Edition 12 | 18 August 2023
Judith Weir

Since Wednesday I have had the great privilege of being in Brisbane at the Australasian Mercy Secondary Schools Association (AMSSA) Conference accompanied by staff from OLMC. The conference brings together staff from Mercy schools all over Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea with different geographical, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds who share a common commitment to Mercy. The theme of the conference this year is ‘Mercy in Liminal Times’. We are exploring the space between something that has happened and something about to happen, with the prospect that we may see a transformation of our world. Sr Berneice Loch shared with us that ‘liminal times are full of opportunity and moments for transformation and growth’. We are looking forward to sharing with our community all that we learn as we explore Mercy in liminal times.

On Tuesday we celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. As a school that honours Mary, this is a special day; one where we can pause to reflect on the life of a woman who answered God’s call. She was a leader who helped her people in midst of her own grief. She was courageous and compassionate, showing Mercy to others. There are many in our world today who seek her intercession when they are in need. At the AMSSA conference we also learned that the opening of Mercy House in Baggot Street, Dublin, built by Catherine McAuley, was held on the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy in 1837.

Once again, we congratulate students for their achievements over the last two weeks. House Arts took place on Wednesday and saw students from all year levels share their talents with us. It was so exciting to have students perform and the applause and support given by their peers was just as impressive. Congratulations to the Year 12 Student Leaders for their excellent organisation and commitment and wonderful opening to each session.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

On Tuesday, we celebrated the Feast of the Assumption, and as a school named in honour of Mary (Our Lady of Mercy), let us pray to and with Mary for ourselves, our families and friends, and our world.

Luke gives us a deep insight into Mary as a model for our Journey, through this encounter between Elizabeth and Mary, and in particular, Mary’s response to Elizabeth. Mary focuses the joy of this moment away from herself, directing all attention to God. Then, upon those who suffer most.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.’

And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for God has looked with favour on the lowliness of God’s servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is God’s name.
God’s mercy is for those who fear God
from generation to generation.
God has shown strength with God’s arm;
God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
God has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
God has helped God’s servant Israel,
in remembrance of God’s mercy,
according to the promise God made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and Sarah and to his descendants forever.’

(Luke 1:41; 46 – 55)

For all who are lowly and poor
Pray for us, Mary, model of mercy for our journey

For all women, made in the image and likeness of God
Pray for us, Mary, model of mercy for our journey

For mothers, nurturers of the image of God in their children
Pray for us, Mary, model of mercy for our journey

For those who have died sharing, with Mary, Christ’s glory
Pray for us, Mary, model of mercy for our journey

For all of us disciples of Jesus, your Son
Pray for us, Mary, model of mercy for our journey

God of light,
Mary embraced the gift of your Word
and now shares his glory.
May we, too, embrace your Word of life, Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives forever and ever. Amen.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Yesterday, the Australian Catholic Bishops continued their decades-long tradition of publishing an annual Social Justice Statement, with the launch of Listen, Learn, Love: A New Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

For more information, please visit the website.

Simon Conlan
Leader of Learning Development

As previously mentioned in the Newsletter, the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools - School Improvement Surveys (MACSSIS), will take place in the last part of this term. Parents and guardians with students in Years 7 and 11 will be contacted this year with a request to participate in the surveys. I encourage parents and guardians to complete the surveys, as their responses provide an important complement to the student and staff survey results. The areas of the surveys that are tailored specifically for parent and guardian feedback are:

  • General demographic information
  • Family engagement
  • Barriers to engagement
  • School fit
  • School climate
  • Student safety
  • Communication
  • Catholic identity.

Obviously, parents and guardians bring tremendous experience and value to schools, and their experience of being part of the OLMC community provides valuable insights for the College Leadership Team.

Parent and guardian survey invitations will be sent out early in the week beginning Monday 28 August and surveys will remain open until Friday 15 September. If you would like more information or if you would like to volunteer for participation in MACSSIS, please contact me at the College: sconlan@olmc.vic.edu.au or 9455 2511.

Simon Conlan
Leader of Learning Development

I have previously mentioned the importance of timely contact with subject teachers if a student or parent has concerns about academic progress. In a previous Newsletter I wrote the following:

Timely communication between parents and teachers is welcomed by OLMC staff, as a message received from a parent or guardian may alert a teacher to a student concern of which they are unaware. Examples of such concerns may be lack of clarity about the nature of a task, confusion as to materials that may be used in an assessment, especially one completed under test conditions, or confusion as to how the assessment task is to be submitted for grading.

