Edition 11 | 04 August 2023
Judith Weir

August is an important time and one of many transitions. It is the last month of Winter and certainly this week we have begun to see hints of Spring. At school it is a month where students and staff turn their minds to their hopes and aspirations for next year and sit in the space of the present and the future. As a faith community it is also a time when we focus on Mary. The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is Tuesday 15 August. Our values, and in fact those of the broader Mercy Community all over the world, are inspired by Mary. Our values of Courage, Compassion, Justice and Joy are evident in the way Mary lived her life as the mother of Jesus; a courageous woman who accepted all that serving God meant, including the joy and the challenge.

In Australia on Tuesday 8 August, we celebrate our first saint Mary McKillop, St Mary of the Cross. Mary MacKillop took her vows at the age of twenty-five, and the religious name, ‘Mary of the Cross’. In doing so, she founded the congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph. She was noted for her trust in the providence of God and miracles of healing have been attributed to her. She was another courageous woman of immense faith whose belief and trust in God moved her to work tirelessly for those in need, often in the face of great challenge or opposition.

It is both a privilege and humbling to be part of such a strong and broad Mercy Community that continues to educate young people. We hope our students can share in the inspiration of all of the stories and works of the courageous, compassionate, joyful Mercy people who have worked for justice in our world.

Term 3 always brings with it a hint of the next year as students begin choosing subjects for 2024, or in the case of Year 12, identifying their pathways post-secondary school. Many families have joined us over the last month learning about the choices available and how best to work with their child in helping them make decisions that are right for them. There are many staff here at OLMC who can support both parents and students during this period, along with excellent materials provided on SIMON or PAM, and I encourage you to access them to support the decision making of your child.

Last week Cody Miller and I had the great privilege of attending the Premier’s VCE Awards. Congratulations to Deborah Jernejcic, Class of 2022, who was the recipient of a Premier’s Award for Equine Studies. Deborah worked hard and showed real commitment to her studies and achieved outstanding VCE results. We wish Deborah all the very best.

Congratulations to all the students who were involved and were very successful in the Aerobics competition held last weekend. Many students now have the chance to compete in the National competition to be held in September. We also congratulate our Language students who have also received recognition for their skill and talent in a number of different programs.

We look forward to all that is still to come this term.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Next Tuesday we celebrate the life, gift, mission and charism of Australia’s first saint. As we commemorate her and pray for her intercession, we reflect upon those in our lives who guide us towards God’s unconditional love.

Here is a brief reflection on some of the qualities and gifts of St Mary. How might these inspire in building God’s kingdom?

Mary MacKillop is significant because she:

    • Is the only acknowledged saint in the history of the Catholic Church in Australia
    • Lived and worked for, and in, Australia
    • Died in Australia.

A woman of great energy, vitality and action:

    • She stepped outside the expectations religious and secular culture had for women of the Victorian era
    • She established an educational system that spread across Australia and New Zealand
    • She developed institutions that gave people in crisis a chance at survival and a quality of life
    • She tackled major questions of social justice in Australia, cutting across class boundaries and believing in the dignity of all people.

A reflective woman:

    • A woman of prayer and compassion
    • A woman who forgave her enemies and worked for reconciliation with all of them
    • An Australian who values the inner life as well as the active life
    • A woman who challenges us to do as she did.

A woman who has inspired others today:

    • To work in developing countries
    • To look for ways to stand with the dispossessed and alienated
    • To realise there are other dimensions in life besides the material
    • To rejuvenate their ’frayed spirituality’.

An Australian whose spirit can lead us into the future because:

    • She was a realist who faced her inadequacies but believed in her dream
    • She calls us all to the tenacity and shows us that hope can triumph over despair
    • She responded to all in need and, above all
    • She was a human being in love with God and God’s people.

