Edition 4 | 24 March 2023
Judith Weir

Last week we hosted the Time and Space Evening for Year 8 students and a significant male mentor and this week we hosted the same event for Year 7 Students and a significant female mentor in their lives. It was wonderful to welcome parents/caregivers 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 another perspective on life and growing up.

A wonderful aspect of the evening is also seeing an ever-growing number of Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 students host the small groups leading parents and students through a conversation. It was such a delight to see these students volunteer, many of whom are involved for a second or third time, and lead with confidence and generosity of spirit. They are wonderful ambassadors for OLMC and great role models for our other students.

Next week we will host the Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews online. The feedback from families last year was that the preferred option is the online format. We will continue to gather feedback and review this strategy during the year. Opportunities for staff and parents/caregivers to work together on understanding learning progress and areas of challenge are a significant aspect of the work we do together. It is a chance to affirm and celebrate success and plan strategies for growth. I encourage all families to take up this opportunity.

We are nearing the end of Term 1. As is the case in every term, it has been a busy one with so many different events for students and families. It has also been a term characterised by opportunities for families to engage with staff and each other to support young people.

We have been heartened by the positive feedback we have received and also grateful for feedback that will help us enhance the experience in the future.

Recently the Stations of the Cross were placed around the school as part of our preparations for Easter. It is a visible reminder of the significance of this Lenten season and all that we are anticipating as we await the Resurrection. We wait with faith, courage and hope in our hearts for the fulfilment of the promise of Easter.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

As we enter into our fifth 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 https://www.prayerscapes.com/prayers/times/sunday_morning_prayer.html#ixzz7LTsdRI7i

Are you able to support the work of Caritas through Project Compassion 2023, sharing with those who struggle in so many ways?

Caritas Organisation

Project Compassion

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

We thank God for Patrick's life and example and the Irish Church's gift to Australia, especially for Catholic education. OLMC is one of those gifts from the Sisters of Mercy.

Last Friday, ten wonderful OLMC Year 8 students represented our College at St Patrick’s Cathedral during the Schools’ Mass. Thank you, students!

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Remembering the Passion of Christ, connecting stories of global and local suffering.

Friday 7 April – 11.00am – 1.00pm

Begins and concludes at the Olympic Village Shops, Moresby Court, Heidelberg West.

Transport available along the way if needed.

For more information contact the Exodus Community, T: 9457 7593.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Last Wednesday, our Year 10 students participated in their Reflection Day titled, ‘Wonderfully Made’ at Holy Cross Retreat Centre.

This day celebrates the unique gift that each student is, made in the image of God, and continues the work in their Religious Education and Health and Physical Education classes around relationships, sexuality and consent education.

The students had a fabulous day working in small groups and enjoying the amazing spaces at Holy Cross.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

The Passionist Community of Holy Cross Templestowe, warmly invite all to this year's Passion Play, featuring Fr Erick Niyiragira CP and OLMC students.

  • Palm Sunday - 2 April 2023 – 1.30pm
  • Good Friday - 7 April 2023 – 10.00am

Holy Cross Centre, 207 Serpells Road, Templestowe.

English is a dynamic subject, studied in some form from Year 7 until Year 12.

OLMC teachers are constantly reflecting on ways to make the subject relevant and engaging for students in order to equip them with the critical skills required for life beyond school. There is no doubt that the workplaces our students will enter will be collaborative and equipped with technology that makes the whole world accessible. The knowledge, skills and values gained through a whole range of learning experiences in English classrooms during students’ time at OLMC will support them to consider multiple perspectives and to make ethical decisions.

In Year 10 English, this year has seen the development of a whole new learning program in English. The focus of Semester 1 English is Stories told in Other Ways and this has enabled students to explore a wide range of texts and text types and respond to a range of purposes and audiences when creating their own responses. As well as offering texts that are relevant, it also offers students a stronger sense of agency and independence. These skills will support them should they study VCE English but they will also enhance their understanding of a range of other subjects and experiences.

Year 10 students recently researched literary tropes in English and completed oral presentations on the way their chosen trope was represented in The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell.

Hannah H. (10CTKI) has generously shared excerpts from her presentation on the way the classic hero archetype is manipulated and challenged:

…"Gaiman strategically exploits our pre-emptive expectations which he then drastically defies on the very last page of the book. The Queen saves the day and defeats the monster. She protects the kingdom, as is her duty, but she does not return home. She instead walks to the east, leaving her kingdom, responsibilities and obligations to forest. Riddell illustrates a phoenix flying overhead, a fitting symbol of rebirth. She stares out at an open landscape, a metaphor for a fresh start full of endless possibilities. And in this moment, the Queen makes a choice. She chooses herself.

