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Edition 19 | 02 December 2022
Ms Judith Weir

This is our final newsletter for the year. I would like to thank and commend all our staff, students and families for all that has been achieved this year. We returned hopeful that we would not enter a period of remote learning and our hope was not in vain. However, it was still a challenging year. We have all navigated the challenges of living with COVID and the interruptions that it has placed on our lives.

Despite everything that we have faced, this year has been a wonderful return to the community experiences of OLMC. We have welcomed parents, students and staff to celebrations throughout the year. Each celebration has been a chance to recognise success and forge new community connections.

As we reach the end of the school year, it is appropriate to reflect on the success of our students. Next Tuesday, we will hold our final assembly where we will acknowledge the students who have exhibited excellence in learning or through their engagement within or outside the College.

A number of special awards will also be presented. One of these is a Cantor Scholarship, which is awarded to up to five students who are chosen after auditioning at the end of Year 9. The successful Cantors then receive voice lessons through Year 10 and have the opportunity for solo and group performance over the year.

The Molan Scholarship is awarded to a student who has demonstrated endeavour in pursuing her studies and valuing her best, independence in her learning and extensive participation in community activities.

Each year a student is awarded the Mercy Award which has been donated by Mercy Education Limited (MEL) and is awarded in each MEL school. It recognizes a student who has shown her commitment to the values of Mercy.

Each of these scholarships/awards are based on criteria that reflect the qualities and behaviours that are valued at OLMC.

Year Book
The College Year Book: Duce Maria, was recently finalised and will be distributed to students next week. I would like to commend our publishing team, Ms Nicola Conroy, Jasmin Burns and Carla De Vuono for an exceptional publication. The theme this year is “Making our Mark”.

Staff Movement

This year a number of people are discontinuing their normal roles at OLMC after a long and distinguished career in education. Each person has contributed to the fabric of our community helping to build and nurture young people of courage, compassion, justice and joy. There are generations of OLMC students who speak about their amazing experiences both in class and in the many co-curricular activities on offer at OLMC because of the dedication of these people.

They have offered kindness, mentoring and leadership to all with whom they have worked. While we wish them well in the next part of their journey, we farewell them with some sadness but hope that they will remember that they will always be a part of the OLMC Community:

Cenza Basile has been a significant part of OLMC not only in her work in the Languages department but also in her leadership roles. She has also been the leader of very successful Aerobics Teams and overseas tours.

Kay Palmer has predominantly worked in our Design Art and Technology Team, specifically in Food Studies. Kay has also been a dedicated Pastoral Leader for many years.

Terri Pappas has been an integral member of the English team, a Pastoral Leader and contributed to many aspects of College life.

Rebecca Mahoney has been part of the Science team and in particular worked with students for many years in the area of Biology as well as being a Pastoral Leader.

Bernice Ryan has been a member of the English team and has been involved in English Language. Bernice has been a Pastoral Leader.

Geraldine Lewin has led the science team and been involved in teaching Maths and Science, in particular Year 11 and 12 Chemistry along with her Pastoral Leadership.

Di Casey has been a teacher in the Design Art and Technology, Humanities Teams and a Pastoral Leader. She has also been the Digital Technologies Coordinator for the past five years.

Anne Rogan has been a member of the Humanities, English and Pastoral Teams. She has led the Horizon Team and most recently been Pathways Coordinator.

Stephen Walpole has been a member of the Science team, a member of the Pastoral Team and a key part of the GSV Cricket squads. He has also been the School Organiser and Timetabler.

Loretta Costa has worked in our Languages department, in particular teaching Italian.

Short Term Staff
The following staff who worked with us this year will also be leaving us, even though they have only been with us a short time they have really become a part of our community. They have given a great deal to both students and staff and we wish them well:

  • Julie Fielde – Executive Assistant to the Principal
  • Caroline Bui- Member of the English Team

Staff on Leave in 2023

  • Susan Richardson
  • Mark Jenkinson
  • Anna De Rosa
  • Teresa Clarke-Balasz

New Staff
In 2023, we will welcome the following staff:

  • Jessica Battersby – English
  • Stephanie Cassino – Languages
  • Andrew Cho – Food Studies
  • Breanna Farrugia – Science
  • Maureen Fogarty – English
  • Anita Galli – Psychology/Languages
  • Douglas Wright – Digital Strategies Coordinator
  • Jemmah Ind – Humanities/Commerce
  • Trish Kirley – Science
  • Darcy McLean – Maths/Science
  • Joshua Adalin – Science
  • Henry Ralson- Media/English

In this season of Advent, we prepare for the birth of Jesus. This is a season of great joy, hope and celebration. We spend time with family, and share celebrations with our friends and colleagues. It is a celebration of the gift of life. Christmas can therefore become an occasion to welcome, as a personal gift, the message of hope that emanates from the mystery of the birth of Christ.

