Edition 8 | 02 June 2023
Judith Weir

Our College mission and vision encourages our staff and students to be active and engaged learners. We want them to be challenged by the learning opportunities we provide and we want them to challenge themselves. We want our students to be engaged in their learning in such a way that they are always looking to do or be the best they can. The remaining weeks of Term 2 are challenging, but they are an opportunity for students to see the outcomes of their pursuit of excellence and to build their repertoire of experiences, skills and knowledge.

Year 7 students will depart for Phillip Island next week, for their first camp with OLMC. We hope that they find the opportunity to meet others from the year level that they are yet to engage with, and enjoy some wonderful experiences and time away from school. We are praying for good weather and hope all the staff and students have a wonderful time.

Year 12 students will also participate in their Retreat Program. This is something that is always spoken about as a highlight of their year by Year 12 students. It will be the last time for them to share in an experience that includes an overnight component as a cohort. It is also a very precious time to reflect on their journey; what has brought them to this point and what they hope for the future. We hope that they are blessed with wonderful weather and great joy.

Exams will soon begin for Year 10 and 11 students and Year 12 students will participate in finalising their assessments for the semester. I hope that your child takes time to reflect on the learning gains made over the semester and also the improvements or new work habits that have enabled growth and success. Understanding the strategies that have been successful this year will be helpful in the years to come.

On Monday we hosted the Mid-Year Concert. Students from Year 7 to 12 performed for a substantial audience. It was a great pleasure to watch the joy on the faces of all students as they felt the appreciation of the audience. As is always the case, we are awed by the wealth of talent of our students.

We are entering the last few weeks of the term, one that has been short and challenged us to achieve all our aspirations within a very short timeframe. We still have some way to go and much to learn but as is always the case, we will continue to challenge students to live our values of courage, compassion, justice and joy as they make their way through the busy assessment period.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Today formally concludes National Reconciliation Week. However, as a Catholic school in the Mercy tradition, we as a community still have a long way to go as we seek ways to restore broken relationships and great hurt. Let us pray for all who live in this ancient and holy land.

God of love and justice, we pray that our political, religious and community leaders act in the interests of all the people in this land... that they walk the talk of reconciliation. Lord, Hear Us. Lord, come walk with us towards peace and reconciliation.

God of love and justice, we pray for those who still suffer sadness because of the government policies of the past ... may they be healed by us walking the talk of your Gospel command to love. Lord Hear Us. Lord, come walk with us towards peace and reconciliation.

God of love and justice, we pray for those who are ostracised because they walk the talk of reconciliation. May our nation encourage and celebrate their work. Lord Hear Us. Lord, come walk with us towards peace and reconciliation.

God of love and justice, help us to learn the message of justice taught by Pope Francis who has instructed us to go out. Go out and share... go out and interact with our brothers and sisters, go out and share, go out and ask. Become your Word in body as well as spirit. Lord Hear Us. Lord, come walk with us towards peace and reconciliation.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

As a Catholic school, we have offered our students the opportunity to celebrate this critical week and to understand more about issues affecting our Indigenous sisters and brothers. This work has been supported by Statements by the Australian Catholic Bishops and the Sisters of Mercy.

On Monday, students came along at lunchtime to view a screening of the 1967 Referendum. They were given some insight into the upcoming 2023 Referendum, drawing from the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

On Thursday, students came along to a screening of the Uluru Statement from the Heart Background, produced by Blackfella Films.

At lunchtime on Friday, a panel of staff and students explored some of the various issues and points of view around the upcoming Referendum.

All week, there were displays in the Learning Commons of books by First Nations people, as well as books connected to First Nations' histories, culture and achievements.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2021, with the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia taking the same step last year. The bishops encouraged Catholic parishes, schools and agencies to arrange opportunities for people to read the document and discuss their response to its key messages.

Read the full statement.

Model United Nations (UN) was an invaluable experience. I was fortunate enough to step into the shoes of a UN ambassador for Barbados and discuss contentious global issues, with the aim of finding the best possible solution through dialogue and negotiation with people I had not met before, to find common ground and create consensus. It was interesting to look at topics through the lens of the country I was representing, rather than from my own opinion.

It was amazing to see over 120 students from ten schools across Melbourne representing 30 counties at the event.

Our Model UN debate was related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on developing a new UN resolution for empowering women and girls. My team and I researched the country we were assigned, being Barbados, and then took part in a process to draft a resolution which the assembly voted on. The day culminated in all improving their debating, public speaking and negotiation skills. I hope to attend the event again in the future, as it was a very positive experience.

