Edition 9 | 16 June 2023
Judith Weir

As we reach the end of Semester 1, we are grateful for all that we have been able to achieve so far this year and look forward with hope regarding all that will be possible in the next Semester. One of these important things we can be grateful for is a year that allowed us to continue to do all of the important things we have come to expect about OLMC. Students have excelled in so many different ways and have committed to engaging in GSV, productions, music, debating, dance and clubs in huge numbers. OLMC is certainly alive and vibrant because of our students.

Yesterday all students who are undertaking a Units 3 and 4 subject completed the GAT. This is always a milestone for Year 12 students because it signals that there is only one semester of their time left at OLMC. While there is much still to achieve for all our Year 12 students it is important to acknowledge that they are moving into the last stage of their secondary education with us and we will continue to support and care for them as they make decisions about their journey after OLMC.

Key Commitment 7 of our Strategic Directions is to 'Establish new and strengthened approaches to building parent engagement in and understanding of their daughter’s learning and in the life of the College'. As part of our ongoing strategic development, we have commissioned a company, schoolEd, to facilitate a process to develop a new Digital Technologies Strategy. This strategy will guide development of our next steps in the area of digital technologies allowing us to build the knowledge, skills and tools our students need to ensure that they are ready and able to engage in the world. We are very keen for parents and caregivers to be involved in discussions about the future of digital technologies at OLMC. In another section of the newsletter, you will find information about how to nominate to be part of a forum to be held at 7.00pm in the Heagerty Room (foyer of MHT) on Wednesday 21 June.

I wrote to families on Wednesday 7 June alerting you to reports that OLMC will be impacted by the removal of the payroll tax exemption for high-fee-paying non-government schools. While our school and our peak body, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, continue to work hard to oppose the new tax, I have added to PAM a link to a draft letter, should you wish to contact Labor MPs.

This is the last newsletter before the break. We hope that you all have a wonderful break and enjoy a change of routine. We hope all students find time to rest and rejuvenate ready for a busy and exciting Term 3.

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Today, Friday 16 June 2023, is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

This 17th-Century feast celebrates the humanity of Jesus, in particular, his love for us.

This feast invites us to reflect upon Christ’s immense love for us, and how we might share that love with others, especially the poor. A few years ago, Pope Francis tweeted, ‘The Feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us that God loved us first: God is always waiting for us, welcoming us into His heart, into His love.’

May we, the faith community of Our Lady of Mercy, always be open to God’s love and may we be that live for others. Amen.
Andrew Gibson
Curriculum Coordinator

Semester 1 Reports

The semester always finishes quickly, with senior students completing Unit 3, and Years 10 and 11 students undertaking exams.

All year levels have been busy, putting their organisational and time management skills to the test, as they submit tasks and complete assessment. For some students, they will reflect that they managed competing demands successfully, while there may be some students who will realise that different strategies will be needed for greater success in Semester 2.

Thank you for the support you have provided at home for learning. Whether it is encouraging an email be sent to a teacher, or helping a routine become entrenched, such support for learning is appreciated.

Semester 1 Reports are currently being written and compiled, and this will continue next week.

The Semester 1 Reports will be available to access via PAM and SIMON by 4.00pm Monday 26 June 2023. Parents and guardians will receive an email once they are available.


NAPLAN testing for Year 7 and 9 students was undertaken in March.

A meeting of Education Ministers earlier this year agreed to change the reports that parents and guardians receive regarding a student’s NAPLAN results. The 10 bands used for reporting to parents and guardians are to be replaced with four proficiency levels. These four levels are Exceeding, Strong, Developing and Needs Additional Support.

We expect the NAPLAN results to be delivered to the College by the end of July, and these will then be sent to parents and guardians.

We also expect that an explanation of the new proficiency levels will be provided at this time.

We are very excited to partner with schoolED in reviewing the best practice and future directions in digital technologies, and developing the OLMC Digital Strategy 2024 - 2027.

This three-year action plan will include recommendations for upscaling STEM, Digital Technologies and the ethical use of Artificial intelligence and social media across the school.

The review will include engagement with OLMC stakeholder groups including teachers, parents, students and past students.

