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Edition 4 | 18 March 2022
Ms Judith Weir

Last week we celebrated International Women’s Day with the theme, “#BreakTheBias”. Once again, the celebrations on the day were led by our student leaders. A video was prepared, capturing the voices of a number of students from all year levels. I was so impressed by the wisdom and courage of our students and their understanding of the issues, and their ideas and hopes for change. The student leaders are to be congratulated for leading by example in giving so many a voice and a focus in our celebrations.

This week we hosted the Year 8 Time and Space Evening. It was wonderful to welcome men to share in conversations with each other, their young person and other students about what matters to them at the moment. Participants had the opportunity to listen and to share wisdom with each other, and to begin to gain an understanding of the other perspective on life and growing up. We are looking forward to hosting many more events like this as we work in partnership with you to support the growth of young people beyond the classroom experiences.

As was the case last year, another wonderful aspect of the evening was watching Year 9, 10 and 11 students host the small groups and lead parents and students through a conversation. It was such a delight to see these students volunteer and lead with confidence and generosity of spirit. They were wonderful ambassadors for OLMC and great role models for our other students. We look forward to a similar experience next week.

On Tuesday 22 March, we are hosting the Year 7 Time and Space Evening. Once again, I anticipate that this will be a wonderful evening.

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. We continue to pray for those who are living through devastation whether that be events of nature or war.

Our Lenten Journey and Catholic Education Week

Mr Shane Taylor
Faith and Mission Coordinator

Our Lenten journey is blessed with two great solemnities, with the feasts of St Patrick yesterday and St Joseph tomorrow. These feasts feature prominently in the Irish history of the Sisters of Mercy and the landscape of the Australian Catholic story. This week as Mercy people, we celebrate this Catholic Education Week, with 176 years of Mercy Education in Australia and 112 years here in Heidelberg. We have so much to be grateful to God.

So as we enter into our third week of Lent, we pray…

I greet today with a smile.
Thank you for this glorious day, Lord
A day of forgiveness, that stretches out like a lake of never-ending grace. A day of promise, of love in action, alive and outstretched.
A day of unity, mending broken lives,
where we build bridges of peace and restoration.
A day of celebration, of worship to a living Lord
who holds heaven out to us and proclaims life over death.
I greet today with a smile.

Prayer acknowledgement

Would you like to support the work of Caritas through Project Compassion 2022, sharing with those who struggle in so many ways?

Faith & Mission - Caritas

Managing Technology & Focus Wednesday 23 March at 7:00pm

Ms Brooke Kilborn
Head of Student Wellbeing

We’re excited to announce that parents of our school have exclusive access to Elevate Education’s Parent Webinar Series this year. Elevate works with our students, delivering high impact workshops on study skills, motivation, wellbeing, and exam preparation. By tuning into their webinar series, you will learn how to better support your children at home through reinforcing the skills they learn at school.

In Managing Technology & Focus, Elevate will show you:
- How to help your child manage social media and reduce technology dependence
- Practical strategies and apps to minimise procrastination
- How to help your child use technology productively to enhance their learning

The webinar is run live online from 7:00pm - 8:00pm (AEDT) where the presenter will share Elevate’s key research and skills, and will conduct a live Q&A so you can ask those questions directly.

Should you have questions or would like to contact Elevate directly, their details are listed below:
📞 1300 667 945

Pope Francis says that “To pray is to bring the beating heart of current affairs into God’s presence so that his gaze will shine out upon history".

Mr Shane Taylor
Faith and Mission Coordinator

Pope Francis’ tweet on 11 March

As Mercy people, let us pray for peace and be agents of peace.

God of Mercy,
We pray for Ukraine, and all places of war.
For all of humanity distorted by war.
For all the lives lost, homes seized and peace broken.
May the Spirit of comfort and compassion envelop all who dwell in fear.
May the Spirit of wisdom and humility enliven our global leaders.
May we affirm the dignity and rights of all.
May we seek peace.

Tuesday 22 March 2022 at 6.45pm for a 7.00pm start

Ms Brooke Kilborn
Head of Student Wellbeing

As part of our transition process and to welcome families to OLMC we invite our 2022 Year 7 students to spend an evening with an important woman in their life – mother, aunt, grandmother etc.

Please save the following date: Tuesday 22 March 2022 at 6.45pm for a 7.00pm start for the annual “Time & Space Mother Figures and Daughters” event.

Please book here to attend this event.