My hope for all OLMC families that this is a time of great joy where the gift of life and the nourishment for your heart enables you to find a place of encounter with God and each other. Merry Christmas.

Advent - a precious time of waiting. Maranatha!

As we prepare for the end of another school year, we are gifted with the precious season of Advent, as we prepare, yet again, to welcome Jesus into our world.

This prayer centers around the word, Maranatha מרנאתא, which is a Aramaic word meaning, ‘Come, Lord’. This language was used in the region of Galilee at the time of Jesus and would have been spoken by him. So we pray…

Open our eyes to the dignity of all people
And our ears to the cries of the earth.
Let us walk in solidarity with the poor
And cleanse our world from oppression.
Let us shout out for justice for all
And renew our hope for change.
The Lord is coming
Let us share the Good News!
Mr Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Students who attend Our Lady of Mercy College are invited by St Gregory the Great Parish Doncaster to participate in a program to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

If your child would like more information about preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, parents are invited to contact the parish office on 9412 8425 or by email

Margaret O’Donnell will conduct the program on Tuesdays after school. There will be an information evening on Tuesday 14 February at 5:00 pm in St Gregory’s Parish Church.

Mr Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

St Gregory the Great Parish in Doncaster extends a warm welcome to the students of Our Lady of Mercy College to the Youth Group and Young Adults Group hosted by the Parish. They are a nurturing community and hope to journey together to fulfil Christ’s mission.

The Youth Group is for those in Year 7 to Year 9, and the Young Adults Group is suitable for the Year 12 students after graduation (or during Year 12 if they wish). Their next gathering will be in March 2023.

For more information, please email

Mr Andrew Gibson
Curriculum Coordinator

I am often surprised at how quickly the school year ends, and this year is no exception. This week our Senior students started their Orientation program. It is the introduction to, and the commencement of, the subjects for 2023.

The holidays over summer are a break from formal school, but an important time for students to continue to learn – whether through set homework in VCE subjects, revision of prior learning, or reading of texts in preparation for the year ahead. Reading the English texts over the summer will place students well to engage in the analysis required during next year.

Student reports for Semester 2 will be available on SIMON and PAM by Friday 9 December. When they are available, you will receive a notification via email and an announcement will be placed on PAM. The email will also provide you with an outline of the various sections of the reports.

Thank you to the College community for the support you have provided over the course of this year to learning. Your support as we have navigated 2022 and its challenges is much appreciated.

I hope that you have a Merry Christmas and a joyous start to 2023.

On any day in the marvellous Frayne Building, there is a hive of activity where design thinking, collaboration and creativity rules.

We decided to take a snapshot of a typical Wednesday morning to see what is currently going on in our classrooms. It has really highlighted how diverse and talented our students are and how they feel safe to take creative risks. We can’t wait to see what they have created!

Studio 1
The Fashion Accessories students are putting the finishing touches on their hats. The brief this Semester was ‘Under the Sea’. There was such a huge variety of materials used, which all have different construction problems to overcome - great for problem solving!

Studio 2
Art students are developing skills in watercolour painting, learning to create unusual visual effects that they can apply to a representational painting of a bird. Students use techniques such as wet on wet, dry brush, blooming, masking and scumbling.

Studio 3
Horizon students under the expert guidance of art teacher Ms Maheshwari are decorating hamper trays with Christmas themed colours and imagery for the Exodus Community.

Studio 4
Media students are planning and rehearsing their collaborative end of semester ‘One take’ film production. This is a tradition for Year 9 students going back 14 years and is a highlight of the Year 9 media program.

Studio 6
Graphics students are studying the technical conventions of floor plans for buildings. The importance of developing empathy in designing buildings that are habitable, sustainable and pleasant is also a key consideration that should be at the forefront of all budding architects.

Kitchen 1
Food Studies students are baking Savoiardi biscuits. Reading the recipe sheet carefully, measuring ingredients and making sure the ovens are heated correctly is vital to a successful biscuit that is both soft and airy, vesty and perfect for dunking in a cup of coffee!

Mark Jenkinson
Design, Art and Technology Learning Leader

Over the last couple of months, students of French, Japanese and Italian at OLMC have had the opportunity to participate in a range of experiences designed to increase their knowledge of culture both in and out of the Languages classroom.