As part of the process Louise Bowe from schoolED will be visiting the College on Wednesday 21 June, facilitating a forum enabling community members to provide input to the process.

To participate please find details of the time and location via an announcement within PAM. If you are unable to attend on this date and would like to provide feedback via a survey, details will be in the same announcement.

Douglas Wright
Digital Strategies Coordinator

Shane Taylor
Head of Faith and Mission

Year 12 students participated in their annual retreat on Wednesday 7 – Friday 9 June. Those students in Loreto and Mercy Houses stayed at Arrabri Lodge in Warburton, and those in Carmel and McAuley Houses stayed at Lake Dewar in Myrniong.

These three days were precious and a gift in the busyness of our lives for students and staff. There are many things we hold in common, with a major one being we are all part of OLMC: a Catholic College, a Mercy school, a place of learning and growing, a place where we are invited to do our best and a place we are invited to encounter something greater than ourselves.

This retreat, which is a great blessing, invited us all to pause our regular existence, step away for a couple of days, and explore questions; What is important to me? And why? What life do I want to lead? Why? Who journeys with me in this life? How do I experience the Divine/Spirituality? We used the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24) to help us structure these searching questions.

Our tradition compels us to use our heads, hearts and hands in our being, in our calling, and in our living of Mercy. I would like to thank the staff who accompanied our students on retreat, including Fr Ignatius Vu S.S.S. and Br Tri Van Cao C.P.

‘& Juliet’ Excursion

A few weeks ago, the Performing Arts department took a group of eager students to watch the new musical & Juliet. It is a reimagining of the story of Romeo and Juliet, but looks at what could have been if Juliet didn’t die. It is a fabulous, feminist and fun piece of musical theatre set to the soundtrack of late 1990s and early 2000s pop music. This was an optional excursion that students could choose to attend. We had students take up the opportunity and from all accounts, they loved every moment of it.

‘A mix of Performing Arts students in Years 10, 11 and 12 went to watch one of the newest musicals & Juliet. This musical flips the script on one of the most known love stories, Romeo and Juliet and gets people wondering: What if Juliet didn’t end it all over Romeo? As people get swept away on this fabulous journey, she ditches her famous ending for a new beginning and a second chance at life and love. The students at OLMC who have chosen a Performing Arts subject get the chance to go and watch some well-known musicals and performances. This gives the students a chance to go out with their peers and enjoy a night or day out with one another whilst getting the opportunity to watch these performances and learn about the different aspects of performing that we are learning about in class.’
Alysia B. (12AJIN)

‘On Thursday, a group of students went to see & Juliet at the Regent Theatre. We were on the edge of our seats the entire time, and clapped so much that our hands hurt. It was an engaging experience that has left us listening to the & Juliet album on repeat. We apologise to the people in front of us, we may have been a bit loud when cheering….oops!’
Katelyn D. (12CTKI) and Darcie M. (12CMSM)

Felicia Taine and Hayley Gamble Curran
Performing Arts Teachers

Upcoming Tertiary/Career Events and Open Day Guide

Parents can access information regarding upcoming events including workshops, information sessions, tours and webinars via PAM with weekly updates occurring each Monday as new opportunities are made available. These are made available to students via SIMON and email communication. With most Open Day dates locked in, the Open Day Guide is also available on PAM (and on SIMON to students). It not only lists dates to diarise through the Open Day Season from late July to early September, but also practical advice on how to make the most of an Open Day experience to ensure students get the information they need to make the comparative judgements and decisions on their preferred future options.

It is highly recommended that students register via the Open Day links provided to ensure they get early access to programs and outlines regarding the events and experiences running on the day to ensure effective and efficient use of their time.

OLMC Tertiary Expo Wednesday 21 June 2023

We are pleased to again welcome institution representatives from across Victoria to our OLMC Tertiary Expo next Wednesday 21June.

All Year 10 students will visit the expo as part of their Subject Selection Program to take advantage of the opportunity to talk to representatives about course options, prerequisites and pathway choices.

Students across all year levels, although particularly Year 11 and 12 students, are invited to attend the expo during lunchtime on this day.

Early Entry Programs 2024

Early Entry Programs have either opened or will open shortly for those offering conditional early offers into courses at their institution.