Gaiman presents the reader with a strong female hero, whose greatest act of heroism is not in slaying the dragon or conquering a foreign power, but having the courage to save herself. People only ever called her “Your Majesty”, so she no longer had an identity beyond what she did for others. She was trapped but in an act of bravery the Queen acknowledges the resentment she harbours towards her future. She recognises the Kafkaesque labyrinth her life has become and instead of making peace with her future, she makes a choice. The Queen decides that she too deserves to be saved. Through the Queen’s decisions, Gaiman challenges us to consider what heroism truly means. He shows the reader that empowering oneself is just as important as empowering others.”

Anne Morrison
English Learning Leader

Students in Year 9s - 12 who are practically-minded, hands-on and wanting to learn more about the variety of opportunities for women in trade industries are invited to register their interest to attend the Trades Fit Expo on Thursday 11 May. The expo will allow students the opportunity to:

  • Experience hands-on activities and demonstrations
  • Hear from current practitioners working in various trade areas
  • Learn about rewarding, well-paying career options in the trade industry
  • Visit stalls on a variety of different roles in industries including building, automotive, electrical, aviation, plumbing, marine, robotics, clean energy, gaming and more

If you think your young person would be keen to attend this event, please see the links provided above for further information and encourage them to register their interest by emailing Careers Coordinator Mrs Williams with their name, pastoral group, year level and brief outline of what industries/roles they are keen to explore as possible future career options.

Girl Power in Engineering and IT - University of Melbourne Experience Program

Does your Year 9 student:

  • Does your Year 9 student:
  • Have a keen interest in Maths and Science?
  • Are they considering Engineering or IT as future career options?
  • Do they have good communication and teamwork skills?
  • Do they have strong critical thinking skills where they can see the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to society?
  • Can they demonstrate engagement in extracurricular activities and leadership roles in and/or outside of school?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you might encourage them to apply for the University of Melbourne’s Girl Power in Engineering and IT program. This four-year program beginning in Year 9 involves a three-day onsite camp, work experience activities, workshops and seminars all designed to support students clarify and realise their goals in pursuing Engineering and/or IT once they finish their secondary school studies.

More information is available online via this link including details regarding the application process. Students interested in applying are encouraged to speak with their Science/Technology teacher/s and book an appointment to discuss the application process further with Mrs Williams, Careers Coordinator.

Applications close Monday 17 April and a school endorsement is required as part of your application. Only 40 places are available so I encourage you to speak with your Year 9 student as soon as possible if interested.

Melinda Williams
Careers Coordinator

Year 7 Aquatics Excursions

Over the past few weeks, the Year 7 students have been travelling to Ivanhoe Aquatic Centre and participating in a two-hour water safety session.

During the excursion, students were taught about the importance of water safety, how to identify hazards, and the steps they can take to prevent accidents.

Students were led through a variety of fun and engaging activities that will allow them to gain confidence in the water, and knowledge and skills that they can use throughout their lives.

Year 12 Physical Education METS Incursion

The Year 12 Physical Education (PE) classes had an incursion with METS Performance Consulting on Wednesday 8 March.

During the session, the METS team offered our students the chance to witness and partake in advanced fitness testing and procedures at an elite level.

The activities sparked discussions that connected the data collected to the core concepts covered in Unit 3, Area of Study 2. These topics included acute responses, energy systems, fatigue, and recovery.

Overall, the incursion was an informative and stimulating experience for our Year 12 PE students.

Teresa Cerra
Health and Physical Education Learning Leader

House Swimming Carnival
On Friday 10 March the Centenary Lawn was buzzing with excited students putting on their green, red, yellow or blue glitter, ribbons and zinc, ready for a fun day at the Swimming Carnival. The House Captains and even some of the newly appointed Vice-Captains helped the students get into the House spirit and House colours for the day.

Throughout the day, the House areas were full of energy and enthusiasm. The cheering was the best it had been from all Houses. It was wonderful to see so many students participating in a range of activities; jumping in to fill an empty space in the pool; joining their friends in novelty events; jumping onto the volleyball court to earn points for their respective Houses.

The Captains from all four Houses along with the Sport Captains and many others, did a terrific job getting everyone involved. Thanks to all of them for their passion and hard work on the day.

And congratulations to McAuley for taking home the trophy!