When faced with concerns such as these, which left unaddressed can grow into daunting problems for students, timely contact with the subject teacher is essential. At OLMC we encourage students to approach their teachers when seeking clarification, however, at times the parent or guardian may themselves wish to make contact.

The point I wish to emphasise in making mention of this again is the value of a direct conversation between parent or guardian and the subject teacher, rather than contacting the relevant Pastoral Leader or Year Level/House Coordinator. It is certainly appropriate to direct wellbeing concerns to these teachers, but assessment and content-specific inquiries are always better directed to the subject teacher. A brief phone call or email to a subject teacher will more often than not clarify confusion about content or assessment, calm anxiety and provide reassurance, and also allow the subject teacher to suggest ways to address academic concerns.

On Monday, Robert Newton came to visit the Year 8s to talk about his life as an author and his novel we have been studying in English called Runner.

Robert told us all about his interesting childhood, moving around schools because of his father’s military career. He entertained us with his many hobbies he had in primary and secondary school, including trumpet and a diverse range of sports. Robert also told us about being unsure of his career after graduating and trying a few different classes at university before his realisation about wanting to be a firefighter. He joined the Metropolitan Fire Service and is still serving with them today.

Robert also told us about how his brother moved to Switzerland and how he started writing him letters with stories in them. His brother loved the stories so much he showed his friends and soon enough he had an audience in Switzerland. He started to write his first book after support and encouragement from his brother.

Robert also explained his writing process of letting an idea grow for some time before going into a detailed research stage. The Year 8s were welcome to ask questions and he even read some of the book to us whilst explaining his thought process. Overall, this experience was an extremely rewarding one that all the Year 8s enjoyed thoroughly.

Isadora T (8MFO)

‘Stories of my Life’ is an intergenerational program that focuses on creating and preserving stories from the lives of our ageing local communities.

As part of their Personal Development Skills studies, the OLMC Year 12 VCAL students are visiting the residents of St Catherine’s Aged Care in Balwyn each week, learning about their stories. The students have been partnered up with a resident and are having weekly one-on-one sessions, recording information and taking photos. On their return to school, the students are typing up their record of the interview, mapping out a storyboard, and piecing everything together to create a published book for their resident.

It has been great to watch the students and residents interact as they chat, laugh, look at photos and share memories, reliving moments from the past and telling many funny and some sad stories too. The students are loving the program and developing a real appreciation that the residents were young once too, and had such interesting experiences. Some of the women have lived the most incredible lives and seem surprised (and pleased!) that we are finding their stories so fascinating.

The students are looking forward to our last few visits to St Catherine’s and will then be involved in the planning of a special celebration and afternoon tea with family and friends, where they will present their books to the residents.

‘Stories of my Life’ is a wonderful learning experience and offers a special opportunity for the VCAL students to share and celebrate the lives of the elderly in our community. It exposes them to history, to stories of the past and helps to build important connections between generations.

Helen Hamblin
Senior Vocational Program Coordinator

Year 10 Reflection Day

On Thursday of last week, four of the Year 10 Religious Education classes took part in a Reflection Day at the Holy Cross Centre in Templestowe, to further explore the ideas they have been looking at as part of the ‘Wonderfully Made’ unit.

Despite a chilly morning, the sun was soon shining, and the students enthusiastically took part in ice-breaker activities, and an opening liturgy to connect the day to the Gospels and the idea that we are all ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ from Psalm 139:14.

Throughout the day, in small groups facilitated by our Year 10 teachers, we discussed the qualities of good relationships, the ways of building a strong foundation with people and making positive connections, the role that digital technology plays in our interactions with others, and how to identify if a relationship is not healthy.

The day concluded with a closing ritual where students were invited to reflect on God’s love for each of us, and the way in which that love is evident in people around us.

Year 11 Reflection Day

On Tuesday last week, Year 11 students made their way to the Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne to come together for their Reflection Day. Led by Tom, Fr. Luke and Lauren from the Passionist Youth Ministry team, the day was fun and relaxed as students spent time getting to know others in their year level, share their thoughts on questions big and small, listened to each other respectfully, and enjoyed some delicious food together (and many cups of tea or coffee).

The staff involved in both days wish to acknowledge the way in which the students present engaged in the activities of the day so wholeheartedly, and the inclusive atmosphere they created for each other.