An information session outlining these programs was delivered to Year 12 students last Term with details available here.

Applications are made directly to the institution with different experiences/contributions being the focus of each program.

A Drop-In Session with representatives from students participating in Early Entry Schemes will be available to Year 12 students on Friday 28 July 2023 between 9.00am - 10.40am with further details to come.

Q&A Industry Panels

Our Q&A Breakfast Panels continue to be well attended and highly valued events for our students across all year levels.

We have been privileged to welcome back wonderful alumni and friends of the OLMC community who have generously shared their time and wisdom with students, often providing reassurance and useful tips on how to become self-aware and make informed decisions about the future.

Details regarding upcoming Q&A Panels are published weekly on SIMON and PAM.

Some of our students have reflected on their experiences as an audience participant:

‘Attending the Science Industry Panel was an eye-opening experience that consolidated ideas I already had about my future studies, but also gave me lots of insight into various pathways I hadn't thought about. Hearing from people who have the same interests, but have had the experience from tertiary studies and the workforce, has given me useful knowledge that I would not have been able to find anywhere else.’
Kate M. (12LRJO)

‘Personally, I have found attending the Industry Q&A Panels extremely informative and helpful. It helped me discover career and study options as well as different pathways into industries and jobs that I would not have thought of before. I especially liked that it included a wide range of experiences from women who were once in my position at OLMC.’
Jacinta C. (11LJVA)

‘I found it very interesting to learn about all the different careers involved in business. I found it especially interesting that the entrepreneur found that her law degree was more helpful than her business degree. I believe it is a fantastic idea to attend a Q&A because it gives an insight into different careers in a particular field that you may not have heard of and you can find a new career option to consider.’
Gemma M. (11MMWI)

VTAC Applications – Dates to Diarise

Timely Applications


Monday 31 July 2023 (9.00am)

Timely Applications


Thursday 28 September 2023 (5.00pm)

SEAS and Scholarship Applications


Monday 31 July 2023 (9.00am)

SEAS and Scholarship Applications


Friday 6 October 2023 (5.00pm)

VTAC Payment


Tuesday 5 December 2023 (4.00pm)

ATAR and VCE Results


Monday 11 December 2023 (from 7.00am)

Change of Preference


Wednesday 13 December 2023 (4.00pm)

December Offer Round


Thursday 21 December 2023

January Offer Round 1


Friday 12 January 2024

January Offer Round 2


Tuesday 30 January 2024

February Offer Round 1


Tuesday 6 February 2024

February Offer Round 2


Tuesday 13 February 2024

February Offer Round 3


Tuesday 20 February 2024

Full list and details available on the VTAC Website.

An information session on the application process will be held in early August 2023 to support students through this important part of their transition into higher education.

Details will be made available closer to this date. Information sessions on SEAS, Scholarships, Early Entry Applications and practical drop-in sessions to support the creation of the VTAC account will also be offered to students and to parents. Please keep an eye on SIMON/PAM and emails for further information.

To enrol in their tertiary courses early in 2024, all students will need a TFN, so now is a good time to apply if your daughter does not have one. Tax File Numbers can only be obtained through the Australian Tax Office.

For more information, visit the Australian Tax Office website.

Melinda Williams
Careers Coordinator

Clinging onto rocks with rushing water beneath us, in mud stained clothing, caving. One of the many adrenaline and fun-filled experiences we had at Horizon Camp.

On Wednesday 31 May we embarked on our journey to the Clifford Park Camp, with one class bike riding and the other caving. Our class was lucky enough to go caving first and it was truly a great adventure for everyone. We braved through our fears and cheered each other on. Once we arrived at the campsite, we were introduced to all the locations around and set up our cabins for the stay.

During this camp, we were assigned with creating our own menus and cooking our own meals for ourselves and our peers. The kitchen was always a lively environment and we learnt many new skills.

On Thursday we participated in a variety of activities including abseiling, which helped us face our fears, orienteering, which took us all around the campsite, a MasterChef challenge that brought out our creative sides and a commando course that required good team work but was also a physical challenge. The commando course was our personal favourite, especially swinging into the mud pit at the end. After dinner we had a trivia night run by our amazing teachers.

