Edition 5 | 06 April 2023
Judith Weir

This is the final newsletter for the term and so it is fitting to celebrate all that has been achieved. It seems that we all returned this year with a resolve to move forward and engage in as many opportunities as we can. We have certainly seen students wholeheartedly embracing opportunities here at school.

We have so much to celebrate and give thanks for, including the successful transition of our Year 7 students, the achievements of our students in GSV, the wonderful Swimming Carnival where so many participated, and the uplifting celebrations of success at our assemblies and our Masses.

Students also signed up in great numbers to the many clubs and activities on offer. Our social justice teams have been very busy supporting initiatives to provide for people within our local community and beyond, along with environmental initiatives. The increased number of students engaged in all aspects of school life has been encouraging.

We have also been privileged to host so many events with parents and caregivers this year. We are grateful for the feedback regarding the Information Evenings, where families were able to meet with Coordinators and Pastoral Leaders. We are also pleased that the Time and Space Evenings and International Women’s Day breakfast were well attended and enjoyed by both adults and students alike.

In addition to their engagement with the co-curricular program, students have made renewed commitments to their studies, which will stand them in good stead as we go into Term 2. It will be the first time Year 10 students participate in the exam program and will engage in a program to support their readiness to make choices about their VCE pathways. Year 12 students will complete Unit 3 and begin to turn their minds to the end of year and making choices about their lives beyond school. Much of the work all students have done this term will provide good preparation for this.

I hope that in the next few weeks families have a chance for a well-deserved rest. We are in the season of Lent, a time for renewal and hope in The Resurrection. As we approach this Easter we pray for the renewal of peace, health and safety for all in our world. May all who live in fear or poverty enjoy the hope of The Resurrection. May leaders in our world find wisdom to end conflict and suffering and may we all find hope in our hearts in order that we experience compassion, justice, courage and joy; the OLMC values that we hold so dear.

I would like to congratulate and thank our students and families for a great term and wish all a wonderful Easter. I hope that you find this is a time of renewal as you come together with family and friends. We look forward to a successful Term 2.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission
God of love and blessing
We thank you for making all things new.
Renew our hearts, minds, and lives,
for the days ahead.
Keep your words of truth planted firm within us,
help us to keep focused on what is pure and right, give us the power to be obedient to your word.
Give us listening ears
That we may hear your voice
in the voices of others
Especially the poor and vulnerable
Open our hearts to your call
We ask this in the name of Jesus, your Son. Amen.
Andrew Gibson
Curriculum Coordinator

Terms often finish in a flurry of tasks, be they projects, pitches or tests.

Over the last three weeks many students have been demonstrating their understanding of key knowledge, applying this knowledge and using a range of skills. Such tasks are part of our common assessment practices at the College.

Last year we reviewed our Assessment and Reporting Policy. It was pre-2020 since we had looked critically at the policy, and the experiences of remote learning had shone a light on aspects that were written for a time prior to the pandemic. We also wanted to look at the policy through one of our Key Commitments from our Strategic Plan - ‘Putting the student, their learning and their wellbeing, at the centre of all we do.’

The review last year involved surveying students, as well as small group discussions with students, regarding assessment and their learning. From this feedback, changes were made to the policy responding to issues that students raised, in addition to issues raised by colleagues and recent research on assessment practices, such as from the organisation ‘Evidence for Learning’.

So, what has changed?
There are a few changes that have been made, such as the policy recognising a broader approach to assessment, in terms of both the format of assessment and in what is being assessed, with greater inclusion of the capabilities.

Two changes that parents and guardians may notice at the end of this term or early next term include:

  • The comment from teachers on SIMON/PAM will primarily focus on strategies for future progress.
  • Following the return of each assessment task, students will undertake a reflection on SIMON regarding a strategy that led to progress in learning, and an area to focus on, and what strategy may be applied. These reflections will be visible on SIMON/PAM under the teacher comment.