Let us pray this beautiful litany, as written by the late Sr Christine McGinty RSJ:

Mary MacKillop loved God very much and always listened to what God was saying to her in the things that happened in her life. Mary always asked God for help for herself and her family and friends. From her home in heaven, she can join with us, her friends on earth, in praying for anything we need, and so we say: Mary MacKillop pray for us.

We pray for our country Australia that all people will be treated fairly: Mary MacKillop, pray for us.

We pray for people who can’t find work, especially those who have been looking for a long time: Mary MacKillop, pray for us.

We pray for people who are too poor to pay their bills: Mary MacKillop, pray for us.

We pray for people who are sad and lonely: Mary MacKillop, pray for us.

We pray for people who are sick or dying and for their families who are sad: Mary MacKillop, pray for us.

We pray for people who are old and tired, especially those who don’t have a good place to live: Mary MacKillop, pray for us.

We pray for people who have to leave their own countries because of war and trouble: Mary MacKillop, pray for us.

We pray for people who live in families that are unhappy: Mary MacKillop, pray for us.

We pray for the Sisters of St Joseph in their lives and work today: Mary MacKillop, pray for us.

We ask God, who cares for us in every way, to listen to our prayers through the help of Mary MacKillop, who is a Saint of Australia. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Over three days (Wednesday 19 – Friday 21 July), two of our Year 10 students, Isabella L (AJIN) and Bianca C (AGGL), joined students from 13 Mercy Schools across Tasmania, South Australia, country Victoria and Melbourne to explore and challenge each other on how they are living Mercy.

Day One, hosted at the Academy of Mary Immaculate Fitzroy, centred around our founding story of Catherine’s response to the Gospel in caring and loving those who suffer. This included a special welcome to the House of Mercy in Dublin via video. Next, we focused on our Australian story of Mercy, with the first foundation led by Mother Ursula Frayne, beginning in Perth and then the context of 19th Century Melbourne, where she expanded the mission.

Day Two explored ways Mercy people are living the Gospel today, hosted by OLMC. Students were energised by the stories and encounters from the Sisters of Mercy, MercyWorlds and Young Mercy Links. The evening Trivia and the ice cream were equally engaging.

Day Three at Holy Cross Retreat Centre focused on the challenge ahead - how might we live Mercy in our schools and community when we return home. The cross-school sharing at this session empowered and strengthened the existing actions in our schools and challenged their future. The Pilgrimage finished with Mass and commissioning by Fr Erick Niyiragira CP and supported by Br Tri Cao Van CP.

OLMC thanks the generous work of Ms Bernadette Hogan and Ms Judith Weir who, after many months of dreaming, created and offered this life-giving immersion into Mercy for our schools. We also gratefully acknowledge the massive support team behind the scenes of Miss Sidari, Mrs Jenkins, Mr Hocking and Mr Robertson.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

We ask for your prayerful support of our students as they engage in their upcoming Reflection Days.

On Tuesday 8 August, the Year 11s will spend the day at the Catholic Leadership Centre, exploring how we are a ‘community in Mercy’ led by the Passionist Youth Team.

The Year 10s studying ‘Wonderfully Made’ will spend Thursday 10 August at Holy Cross Retreat Centre, exploring and celebrating their gifts. We thank the Ministry Team and Religious Education teachers who are creating and leading these very important days in the life of Catholic school.

The Social Justice Club will once again be running our annual Period Poverty Day on Wednesday 23 August.

Period Poverty Day refers to the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education and toilets. In some countries, the cultural shame attached to menstruation, and a shortage of resources, stop girls from going to school for up to a week each month. Promoting menstrual equity is paramount to creating a fairer world.

On this important day, students will learn about Period Poverty both in Australia and globally. In morning Pastorals, students will be encouraged to have open conversations about menstruation, to reduce the stigma and normalise this part of our lives.

We will ask families, staff and students to donate much needed period products. These products will be delivered to McAuley for Women and Children who will distribute these to women who have fled domestic violence and poverty, and are in much need of basic sanitary items.