Follow the prompts and click Submit at the end. You will receive a confirmation email from “Time & Space”. You and your student will be asked to bring a 'treasure' in the confirmation email.

We hope to see you all there.

Year 8 Number Ninjas

In 2022 at OLMC we have the introduction of a new Mathematics Club for Year 8 students, called the Number Ninjas.

This group is for students looking to enhance their problem-solving skills and embracing all sorts of mathematical challenges that can be sliced and diced with glee, delight and of course, there is the sheer satisfaction that comes from the journey towards and the reaching of a solution.

The Number Ninjas are participating in nationwide competitions, beginning with the Australian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiad (APSMO), which in the theme of the Olympics, consists of five short quizzes, each one consisting of five problem solving questions that are to be answered without calculators. The problems are not related to any specific topic from the curriculum, but rather from broad aspects of Mathematics, including counting techniques and spatial problems. Often the students need to develop their strategies and techniques such as trial and error, looking for patterns or creating a diagram or a table in order to get started on the problem.

The other nationwide competition the group will be undertaking is the Mathematical Challenge, conducted by the Australian Mathematical Trust. For this competition, the students must work through a series of six extended problems and have three weeks to develop solutions.

The Number Ninjas meet fortnightly and have already developed a high sense of enthusiasm to work through problems ranging from simple puzzles to the more challenging ‘head-scratching’ problems. It is wonderful to be able to provide an opportunity for students to gather and work fervently on Mathematical problems at this level, and hopefully reap the rewards of competition results, or at the very least have a lot of fun with like-minded students whilst enriching their problem-solving abilities.

Sample problem for you to try (without a calculator):

Maths Question

Ms Leanne Whiteroad
Mathematics Teacher

Kate Thwaites - Year 10 Civics

On 9 March, OLMC had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Kate Thwaites, the Federal Member for Jagajaga, the electorate in which our school is located. Kate took the time out of her busy schedule to meet the Year 10, Semester 1 Civics students and allowed us to ask her some questions.

We were very honoured as she fed our curiosity, furthering our knowledge in regards to citizenship, even answering some of our political questions. Kate spoke about balancing her travels to Canberra with family life, and how it is a privilege to serve the community at Federal level. She loves her job.

She answered our questions concerning major global issues and told us what we as citizens can do to assist. She spoke about being a woman in parliament, how she juggles work as well as her life as a mother, and she spoke about her challenges as an MP and how she implemented strategies to overcome these problems.

Kate was patient, attentive and answered all our questions. It was an incredible experience and we are so thankful for Kate to come to our school and feed our curiosity!

Avelyn J. (CRIV), Caitlyn A. (MMWI), Monique C. (AASE) and Niamh C. (LJVA)

(The students who wrote this article ran the session with Kate Thwaites, including introducing and welcoming her, moderating the question-and-answer session and thanking her at the end)

    Project Rockit

    Project Rockit delivered their “DOT.COM” presentation to the Year 8s on Tuesday as part of our Year 8 Wellbeing Day. The focus for this day was challenging bullying, judgement and social labels through teaching the students strategies to stand up for themselves and others to build peer support in online spaces. The presenters addressed social factors such as standing out versus fitting in, relationship ethics, privacy and consent and celebrating diversity. The Project Rockit team explored how students could manage their digital wellbeing and discussed ways to foster healthy relationships on and offline.

    The day was fun, engaging and honest. The young presenters were well received by the Year 8s who encouraged them to build empathy, self-awareness and resilience by allowing a space to reflect on past behaviour and find new ways to foster connection with their peers. Students were reminded that trusting someone now doesn’t mean they’ll be trustworthy forever. They were supplied with practical information about how to respond and report hate accounts, public shaming and photo leaks. A lot of the strategies gave them suggestions about how they could stand up, call out the behaviour and say no with confidence.

    Back in the classroom in Lesson 4, the Pastoral classes worked through some scenarios covering topics such as exclusion, teasing, and changing friendships. The students were able to put some of the ideas and techniques that they learnt into practice when developing their responses.

    Ms Rowena Thomson
    Year 8 Coordinator

    Wider Reading at OLMC

    Throughout 2022, all Year 7 and 8 students will visit the Learning Commons once per fortnight as part of an English lesson. While there, they will work with our teacher librarian to explore new books, discuss their reading, and complete activities. Junior English classes devote 5 - 10 minutes of each lesson to independent reading and in addition to this, our whole school now participates in the Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) program each Wednesday morning during Pastoral. This means that a middle year’s English student may read for approximately 30 minutes per week at school in addition to any reading completed at home.