Learn a New Skill Sessions
During our Pastoral Lesson on Tuesday 14 March, our senior students had the opportunity to ‘Learn a New Skill’. All students from Years 10 - 12 were offered a range of workshops to choose from and students could decide what new skill they would like to learn.

The workshops ranged from how to change a car tyre, special effects make-up, personal training, how to fit in on the dance floor, barista skills, painting portraits, dumpling making, circus skills and many more!

It was wonderful to see how engaged all the students were in the groups that they had selected. The senior students will get the chance to do it all again on Tuesday 28 March where they have selected a second skill to learn. Congratulations to all the students for getting involved so enthusiastically and learning a new life skill.

Student Reflections:
For the Learn a New Skill session I did Ballroom Dancing. It was a really fun class where we learnt how to Salsa with a partner and we also learnt a dance that is from the Dominican Republic. We were able to dance with a lot of different partners and learnt a very unique and a very fun skill. It made everyone smile and gave many people a lot of fun memories that they can cherish with their peers and friends.
Natasha A. (11CSGP)

For the Learn a New Sklil session I chose to do the aromatherapy playdough and weaving. This was a great chance to hang out with friends and have fun, while also learning a new skill. I chose to make playdough which involved mixing flour, oil, food dye, water and salt into a large bowl. This was a great time to step away from the normal class environment, and relax and have fun with friends.
Matilda B. (11AASE)

For the Learn a New Skill sessions, I attended the presentation ‘Getting a Good Night’s Sleep’. From this, I learnt the technicalities of sleep including the different sleep cycles, how long you should be sleeping, and how to fall asleep quicker.

I enjoyed this presentation because it was clear and concise, while still allowing the audience to contribute and ask questions.
Roisin L. (11MJBA)

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

On Wednesday 8 March, award winning author and poet Steven Herrick visited OLMC. He conducted a Q&A session during lunchtime with our enthusiastic Creative Writing Club and Book Club students in attendance. He regaled them with stories about his life and the challenges he faced as a writer. Many of the students commented how much they appreciated the opportunity to learn from a published author who has had an active career for several decades.

During Lesson 4 all of our Year 7 students participated in an incursion with Steven at the Mercedes Hogan Theatre. He shared excerpts from some of his books, took questions from the audience, and created poems using the names of some of our students. Many students commented afterwards that they did not realise that poetry could be so fun and ‘real’; that it did not need to rhyme and could reflect funny experiences and observations from daily life. The Learning Commons has fielded many requests for his books following the incursion, a sign that it was a very successful and well received event.

The Learning Commons hosts a Creative Writing Club each Tuesday during lunchtime with Ms Morrison and Ms Salamone facilitating the sessions. All interested students are encouraged to come along and get involved.

Anna Apfelstedt
Learning Commons Coordinator

On Thursday and Friday last week, we took two very eager groups of students to watch the ‘Top Class’ performances, a part of the VCAA Season of Excellence.

The students were able to see work of the highest quality from the Theatre Studies Monologue Examination and the Drama Solo Examination presented at the Malthouse Theatre.

On each day we watched ten exemplary performances from students who had completed their Units 3 and 4 studies in both Theatre Studies and Drama in 2022.

Our OLMC students were incredibly impressed with the work that they saw. During both train rides home, the students chatted excitedly about what they had watched, what they liked and what they might do similarly or differently in their own exams later in the year.

Student Reflections:
On Thursday 16 March, the Theatre Studies class went to ‘Top Class’ to watch the best of the best students from the monologue exam in 2022 perform.

We saw a range of students perform their monologues in many different ways. We enjoyed seeing the theory we learnt about being put on stage. We had many conversations about how these performances could inspire our exams later on. It was nice to spend a day in the city with the class.
Victoria C. (11LMGL)

On Friday 17 March the VCE Drama class visited ‘Top Class’, an excursion where students watch past top-ranking drama solos.

This was such a great experience to watch a variety of different solo structures, coming from a variety of different students with different interpretations.

I particularly enjoyed the variations of soundscapes, soundtracks and how they incorporated different ideas within their stimulus. Watching the solos acted was a good inspiration for the students with their solos, which will be coming up later in the school year!
Savina T. (12CMSM)

Ms Felicia Taine and Ms Hayley Gamble Curra
Performing Arts Teachers

On Friday 10 March the OLMC House Swimming Carnival was held at the Boroondara Sport Centre in Balwyn.

The day was filled with fun opportunities to participate in activities in and out of the water.

A big thank to everyone who attended the carnival and congratulations to everyone who participated, cheered and helped out on the day.