Webinar for La Fête de la Science

French students Stephanie T. (9DCH) and Eleanor P. (12CRIV) took up the opportunity to participate in the Alliance Française de Melbourne webinar celebrating La Fête de la Science. The panelists included a number of French and Australian bilingual scientists from various universities and organisations, who shared their experiences about how speaking a second language has enhanced their scientific careers. Topics included the benefits of being bilingual, and how language can boost an international career and gender equity in science.

Any French students who were not able to attend the live webinar and who are considering a career in science are encouraged to view the recording of the webinar:


After a hiatus of three years, it was wonderful to be able to once again welcome the Japanese drummers to OLMC for a cultural incursion in October.

The following reflection was written by Hayley L. Ivy B. and Giuliana P. of 8MWA:

Japanese Taiko incursion
All Year 7, 8, and 9 Japanese students had an amazing incursion with the husband and wife team Toshi and Junko from the Wadaiko Rindo, performing traditional Japanese drumming (Taiko). Not only did they perform spectacular, engaging music pieces, they also shared their knowledge of the instruments. It was interesting to learn that Taiko has been around for 1500 years and was introduced to Japan from China, but the Japanese had made it their own. When describing the drums they also incorporated Japanese words like chiisai (small), ookii (big), bachi (drum sticks) and chappa (tiny Japanese symbols). They allowed us plenty of time to play it ourselves. Everyone was eager to join in and was having fun. Overall, it was a great experience that allowed students to enjoy and appreciate Japanese culture.


We recently received the results for the Dante Alighieri Original Poetry competition for 2022.

The following article from Mrs Loretta Costa lists the prize-winners and includes samples of some of the winning poems from the Year 10 Italian students:

Dante Alighieri Original Poetry Competition 2022
All Year 10 students of Italian are to be commended for having written an original poem for this year’s competition. It was evident that much thought and creativity went into writing the poems.

Many students were awarded certificates of High Distinction, Honourable Mention and Merit. Our congratulations are extended to the following students who were awarded prizes: Talia B. (10AGLE) First Prize, Siena C. (10CMSM) First Prize, Monique C. (10AASE) Second Prize and Amelia S. (10CPSE) Third Prize.

Here is a small sample of the poems:

Una nuova terra mi ha chiamato.....
La paura, più forte del rombo del tuono
Un suono naturale
Così oscuro, eppure così elettrizzante
Mi ha portato attraverso il mare
Attraverso il mare verso questa terra straniera
Una terra di colori vivaci
Una terra così pura, così ricca, così verde
Una terra che mi ha salvato dalla vista del rosso
Preoccupato che la mia prossima mossa possa essere l'ultima
Mi ha portato fuori dalle tenebre, nella luce
Mi ha portato fuori dall'ombra
Ho bloccato le mie orecchie dal suono lontano degli spari
Per assorbire le mie lacrime, non mi restava nessuno da piangere
Ha portato via la mia sofferenza
Ha curato il mio trauma
Mi ha dato speranza, forza
Sensazioni che non sapevo esistessero
Ha riempito il mio spirito
Quando ero insensibile, mi ha aiutato a sentirmi meglio
Grembi aperti, crudi, teneri, sono cresciuti in cicatrici
Non mi ha ucciso, ma mi ha reso più forte
Potevo sentirlo
Stava chiamando il mio nome
Talia B. (10AGLE)

Memorie di un’amicizia
Quando ero bambino,
Ero sempre con te, amico mio,
Abbiamo corso per le strade,
Abbiamo sempre avuto qualcosa da giocare,
Felice come può essere.
Finché non dovevi partire per vedere,
La nuova vita preparata per te,
In un altro paese.
Abbiamo pianto,
Abbiamo singhiozzato,
Ma ci siamo chiamati,
Ogni giorno.
Un giorno,
Non mi hai mai risposto,
Ho aspettato,
Giorni e notti,
Per sentirti.
Quando sono tornato,
Al posto dove abbiamo giocato,
Era aprile,
Ma non riuscivo a trovare il tuo viso gentile.
La tua casa, la tua famiglia e le tue foto erano ancora lì,
Ma tu non c'eri,
Ho tenuto la foto di te ed io,
Di noi che camminiamo e facciamo esercizio,
Non potevo trattenerlo,
La pioggia scrosciava dal cielo.
Ho guardato il tuo sorriso luminoso come le luci,
E ho ricordato i ricordi magnifici,
Quando ero bambino,
Quando ero con te, amico mio.
Monique C. (10AASE)

Dopo la pioggia
Dopo la pioggia
Sui fili il sole stende
Tremule Perle
Siena C. (10CMSM)

Fleur Davison
Languages Learning Leader

The laboratories have been dark for the last couple of weeks as Year 8 classes have been exploring light. This is a great Physics topic, with students investigating angles of incidence, reflection and refraction. Students were given a creative challenge using our set of CYI cubes. They had to capture the primary and secondary colours of light using filters, and some great artistic effects were observed.