This year, there is higher demand for eco-friendly period products, for example menstruation cups and period underwear. These items not only benefit our environment but also provide an economical solution for longer-term management of menstruation for the women in these difficult situations.

The collection boxes will be placed around the school for the week commencing Monday 21 August and can be dropped off until Friday 25 August.

We thank you very much for your ongoing support.

Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinator

The Year 7 and Year 8 Physical Education classes have commenced their Gymnastics Unit.

The Artistic Gymnastics program in Year 7 and Rhythmic Gymnastics program in Year 8 aims to inspire and develop our students' gymnastics abilities. Our program is designed to introduce students to these skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Beyond physical development, gymnastics promotes teamwork, resilience, creativity and goal setting. Students will have the chance to collaborate with their peers to create a routine as a part of their assessment. The Unit will culminate in an exciting showcase where students can proudly demonstrate their newfound skills and celebrate their achievements.

We look forward to a term filled with exhilarating gymnastics activities and remarkable achievements!

Teresa Cerra
Health and Physical Education Learning Leader

Year 10 Italian Reading Club

As part of our focus on extending students in Languages, this semester has seen the launch of the Year 10 Italian Reading Club. High-achieving students have been invited to participate in this weekly lunchtime session in the Learning Commons. The Club involves reading aloud from Italian novels, analysing the plot and characters, and responding to comprehension questions based on the texts studied. Our Italian language assistant, Ludovica, runs the program.

Dante Alighieri Italian Poetry Competition

Congratulations to Alyssa G (9TLA) who was awarded second place (Secondo Premio) in the Italian Australian category and Amelia K (9ACH) who was awarded third place (Terzo Premio) in the Non Italian category of the recent Dante Alighieri Italian Poetry Competition finals. These students were competing against students from many other schools across Melbourne and are to be commended for their achievements. Alyssa and Amelia, along with their families, have been invited to the Presentation Ceremony to be held in October.

Alliance Française Berthe Mouchette French Poetry Competition

Meanwhile, the following French students from Years 8-10 have made it through to the finals of the French poetry competition:

  • Celeste F (8BHO)
  • Chloe K (8BHO)
  • Veronica H (9LDA)
  • Sierra M (9MKY)
  • Georgia R (9TLA)
  • Phoebe T (10CMSM)

Our VCE French students are currently preparing for their Alliance Française oral competition which is taking place on Wednesday 9 August. This competition takes the form of a nine minute oral exam with an examiner from the Alliance Française via Zoom. The exam comprises two sections: general conversation about the student’s personal world followed by an in-depth discussion of a chosen subtopic. This event gives our senior French students a taste of the 15-minute external oral exam that awaits them at the end of Unit 4 and is therefore a very beneficial experience. Bonne chance, tout le monde!

VCE Exams

Finally, a number of our Unit 3 and 4 Japanese students participated in the online Japanese VCE exam morning last weekend. This event, run by the JLTAV (Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria), provides useful tips and strategies for preparing students for the external oral and written exams. The VCE oral exams for our three languages are all scheduled for the first two weeks of Term 4 and students are working hard with their teachers, classmates and OLMC oral tutors to prepare for these.

Fleur Davison
Languages Learning Leader

Both Year 8 and 10 Science classes are immersing themselves in chemistry this term. Year 8s are focusing on elements and their properties, completing a creative product as part of their investigation. By Year 10, the emphasis is on chemical compounds and reactions, including reaction types and energetics. This is a great example of how the Victorian Curriculum is designed to build upon the study of previous years so students are well prepared for embarking on their VCE studies in Science and beyond.

For Year 10s looking at subject selection, they will have seen that Environmental Science is being introduced in 2024 as Units 1 and 2, with Units 3 and 4 commencing in 2025. In some ways, Environmental Science is a good extension from Geography and it is closer to the old Biology study, with an emphasis on ecosystems and the movement of energy around the world. Truly interdisciplinary science and absolutely relevant to the contemporary problems of climate, pollution, agriculture and land use, the subject is a great segue into environmental engineering fields, pure and applied science and agriculture.