Bernadette Hogan
Religious Education Learning Leader

Date: Wednesday 6 September
Time: 7.00pm
Venue: Functions Room, Marcellin College
Book online:

Parents, guardians and carers are invited to attend this presentation which will address the topic of pornography and its potential impact on young people. Guest speaker Maree Crabbe is the director of ‘It’s Time We Talked’, a program that supports young people, parents, schools, and the community sector to understand and address the influence of pornography.

In recent years, our access to new and emerging technology has increased at a rapid rate. While this has brought many positive opportunities, it has also meant that the consumption of pornography is also much more accessible for young people. By becoming more mainstream, pornography is being used by young people to help them navigate their own intimate relationships and has therefore become an issue we can no longer ignore.

Maree has worked with young people, and on issues affecting young people, since 1993. As well as presenting at conferences, professional development workshops, and parent evenings both here and abroad, Maree is a co-director, co-producer, researcher and writer for the project’s documentaries: Love and Sex in the Age of Pornography and The Porn Factor. Maree is also the author of In the Picture: Supporting young people in an age of explicit imagery, a resource for secondary schools to help address the influence of explicit sexual imagery.

This presentation is a joint initiative of the wellbeing teams from both Marcellin College and Our Lady of Mercy College. It will take place at Marcellin College on Wednesday 6 September at 7.00pm and is a free event. If you would like more information regarding the event, please contact us: meedwards@olmc.vic.edu.au or lgunn@olmc.vic.edu.au.

Megan Edwards and Laurie Gunn
Head of Student Wellbeing and Student Counselling Coordinator

The Senior School has had a busy fortnight! Pastoral Leaders have enjoyed hearing about the Year 10 and 11 Reflection Days. These two days are so important in building connections within a year level, complementing the work we do in our Wellbeing Program.

Over the next two weeks, we will hear from the Year 11 students who have nominated themselves as a potential Student Leader in 2024. We congratulate them on taking a risk, challenging themselves, and wish them all the best for the speeches and interviews.

This week our Year 10s heard from Sonya Karras from ‘A Whole New World’. Sonya is a long-time visitor to the school and has talent for addressing young people. She delivered a strong message of ways to be safe when out with friends, including sharing some personal experiences, delivering some statistics and evidence and most importantly, practical strategies for our students to use to keep themselves and their friends safe.

Our Year 11s heard from Jordyn Allen. Jordyn is an AFLW player for the Collingwood Magpies and focused on the themes of motivation, setting goals and overcoming challenges. We thank Jordyn for her engagement and sharing her story. There was a big queue at the end of her presentation for some one-on-one chats and Jordyn was so accommodating.

Our Year 12s were briefed this week by our amazing Careers Coordinator, Melinda Williams, on the VTAC application process. If you ask any Year 12, they can tell you exactly how many days there are until their final year of schooling ends! We know that the coming weeks bring many mixed emotions for them. Some are thrilled by the thought of never having to sit another SAC, others are experiencing the pressure of making choices in their post-school pathways, and many are coming to terms with the idea of not seeing their friends every day in the routine of school. All of these emotions and experiences are valid. However, we encourage our students and families to make use of the wellbeing supports on offer here at OLMC. Please reach out to the Pastoral Leader, House Coordinator or one of our Counselling Team if you have any questions.

Kathryn Williams, Deb Daly, Hayley Gamble Curran and Felicia Taine
Senior House Coordinators

In a busy term, some of the key events that have been shaping the Year 9 experience are:

Subject Selection: A Journey of Discovery

The subject selection process is a significant milestone for our Year 9 students, as it provides them with the opportunity to plan their academic paths and explore their passions. Earlier this term, our students embarked on this journey. Students navigated through a diverse range of subjects, carefully considering their interests, strengths, and future aspirations. The process was a demonstration of the collaborative spirit of our school community, as teachers, parents, and students worked together to make informed decisions.

Real Industry Job Interview Program: A Journey of Growth and Development

Participation in Pastoral activities has been instrumental in helping our students cultivate not only their academic abilities but also their personal skills. This term, Pastoral Teachers have been assisting students in crafting resumes and cover letters for job applications as part of our preparation for participation in the Real Industry Job Interview (RIJI) Program. RIJI is a career development program designed to give secondary students the opportunity to prepare for and experience a practice interview with industry stakeholders. Through the Pastoral activities, students are learning to articulate their achievements, experiences, and aspirations effectively. The practical skills gained from this program are designed to support transition from the school environment to the professional world. The Year 9 students will complete their practice interviews in Term 4.

