG, given the COVID outbreaks earlier in the year, and this day gave me the opportunity to help them”.

If you are able to offer financial support to MercyWorks, I invite you to donate using this link, as the students and staff have done.

The Students Leaders did such an amazing job in celebrating our Mercy Day virtually, yet still able with all their energy and creativity to focus on what it means to celebrate and live Mercy! We are so grateful to all the students (and staff) who coordinated and ran sessions for their peers. We continue to be so proud of the passion of OLMC students and their ability to empower each other and to lead.

Shane Taylor
Faith and Mission Coordinator
Brooke Kilborn
Head of Student Wellbeing
Paper Engineering
Cooking with Mandolin
Gratitude Photography
Drawing with Adrian
Show Courage on Mercy Day
Show Compassion on Mercy Day
Show Justice on Mercy Day
Experience Joy on Mercy Day

The Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools School Improvement Survey (MACSSIS) is taking place between Thursday 7 and Thursday 27 October.

Mr Simon Conlan
Leader of Learning Development

A range of OLMC families will receive an invitation to participate in MACSSIS, along with log-in details in the week beginning Monday 11 October.

MACSSIS is the primary method used by the Melbourne Archdiocese to gather feedback about schools from everyone involved in a school community, thus parent, guardian and caregiver responses to the survey are most important. When the survey opens, members of the OLMC community will receive an invitation to participate in the online survey and instructions as to how to do so.

Participation in the approximately 20-minute survey is voluntary but if you receive an invitation you are encouraged to complete it as you will be given the opportunity to respond to such aspects of OLMC as:

  • School climate
  • Student safety
  • Barriers to engagement
  • Catholic identity

All students and all OLMC staff will also be participating in the survey.

If you would like further information, or if you would like to volunteer for participation in MACSSIS, please contact me at the College: or 9455 7546.

The teaching team is looking forward to welcoming and working with our final cohort of Year 9 Horizon students for 2021. We bid farewell to 9BKE and 9NWA and trust they have discovered things about themselves and their world that they can transfer into their mainstream learning environment.

9SBR and 9DCA students will experience the Horizon hybrid plan with all its dynamic and moveable parts, but they commence the program in lockdown and follow our remote learning introduction. The team will strive to give Term 4 students every opportunity to practise and develop their skills of collaboration, creativity and critical thinking while considering topics about career pathways, financial planning and social issues and change.

Although community activities will be restricted initially, we will share a range of learning challenges that we hope will hook students into thinking, musing and discussing ideas and educational endeavours.

During our first week together, students will be introduced to ‘Beyond the Baggot’ where they explore what study and work might look like outside Year 9 classroom walls, a short ‘CoVideo’ project, where they work with a group to create a web series, and the IBL - the iconic, fabulous inquiry where students pursue an area of personal academic interest.

We will discuss the importance of organisation. We will also ask students to consider taking responsibility for their own learning, to rely less on us telling them what to do, and more on what they want to show us. Such is the beauty of the Horizon term and we cannot wait to see what 9SBR and 9DCA learn along the way.

Rosemary Jones
Horizon Coordinator

Dante Alighieri Competition Prize Winners

Results for both the poetry recitation and the written sections of the Dante Alighieri Italian competition have been released. This year, due to the move to online judging, OLMC students competed against each other, rather than against other schools. One unexpected benefit of having the competition run completely online this year instead of at Melbourne University was that the Italian staff and I had the privilege of hearing the students recite their poems to the judges as we supervised on the Google Meets. The standard was extremely high and it was a joy to hear Italian poetry being recited so confidently and expressively by our students.

We are proud to announce the following Prize Winners:

Year 9 Italian-Australian
First place: Ava, Amelia & Sarah
Second place: Gemma, Jacinta, Melodi & Natalie
Third place: Jorja, Gemma & Olivia
Original Poetry - Year 11 Italian-Australian
First place: Audrey
Second place: Amelia
Year 9 Non-Italian
First place: Mary
Second place: Molly
Third place: Claudia
Discorso (Speech) - Year 11 Italian-Australian
First place: Julia
Year 10 Italian-Australian
First place: Olivia M, Jacqueline, Olivia M
Second place: Isabella & Chiara
Third place: Chloe & Alyssa
Discorso (Speech) - Year 12 Italian-Australian
First place: Aleesha
Second place: Alessya
Third place: Julia & Vanessa
Year 11 Italian-Australian
First place: Sienna & Tahlia
Second place: Imogen
Third place: Bridget
Year 12 Italian-Australian
First place: Adele
Year 12 Non-Italian
First place: Maya

We wish these students, and all those who participated in the competition, all the best as they pursue their Italian studies in the years to come.

Fleur Davison
Languages Learning Leader

It would be fair to say in 2020/2021 that we have all been affected by the challenges of at home learning. This challenge can be exacerbated when a school subject requires access to specialist equipment, materials and resources- such as with our Year 12 Studio Art, Visual Communication Design and Media classes.

Despite these challenges, our Unit 3 and 4 students have displayed remarkable resilience, ingenuity and creativity to complete and submit their final folios. Even more pleasing for staff to witness is that the work submitted has reached levels of excellence and detail that match that of their contemporaries from previous years.