The Year 7 classes have been noisy, with students doing an investigation of sound. They have been using water-filled test tubes and a pitch detector called Fine Tuner on their phones. Results were analysed and graphed giving them valuable experience in scientific investigations.

As part of the 15th Innovation Challenge, our BrainSTEM team from Year 9 presented to a packed house at Swinburne University of Technology on Thursday 24 November.

The emphasis of the BrainSTEM program is experiencing the processes of innovation in STEM, so the journey the team took was as important as their product.

They explored the link between levels of social media use and wellbeing impacts on students from Years 7 to 11. Through surveying, the group found some interesting findings: Year 8s tend to underestimate the time they spend on social media and Year 11s tend to overestimate. Most students surveyed reported daily social media use in the high to extreme range, which is more than three hours daily. The higher the levels of daily social media use, the greater the number of behaviours such as wanting to buy or buying beauty products, clothing, beauty treatments, diet foods, diet programs, following social media influencers and clicking through online advertising. To respond to the problem, our BrainSTEM team designed stickers to be added to phones to remind students to stop scrolling and start living.

Susan Long
Science Learning Leader

Final Dinner - Thursday 17 November

Some of our Year 11 Students participated in the final Exodus Family Dinner for 2022 last week.

Throughout the year we have had Senior students volunteer their time to prepare, cook and share in a meal with our friends at the Exodus Community in West Heidelberg.

OLMC girls have demonstrated their courage and compassion in their encounters with community members who have commented on the value and respect they have felt as a result of the hospitality that our students and staff have provided.

In recognition of this hard work, the community presented the students and their Head Chef, Community Development Coordinator at OLMC Marie Jenkins, with a Certificate of Appreciation. It has been wonderful for our students and staff to have the opportunity to walk alongside members of our community and share their different life experiences.

Elise Cooper and Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinators

Booklists for 2023 are now available here on the North of the Yarra website.

A reminder that orders should be placed by Tuesday 6 December 2022 if selecting the home delivery option.

Any queries can be directed to Anna Apfelstedt, Learning Commons Coordinator (


OLMC students achieved great success in Term 4 with a total of sixteen Basketball teams (one Senior, five Intermediate and ten Junior Teams) and two Cricket teams (one Senior and one Junior) competing against strong opposition throughout the six rounds of GSV Sport and then competing against the best of the best teams in the GSV finals.

Basketball teams (Senior, Intermediate and Junior)

  • Eight teams won their Zone competition (three Intermediate and five Junior)
  • Ten teams participated in GSV finals (four Intermediate and six Junior)
  • Five teams were Runners Up (two Intermediate and three Junior)

Cricket Teams (Senior and Junior)

Both teams made it to the GSV Finals:

  • Senior Team placed third overall in the GSV Competition
  • Junior Team won the Zone Competition and played well in the finals to be 2022 GSV Junior Premiers - an amazing achievement.

Congratulations to all students involved and thank you to the many OLMC staff who enable our students to participate in the many GSV and various sporting opportunities throughout the year.

OLMC Students Excel in Athletics Victoria All Schools Championships

A special mention to five OLMC students who participated in the Athletics Victoria All Schools Track and Field Championships earlier this month, who all made it to the finals of their chosen events.

OLMC Finalists (Top 8 finishes):

  • Emily McK. (7JBR)- U14 Shot Put, Discus, Javelin
  • Chiara S. (8JSE)- U14 Hurdles
  • Lula P. (7MMA) - U14 Hammer
  • Jamieson. L (9DCH) - U16 200m Hurdles, 400m and 90m Hurdles
  • Sugi N. (11LRJE) - U18 400m and 800m

The following OLMC students directly qualified for the Nationals team selection.

  • Jamieson L. (9DCH) - U16 200 Hurdles
  • Emily McK. (7JBR)- U14 Discus and Shot Put (U13 and eligible for same age group next year, and qualified for both primary (10 - 12 years) and secondary school (U14 - U18) Victorian teams)

We wish both Jamieson L. (9DCH) and Emily McK. (7JBR) every success at the National School Track and Field Championships in Adelaide, commencing on Friday 9 December 2022.

Trevor Robertson
Sport Coordinator

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.