Our Year 7s began the term with a really exciting visit by the Wild Action team who brought a range of animals, including birds, reptiles, amphibians and some precious Australian mammals – a Rufus Bettong, a tiny, tiny Pygmy Possum and an Eastern Grey joey. It is an extraordinary privilege for us to be able to see and touch our native animals and it helps to remind everyone that our animals and plants are our national heritage and we should do everything we can to protect them – including turning off unnecessary outdoor lights to help Bogong Moths navigate to the high country more effectively.

Susan Long
Science Learning Leader

Students pursuing their Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance have been busy participating in Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) over the term breaks. SWL encourages the students to apply for and work in Allied Health workplaces so that they are able to use the knowledge they have learnt in the classroom in a real-life setting. We have had a number of students who have completed placements. Below are some of their reflections.

Work placement at Leith Park was such an amazing experience, it gave me a chance to do something that I had never done before and opened my mind to different career paths that I can undertake after high school. Overall, work placement was heaps of fun and was a great place to meet new people and learn new things.

Holly C (11CSGP)

The SWL placement was a very eye-opening experience that I received as part of completing my VET Allied Health subject. I found it very interesting to take on a new approach to learning outside of school and have a better understanding about the health care department and those who are involved.

Charlotte C (11MMWI)

I really enjoyed my SWL placement as I was able to be in an Allied Health setting and be around doctors and nurses in the same department. Whilst on placement I assisted patients with their programs to assist them with rehabilitation. Overall, it was a very positive environment and I learned heaps from it and can't wait to go back again.

Charlotte S (10AHRA)

Fiona Koenig-Doig
Teacher of VCE VET Health

The Australian Mathematics Competition takes place today. First run in 1978, it is the longest running, largest and most well-known competition for maths students in Australia. The competition has unique problems designed by leading educators and academics to challenge and extend students’ problem solving skills.

OLMC has entered 125 students to compete in the competition. Students will have 75 minutes to complete all questions. An example of the types of questions that students may be faced with is as follows:

'An infinite increasing list of numbers has the property that the median of the first n terms equals the nth odd positive integer. How many numbers in the list are less than 2018?'

The solution is listed at the bottom of this article.

Today is also the birthday of the mathematician, John Venn. Venn was an English mathematician, logician and philosopher noted for introducing Venn diagrams in the field of mathematics, which are used in logic, set theory, probability, statistics and computer science. OLMC students are very familiar with the use of Venn diagrams in Probability.

Mark Vorster
Mathematics Learning Leader

Year 11 Formal

On Thursday 20 July our highly anticipated Year 11 Formal was again held at Leonda By The Yarra.

All the guests looked fabulous when they arrived at the venue! Staff who joined us for the celebration were delighted to see many excited students dance the night away with friends. Last year, you may recall a special mention to Felicia Taine, whose emergency sewing skills were needed to mend one outfit, and this year her creativity was needed yet again!

Year 11 Formal is an important event in the students’ calendar as this opportunity allows them to socialise in a relaxed environment and take a well-deserved break from their regular school commitments. Events like these create a greater sense of community within the school and allows students to recharge and feel a renewed commitment to their studies as they settle into Semester 2.

100 Days of Year 12

Last week our Year 12 students celebrated 100 days of their last year in secondary school with the Year 7s who were celebrating their first 100 days. Our Year 7 Coordinator Ms Sarah Nash organised this fun event along with our Student Leadership Team and the help of our VCAL students.

McAuley Hall was transformed into a colourful space for students in each House to enjoy House-themed cookies, have time to reflect on the year so far and then come together to ‘Just Dance’ before Lesson 2.

Creating opportunities for our Year 7 and Year 12 students to interact is something we are wanting to build on in our Wellbeing program. This celebration was a wonderful opportunity for our younger students to share their highlights of Year 7 so far with our Senior students, who in turn could reflect on their time at school and share valuable advice with their Year 7 House buddies.