Tiffany M. (9GTA)

Four students involved in Social Justice and Student Leadership represented OLMC Heidelberg at the Banyule Youth Summit on Thursday 25 May. Students had the opportunity to discuss topics including gender equality, consent, mental health, racism, youth voice and climate change. Congratulations to Katelyn D. (12CTKI), Tiffany M. (9GTA), Alana P. (10CSGP) and Elena S. (9GTA) for representing the College with maturity and drive to be the voice for young people.

‘My name is Katelyn and I was on the Youth Voice table. We discussed many things relevant to our generation such as the lack of representation in local government and council municipalities. This resulted in the recommendation of a Youth Council or Shadow Council being put forward to Banyule for consideration. This recommendation would involve having 10-15 local young people form an advisory council that would discuss youth issues and local communal problems. The day was overwhelmingly successful and it was amazing to hear from so many different people and build on their ideas. The best part was definitely the round table discussion, which gave each group substantial time to talk amongst themselves about the relevant topics. So many unknown issues were brought into the light and it was eye-opening to listen to other people's experiences. Overall, it was a brilliant day!’
Katelyn D. (12CTKI)

‘The Banyule Youth Summit was an incredible opportunity to speak to a diverse range of people from several schools about issues that are important to young people. I was at the table discussing Youth Voice and sharing ideas with others regarding what the Banyule Council could do to combat the lack of representation of young people and build awareness around challenges associated with this. The day culminated in my team delivering our suggestions to politicians and key decision makers. I hope to attend the event again in the future as it was a very positive experience.'
Tiffany M. (9GTA)

‘The Banyule Youth Summit was a very enriching and valuable experience. I was a part of the Climate Change group and it was really enlightening to hear the shared experiences of other youth, especially regarding aspects of the climate crisis such as climate anxiety, influence, overconsumption and our desire for real change that comes with a deadline and a clear aim. We discussed many areas of the climate crisis and suggested solutions not only for Banyule but ideas for how to implement sustainable practices in our own school. The day also included other activities such as henna, making Indigenous art, taking home a native plant and live music! There were many important people from Banyule City Council and even a member from the Greens who came and it was a great opportunity to make connections and ask questions. Overall the day was great and definitely worth the homework catch-up!’
Alana P. (10CSGP)

Lauren Marquet
Social Justice Coordinator

Megan Edwards
Head of Student Wellbeing

Earlier this term, Year 10 and 11 students participated in exam preparation and study skills sessions delivered by Elevate Education. These sessions focused on ways to manage the stress that can come in the lead-up to exams.

Some of the tips shared with the Senior students have relevance for all students, who similarly can get stressed during peak periods of assessment. When we become highly stressed, our ‘fight or flight’ response will kick in and students may be tempted to do all that they can to avoid the task at hand. To help students keep stress levels at a manageable level, we encourage you to discuss these tips with your young person:

  • Getting adequate sleep - at least eight hours is recommended for teenagers, and being screen-free 30 minutes before bed will help in achieving a good night’s rest.
  • Eating good, nutritious meals and snacks and staying hydrated. When the weather gets cooler it can be easy to forget to keep our hydration levels up - eight glasses of water are recommended each day.
  • Completing short bursts of work (30-40mins) followed by a five to ten-minute break is an effective way of maintaining focus. Using your break to get outside in some fresh air for a quick walk can get you ready for your next stint of work.
  • Assisting students to divide a larger assessment task into smaller, more manageable chunks, can help students map out a timeline of what needs to be done by when. This can help reduce the stress associated with peak assessment times.
  • Setting up a plan for the week to map out where you have time for study across other commitments. This could be an activity that is done on the weekend so students get into the habit of planning the week ahead.
  • Getting up and moving, whether it be running, walking, cycling or dancing, is a great way to clear your head when stress levels are getting higher.

It might be also worth reminding your young person that stress, in itself, is not a bad thing. Stress can help us raise our level of motivation and use our time effectively to get a task completed. The trick is not to let our stress levels get too high if we want to perform well on a given task.

Copies of timetables and blank calendars are available in the Learning Commons for students to support them with their organisation.

Elevate Education are also running a free webinar for parents on this topic:

Upcoming webinar for parents – How to Help Your Child Prepare for Exams

We’re excited to announce that Elevate Education will be hosting a free webinar for our parents on Wednesday 7 June at 6.30pm (AEST).