On the way back to school, our class completed a 14km bike ride. Although this seemed like a difficult task at first, the weather was beautiful and it was quite a leisurely ride.

Our motto for this camp was ‘Challenge by Choice’ and it essentially meant that we were encouraged to push ourselves, but to a level we were comfortable with. Overall, everyone on the camp challenged themselves in each activity, which contributed to the fantastic experience we all had. Horizon Camp Term 2 2023 was a memorable experience that we can look back on throughout the years.

Aarchi K. and Esther H. (9LDA)

Year 12 Lunch

On Tuesday 6 June, the Year 12 cohort gathered with their Pastoral Leaders, House Coordinators and members of the Leadership Team to recognise their journey so far. ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was the theme for the day, so down the rabbit hole we ventured to celebrate all of the Year 12 students' hard work and success so far this year.

The tables were set with finger food and cupcakes and individual tea cups and saucers for our very own tea party. As the students gathered with their friends and teachers, the room was filled with excited chatter. It was so lovely to have the opportunity to stop and celebrate this cohort and all of their work.

The highlight for many of the Year 12s was the worst kept surprise, the delivery of the much-anticipated Year 12 hoodies - an OLMC rite of passage!

Although the day was a team effort, special thanks must go to Kathryn Williams and Marie Jenkins for their fabulous planning and organisation of the day. And of course to the Year 12s who embraced the day, engaged enthusiastically and were incredibly grateful for the time with the peers and teachers.

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

Year 12 Retreat

Last week was a very interesting week; it was a week of reflection.

The Year 12 Lunch was a reflection event about how we are almost there for finishing secondary school. The House Coordinators organised an Alice in Wonderland tea party for all of the Year 12 students. They told us the reason they chose Alice in Wonderland as our lunch theme was because we’re soon going into the big world and it was symbolic of all the opportunities we’re going to find in the future. The Year 12s really enjoyed the lunch and the chance to connect with each other. It was a nice change to our regular days. The Year 12s were so excited as we finally got our Year 12 jumpers.

The day after, we went on Year 12 Retreat.

Everyone’s Retreat experience was very different but memorable. The four Houses were split into two groups for camps. Mercy and Loreto went to Arrabri Lodge. McAuley and Carmel went to Lake Dewar. We reflected on God and ourselves. Each of us took our special items to share with each other. The most fun experience was that we got our very own Retreat journals. The Year 12s wrote in our journal about our objects, other people’s special objects, personal timelines, about the girls we connected with throughout our high school years and opinions about a scripture from the bible. The most fascinating activity was the MBTI quiz where I found what my MBTI personality type is. We also engaged in prayers. It was a great opportunity for the Year 12s to reconnect with each other and forget about schoolwork for a moment.

Sammie M.(12MAMN)

‘Sixteen degrees and rain’ was not a very promising forecast for the first day of camp, but it didn’t deter the Year 7s when they arrived at Phillip Island Adventure Resort last Wednesday.

After moving the luggage to their cabins and adding a layer or two to their clothing, the 192 Year 7 students and 23 staff attending the camp launched straight into the program and didn’t stop until we boarded the buses for home on Friday afternoon.

Activities included building rafts and attempting to launch and sail them on the lagoon, soaring across the vast green grounds on the zipline of a flying fox, balancing on high ropes suspended in the air between huge timber beams, and plunging from the sky on a giant swing. The students had to overcome fears, work as a team and show resilience and they did all of this with smiles and a positive attitude.

The evening activities on the first night included a visit to the Penguin Parade at sunset, followed by a movie or board games. Then it was off to bed for lots of giggling.

The second day also got off to a wet start but soon cleared into sunshine and more fun. The students took to the water again in canoes and enjoyed taking morning tea on a walk to Smiths Beach. New friendships were formed as they did team building activities and cooked pancakes over open fires they had built themselves. They then enjoyed some free time in their cabins and hot showers in the afternoon before an evening of healthy and enthusiastic competition in a Trivia and Games Night. ‘Guess the Lyric’ turned into a sing-along as the students couldn’t help belting out their favourite songs even when the music stopped. They became fiercely competitive again when they had to match the Pastoral Leader to the baby photo and dance for prizes doing a Just Dance, before having hot chocolate and slinking off to bed.