Leadership Opportunities: A Journey of Empowerment

On Wednesday 16 August, our Year 9 SRC and House Vice Captains participated in a Middle Leaders Networking Event at Catholic Ladies College in Eltham. This invaluable opportunity was designed to enrich their leadership journeys and facilitated a valuable exchange of experiences and ideas with fellow student leaders from various Catholic Colleges in the Northern and Eastern areas of Melbourne. By exchanging anecdotes, strategies, and challenges, they discovered that leadership is a journey full of growth and shared learning.

Reflection from Aprila D (9ACH)

The Middle Leaders Networking Event gave us a great insight into implementing change and improvement within our school community. We interacted with many like-minded people from a range of Catholic schools. Some ideas that our team are looking to explore are: the use of digital diaries, obtaining new and colourful furniture for our breakout spaces to make them more inviting to be in, and even a community day to interact with our neighbouring schools. This event was a great inspiration and provided us with an opportunity to reflect on where our leadership roles can lead and the opportunities and achievements that we can pursue in the future.

Kylie Willis
Year 9 Level Coordinator

On Monday 7 August, approximately 50 Year 7 students performed for family and friends in an intimate concert in the Mercedes Hogan Theatre. This night was an evening where students could share their learning with those who are supporting them with this journey.

Whilst there was a mixture of nerves, anxiety and excitement, every student performed wonderfully. All of these Year 7 students have shown their great sense of courage and how musical they all are.

We look forward to seeing how they continue to expand and improve in their playing. We are especially excited that they will all be part of the 2023 Celebration Concert on Tuesday 29 August, where they can again share their ensemble performances with their family and friends.

Jo-Anne Mileto
Instrumental Music Coordinator

Celebration Concert

Music of Many Lands

Date: Tuesday 29 August

Time: 7.00pm

Venue: Nalleijerring Centre

Book Now

GSV Athletics

Throughout the term the OLMC Athletics Squad has been training in preparations for the GSV Championship Event.

On Tuesday 8 August the team participated in the GSV Preliminary Event held at Sandringham Athletics Track. OLMC finished eighth overall and qualified into Division 3 for the GSV Championship Event to be held at Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park on Wednesday 23 August.

We wish all competitors every success.

CGSAV Aerobics Competition

On Friday 11 August, the Annual CGSAV Aerobics Competition was held at OLMC. The competition was split into three divisions and our students competed in Division B, Years 7-9.

The day was filled with a supportive but competitive nature, schools cheering their peers on and embracing the day in its whole.

There were 36 different teams performing routines on the day, including six from OLMC, all against each other in the same division. Competing against nine other teams, one group of OLMC students took out second place.

Congratulations to all.

2023 Netball Victoria Secondary Schools Championships

On Tuesday 15 August, three teams represented OLMC at the Annual Netball Victoria Secondary Schools Netball Championships conducted at the State Netball Centre at Parkville.

The all-day event saw each team participate in a round robin against other schools. Our students played with skill and courage, with the Juniors finishing fourth, Seniors third, and our Intermediate team winning their way through to the finals, to be held on Tuesday 29 August.

Trevor Robertson
Sports Coordinator

The OLMC Parents’ Association invites you to a breakfast to celebrate Father’s Day.

Date: Friday 1 September, 7.30am – 8.30am
Venue: Heagerty Room, Yarra St, Heidelberg
Cost: $35 per family
Book Online: https://www.trybooking.com/CKVCD

This is a chance for all students to do something special for Dad, Grandad or a special person in their life by enjoying a delicious breakfast together and sharing a special time. All are welcome.

We will be joined by representatives from the Bulleen Men’s Shed. They will share information about all the amazing things that the group is doing for men's health and wellbeing.

If you are unable to attend but still wish to support the work of the OLMC Parents’ Association we invite you to purchase a raffle ticket online. Tickets will go on sale soon - please check PAM for details.

Tickets are one for $5, three for $10 or ten for $30 and the array of prizes is outstanding.

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.

Residents near North East Link Tunnels construction areas can green their garden by planting up to two free trees as part of the Greener North East program.

Residents living in Watsonia, Macleod, Yallambie, Rosanna, Viewbank and Bulleen can choose from a range of eight native trees which are 100cm tall and ready for planting now. The background tree planting program is on top of work already underway to plant at least two trees for every one removed to build the North East Link.

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.