Elevate Education works with our students, delivering high impact workshops on study skills, motivation, wellbeing, and exam preparation. By tuning into their webinar series, you will learn how you can help better support your children at home through reinforcing the skills they learn at school.

In this webinar, we will be discussing:

  • High Priority Work: The kinds of work students should be focusing on in the build-up to exams to maximise marks
  • Time Management: How to ensure your child has enough time to prepare for their exams
  • Practice Papers: How to prepare effectively using past questions and practice papers.

Rocket Launching in Year 10

In 2023, OLMC was the recipient of a Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) STEM in Space grant, which resourced rockets and rocket launching equipment to introduce space engineering into our Year 10 curriculum. As 2023 has been a trial year, not all students took the program but those who did produced a much more sophisticated understanding of the applications of Newton’s Laws, motion and forces. The classes had huge fun, and a little bit of fear, as the bottle rockets shot up and around the Sports Fields. Students who didn’t take the rocket program investigated centripetal forces that drive engines in turbines or explored collision forces.

Susan Long
Science Learning Leader

STEAM Extension Program

On Tuesday 30 May, 16 Year 8 students who participate in the STEAM Extension Program travelled to Banyule Nillumbik Tech School to take part in their Design Fundamentals workshop. Here, students were introduced to the Design Thinking Framework, a tool commonly used across design, engineering and technology to generate ideas and create innovative solutions to problems being faced by society.

Students had the opportunity to put the framework to the test by creating a prototype for a product which aimed to support people in being more conscious and informed recyclers. There were a variety of solutions created across the group including a self-sorting bin, an advertising campaign, a ‘frequent flyer’ program which rewarded people for good recycling, and apps which enabled people to scan their rubbish and be advised of the appropriate bin to put it in.

The students are now well-equipped to tackle the STEM MAD Showcase in Term 3, a competition which asks them to work in groups to design a solution to a real-world problem which makes a difference to those in need or the environment.

Breanna Farrugia
Science Teacher

This semester has been a busy one in English classrooms across OLMC. The following is a snapshot of what has been covered in Years 7-10 English so far this year.

Year 7

In their introduction to secondary English, students have been introduced to the mystery genre in the form of a ‘Whodunnit’, reading Friday Barnes, Girl Detective and Murder Most Unladylike. They have analysed the texts as well as created their own mystery story. Currently students are preparing for oral presentations on an ethical dilemma.

Year 8

Students began the year by learning about the gothic genre in order to develop their understanding of the play Frankenstein, a play adaptation by Philip Pullman of Mary Shelley’s great novel. They wrote an analytical essay on the play and it also informed a range of gothic writing responses in their writing journals. The next focus was storytelling, beginning with students interviewing an elder about their life and then orally presenting a story of family significance to class. Then then moved onto their study of The Rabbits and the creation of a transmedia product to explore ideas from the text in a more complex and visual manner.

Year 9

Due to Horizon, students at Year 9 undertake different studies at different times. Some of the experiences they have had so far are a study of the short story form where students have read and analysed a selection of short stories to help them to understand the text type and its conventions. They have then demonstrated this knowledge in the creation of their own short stories which included a written explanation to outline their creative choices. Students have also entered the colourful world of Victorian London through their study of A Christmas Carol.

Year 10

This year students have experienced Stories told in other ways, a new course in English that has seen them explore a wide range of tropes in Literature. They have analysed the transformation of well-known stories through their study of The Sleeper and the Spindle, Six Impossible Things and selected Greek myths from Mythos. They have also developed a writing folio where they have written for a range of different purposes and audiences.

Students in English are to be congratulated for their efforts in Semester 1, especially their preparedness to take risks, and collaboration with their peers and teachers. We wish our Year 10 and 11 students all the very best as they embark upon their mid-year exams.

There will be a spotlight on VCE English, Literature and English Language in future newsletters.

Anne Morrison
English Learning Leader

OLMC Music has been busy with performances in our community and beyond over the last few weeks.

Our Cantors performed as part of the Mother’s Day Liturgy, inspiring an invitation from Mercy Education (MEL) for our choir to perform as part of a Leadership Mass on Thursday 25 May. Thirty eager students were taken by private bus to the RACV Club in Bourke St to lead the congregation of MEL Leaders in song through their final mass. The girls performed beautifully and we would like to thank Ms Weir for nominating OLMC to perform at this special event.