What about Rubrics?
In Years 7 - 11 rubrics remain an important component of our assessment process. The rubric makes explicit what skill or application of understanding is being looked for and valued as evidence of successful learning. A rubric communicates expectations for students’ responses and work. Prior to an assessment task the rubric is shared with students so it is clear what the teachers will be looking for in the criteria. To the right of the criteria, along a row, are the descriptors, which provide a progression of skill/understanding related to a criterion. For example, this may be indicated by progress in greater complexity from identifying, to explaining, to analysing.

The review also allowed us to look at our rubrics and the current research regarding rubric construction. As such, this year some of our Learning Areas are fortunate to be working with two educational consultants, formerly of the University of Melbourne’s Assessment Research Centre, to enhance the clarity of our rubrics.

What about the grade?
The grade is still part of our assessment processes. As I mentioned to Year 7 earlier this term, the grade of ‘C’ is a good result. It indicates there has been an application and demonstration of knowledge and skill, as well as an area to grow.

However, a grade does not tell you what the next steps for learning in that subject involve or the strategies to apply. In that sense, the grade is not as useful as the rubric, the teacher comment and student reflection as to acknowledging success, and in identifying opportunities for future growth.

The Assessment and Reporting Policy can be accessed via the Parent Handbook, under Policies and Guidelines via PAM.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Last week, Year 9 students represented OLMC at the blessing and opening of Trinity Lane, a Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) permanent home for disadvantaged people. We met with Bishop Martin Ashe as he led the blessing. Julian O’Connell, on behalf of the VMCH Board, invited us to share this experience with current residents of Trinity Lane Homes. We were all extremely honoured to meet with the VMCH community as it celebrates the dignity of disadvantaged people within our community.

We particularly found the Parable of the Starfish very meaningful as it reminded us that no matter how small our actions are, everything we do makes a difference in the lives of others.

This prayer inspires us to be neighbours to others…

Lord, be closer to your servants who shall live in these homes.
Be their shelter when they are at home
Their companion when they are away
Their welcome guest when they return
And at last, welcome them into the dwelling place you have prepared for them in your Father’s house.
Bless those who live here and these homes in which they dwell. Amen.

Year 9ACH students:
Stephanie A., Hannah W., Phoebe T., Aprila D. and Gabriella B.

Throughout the duration of Horizon, one of the focus areas has been working to support the local community from a social justice perspective, during Altruism Hour.

During the course of Altruism Hour, the Horizon students collaborated with the Social Justice team and worked hard to plan activities for the OLMC Eco Justice Day Fair, which encourages school involvement and awareness in environmental matters. Students were asked to bring in a Nude Food lunchbox on the day, in exchange for tokens, granting them access to the activities at lunchtime. The activities allowed students to decorate their own eco-cookie, repurpose an old jar, make an alfalfa seed pet, plant their own succulent, decorate a terracotta pot, and swap their pre-loved clothes and books. In the lead up to this day, the Horizon class brainstormed and created activities for the Fair, along with making a budget and calculating the costs of implementing their ideas. Additionally, we worked on marketing the day to the remainder of the school, by speaking at a range of year level assemblies, creating posters to be put up around the school and creating SIMON announcements to inform students.

It was wonderful to see the day being such a success as a stampede of Year 7s were seen sprinting from the Centenary Building at 1.15pm sharp to line up for eco-cookies. Subsequently, 98 out of 100 terracotta plants were painted, filled with soil and succulents. Many students also went home with alfalfa sock pets, pre-loved t-shirts and books and painted jars.

Overall, Horizon’s Altruism Hour has been a rewarding and positive experience that has allowed us to have some fun whilst learning about social justice issues and giving back to our community.

Tiffany M. 9GTA and Amelia C. 9MKY

Last Friday 31 March OLMC celebrated Eco Justice Day.

Living out the eighth Work of Mercy, our aim was to raise awareness about the little things that we can do at school that make a big difference to our planet. Thus, following Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si – to care for our common home, the Earth, and its poor.