Deb Daly
Mercy House Coordinator

The OLMC Parents’ Association invites you to a Comedy Gala Night with Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann, Johnny Kats and Anna Perry.

Date: Friday 11 August, 7.00pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)
Venue: Nalleijerring Centre, OLMC, Yarra St, Heidelberg
Tickets: $50 via Trybooking

Join in with others from the OLMC Community for a fun night of laughter and frivolity!

‘Lehmo’ is a full time Funny Person, much loved radio host, TV presenter and occasional actor.

Johnny Kats, our MC for the night, is a talented and energetic performer with an arsenal of impersonations. This comedian and NOVA 100 presenter has been making audiences laugh all over Australia and the world.

Anna Perry is a one-of-a-kind comedian. She is a mum who is ready to burst bubbles and reveal hilarious truths about parenting, relationships, music, drugs and annoying customer loyalty programs.

This is an adults-only licensed event with drinks available for purchase. BYO snacks only.


Visit Trybooking to book online.

To book a group/table: Purchase the whole table in one booking or purchase a ticket on an available table and notify your fellow guests of the table number so that they can then book on the same table. If you want to rename the table so that your fellow guests can identify the table easily, please contact Marie Jenkins. Tables will seat 10 people.

To book individual tickets: Purchase the required number of tickets on any available table.

Bookings close Thursday 10 August.

For assistance with booking or table allocation please contact Marie Jenkins, T: 9455 7571 E: mjenkins@olmc.vic.edu.au

The OLMC Parents' Association

OLMC Heidelberg is excited to be once again hosting a High Tea in Heidelberg and we invite you and your friends to share in this special event.

Date: Sunday 27 August, 2.00pm
Venue: Nalleijerring Centre, OLMC, Yarra St, Heidelberg
Tickets: Adults $45, Students $25 via Trybooking

The event will support the work of McAuley for Women and Children, an organisation committed to advocating for a better, safer and just society through working with women and children affected by family violence, mental illness or homelessness. Each year they help many women and children to rebuild their lives, supporting them on their journey towards independence and a safer future.


Visit Trybooking to book online or contact Marie Jenkins T: 9455 7571, E: mjenkins@olmc.vic.edu.au

To book a group/table: Purchase the whole table in one booking or purchase a ticket on an available table and then notify your guests of the table number they should specify when booking. If you want to rename the table so that your fellow guests can identify the table easily, please contact Marie Jenkins. Tables will seat 10 people.

To book individual ticket: Purchase the required number on any table.

High Tea Raffle

We will also run a raffle to support McAuley for Women and Children. You can purchase tickets at the event or, if you are unable to attend but still wish to offer your support, you can purchase tickets online prior to the event.


  • One ticket for $10
  • Three tickets for $20
  • Eight tickets for $50.
1st PrizeTwo nights accommodation in the Penthouse Suite of Wytona
Beachfront accommodation in Port Fairy
Donated by the Wilson Family
2nd Prize$250 voucher for your choice of restaurant in the Scott Pickett Group
Donated by the Pickett/Harris family
3rd Prize

Natio Cosmetic Pack valued at $150
Donated by Natio

4th PrizeTed Baker handbag and scarf pack
5th Prize
Pamper Yourself Hamper
Donated by Miles Real Estate
6th and 7th Prize
Double pass to the Chagall Exhibition at the Jewish Museum
Donated by the Biotto Family

To purchase a raffle ticket please visit Trybooking.

Raffle will be drawn on Sunday 27 August 2023 at the High Tea in Heidelberg.

Winners will be notified by phone and/or email and results will be in the College newsletter.

We hope that you can help us to support the work of McAuley for Women and Children by joining us for this very special event or by purchasing a raffle ticket.

Apply Online

Apply now for Year 7 2025

Applications for Year 7 2025 at OLMC Heidelberg close Friday 18 August 2023. Apply online now.

Apply now

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.


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.