Monday 29 May was filled with music as a variety of OLMC ensembles and music students hit the stage for our annual Mid-Year Concert. A full house enjoyed a variety of music and student arrangements throughout the evening. We would like to congratulate all of the students, especially all the Year 7 students who performed on stage for the first time. Seeing those beaming faces after their performances said it all. Well done to you all.

A special congratulations also needs to go to the following students for completing their AMEB Exams:

  • Marissa E. (8SLO) – Voice
  • Sienna I. (8DCH) – Piano
  • Lacey M. (9GTA) – Piano
  • Isabella P. (11MAMN) – Voice
  • Madeline S. (10LAGA) – Piano.

We look forward to our Year 7 Music Evening and Celebration Concert in Term 3!

Jo-Anne Mileto
Instrumental Music Coordinator

The Year 7 Mathematics Extension Club (MEXI) and Year 8 Mathematics Extension Club (Number Ninjas) have been hard at work this Semester completing both the Australian Problem-Solving Mathematics Olympiad (APSMO) and the Mathematics Challenge.

The requirements for APSMO are that students have to compete in four competitions over the course of the year. Each competition involves five complex problem-solving questions completed in 30 minutes. The students train for this by completing similar problem-solving questions during their fortnightly meeting at lunch break. Here they are given strategies so that they can build up a problem-solving toolkit which they can then apply to any context. Students are encouraged to focus on their problem-solving techniques and then evaluate how they can improve their strategies going forward.

The Mathematics Challenge is developed by the Australian Mathematics Trust. It involves six challenging questions which the students complete over a four week period. OLMC has three groups of students completing the Challenge: the Brainstretching class in Year 9, MEXI and the Number Ninjas. The Challenge questions start with application of the context to develop understanding and then extends to explanations of general case solutions. This can be particularly challenging.

An example of one of the Challenge questions from a previous year:

Mark Vorster
Mathematics Learning Leader

On Tuesday 23 May, the Annual House Athletics Carnival was held at Box Hill Athletics Track. Fortunately, the weather was on our side with a warm and sunny Autumn day. Students competed in the normal array of Track and Field events as well as the very popular Novelty Events proving a great success.

Results throughout the day were very close for all categories, each House nominating students to participate in the many events to secure those important points for their House.

Individual Year Level Champions and Runner-Ups

Year Level



Year 7

Lily G. (7JST) and Keira W. (7JBR) 32 pts (Equal)


Year 8

Emily M. (8MWA) 64 pts

Chloe M. (8MFO) 52 pts

Year 9

Chiara S. (9MKY) 77 pts

Chloe K. (9MKY) 47 pts

Year 10

Jamieson L. (10CTKI) 50pts

Sarah B. (10MMZI) 32 pts

Year 11

Matilda B. (11AASE) 43 pts

Charlotte D. (11MAMN) 42 pts

Year 12

Ashleigh T. (12MMZI) 65 pts

Rose C. (12MECO) 32 pts

House Cheer Trophy









Carmel and Mercy (Equal)


Junior Trophy














Intermediate Trophy














Senior Trophy














Overall Results














Trevor Robertson
Sports Coordinator

The 2023 OLMC Cross Country season commenced at the start of Term 2, with approximately 60 students participating in training on Friday mornings at Warringal Park. This was in preparation for a hectic and rewarding GSV Cross Country Season, which included two GSV Training Meets at Yarra Bend Park.

These training meets provided the runners with the experience of running the set distances for their age group - 3 km for Juniors and 4 km for Intermediates and Seniors - an excellent preparation for the GSV Preliminary and GSV Championship Cross Country Events.

The team participated in the Preliminary Event on Tuesday 16 May at the familiar Yarra Bend Park track. The final results of this event determined which division we would be allocated to for the Championship Event a week later.

In 2022 OLMC won Division 3 at the Championship Event and this year we wanted to go the next step and qualify for Division 2. With strong and courageous performances from the squad, we reached our goal and were successful in qualifying for Division 2.

The Championship Event was held on Friday 26 May at Cruden Farm in Langwarrin. This farm is regularly used for Athletics Victoria Cross Country events and this year was the second year that GSV hosted its Championship event at this magnificent venue. A final squad of 42 students represented OLMC at the event, with the Juniors placing sixth overall, and the Intermediate and Seniors placing seventh. Overall OLMC finished seventh in Division 2 - a fantastic effort on the day and a respectable end to the OLMC Cross Country Season.

Trevor Robertson
Sports Coordinator

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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.


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