We asked all students to bring in ‘Nude Food’ to not only reduce the amount of plastic wasted on the day, but to inspire students to think about long-lasting ways to reduce, re-use and recycle.

The students rose to the challenge. Every student that brought in Nude Food received a token to swap at the Eco Justice Fair at lunchtime.

The most popular activities were ‘decorate your own eco-cookie’ and ‘paint terracotta pot and plant a succulent’. The Fair was designed and run by Term 1 Horizon Students.

Congratulations to 7AAP who brought in 25 Nude Food Lunches on Friday morning. They received a classroom plant and certificate for their great efforts.

Students who brought in Keep Cups were able to have them filled for free with hot chocolate by the VCE VM students.

A huge thank you to the Social Justice Club, Term 1 Horizon students and VCE VM students as well as all Pastoral Leaders and staff for their great support.

As Mercy people, it was a great opportunity to celebrate the little differences we can make together as we care for our Common Home.

Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinator

As Easter approaches, we cannot help but think of the many traditions that come with this important holiday, from egg hunts to family gatherings.

Easter is a time for joy and celebration. One such tradition that is particularly meaningful to Greek Orthodox Christians is the baking and sharing of Koulourakia.

Koulourakia are traditional Greek Easter biscuits that are typically made in the shape of a twisted rope or circle. They are often flavoured with vanilla, orange zest, or sesame seeds, and are a beloved treat in Greek households during Easter time. But what is the significance of Koulourakia, and why are they so important to the Greek Orthodox community?

They have their roots in ancient Greek culture, where they were often used as offerings to the gods. As Christianity spread throughout Greece, these offerings became associated with the celebration of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are baked in Greek households during Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter Sunday.

This week, our Year 9 students made these delicious biscuits, practising various skills such as measuring, creaming, beating, kneading, shaping and baking.

During Holy Week, it is customary for Greeks to visit the homes of loved ones and share Koulourakia with them, along with other traditional Easter foods. This act of sharing is seen as a way to spread joy and happiness, and to bring people closer together during this special time. It is hoped that the Year 9 students will emulate this custom by sharing their creations with family and friends.

The Design, Art and Technology department wishes you all a very Happy Easter. May this Easter season bring you happiness and peace, and may the coming days be filled with warmth, kindness, and love.

Alexandra Seit
Design, Art and Technology Learning Leader

For many years, language students at OLMC have taken part in poetry recitation competitions in Italian and French. These events have afforded students the opportunity to work on perfecting their pronunciation and expression while immersing themselves in the culture of the countries where the languages are spoken. In addition, the memorised lines of poetry ‘stick’ in students’ minds and serve as useful models of correct sentence structure.

This year, for the first time since 2019, Italian students who elect to participate in the competition will once more travel by coach to the University of Melbourne to participate in the Dante Alighieri poetry competition on Monday 29 May.

The French poetry competition, run by the Alliance Francaise de Melbourne, is also taking a step closer to being a ‘live’ competition for the first time since Covid restrictions were imposed. Over the last three years, French students in Years 8-10 have had to film themselves reciting their poem at home, with the videos then being submitted for judging. This year, students who decide to participate in the competition will be required to recite their poem live via Zoom (from the College) at their scheduled time on the day of the competition. The exact date in May is yet to be confirmed.

Another change this year is that, for certain year levels and languages, we have decided to make the poetry competition an optional extension activity. This opportunity is open to all students who would like to push themselves to achieve in their spoken language.

As Easter draws near, I wish students and families Joyeuses Pâques, Buona Pasqua and iisutaa omedetoo. In France and Italy in particular, Easter is an important time. Have a look at these websites (France and Italy) to find out more about Easter traditions in those countries.

Fleur Davison
Languages Learning Leader

On Wednesday 8 March the Year 9 Brainstretching class attended an excursion to Werribee Zoo. With excitement, our students were greeted at the gate by zoo staff who took them straight over to the Cheetah area where discussion centered around the management of animal enclosures. From there, everyone was escorted to a behind-the-scenes area, and were able to examine a closed enclosure where there was a great deal of discussion about how a major project, such as the opening of a new enclosure, is managed.