Individual Year Level Champions and Runner-Ups



Year 7

Hope C. (7AAP)

Isabella DA. (7AAP)

Year 8

Lucy C. (8DBU)

Karina T. (8MDG)

Year 9

Chloe K. (9MKY)

Madison B. (9BME)

Year 10

Bianca C. (10AAGL)

Olivia C. (10MMWI)

Year 11

Amelia H. (11CSGP)

Zara B. (11LJRE)

Year 12

Sofia P. (12MECO)

Eliza W. (12AAL)

The Cheering Trophy was eagerly contested by all students.













Junior Trophy













Intermediate Trophy













Senior Trophy













The Claire McCormack Trophy

The fastest 50m OLMC Swimmer for 2023 is awarded to Sofia P. (12MECO) Mercy in a time of 30.85 sec.

Overall Result 2023 OLMC House Swimming Carnival









708 pts




Trevor Robertson
Sports Coordinator

Year 8 students have been exploring the many opportunities at OLMC to embark on a leadership journey at school. They have the opportunity to be nominated for elected positions of leadership to represent their cohort as a member of the Student Representative Council, or to be elected as a Class Captain. Both of these roles require students to be nominated, and then present a speech to their peers before voting occurs. It was great to see many students apply for a chance to be elected into one of these roles, and we congratulate the following students who were successful in their applications.

Year 8 SRC Captains
Mietta T. (8SLO) and Dania J. (8DBU)

Year 8 Class Captains
Olivia D C. (8BFA) Pia K. (8DCH), Zara F. (8MDG), Chelsea C.(8MWA), Monique C. (8BHO), Grace H. (8SLO), Charlotte H. (8MFO) and Romi L. (8DBU)

It has long been said, that ‘not all leaders wear a badge’, and this is a message shared consistently with our students. The Year 8 students have been encouraged to look beyond the elected roles within the College to see that there are many other opportunities for leadership. Those students who attended the recent ‘Time and Space’ night with their male mentors will have observed students in Years 9 through to 12 facilitating sessions, and they too have been informed that this is something they can get involved in next year.

Students have also been asked to think and recognise where there may be chances for them to display leadership qualities within the classroom and amongst the cocurricular programs at the College. Participation in the wide array of cocurricular activities also provides students with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills.

Stepping up to this challenge has been something the Year 8 Cohort of 2023 have taken in their stride. New to the Social Justice Program for 2023, is the ‘Bread Run’. The Bread Run supports people in need within the West Heidelberg area and is conducted by the Exodus Community. OLMC participates in this program monthly on Wednesdays. Students from Years 8, 11 and 12 are supervised by an OLMC Teacher and are grouped in pairs to deliver the bread to appreciative families. Upon hearing of this initiative, and then being advised when sign ups were open, more than 20 students had applied to join the program within the first couple of days. If your young person is still interested in signing up, please encourage them to speak with our Social Justice Coordinator, Ms Lauren Marquet.

Developing the leadership skills of the Year 8 cohort will continue throughout 2023, within classroom learning and through the Pastoral Program. During Semester 2, students will spend some focussed time working on a range of leadership skills, as they look ahead to the opportunities for student leadership in Year 9. Next year, students will be able to apply for the following roles; SRC, House Vice-Captains, Class Captains and Peer Support Leaders, where they will work alongside the Year 7 students supporting them with their transition to Secondary School. The Year 8 Pastoral Team looks forward to supporting the students as they continue to take up opportunities to develop their leadership skills as we move through the remainder of the year.

Stephanie Boemo
Year 8 Level Coordinator

The OLMC Parents’ Association would like to pay their respects to Angelo Milanese, a long serving and very active member of the Association. Angelo passed way unexpectedly on Tuesday 14 March 2023.

Angelo was an integral member of the Parents’ Association, always ready and willing to lend a hand and will be remembered for his regular service on the many BBQs held over the years.

Angelo was an avid supporter of OLMC and all that we do, so much so that he continued on the Association even after his daughter concluded her time at OLMC.

We keep his family in our thoughts and prayers, may his soul rest in peace with the love of our Lord.

Applications for the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) 2023 are now open and remain open until the end of Term 2 2023.

Parents/Legal Guardians holding a Concession Card and being successfully validated with Centrelink will be entitled to a payment of $225 per year for each Secondary School student.

Parents, please refer to the 2023 Camps, Sports & Excursions Fund (CSEF) Application Form attached.

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.

Susan Gepp
Accounts Receivable Officer

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.