Problem solving is a core focus of our Design, Art and Technology course across the year levels. Our Year 12 students have had to consistently draw on this skill to find solutions to the challenges of creating and making at home. This has been a sometimes difficult experience, but our staff firmly believe that a silver lining to come out of this is that our students now have the skills and grit to face any new challenges as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.

We could not be more proud. Well done to all.

Mark Jenkinson
Design, Art & Technology Learning Leader

During Term 3, HPE classes across Year 7 and Year 8 completed an assessment task that required students to use feedback to improve the performance of a chosen skill. Students chose to focus on skills such as juggling, kicking a footy, performing the splits, and a reverse lay up in basketball. Students were encouraged to choose a skill that they could practice easily at home.

While working online, students took videos of themselves performing their chosen skill. They could share this video with a classmate who may be an expert in this sport, their HPE teacher, their coach in the community, or they could receive feedback from a family member. After committing to a block of practice of this skill, students then took another video of themselves to track their progress.

When completing a number of questions on this task, students were encouraged to reflect on how the feedback they received helped guide their practice. The focus of this task was not on the performance of the skill itself, but on how we can use feedback to open up new ways to learn. This is not only a vital aspect of improvement in PE, but in all aspects of our learning.

Here is a reflection from two of our students on what they gained from this task:

For Term 3 for our Health and P.E. lessons, we were assigned the skills feedback sheet where we would choose a skill that we would like to learn or practise, and receive feedback from other peers to improve it. The skill that I chose to focus on was push ups as I was very bad at them. To improve this skill, I received feedback from peers such as my brother and my P.E. teacher. Push ups are a skill that takes a lot of practice to master, and when I received peer feedback I felt that I was able to understand how to do my skill better and improve it faster.

Something I found beneficial about this task was learning about the importance of feedback. When you receive feedback on something that you want to get better at, you are able to learn from your mistakes and understand how to improve that skill, which I think is the most important thing I have learnt from this assignment. Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment and feel like I have learnt something valuable from it.

Stefania, 8MED

My skill that I had focused on was a back walkover. It is a trick often done in dance and gymnastics that requires strength in our back and core. I received feedback from my Mum as she is very fond of this move, she gave me feedback that helped me improve greatly. I have recently changed my practice as I am now more consistent with my training, I have also started to tick off an imaginary checklist in my mind thinking of all the corrections and constructive criticism I have gotten in the past weeks .

Something that I have found beneficial in this task was that I focused on one skill and one skill only. It let me put all of my attention into the practice and training of my back walkover.

This task was definitely one of my favourites as I thought it was super helpful for me to go back to my basics and early training.

Sierra, 7CCR

Megan Edwards
Health & Physical Education Learning Leader

In the full range of Science subjects and topics, students learn Science skills and cover knowledge that is defined by the Victorian Curriculum, but we also teach the standards that make up the Capabilities; that is, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Learning and Ethical Capabilities.

Ethics are a natural fit for Science studies. The pace of progress at the cutting edge of Science spills back into the curriculum before long and students should be prepared to engage in discussion happening in the media relating to important ideas like nuclear energy generation, filling low Earth orbit with satellites to fund colonisation of Mars, genetic engineering of food, personalised medicine and climate change impacts on the biosphere.

Currently we have two year levels exploring ethics in Science. At Year 8, the Ethical Capability focuses on criteria for determining the importance of ethical issues and why groups of people might have different approaches to ethical concerns depending on their context and experience. Year 8 students are looking at how this thinking impacts on decisions about resources like packaging and food and in decisions about energy generation.

At Year 10, the Ethical Capability focuses on complex issues including identifying ethical questions and weighing up evidence using the four frameworks used to make ethical judgements. Students are working in teams to explore a contemporary bioethical issue including as cloning pets, transgenics, DNA privacy, organ donation and de-extinction.

Our recent earthquake reminds us that Science doesn't just take place in laboratories.... although it made us all nervous to have our houses rumbling with the energy from moving rocks many kilometres away. Year 7s are learning about ecology and food webs. They have been monitoring the Peregrine Falcons and their new chicks nesting in Collins Street. Year 7s have also been building energy pyramids. Year 10s have been modelling with paper - in fact, using toilet roll to illustrate as a geological timeline of the past 4,600,000,000 years of Earth's history and the milestones in evolution.

We have some great examples of home school supervision by Felis catus and Canis Lupis familiaris.

Dr Susan Long
Science Learning Leader

As OLMC has adapted to remote learning in the classroom, many of our celebrations and works of Mercy have also needed to change. Despite the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic for our school community, we know that the needs of many vulnerable still exist, and therefore we must seek ways to continue walking in Mercy. Normally the College hosts a High Tea in September to raise funds to support McAuley Community Services for Women (MCSW). Each year, MCSW helps over 1300 women and children confronting family violence to rebuild their lives, supporting them on their journey towards independence and a safer future. To learn more about the work of MCSW go to

As you will all understand, the restrictions this year means that we are not able to run the Annual High Tea. However, we are still supporting MCSW by an online raffle. Thanks to your support, we have raised over $8,000. The winners will be contacted shortly.

Marie Jenkins
Community Development Coordinator