In the lead-up to the excursion, the students have been studying the use of networks and graphs as part of decision-making processes, then performing critical path analyses in order to determine the crucial activities and their timing. The students embraced the opportunity to be in a setting where real-life projects are managed and were able to ask lots of questions about the update and move of the meerkats from their old display to the current enclosure.

Students were tasked with examining the Koala enclosure, given the recent addition of a new Koala Care Centre at the Zoo, as well as the current management of building the new Elephant enclosure. The students were able to see first-hand the mathematics of managing projects. The zoo staff were very accommodating and the students certainly did OLMC proud by asking lots of probing questions and building a strong understanding of the requirements and processes.

The highlights of the day were the safari tour, which was a chance to be close to the animals out on the savannah plains. We had the good fortune of seeing three hippos all out on the banks of the water and seeing the new born zebras, one of which was only two days old.

Leanne Whiteroad
Mathematics Teacher

On Wednesday 22 March, the Year 9 Dance class had the exciting opportunity to have a class with Ben Cure, who is director of Lion Heart Dance Company.

Ben is a professional dancer, choreographer and director in Melbourne, who is dedicated to assisting inspiring young students through dance workshops and mentorship. His aim is to create confidence in the students dancing and to instil creativity in the student’s artistic endeavours.

After a warm-up the Year 9 Dance students participated in a contemporary dance class, where they learnt movement sequences that challenged them and gave them the opportunity to take risks in their own choreography.

The students embraced this wonderful opportunity and are looking forward to having Ben as a guest dance teacher again in Term 2.

The Year 8 Dance class have been studying hip hop dance in their lessons this term. Students have participated in workshops, where they have learnt skills and techniques for their assessment. The Year 8 students have gained an understanding of the hip hop culture and the elements required for hip hop choreography.

In groups, students have chosen their own music, designed their costumes and choreographed a three-minute dance sequence, in the hip hop style. All four classes performed with confidence and enjoyment, and should be proud of their final performance.

Elite Dance have been rehearsing weekly, in preparation for the first competition at ‘Dance Life Unite’ in June. Matilda B. (11AASE) and Olivia A. (12MMWI), our two Dance Captains, have choreographed a wonderful jazz dance to ‘Livin La Vida Locca’. Students will have the opportunity to perform the dance to OLMC before the competition.

Deb Butterworth
Dance Teacher

It has been an action-packed and productive end to Term 1 for Religious Education classes across the school. Students have been working hard and completing a range of assessment tasks to demonstrate what they have learned so far this year. We have seen some very creative vlogs and writing produced by Year 8 students depicting the life of different Jewish groups in the time of Jesus, informative posters on female heroes of the Hebrew scriptures from Year 9 students and, as part of their Unit 2 studies, Year 12 students have taken a close look at the application of ethical approaches to a scenario.

In the lead up to Holy Week, Religious Education classes have taken some time to pray ‘The Way of the Cross’, either by walking to each of the fourteen beautiful stations set up around the school, or in their own classrooms. Students have entered into this experience with reverence and respect, and have shown a willingness to be active participants in leading their class in one or more stations.

The Religious Education Learning Area team wish all students and their families a safe, holy and joyful Easter.

Bernadette Hogan and Grace Austin
Religious Education Coordinators

M2 Productions is proud to present the Senior Production for 2023 - Rock of Ages!

Rock of Ages is set in the 1980s in Hollywood California. It is the tale of an aspiring rocker, Drew, who works as a busboy in the trademark Hollywood bar/club ‘The Bourbon Room’ and a girl, Sherrie, who he instantly falls for. They are both chasing their respective dreams but the rock 'n' roll fairy tale is about to end when German developers sweep into town with plans to turn the fabled Strip into just another capitalist strip mall. Will they fight for each other and the destiny of the club? The show is filled with songs from Styx, Poison, Twisted Sister, Europe, Pat Benetar, Survivor, Journey, Bon Jovi and Whitesnake to name a few.