    Students are also participating in two different reading challenges this year to encourage them to try new books and increase the quantity of books they are reading. Year 7 students work independently to complete a genre challenge that asks them to explore a wide variety of books. The Year 8 students work towards reading at least 1000 pages each throughout this year, with many students challenging themselves to reach higher tiers of pages such as 2000, 4000, or even 8000 pages.

    OLMC is committed to fostering a lifelong love of reading with all students and provides a range of lunchtime activities in the Learning Commons to support this development.

    Our Student Book Club is one such activity and we meet each Monday at lunchtime in the Learning Commons. All students are welcome to join.

    Ms Anna Apfelstedt
    Learning Commons Coordinator

    Year 10 Self Discovery Day

    While half the Year 10 Cohort participated in their Reflection Day on Thursday 10 March, we took the opportunity to allow the remaining half of students to reconnect with their peers while participating in activities designed to help students recognise and identify their strengths and how these will allow them to interact and work positively with others. These students are approaching a time in their lives where increasingly they will need to draw on their own independence and communication skills to respond to opportunities that give them the chance to progress into adulthood, be that part-time work, volunteering activities, accelerated studies, license applications etc. The day facilitated by "Tripod Education" and their wonderful presenters, Lolly and Pam, challenged students to strategise in teams, articulate their personal qualities and skills, work collaboratively and present in front of their peers. We are looking forward to the day being run in Semester Two for the other half of the Year 10 cohort.

    In reflecting on the day, students summed it up as ‘fun’, ‘engaging’ and ‘inclusive’. Some of their extended reflections are below:

    “I think the day was very helpful in the sense that I found out more about myself that I couldn't before put into words. It has helped me understand what employers look for and what I can do to stand out. In discovering more about my personality I can now reflect easier on myself knowing my work ethic and who I tend to work best with.”
    Sienna H. 10 CMSM

    “The activities were enjoyable and got everyone engaged by the use of the really good speakers. The lessons felt quick as we enjoyed ourselves. It was well structured as there were discussions in groups but as a whole which was good. everyone really got out of their comfort zone and tried something new today.”
    Cara M. 10 AGLE

    Ms Melinda Williams
    Careers Coordinator

    Our student leaders have had a busy few weeks, organising events and activities for their peers, including the Club Expo, House Swimming Carnival and International Women's Day.

    Club Expo

    On Thursday the 3rd of March, the Student Leadership Team, as well as club members across all year levels, came together for our annual Clubs Expo! Held over on Centenary Lawn, we were all given the opportunity to learn about co-curricular activities on offer throughout OLMC, whether that be Sport, Elite Dance, or Creative Writing Club! It was an awesome opportunity for clubs to sign up and meet new participants, and it was great to hear some impromptu performances and learn more about each club through the mic! This is a great way for them to meet new friends and to be part of the OLMC community. A big thank you to all those involved in setting up, and for helping increase participation in all activities across the school!
    Emma G. and Georgia A.

    Performing Arts Ensemble Day

    It's been a great start to the Arts this year at OLMC! Over the past few weeks, we've seen music expos, first lessons, and auditions for the Senior Production and so much more. On the 9th of March, we even celebrated Ensemble Day - where all of our amazing ensembles came together for their first rehearsals of the year! It truly has been awesome to hear some great music once again, and we cannot wait to see what the rest of the year will bring across all corners of the arts, so stay tuned!
    Emma G.

    House Swimming Carnival

    On Friday 4 March, OLMC had its annual Swimming Carnival at Boroondara Sports Complex. It was incredible to see the level of participation across the year levels on the day and see the majority of students competing for the house trophy. There were lots of different activities on the day such as indoor volleyball, novelty, 50m and 100m races for butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and the year level relay. The hot weather brought out the excitement and laughter of the OLMC students and it was unbelievable to hear the house cheering going on from the tents on the sides of the pool. Overall, it was a fun and memorable day for the Year 12 students having it be their last swimming carnival and an exciting day for the Year 7 students who experienced their first OLMC swimming carnival.

    Thank you to all the staff and student helpers, Sports Captain and House Coordinators for a great day!