Despite the weariness we were all feeling by Friday morning, the camp finished strongly as everyone participated in their final activities and packed up ready to leave. They got on the buses feeling the sense of relief and exhaustion that comes from a few days of outdoor activity in winter weather, but also a deep sense of satisfaction and pride for the connections that had been formed and all that had been achieved.

The Phillip Island staff complimented the students for their behaviour but the students’ own words best capture the great time that was by enjoyed by all:

‘My highlight of camp was going on the giant swing and walking to Smiths Beach. I enjoyed the giant swing because it was very fun and exciting and there was also a nice view. The walk to Smiths Beach was very nice because we went on a walk and got to go to the beach. At the beach we got some chocolate cake and got to do a sandcastle building competition.’
Isabella M. (7LSA)

‘The experience I enjoyed the most at camp was the giant swing. It was an unforgettable, exciting and exhilarating experience. It made many people face their fears and challenge themselves. We encouraged each other and we all had lots of fun doing so. We got to make lifelong memories together, and that's why it was so fun.’
Alessia S. (7LSA)

‘My highlight of Year 7 camp was definitely the walk to Smiths Beach. It wasn't very far and it was a beautiful and sunny day. I really enjoyed just hanging out with my friends at the beach and playing in the sand and in the water. I also enjoyed the flying fox and high ropes. They were very high up which challenged me a little bit. High ropes is something I really enjoy doing and I would do it again if I could. The flying fox was really cool, I was going really fast and I could just let go of the rope.’
Autumn B. (7LSA)

‘My highlights from camp were the giant swing, walking to Smiths Beach, the high ropes and cabin time because I had a good cabin.’
Jerika L. (7LSA)

‘The things I enjoyed at camp were making new friends from my activity group and having a great time with everyone. I had a lot of fun and I had a really good time there. My highlight was the twin flying fox because it was really fun, and me and my friends had a great time with everyone.’
Sophia I. (7LSA)

‘My highlight from camp was the giant swing because I went all the way to the top and it was just really fun. Another one of my highlights was the high ropes since I got to overcome my fears. It was really high and it was also really hard to trust the harness but I really enjoyed myself. Cabin time was also really fun since I got to hang out with my friends and eat lollies!’
Alisha X. (7LSA)

‘Excitement, anxiety, fun, laughter, tears were all the emotions I felt before we set off for the Year 7 camp at Phillip Island. Movie night, playing games, eating, cabin time, and getting to know each other much more was so much fun. The water rafting was amazing, even though it was extremely wet! The giant swing was everyone’s favourite but the one activity everyone was scared to approach. Everyone tried activities out of their comfort zone, even if their friends had to encourage them. Everyone tried new activities that they would never have done before and best of all everyone made and developed friendships.’
Emilia F. (7JAD)

Sarah Nash
Year 7 Level Coordinator

The results for the recent Dante Alighieri Italian Poetry Competition that took place at the University of Melbourne are now in.

Congratulations to all those Italian students from Years 9 to 11 who challenged themselves by participating in this optional extension activity.

In particular, I wish our six finalists, all from Year 9, the very best for the finals of the competition which will be held in early Term 3:
Mia C. (9ACH), Aprila D. (9ACH), Alyssa G. (9TLA), Maiya M. (9NWA), Deanna N. (9BME) and Amelia K. (9ACH).

The following students also achieved very strong results:

Year 9

Certificate of Excellence

Grace C.
Mikayla F.
Chiara S.


High Distinction

Jana G.
Celeste L.
Giuliana P.

Tayah C.
Hanna W.



Year 10

Honourable Mention

Amelia D.

Hannah H.



Year 11

High Distinction

Ava A.


Honourable Mention

Melodi F.


Thanks go to the Italian teaching staff and our language assistant, Ludovica, for preparing the students for the competition.

Fleur Davison
Learning Languages Leader

Applications for the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) 2023 close Friday 23 June 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.

Apply Online

Apply now for Year 7 2025

Applications for Year 7 2025 at OLMC Heidelberg close Friday 18 August 2023. Apply online now.

Apply now

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