There are approximately 60 OLMC students involved both on stage and behind the scenes. The production is being staged in partnership with Marcellin College.

Tickets are now on sale:


Opening Night
Friday 5 May


Saturday 6 May


Thursday 11 May


Friday 12 May


Final Performance
Saturday 13 May



Mercedes Hogan Theatre
39 Yarra Street


Adults $25

Concession $15
(Students and Seniors)

Madalena Broadbent
Performing Arts Learning Leader

Thank you to all students for your commitment to your GSV Tennis and Softball Teams this term. Unfortunately, no OLMC Teams in Senior, Intermediate or Junior made the finals which will be held this week. Please see below our finishing position on respective GSV Sport ladders.


Tennis A


Tennis B


Tennis C


Softball A


Softball B





Tennis A


Tennis B


Softball A







GSV Finals Night (Swimming)
OLMC had a total of eleven students who qualified for the GSV Finals Night (Swimming Competition) on Tuesday 4 April at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre in Albert Park.

Students competed in Individual and relays events.

OLMC AFL Umpiring Program
The OLMC AFL Umpiring Course has proven a great success this term with nine students committing themselves to the practical and theory sessions in both boundary and goal umpiring. Students will have the opportunity to officiate at Junior football matches later on in the year and be paid for their services.

OLMC House Athletics Carnival
The Annual OLMC House Athletics Carnival will be conducted at Box Hill Athletics Track on Tuesday 23 May.

Students will be invited to participate in Field, Track and Novelty events on the day.

Students Event Sign up information will be available at the commencement of Term 2 and all students are encouraged to sign up, have fun and earn points for your house.

Trevor Robertson
Sports Coordinator

The OLMC Parents Association invite all students to come along with their Mother, Grandmother or a special person in their lives to a

Mothers’ Day Celebration


Monday 15 May 2023


7.00 pm



McAuley Hall
Cape Street


This is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the wonderful women in our lives and to get to know others in the OLMC Community.

The evening will commence with a short liturgy and will be followed by a delicious supper served by the Parents Association Committee.

So please save the date!

Further details will be sent out early in Term 2.

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

Follow the official Our Lady of Mercy College accounts on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We’ll be sharing regular news, student achievements and stories from around the College.

OLMC College Tours

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.


Learn to paint man’s best, cutest, and bravest friend!


Monday 1 May


4.00pm – 5.00pm


Frayne Design Art and Technology Building
Cape Street


Students in Grades 4 and 5 interested in studying Visual Arts in Secondary School




Online by Friday 28 April

At Our Lady of Mercy College Heidelberg, you can express your creativity in Design, Art and Technology subjects. You can learn to create garments, produce films, and even design buildings!

Many of our students have learnt to create extraordinary paintings of people, objects and animals. At OLMC Heidelberg you will be given the opportunity to develop your painting skills too.

The session will include a tour of the Frayne Design Art and Technology Building, which houses our visual art and textiles classrooms, media studios, food technology classrooms and Allied Health training centre.

Then our Design Art and Technology Assistant Adrian Stojkovich, a Visual Artist, will teach you how to paint a dog, introducing you to some of the fundamental skills that our students are taught.

You do not need to be great at drawing or painting to participate, all you need is a desire to learn!

Experience OLMC Heidelberg offers girls in primary school a chance to try subjects they can study at the College. Together we can learn, lead and be the best we can be. We are empowered together.

Schools on Air

Whether you have never picked up a mic or you know your basics but want to learn more, join us and record your very own show.

Each week you will work with SYN 90.7 FM radio expert who will guide you as you decide on the music and script, before you record and go live on radio across Melbourne and Geelong.


Term 2, 3 and 4


4.00pm – 6.00pm


Banyule Nillumbik
Tech School
61 Civic Drive

For more information contact: BanyuleNillumbikTS@melbournepolytechnic.edu.au

Melinda Williams
Careers Coordinator