    These were the final results:

    1. Carmel - 1889
    2. Loreto - 1545
    3. Mercy - 1190
    4. McAuley - 1152

    Congratulations also to our Year Level Champions and Runner - Ups:

    • Year 7: Isabelle D and Lucy C.
    • Year 8: Elizabeth C. and Chloe K.
    • Year 9: Darby W. and Sarah B.
    • Year 10: Amelie V. and Zoe B.
    • Year 11: Sofia P. and Alicia N.
    • Year 12: Jessica R. and Charlotte W.

    International Women's Day

    This International Women's Day the Student Leadership Team in collaboration with OLMC students, created a video to advocate this year's theme of ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’. Students pledged to #BreakTheBias and shared what actions they will take to create a future that is equal.

    We thank everyone who was involved in this campaign, as well as a huge thanks to Sophia F. for editing and bringing our vision to life!

    Carla D (CBRY) and Jasmin B (LMGL)
    Communications Captains 2022

    If you happen to walk past the MHT on a Sunday, you will notice the excited sounds of students as the rehearsals for the M2 production of “Matilda the Musical” are well underway! For the past few weeks students from OLMC and Marcellin have been rehearsing on Tuesday afternoons and Sundays, bringing the “revolting children” that inhabit the world of Roald Dahl’s magical children’s story to life.

    “Matilda the Musical” is a captivating tale that explores the anarchy of childhood, showcases the power of a positive mindset and tells the inspiring story of a little girl who dreams of a better life. “Matilda the Musical” has won 47 international awards and regularly sells out to audiences of all ages around the world.

    The start of this year’s production season was a little delayed, but the cast are taking this in their stride, learning the choreography and vocals in quick time. This year, we have also chosen to ‘double cast’ the show, which means that two performers have been cast for each lead role. The benefits of doing this include more students being given the opportunity to showcase their talents, a more collaborative approach at rehearsals, and the ability to adapt and be flexible with our cast during these challenging and unpredictable times.

    The performers are supported by a wonderful group of staff; the show is expertly led by Ms Taine and Ms Gamble-Curran, choreographed by Ms Butterworth and Ms Boemo, musically directed by Mrs Broadbent and Ms Mileto and Ms Russo are leading the vocal rehearsals. There are also many other wonderful OLMC staff involved.

    The performance dates are 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 May.

    Tickets will be on sale shortly, and the links will be posted via SIMON and PAM.

    Ms Madalena Broadbent
    Performing Arts Learning Leader

    Music Ensembles Begin Once More!

    Finally after two years of almost complete silence from our music ensembles, rehearsals recommenced in full force on Wednesday 9 May with a special Music Ensembles Day. All OLMC music ensembles were given time throughout the day to rehearse, discuss and meet the directors and members of their ensembles to restart this exciting extra-curricular activity. It was great to hear Jazz Band performing a 12-bar blues, symphonic band tackling ‘The Planets’ and strings looking at the classic ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. Our choirs and cantors also learnt a variety of music ranging from mass music to jazz classics and pop songs.

    Rehearsals will now continue at their allocated times to enable each group to expand their learning and perfect their pieces for some upcoming performances throughout term 2. We welcome everyone back to OLMC to share our finished performances at our Mid Year Concert in May.

    If your daughter was absent or unable to attend the music ensembles day and would still like to be part of the worthwhile program, they are still able to join us on our 2022 journey. All they need to do is show up to a rehearsal in the coming weeks. We would love to have as many girls as possible join us for 2022.

    Music ensemble day was a great way to meet other people who are interested in music. It gave each band a good head start on each piece that we will be learning this year. I have met some great new and talented people who I can't wait to get to know better.”
    Abbey Year 10

    The ensembles day was a great opportunity to get to know everyone in our ensembles and to collaborate with students across year levels. I really valued the supportive and inclusive atmosphere that was created and look forward to working with these students throughout the year to produce amazing music. Combined with Mr Shannon's and Ms Mileto's expertise and enthusiasm, the string ensemble rehearsal was very productive and allowed us to see our potential and gain insight into what is going to be a great year!
    Nikita Year 12

    Ms Jo-Anne Mileto
    Instrumental Music Coordinator

    Applications for The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) 2022 are now open and remain open until the end of Term 2, 2022.

    Parents/legal guardians holding a Concession Card and being successfully validated with Centrelink will be entitled to a payment of $225.00 per year for each Secondary School student and $125 per year for each Primary School student.

    Parents please refer to the 2022 Camps, Sports & Excursions Fund (CSEF) Application Form

    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.

    Ms 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

    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.